Guardian at Your Gate: 3D Printed Dragon Lets Visitors Ring Your Doorbell in Style

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I like more personalized household items. I know it’s probably cheaper to get a standard bottle opener that’s not in the shape of the Enterprise NCC 1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation, or more utilitarian welcome mats that just say “Welcome,” instead of “Wipe Your Paws” and “Live Laugh Love,” but I like the idea of injecting a little of my personality into the things we use every day. Our doorbell hasn’t worked in a couple of years (our friends and family all know to use the side door, not the front door), but if we were to ever get it fixed, I’d definitely want to install this 3D printed doorbell case in the shape of a dozing dragon, designed and 3D printed by Kai Bracher.

Bracher, a designer, 3D printing enthusiast, and digital sculptor from Germany, spent years sketching out ideas for objects and sculptures that would be nearly impossible to make. Of course, 3D printing makes the impossible possible, and every month Bracher releases a new 3D printed home accessory, object, or sculpture. He creates 3D printed objects that are usually partially functional, which would be extremely difficult and expensive to produce using traditional techniques. We’ve written about his creative work before, from his 3D printed micro drone cases to his elaborate 3D printed candlesticks. He owns the Cabrada Shapeways shop, and after you’ve browsed in the shop for about three seconds, you can tell that Bracher has a thing for dragons. He has designed multiple dragon door handles that touched on the idea of the scaly 3D printed beasts guarding a room or a door, and the “Guardian at your Gate” dragon doorbell case is ready to stand guard at your home’s front door.

He launched a Kickstarter campaign for the unique doorbell case yesterday. The case features a sleepy dragon on a sphere, which actually holds the button for the doorbell. The dragon is 3D printed in alumide, so it has a more metallic look and feel to it. However, the aluminum particles could possibly oxidize, so Bracher “would not recommend mounting the guardian on a spot where it’s exposed to steady rain.”

It’s easy to mount the “Guardian at your Gate” – you can screw it onto the wall through holes in the dragon’s wings, and if you order one of the “Do it yourself” editions on Kickstarter, you can insert any standard (3/4 inch) push button into the case; all other editions include the push button. It is important to note that the push button is only suitable for currencies up to 24V.

You can even personalize your dragon doorbell case – if you’d like your name added, this can be done with an external banner, which Bracher will soon provide in an aesthetic that not only goes with the dragon itself, but also offers more space for names, and can be updated easily if needed; you will need to purchase the banner separately, and Bracher estimates it will cost roughly €30, depending on the size.

You can also purchase the “Ring of Runes” version, which is mounted with the push button itself. No extra holes or screws are needed, but customization is a little more difficult, as space on the Ring itself is limited. Additionally, you’ll have to take apart the whole bell if you want to change it; the ring will be about €15. You can also combine the “Guardian at your Gate” with an existing name tag if you wish. You can personalize the doorbell yourself using the “Customize” feature on Shapeways: you can upload an image, or type in your name, and it will be 3D printed, either engraved or embossed, on a flat surface. There are also two colored options, called the “Ring of Fire” – an LED push button light in red or blue.

With 23 days left in the Kickstarter campaign, there are still plenty of rewards left (and our dragon-loving editor would like to point out that her birthday is only five shopping months away). For just €15, you can receive the 32-minute long digital “Making of” sketchbook, complete with all of Bracher’s sketches and many screenshots, taken in different stages of the 3D modeling process and available as a PDF download. The early bird “Do it yourself” edition is just €79, and comes with the 3D printed dragon doorbell case, without the push button, while the classic €99 version does include the push button. The campaign has a €1,200 goal to reach before it closes on April 30.

Projects like Bracher’s 3D printed dragon doorbell case really help demonstrate that designers can create a new product, using 3D printing technology, without having to collaborate with, or open their own, expensive production plant, and allows commonplace objects to be personalized for a reasonable price.

This sculptural doorbell is interesting, Bracher tells 3DPrint.com, because it “almost creates a new product category through combination of a 3D printed object with an already existing technical item.”

To learn more about the “Guardian at your gate,” check out the Kickstarter campaign video:

Discuss in the Dragon Doorbell forum at 3DPB.com.

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