3dp_ten3dpthings_ikea_logoI have a confession to make. I have a bit of an obsession with inexpensive, flatpacked, self-assembly furnishings manufacturer IKEA. And only part of it is the nonsensical Scandinavian names of their products, which I’m convinced are actually dirty words in Swedish. I am lucky enough to live only a few miles from a location, and it isn’t uncommon for me to rope in a friend to head down and wander the disorientating halls for a few hours, leaving only with a picture frame, two paper lamps and a frying pan.

Why would I do such a thing? The uniformity of the design is a big part of it, walking through the multi-floor showroom is a calming, zen like experience. While I have no real desire to live in a home as neat and featureless as one furnished entirely with IKEA products, it’s hard to not respect an aesthetic that is both unique and specific, but also highly adaptable to virtually everyone’s personal taste. IKEA products are some of the most fascinating examples of modern product design that I’ve ever seen, and it is hard to walk into a store and not understand why they are the world’s largest and most successful furnishings retailer.

There is also the versatility of IKEA products. While they are all designed to fill very specific and deliberate roles in a home, they can still be easily adapted for other uses. For me personally I’ve turned a TV stand into a bench, and a shelf into and end table, which isn’t very exciting. But on the extreme end there are people who take the materials from IKEA products and can create entirely new, remarkably complex pieces of furniture from them. And then there are the brilliant minds who use 3D printing to transform even the simplest of products into something entirely new, useful or just plain fun.

So this week, in honor of my last IKEA trip that netted me new picture frames and a digital timer that I never knew was the one piece of technology missing from my life, I present Ten 3D Printable Things – The Best 3D Printing IKEA Hacks!


JELLYFISH LAMP

3dp_ten3dpthings_jellyfish_1Jellyfish Lampshade by unellenu

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

So a jellyfish-shaped lamp may not be to everyone’s taste, but in my mind it certainly should be. This cool project is probably less IKEA hack and more random lamp hack, but it’s still a pretty amazing way to add something unique and interesting to your home without spending a lot of money. And if ever there was a 3D printing project that was begging to be 3D printed in some of the new colorful translucent filaments available, this is it. While this is pictures with a table lamp, it could easily be converted into a really stunning hanging lamp or chandelier.

3dp_ten3dpthings_jellyfish_2The lamp base that was used is the HEMMA table lamp, which is a steal at $8, however if you have a lamp laying around or find something similar at a thrift shop it would probably work just as well. However, I should point out that using a 3D printed lampshade is probably only a good idea with low-heat light bulbs like the new LED varieties, so be careful how you pair this up.3dp_ten3dpthings_jellyfish_3


AIR-TIGHT FILAMENT STORAGE BOXES

3dp_ten3dpthings_filamentbox_1Filament Storage Solution by wstein

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

We’ve seen some great plastic box hacks for storing 3D printing filament before, but this great design is one of the better designs. Not only is the chosen six gallon SAMLA box the perfect size to hold four spools of standard filament comfortably, but the 3D printed hardware makes it look great and easy to put together. And the plastic box and lid only costing $5.00 bucks makes it extremely affordable. The designer also included a handy drilling jig so there won’t be any guesswork involved with drilling the holes that hold the hardware in place.

3dp_ten3dpthings_filamentbox_2There is also more than enough room at the bottom of the box for a layer of silicate to keep the box moisture free, as well as any loose filament samples that you may have laying around. And because they’re stackable, you can have several boxes of filament without your workshop/3D printing space looking cluttered.


LOW-POLY MONSTER TABLE FEET COVERS

3dp_ten3dpthings_lacklessLackNess by Castomized

Found on: Pinshape
Cost: $1.30

The LackNess table feet covers aren’t at all useful, but they sure are a lot of fun. These 3D printable table leg covers attach to the bottom of one of the standard LACK products like the side tables, coffee tables or TV stands. It’s basically a 3D printable, low-poly monster foot that fits on the legs, and they are goofy and silly and kind of amazing. Obviously they can be 3D printed to match the table that you choose, or painted in order to get an even better match. While I would probably be more than happy with monster-footed tables in my home, these would be a great way to add some personality to a kids room or play area.


SHOT GLASS SPICE SHAKERS

3dp_ten3dpthings_spicejarsIKEA Shot Glass – Spice Glass by Prenta

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Did you know that IKEA sold shot glasses? They pretty much sell everything, even supplies for that dedicated yet cheap alcoholic in your life. This great hack couldn’t be simpler, just a collection of lids that snap tightly on to the rims of shot glasses, transforming them into super useful spice shakers. They each have different hole sizes and configurations, so they’ll work with almost any kind of spice, and you can 3D print them in different colors so it is easy to tell which spice is which.

And yes, I know, IKEA sells actual space jars, but where is the fun in that?


