Imagine you buy a product and you get official models for 3D printing from the manufacturer with which you can improve or customize the product. Or even products that would be divided into two types of parts. Some that the manufacturer sends you, and others that are expected to be printed in 3D yourself. This idea is already becoming a reality! At least a little bit… Several companies give this approach a chance. Let’s take a look at them, starting with Edelkrone and Print +. Edelkrone specializes in camera accessories. motorized travels, tripod heads, cranes, etc. With its ORTAK product line are critical parts of the product, such as hinges, manufactured by CNC from aluminum. While the rest of the product you print 3D yourself! This approach reduces product cost and shipping costs. And it gives you the freedom to customize your product. Edelkrone not only shares models in STL format, but also drawings in STEP format. You can open them very easily in your favorite CAD software and add a company logo, change the mounting to suit your needs perfectly or completely redesign the model to get more features. In addition, print files are freely available before purchasing the product. If you want, you can download and play with them now. The current line of ORTAK products includes a tilting tripod head, small travel, shoulder handle and phone holder. We have a tilting head and a small carriage. And we use them quite often. We also own a similar tripod head made entirely of CNC machined aluminum So we can compare them. In short, the machined aluminum variant is of course stronger and it works a little better. But it is also five times more expensive. For a significantly lower price, the 3D printed variant is definitely still usable. We use it, for example, for our streams #PrusaLive, to get the camera directly to the top edge of the monitor. Or you can use it to take simple top-down shots. We printed the parts from Prusament Prusa Orange PLA. That is, parts that may not be super strong. And the rest using Prusament Prusa Orange ASA. Let’s look at another company which takes full advantage of the user’s ability 3D print some parts. Print + offers a set of “do it yourself” headphone parts for around CZK 800. You will receive a compact box, which will probably fit in your clipboard. Inside you will find all the electronics, mainly speakers, and foams and a tiara. You will need to print the rest 3D. There are 7 different designs to choose from. But we decided to modify one of them. We opened the STEP file in Fusion360. On the one hand, we set out the text “Prussia”, on the other HTML joke, they exported models like STL and printed them. We tried PLA and PETG, but because both the speaker housings and the headband should be a bit springy, should be a little springy, PETG proved to be a clear winner. All right, let’s put them together. The composition manual is well prepared And what we really appreciate is that in no step you don’t have to use glue. If you later decide to print another version in 3D, you should be able to disassemble the headphones easily. The headphones are connected to the device with a cable, but they could definitely be modified for Bluetooth connectivity. In addition, we have STEP files available. And they play quite nicely! Next, let’s look at a few examples where you don’t necessarily have to print anything, but the manufacturer provides official models to modify the product. In collaboration with Milbat and Access Israel, IKEA has created 3D printable parts which otherwise turns standard furniture into pieces, which are easily accessible for people with disabilities. Larger handles, light switches, leg extensions for couches, bumpers for glass showcases, cane holders on the bed big zippered eye, whatever you can think of! The following example is a little older. In 2016, ASUS released official models for 3D printing in addition to their motherboards. Including I / O port covers, fan brackets, cable management brackets and logos and labels. Because we’re technical enthusiasts, We really hope that ASUS and other computer hardware manufacturers similar projects in the future. An area where 3D model sharing is becoming more common are board games. Two board games, which were recently funded by Kickstarter are Euthia and Kordran confilct. Euthia, offers printed characters for some of the higher contribution levels. But all supporters receive files to print 3D models. The game is playable without printed characters, they are just a nice addition. On the other hand, you need printed parts to play Kordran Conflict. Again, you can buy them already printed. But if you have a 3D printer, it’s much more fun to print them yourself. And we can’t forget ourselves! For example, upgrade from MK2 to MK2.5S or even on the MK3S they contain all the necessary hardware. But printing plastic parts is up to you. We really hope this is just the beginning and that other companies will be inspired any support for 3D printing. Do you know of other similar examples? Let us know in the comments! And as always print success!