3D Print Accessories for Your Laptop and Phone

March 16, 2018 | Ames

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After taking our 3D Certification Class many people ask the Digital Innovation Hub staff members, “What can I 3D print?” Because the possibilities are almost endless it can be quite daunting! Previously, we’ve suggested some neat tools and clever storage containers  as well as holiday ornaments. How about some helpful accessories for your laptop or phone? There are thousands of free designs to choose from on websites such as Thingiverse and YouMagine. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Worried about your Macbook charger fraying? Protect it with a guard. The guard design used on our chargers was created by bfince and downloaded from Thingiverse. What about your phone charger? This USB/micro USB protector could be the right fit for you.

Need more desk space? Store and charge your laptop vertically when it isn’t in use. Many, many, many different stands are available. Here's an example of a stand for a Macbook air, for a Macbook pro and for a laptop that’s roughly 40mm thick when closed.

Upright macbook holder
Our Macbook stand can hold multiple laptops at the same time for easy charging.

If you’re sick of messy and tangled cords, there are clips to wind up your USB/HDMI cables, clips to organize those cables behind your desk , even holders to wrap up your ear buds when they aren’t in your ears to save them from becoming hopelessly tangled in your pocket.

For phone stands, there are elephants, dragons and more designs to pick from. Not to mention all the phone cases that are available. To make sure the cases will fit, try searching by the specific model of your phone.

Around the Digital Innovation Hub at the Toronto Reference Library, we also have pencil holders, SD card holders, hooks and other 3D printed tools as examples of what you can make. Plus, they help us organize our equipment!

SD card holder
SD cards for the 3D printers, all neatly organized.

Thingiverse and YouMagine are both great resources for pre-designed objects. If you want to craft your own objects but have no 3D design experience you can sign up for a free 3D design class. Classes are available at the Digital Innovation Hubs and also through the Pop-Up Learning Labs. With your library card, you also have access to free online videos, tutorials and courses in 3D design through Lynda.com.

Fusion 360 courses on Lynda
Lynda.com courses for Fusion 360, a popular 3D design program available in the Digital Innovation Hubs.

There are also many books available on 3D design, both in print and online. Safari Tech & Business Books Online is a great resource to get started. The contents of the books are searchable, making it easy to find information and answers. Similarly to Lynda.com, Safari Tech & Business Books Online offers video tutorials too.

Online Safari Books on 3D design
These online 3D design books have searchable content.

More information on 3D printing in the library, including a list of upcoming classes, is available through our website.

In the Hub, we've also had people print replacement knobs for ovens and dishwashers, prosthetics, camera hoods, door stops (including this one inspired by A Game of Thrones), superhero logos for cufflinks and more. The possibilities are almost endless!