The holidays are upon us, and as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday approach many people are wondering what to get the tech savvy family member that has a 3D printer. Sure your family member has posted hundreds of pics of their 3D printer on social media, but have they put out a wish list of what they want this year? Of course not, there too busy tinkering with their 3D printer and making holiday decor pieces for the upcoming thanksgiving fest.
Here is a list of various gift ideas to
continue enabling support your 3D printing family members.
Your 3D printer has bragged up and down about the new 3D printer that they are ruining, so it will be easy to find the make and model of their
addiction 3D printer. A quick visit to the company’s site and you will quickly be able to order a spare nozzle or 6.
For a real treat, you can give your 3D printer nozzles with opening sizes. Nozzles can range in 0.35 mm – 1.2 mm depending on the 3D printer. The smaller diameter nozzles are good for fine detailed prints, while the large diameter nozzles are great for large-scale prints for the family member that likes to print large cosplay props.
At $6 USD for a pack of 6 brass nozzles up to $100 USD for one high-end Olssen Ruby nozzle, you can easily stuff the stockings of your 3D printer.
Holiday Hand Tools
The tool kits of some 3D printers can be a mix of new shiny tools and the ones they got in a garage sale.
Many 3D printer company’s include a basic tool kit. After they break a couple cheep tool handles, your 3D printer may be looking to upgrade their 3D printer tools.
Assembled kits can be ordered from $10 – $40 USD, but you can save money if you shop around for the individual tools you want to give your
3D printing addict family member.
Heavy duty wire cutters, flush cut wire trimmers, needle nose pliers, metric Allen keys, soldering picks, paint scrapers, and hobby knife / blades are always welcome.
Metric Nuts / Bolts / Hardware
3D printers love to tinker and add to their printers, but in the USA finding Metric cap nuts and bolts can be a hunt at the local hardware store. You can purchase assortments of socket head cap screws from $5 – $80 USD depending on the number of pieces. Any size from M2 – M5 will work, and in my experience 3D printers can work with the hardware they have on hand.
Blue Tape / Acetone / Glue Sticks
The material used to prepare the print bed is a consumable item. These materials can be another stocking suffer to support your 3D printer. Pro tip, you can wrap the tape so it looks like a large piece of holiday candy.
Blue painters tape can be 2 inches or 4 inches wide, and packs of them can cost $15 – $30 USD. Others can be found at your local dollar store or hardware store. If you give someone acetone, be careful it does not spill while you’re in the middle of your gift exchange. Dissolved ink and your good holiday cloths are not a good combination.
If your 3D printer is comfortable with 3D modeling, a 3D scanner would be a great addition to their inventory. Tinkerers can start with a ciclop 3D scanner, which they have to 3D print some parts for. A kit can cost $130 – $200 plus the assembly and printing time.
If your family member does more industrial work, talk with them about what they would like for an industrial duty 3D scanner. These units will be price, but can help small business.
Another 3D Printer
If one 3D printer is good, then 2 or 3 should be better then… Right?!
If your family member complains that they don’t have enough 3D printers, then another one will
enable help them out this year. If they love a technical challenge, get them a kit to assemble. For a more expensive printer, 2 – 3 families can pool the money to buy a higher end printer. If you decide to get another printer, ask your family member what filament size and type they like to 3D print with. Kit builts tend to run on ABS and PLA filament, while assembled printers can generally handle higher temperature filaments.
Kit build printers can go for $200 – $500 USD online, while assemble printers range $500 – $2000 USD.
Yes, you can always give the gift of filament. Find out what size and material your 3D printer wants to print with before you purchase any unique filaments.
All the filament companies I have tested sell samples or sample pack that can produce 2-3 prints per sample. You can also give them the gift of bulk filament like the economy filament from Colorfabb. You can also surprise them with an exotic filament like CopperFill or stainless steel. For the more industrial printers consider fiberglass or carbon fiber. Filament is the gift card of 3D printers, you really can’t go wrong with any filament you give them.
Samples range from $1 – $10 USD, while spools range from $10 – $100 based on size and material size.
The price estimates are based on a quick search of Amazon.com. Please search all online venues for 3D printing gifts. 3D-PT has not been paid to endorse any brand of filament or tools.