3D Printing is for Lovers, Especially on Valentine’s Day


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3d-printed-sex-toys3D printing technology is being used to innovate many fields, from medical to military and beyond. But it’s also helping to innovate another field, one that may be considered a bit more taboo…though judging by some of the percentages I’m reading, I’m guessing not that much. We’ve written about 3D printed sex toys before, from how to make and use them safely, to the UPS Store’s 3D printing service rules on sex toys, and even a 3D printed Eiffel Tower dildo. And what better day to dive into the subject of 3D printing for intimate use than Valentine’s Day? Warning, the following is fairly NSFW.

Before we dive in, a general reminder that if you go the, ahem, do-it-yourself route and 3D print your own sex toy, rather than ordering from a place like SexShop3D or a Lovehoney warehouse, you will always want to sterilize/seal it first. Actually, you’ll want to clean a toy first if you order it online as well, but let’s emphasize that you should never remove a print right off the print bed and insert it into your body without thoroughly cleaning it first. Canadian sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Carlen had provided some tips on readying a 3D printed sex toy for safe use, including that while printing in ABS plastic is both hypoallergenic and phthalate-free, it’s only safe if the person using the toy desires a nonporous, smooth finish. Also, you should regularly clean sex toys after each use with anti-bacterial soap, warm water, and a washcloth.


[Image: SexShop3D]

On its Safey Warning page, SexShop3D writes that sex toys coming off of the print bed will be rough, and should be polished with sandpaper before use, because there will be microscopic ridges and gaps on the object. You should also paint your 3D printed sex toys with food-grade silicone. You could always dip them in silicone, for a nice coating and finish. Some of the STL files for sale on SexShop3D include the classics, like the 3 x 16 cm “Back to basics joy-stick” and cock rings ranging from 34mm inner diameter to 50mm inner diameter; the site notes that you can print the full model, but as you’ll need supports, you can also just print both halves and glue them together.

The Vibrating Saddle has files for over ten parts, including a CamShaftDesign, Arduino Case Bottom, and VS Vibrating Tongue V01. If you’re looking for something slightly more whimsical in your Valentine’s Day 3D printable sex toy, you can purchase the file for the Shark Nipple Clamp with Screw; it’s noted that the best material for this is ABS with acetone polishing. There’s also a file available for a very helpful apparatus called a Male Toy Dryer with Convection Ports, used to dry objects like masturbators and silicone sleeves.


Male Toy Dryer with Convection Ports [Image: SexShop3D]

According to the description, “This dryer is designed with a taper from the top to bottom so the toy can easily be slid on and off. But what separates this from the rest is the series of holes at the bottom that will allow air to come in through the bottom and out the top via natural convection (Let’s get a shout out for Science!).”

Popular 3D printing marketplace Gambody, which we’ve written about before, is offering a great Valentine’s Day discount on its website. If you use the coupon code VDAY17 at checkout, you can get 30% off your purchase; the promo code is valid until tomorrow, February 15th…or as I like to call it, Discount Chocolate Day. If you follow Gambody on Facebook, you may have noticed the interactive live poll they had up a few weeks ago about a sexy 3D printable model that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.

[Image: Gambody via Facebook]

[Image: Gambody via Facebook]

“We had already pictured in our head how we wanted to surprise our audience for Valentine’s Day but didn’t fancy backfiring,” said Aleksandr Ignatenko, Gambody CEO. “So we organized the live video poll to find out about people’s preferences in matter of comic book characters. The result was pretty obvious to all of us.”

That obvious result was Harley Quinn, the sexy female Batman villain with a baseball bat and an overwhelming love for another franchise villain, the Joker, in an extra-curvy (and shorter-shortsed) version of the Suicide Squad take on the character. Sanix, Gambody’s contributing 3D designer, quickly crafted the Harley STL model for 3D printing, and Gambody then 3D printed and painted the realistic figurine just in time for Valentine’s Day. Take a look at Gambody’s video to see the 3D printing and painting process of the made-extra-sexy Harley Quinn model:

The biggest sex toy warehouse in the UK is located in Bath and run by Lovehoney, the “sexual happiness people.” The company said that sales go up by as much as 30% in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. Every day in the month of February, the 24-hour-a-day warehouse ships 10,000 products worldwide. Lovehoney predicts that the Bath warehouse will sell and ship enough vibrators this month to build a tower that’s three miles high, and the sex toy retailer reveals that in the UK alone, around eight million people will use a sex toy around Valentine’s Day, while three million people will receive one as a gift.

“We don’t just ship items from here,” said Paul Jaques, group quality and technical manager at Lovehoney. “We design over 300 products per year too – drawing them, 3D printing them and testing them before they are purchased.”

Sun writer Christina Earle goes behind the scenes at the Lovehoney warehouse, the UK’s biggest sex toy factory [Image: The Sun]

Sun writer Christina Earle goes behind the scenes at the Lovehoney warehouse, the UK’s biggest sex toy factory [Image: The Sun]

The company 3D prints 450 sex toy prototypes every year. The team of designers is led by Jaques, who had a prior career in military avionics making missile torpedoes for the British navy, and then moved to a power tool design company, where he told news.com.au that he spent years “trying to get the vibration out of things, now I’m trying to put it back in!”

“Sex toys are designed based on what we think consumers wants – they tell us what they like, what they don’t like and write very honest reviews on the website,” said Jaques. “They are sketched, then we 3D print them. These 3D printed prototypes allow us to work out how to fit them with all the bits that make them vibrate.”

Christina watches on as the Sun Wand sex toy is printed on a 3D printer at the Lovehoney warehouse [Image: The Sun]

Christina watches on as the Sun Wand sex toy is printed on a 3D printer at the Lovehoney warehouse [Image: The Sun]

The Sun had a chance to design a sex toy with Lovehoney, and watch it being 3D printed. It took a total of seven hours and eleven minutes to print the hollow, slightly ribbed massage wand; they printed it in red, just for Valentine’s Day.

Bonny, a current Lovehoney employee and former archaeology student, said, “3D printing enables us to make a cheap prototype quickly…Like with The Sun’s wand, we would use the 3D printed version to work out whether it would be the right size, have the right feel and shape to take to the market. We have to consider things like how intensely it vibrates, whether it hits the G-spot and which angle the head rotates at – or even if it rotates at all…”

According to The Sun’s article, 80% of women are said to have tried sex toys. If you’re in the 20% who may be a little nervous about the idea, Valentine’s Day might just be the perfect time to try it out!

Christina with Paul Jacques from Lovehoney designing a new sex toy – the Sun Wand [Image: The Sun]

Christina with Paul Jacques from Lovehoney designing a new sex toy – the Sun Wand [Image: The Sun]

“There are sex toys available for everyone with all kinds of budgets and needs,” said sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight. “Some which are discreet and quiet to use, some which can be used remotely, across continents even, and others for solo users. For couples who have never used them before I’d suggest starting off with something like a cock ring – it gives pleasure to both parties. It stimulates the penis by restricting the blood flow, for a strong erection and delays orgasm. It also stimulates the clitoris for a deeper experience. For blokes on their own, a male masturbation sleeve is perfect. It is textured on the inside to feel realistic. And for solo women, start off with a popular one with good reviews, like Lovehoney Desire Clitoral Vibrator.”

Remember, it’s always important to talk with your partner about sex toys first, before introducing them on the print bed or especially in the bedroom. Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy 3D printing! Discuss in the 3D Printing for Lovers forum at 3DPB.com.

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