AMS Spring 2023

7 Pointless 3D Prints That Nobody Needs But We Want Anyway

Inkbit

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By now, most people have heard at least one story about the amazing contributions 3D printers are making. From printing new beaks for birds that have lost them to the creation of surgical instruments in space to replacement organs, there is little left that 3D printing has not demonstrated as a possible area for improvement. That being said, 3D printing isn’t always serious work and, frankly, it isn’t always particularly useful. Everybody needs some time to kick back and have some fun. With that in mind, we present to you:

1. Creative Tools brings us the Impossible 3D Printed Bolt and Nut. This two-part assembly consists of an oversize fully threaded bolt and a nut that is forever trapped at a slight distance from the bolt’s head. The bolt is split by the creation of a ‘skipped’ layer and must be printed with the STL heal function disabled, because even your computer will think you must be kidding.Impossible_3D-printed_bolt_and_nut_v02_preview_featured

2. There is no doubt that serious contributions have been made that combine 3D printing tech with the human eye. This is not one of those. Instead, these bugging eyeballs reach out to the segment of the population that has either “recently moved to a town with a populace mutated by pollution, radiation or demonic forces,” or the larger demographic that believes that their faces “should reflect the dread [they] experience whenever [they] contemplate existence in an infinite, uncaring universe.” When put that way, it actually seems like it might be more useful than I thought…BuggingEyeballs_Main_by_kongorilla_preview_featured-600x450

3. The Bacon Mobius Strip. This may be the ultimate in unnecessary but fun. After all, as creator Joaquin Baldwin tells us, it delivers “Endless mother$#&ing bacon!” and I challenge anybody to demonstrate that this is a bad thing. Check out the video above of the strip in endless bacon action.625x465_735764_629274_1420843736

4. We already covered this object in depth, but it was so unnecessary that we couldn’t help but bring it back for this list: The Beer Shooter. By combing a 3D printed gun with a beer bottle, the most elaborate and yet least effective beer koozie we’ve ever seen was born.FO48M36I2BRGFCD.MEDIUM

5. Have you ever wanted to have a cake and not be plagued by the desire to eat it? Well now there are several to choose from, ranging from a 3D printed wedding cake to a miniature birthday cake complete with candles. In a frank admission of the removal of functionality, contributor gmillener notes, “I’ve taken a very cool jewelry box and made it completely useless. If you were looking for a small plastic cake, though, this definitely would fill that need.”Wedding_Cake_preview_featured

6. For centuries, there have been people who claim to have the ability to read your future based on the dregs of tea leaves in the bottom of your cup. I wonder what those fortune tellers would have to say to someone who finished their cup of tea and found a 3D printed miniature Mario brother at the bottom? It probably doesn’t start with, “One day you will be voted coolest kid on the block…” but you never know. This 3D printed espresso cup that features Mario might just change that impression.mario_coffee_mug_-_3d_print_3d_model_stl_6be4180b-de62-4766-b06d-4ab35bee6ee6

7. Unquestionably questionable is our final item in this list: a 3D printed bathtub holder for fetus soap. Before you begin writing angry letters to your member of Congress, let me stress that no actual fetuses were harmed in the making of this soap; instead, the clear soap is formed around a fetus doll. Having purchased the soap, you won’t want it sloshing around in the bottom of your shower and so, obviously, the only real solution is to buy a 3D printed soap holder in the shape of a bath tub.625x465_1418980_3477622_1404962102

While researching for this list, I must admit that I have seen a side of humanity that has made me realize that there are far fewer “normal” people in the world than I had feared. The list could easily have expanded to include dozens more bizarre items but in the end it just goes to show that simply because a technology can transform the world, doesn’t mean it has to.

Now, go play.

Let us know which of these is your favorite — or least favorite! — over in the Useless 3D Printed Objects forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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