12 surprising reasons you need a 3D printer

Thumb your nose at money-grubbing high street hawkers: these household items can be home printed for pennies

3D printers might seem pricey, but by using them to create essential things you’d otherwise buy, it’s been estimated that they can pay for themselves in as little as a year.

We’ve collected together some of our favourite everyday items that can be 3D printed. Read on – and consider whether it might be time for you to join the 3D printing revolution...

Eggcup

Need something to keep your morning soft-boiled egg steady while you dip in the soldiers? An eggcup is easy work for a 3D printer: this particular one can be downloaded from Cuboyo for home printing for US$1, and should take less than an hour to print.

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Wallet

Splashing out on a premium leather wallet might make you feel like a big spender – but it’ll also result in less cash inside that wallet. The alternative is to 3D print your own “hard” wallet: this design can be downloaded free-of-charge and has plenty of space for coins, notes and credit cards. Maybe even a folded up picture of your sweetheart.

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More after the break...

iPhone case

A basic plastic iPhone case will likely set you back at least £15, but this design, which comes from MakerBot themselves, is totally free. What’s more it’s customisable: you can use MakerBot’s own online Customizer app to personalise the rear mesh. Available for both the iPhone 4 and 5 shapes.

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Safety razor

What’s cheaper than disposable razors? Razors you print yourself – and don’t have to chuck away after a few stubble shearings. This free design allows you to attach a standard razor blade, which can be replaced for pennies when required.

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