Top 10: My Most Used 3D Prints

I think anyone who’s into 3D printing can relate to this experience. When you tell people that 3D printing is one of your hobbies, what’s the next thing they’ll inevitably say?

“Interesting… what do you print?”

My answer typically varies and is usually based on whatever project I’m working on at the time. People are generally intrigued by this, but I don’t think the practicality of 3D printing really sinks in. So lately, I’ve been thinking about the most useful things that I’ve printed, so I can share those with people when it comes up in conversation.

In this article, I’m going to share with you my top 10 list of the most useful things that I’ve printed. I had one simple criteria for this list – the object in question must be regularly used.

#10 – Nespresso Coffee Pod Organizer

Starting out at the bottom of the list is my Nespresso coffee pod organizer. As anyone who’s been in video conference calls with me knows, I keep a steady stream of the Nespresso going. I love that this print keeps my Nespresso pods organized, while giving me 3 different options to choose from.

#9 – Device Stands

As a collector of various vintage (and not so vintage) electronics and game systems, a 3D printer plays an important role. I’ve printed several display stands designed by others, and I’ve also designed my own.

Whenever I add a new item to my collection, I search for a stand on or Thingiverse. If I can’t find one to my liking, I’ll fire up Fusion 360 and make my own.

#8 – Home Automation Monitor

This little device is my own design. It sits on my desk and gives me an ongoing status of my home automation system. Many of us home automation enthusiasts will tell you that our systems aren’t exactly rock solid all the time. By having this monitor in front of me during the day, I can glance down, see which sensors are triggering, and keep an eye on the system.

My favorite aspect of this design is that the two enclosures are held together with magnets. Getting inside to access the Raspberry Pi or the ZWave adapter are simple, screw-less operations.

  • Printer: FolgerTech Prusa i3 clone (heavily modified)
  • Filament: FilaCube Engineering Grey PLA 2 (Amazon) – 👎NOT RECOMMENDED
  • Resolution: 0.2mm
  • Models: Not yet available – I’ll post it on soon along with an article on how to build it.

#7 – Toothpick Holder

This was one of my earliest prints from my very first printer, and it has held up well over the years. This toothpick holder stays in my laptop bag and gets used regularly when I’m on the go. I think it’s good to retain some of your older prints for posterity, and as a marker to see how your printers and skills have improved over the years. As you can see in the photo, this is by no means a perfect print, but it does have character with its slightly lifted corners and the bold green filament color.

#6 – SD Card Holder

This simple SD card holder has helped me keep my SD cards all in one place, so I don’t lose them. I usually keep this in my desk drawer, but it’s also easy to toss into my bag when I’m on the go.

I love the marble filament that I used with this print. It covers defects really well and makes even poor prints look great.

#5 – Headphone Holder

This was another early print, which I printed on the 2nd printer I built – a Kossel mini. I still have this printer, but it’s sadly been out of commission for a couple of years and I’ve just never gotten back around to fixing it. The prints it produced came out very nicely, though, as you can see in this humble headphone hanger that’s been mounted to the wall in my office for years.

This is one of those prints that’s just been a fixture, and forgotten about, even though it’s in use constantly. You know you have a useful thing that you’ve made when it disappears into the background while continuing to serve its purpose.

#4 – Parts Trays

There are many different “parts tray” designs out in the wild, but this one in particular suits my needs well and has become a staple of my workshop. I’ve printed several of them and they’re scattered throughout various places. The design is simple and useful, and they print quickly. As you can see in the photo, they do tend to accumulate stuff… but that just means they’re doing their job.

If you have smaller parts in these trays, you can stack them up to get them out of the way. One project on my to-do list is to design and print a shelving system that would allow me to store these trays away until I need them.

#3 – Equipment Drawers

I’ve tried many different types of drawer systems for my workbench over the years, and this is the one I’ve settled on. It’s spacious, customizable, and feels solid with daily use. I especially like the open trays on top, which allow me to get to my most frequently used tools.

Another thing I like about this design is that it’s expandable over time. You can start out with a single unit, and as your needs grow, you can add more and more units to build it up.

#2 – Index Card In/Out Box

This print is one of my own creations, and it gets a lot of use. Without going into much detail, I’ll just say that I run my life on standard 3″ x 5″ index cards. I use a card-based workflow system that I created and have evolved over the years. This 3-tray in/out box is one of the main pieces of making this system work.

If you’re interested in knowing more about my system, please leave a comment and let me know, and I’ll perhaps write up a future article on the topic.

#1 – 5-Card Wallet

Topping off my list of my most used prints, is one that I use every single day, multiple times per day… a very well-designed wallet. I’ve tried a couple of different 3D-printed wallets over the years, and this one has by far been the best. This design won first place in the Prusa design contest for wallets, and after using it for a number of months, I can see why.

It prints very quickly and easily – no supports are required. Depending on the resolution you want, you can have this wallet in use within 2 hours of hitting the print button.

What about you… do you have any useful 3D prints of your own to share?


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