3D printed gift ideas for everyone on your list

There are only a few months until the holidays are upon us once again. While it might seem a bit premature to start planning your lists now, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2017 Holiday Planning Playbook about half of shoppers begin their gift planning in October…or sooner.

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Planning early also provides ample time to think about—and order—customized gifts for loved ones. And one of the more innovative trends in gift-giving involves 3D printing. A 3D printer can create incredible designs, sculptures, personalized figurines and even jewelry. The ability to DIY a creation that is completely unique solves the problem of buying for the person who has everything.

But while 3D printing adds a new dimension to the gift-giving tradition, what to choose—or, rather, what to print—can be an elusive task. If you’re interested in making the leap into 3D printed gifts for your list of important people, consider these options:

For the Literature Lover

So many cool items can be crafted using 3D printing! And for friends or family on your list who love to read, there are numerous handcrafted options. The popular 3D printing gift site Shapeways offers 3D printed bookmarks to creatively hold your place or select from unique 3D printed book ends. You can make your own design from scratch or choose from pre-made items. To personalize your gift, though, go all out with one-of-a-kind DIY designs.

For Zany Friends

Admit it, you have a few friends who are extraordinarily eccentric—we all do! What to give them, though? Check out Mashable’s round-up of the coolest 3D printed gifts for inspiration. Who wouldn’t love an Eggbot or the Rocket Espresso Cup?

For Your Favorite Techie

From smartphone cases to customized docks for charging, 3D printing may be your answer to finding the perfect gift for your favorite techie! Feeling whimsical? Design a cool stand for your friend’s tablet. Shape it however your heart desires!

Gifts that Dazzle

Think that 3D printing is just for sculptures and knick knacks? This tech-savvy printing process also allows you to create jewelry! Cufflinks, bracelets and even engagement rings take on your own inspiration when you DIY with 3D printing. The mold created from your 3D printed design is used to craft the custom piece, which can be crafted from any metal and incorporate a range of gemstones (just like a setting you would purchase at the store). The 3D printing process lets you paint your dream design and make it a wearable reality. Personalize designs for your mom, sister, friends…or even a future fiancé!

Everything in Between

Still searching? Remember that choices for 3D printed customizations are pretty much endless. You can find guitar picks, lamps, jewelry, ornaments, cups…even chess pieces! Find a company that specializes in 3D printing and get crafty! Your gift is guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind.

While, yes, you still have a few months before the holidays, you should start planning your gift list now. Some friends and relatives may be a quick and easy purchase from Amazon, but for those harder-to-please loved ones on your list, check out customized gifts using 3D printing. There is something from the third-dimension for everyone!

By Gwen Lewis

 

 


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