Pulling together the necessary materials for a 3D printing project can be time consuming. Often you’re ordering electrical components from multiple sources online, heading to the hardware store, and digging around the house for the stuff you’ll need to pull it all together. For people new to DIY and/or 3D printing, even project prep can be daunting. Now one web-based company called Project3DPrint is offering kits that include everything you’ll need to undertake a DIY 3D printing project, including electrical components for devices like a fitness watch with a heart rate sensor and a portable laptop cooler.
James Kells of Auckland, New Zealand is the mastermind behind Project3DPrint, which is currently offering 12 different 3D printing DIY kits including a portable Bluetooth stereo speaker, a wireless iPhone 4/4s charger and case (also a 5/5s version), and a digital photo frame, to name just a few. You can browse Project3DPrint’s website for their offerings and, once you select a kit you’d like to purchase, you are redirected to Kells’ Etsy store, where you finalize your purchase. The kits are all very affordable, ranging in price from $37.95 for the portable Bluetooth stereo to as little as $4.95 for the USB nightlight kit.
If you don’t have your own 3D printer, you can download the .stl files, which you receive when you finalize your purchase, and use an online printing service like Shapeways or i.materialise or locate a home-based 3D printer near you on 3D Hubs to potentially reduce turnaround.
Project3DPrint recommends using PLA for the 3D printed parts of a project.
“Most consumer/home 3D printers are set up to print in PLA so, we recommend printing in PLA,” Kells explains. However, he continues, “If you have a heated print bed and have printed successfully in ABS, then you can also print the designs in ABS (or any other suitable material) if you like.”
If you’re concerned that you don’t know enough about electronics to complete one of the projects successfully, don’t be. Project3DPrint provides you with a step-by-step instructional video that will help you complete your project. Likewise, if a device requires soldering, Kells provides you with instructions for soldering–because, why shouldn’t you learn to do it?–and also presents some alternatives like using conductive epoxy or terminal connectors to join the wires or even twisting them together in some instances. Evidently, any soldering that would be required is really basic.
Project3DPrint offers free global economy shipping from Auckland, so you should receive your kits anywhere between 7 and 15 days after purchase. While there are no warranties on the electronic components in the individual kits, Project3DPrint will send replacement parts if something is missing, not functioning properly, or incorrect.
Project3DPrint’s ingenious approach and project kits provide new or busy DIYers and 3D printers with a manageable way to take the plunge. Rather than jumping directly into the deep end, you can take on a project that you’ll have plenty of help completing successfully, learning as you go.
Is this the sort of DIY project that might get you into making? Let us know what you think in the Project3DPrint forum thread over at 3DPB.com.