Top ten things on Thingiverse I wish included the design files



There are a lot of things on Thingiverse where I really wish the designer would also upload their design files. 1  While you can piece a model back together from the STL, you end up with a mess of triangles which is not easy to manipulate.  Original design files allow people to more easily create variations, derivative works, or compatible parts.  And, they allow people to carry your designs farther than you might have thought.  Below is my top ten list of things on Thingiverse where I wish the designer would upload the original design files:

10. Lamborghini by twotimes

This design could be changed to include female Beco block connectors into each half – so that a male-male connector could be used to fit it together. 2  No need for glue!  Perhaps it could be printed with captive wheels?  If not captive wheels, perhaps just little axles  for snapping/popping some other kind of wheel onto it.

9. Stereoscopic Viewer by kongorilla

Two words:  “Printable Viewmaster.”  We can do it, we have the technology.

8. Light duty plyers by Starno

Perhaps the design could be modified to create light duty scissors?

7. Dragon Head by natetrue

What about a printable dragon head that could be attached to legos, Beco blocks, or other building toy?

6. Reciprocating Laser Cutter by peter

I realize Peter is hard at work on research and development into selective laser sintering and posted lots of directions, but this idea is just too cool not to document.

5. Modular Dungeon Walls by zxqueb

Why stop at dungeons?  Why not printable modular castle pieces?  Or, this would be sweet, printable modular cubicles!  You could print out your work space!

4. Fake Altoid Tin by pandelume

Altoid tins are just such great project enclosures.  But, think about how much cooler it would be to be able to create a tin that’s the exact dimensions you require – or that has a set of supports or dividers for your project.  Maybe an Altoid tin that has a secret compartment?

3. Illusionist Buterfly Locket V2 by mctrivia

This is a really cool puzzle-style locket.  Think of it as transformer jewelery.  🙂  I suspect it could be redesigned to be completely printable. 3

2. Duplo Brick to Brio Track adapter with snap-lock by Zydac

Brio tracks to ANYTHING would be sweet.

1. Ball Bearing by RayRaywasHere

I think a printable ball bearing is a huge step forward for printable toys.  It looks like it is printed flat, as a single piece.  That means it could be incorporated as-is into a printable Dalek to make a rotating head. 4  You could use these ball bearings directly as wheels for the Lamborgini.  Or use them in place of idler pulleys on the MakerBot itself.

  1. Photo courtesy of LZ Creations []
  2. Can you tell how much I love Beco blocks? []
  3. I just happen to really like totally printable designs []
  4. The Doctor Who New Series Dalek Body by InnovationByLayer would be #11.  I’d really like to create a version with a head that rotates, articulated appendages, and maybe even wheels. []
Tagged with , 8 comments

8 Comments so far

  • Zxqueb
    October 5, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I’ll see what I can do!

  • MakerBlock
    October 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    @Zxqueb: Thank you!!! I’d love to tinker with those dungeon designs!!!

  • Zxqueb
    October 5, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Ok — The sketchup file is uploaded to thingiverse. Also included in that file is an archway piece. in addition to the wall.

  • Allan E.
    October 5, 2010 at 11:31 am

    The analogy of STL as a compiled binary isn’t quite perfect but it serves the purpose of explaining that you can’t do as much to alter them.

    (You can of course modify the triangles with some effort; the altoids tin can be elongated or shrunk fairly easily in Blender provided you don’t change the radius of the corners…)

    Having the original file is like having the source code– you can re-hack it. In OpenSCAD this is literal source code and carries with it quite a lot of flexibility.

    Another design recommendation I’d make for Blender users is to make use of the Modifier Stack (which non-destructively modifies the mesh) so that future users of the .blend file can alter the values used to create new objects.

  • kongorilla
    October 6, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I can post the original “design” file for my stereoscope, but I don’t think there would be much gained. I made the ‘scope in Blender, and yes, the original model’s geometry is fairly organized and quad-based where possible. But….

    If you import the STL files I’ve provided into Blender, then run “remove doubles”, and then run “convert triangles to quads”, you pretty much have the original model anyway.

    But,(shrugging), I’ll scrounge up the original file and post it. No big whoop.

  • kongorilla
    October 6, 2010 at 3:51 am

    The original Blend file for the stereoscope is now available.

  • Jon
    October 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    There are some amazing projects in your list… I especially like the stereoscope!

    Jon @

  • Twotimes
    October 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Sorry, I’m usually pretty good at attaching an editable version of the files, but the lamborghini was made for work, for someone specifically. So I can’t. I know it sucks. At least I could upload the .stl. When the real product is on the shelves, I’ll shout.


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