VIDEO GAME CONTROLLER HOLDER

3dp_ten3dpthings_controller_holder_1Xbox 360/Xbox One/Steam Controller holder for Billy Bookcase by Jrubia

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

This simple 3D printed device is sized to hold most standard video game controllers in an easy to access place. It was designed to fit the shelves on a BILLY Bookcase or a JERKER Desk perfectly and is a great way to keep some of your video game accutramon organized and easily accessible.

3dp_ten3dpthings_controller_holder_2There are no screws or hardware in the design, it simply clips on to the shelf and is held in place like a cantilever. Of course they can be printed in any color that you want in order to match your room, but it’s such a simple device that it really doesn’t matter what color it is. Originally designed for the Xbox 360, it is easy to modify by adding a simple lip for the Xbox One controller.


CHILD-SIZED SLED

3dp_ten3dpthings_sled_1DIY Luge by LeFabShop

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Now this is the type of off the wall IKA hack that I was talking about. Yes, you can take a pair of basic IKEA stools and convert them into a working child-sized sled, or luge. How on earth someone came up with a design this random I’ll never know. I mean how do you look at a stool and see sled? But I like living in a world where people do see sleds in stools.

3dp_ten3dpthings_sled_2The creators have even published an Instructable so it is really easy to make one of your own. Chances are I would never need one of these living in Los Angeles, but quite a bit of you who live in cold states might be able to use one of these.


PIGGY BUTT BANK

3dp_ten3dpthings_pig_bank_1Pig Bank – Evo Collection by Cemal Cetinkaya

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

Here is another fantastic use for IKEA glassware that’s both fun and unexpected. You can turn a basic glass into a piggy bank of sorts, just a piggy bank with no head. That may sound a little terrifying, but the little pig butt is really kind of of cute.

3dp_ten3dpthings_pig_bank_2Cemal has actually made an entire collection of 3D printable lids that can transform a basic IKEA glass into all kinds of useful home goods. The options include a handled mug, a divided pencil cup, a juicer, a vase and even an ashtray.


TRANSLUCENT LITHOPHANE LAMPSHADE

3dp_ten3dpthings_lithophane_1Lithophane Lampshade by pittance

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

A lithophane is three dimensional artwork that is made to be seen and fully appreciated when it is being backlit, and while they were originally made from a thin porcelain, but they can also be made from plastics or even layered paper. And now, they can be 3D printed and converted into beautiful lighting with an IKEA lamp.

3dp_ten3dpthings_lithophane_2The project is probably not for a beginner, and you’ll most likely need to have some art skills of some sort to make the actual 3D image, but with a bit of effort you can make a unique and interesting lampshade that no one else is going to have.


ADJUSTABLE WEBCAM JIB

3dp_ten3dpthings_walt_1WALT the Webcam Mount by TheNewHobbyist

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you use video conferencing services like Skype regularly then you know the pains of having to make sure that your webcam is positioned correctly. Most cams include only basic stands or attachment options, and most of them are simply designed to sit on top of your monitor. There are jibs or adjustable arms that are significantly more maneuverable, however they tend to get rather pricey. This great IKEA hack can turn a $9.00 TERTIAL desk lamp into a webcam arm for a fraction of the cost, and it works just as good if not better than most commercial options.

3dp_ten3dpthings_walt_2Webcam Arm Lamp Truss, or just WALT for short, even has a sweet face 3D printed on the mount to cheer up your day, or remember to put on a smile when chatting on cam. WALT is just a simple, single part design that only needs a few nuts and bolts to hold into place.


GLASS JAR LAMP

3dp_ten3dpthings_jar_lampIKEA Glas to Lamp E27 by Maker Berlin

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

Yes, more unique lighting made from a couple of cheap IKEA products and a bit of imagination. This simple, pendant lighting cover is made from a $4.49 KORKEN glass jar with airtight lid hardware, a HEMMA Pendant cord and a 3F printable insert that replaces the glass jar lip. Just snap everything together and hang your new lamp up anywhere that you want.

3dp_ten3dpthings_jar_lamp_fittingWhat’s great about this design is the fun you can have with the jar. You can either paint the jar to add some great color, fill it with some (non-flammable) objects to make it look unique or simply leave it empty. But there is a lot of fun to be hard here. You could fill the jar with some of those colors vase stones, pasta or even an interesting object like a figurine or an ornament. Just make sure that you use low-heat LED bulbs or find a different pendant cord that uses LED lights.


And that’s all I have for you today! There are a bunch of other cool IKEA hacks out there, so I expect that I’ll be re-visiting this idea more than once. If you have used 3D printed parts to hack your own IKEA finds and you’ve made the models available online let me know and I may feature you in an upcoming roundup! And as always if you make any of the hacks on my list tweet pictures to me @SJGrunewald or drop me an email!

(Warning, anyone emailing me about the incorrect use of the word “hack” should probably just get themselves a hobby.)

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