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Grow Your Business Technology

3D Projects for Newbies

3D printer
Credit: FabricAsimf/Shutterstock

With all the interest in 3D printing today, you might already have a 3D printer but aren't sure where to begin. You know it can be used to make money, but you don't know what to make. Or maybe you haven't invested in a 3D printer yet and would like to try out the process before purchasing.  Either way, you can get started today.

If you don't own a 3D printer, check in with the UPS Store nearest you. The UPS Store recently announced that it offers 3D printing services at more than 60 locations nationwide and expects to expand the offering to meet the needs of small business customers.

You can find plenty of 3D projects online, but the most popular archive is Thingiverse, a 3D printing community that encourages creating, sharing and making 3D objects. Most designs in Thingiverse are published under a Creative Commons license, which means anyone can use or alter any design on the site.

We've gathered 10 simple designs that build 3D skills while making truly useful objects. May they inspire you to create and make your own designs. Then pay it forward by sharing it with the community.

Keep half-eaten snack bags fresh with this easy to make clip.

You can have a functional yet simple timekeeping device without all the extra clutter.

Juice oranges, lemons and limes with this one-piece citrus reamer. Two versions of the juicer are included – a solid version and a hollow one with internal ribs.

This fully printable G-clamp can hold two workpieces together, and the designer includes fabrication instructions to bolster the item's strength, if desired.

This stylish stand keeps your phone upright and at the ready.

The Echo 3-Tone Whistle is designed to be a more compact – and louder – survival whistle.

Designed for handling sterile bandages and foreign object removal, these tweezers will come in handy for a first aid kit.

With this organizer, it's easy to access a favorite pen and other desktop necessities.

It's easy to open large juice bottles, sports drink bottles, soda bottles, canned drinks and pop tops with this specially designed universal bottle opener.

Smooth and flexible, this hair comb is the perfect foundation for a basic grooming kit.

Pamela Oldham

Based in Austin, Texas, Pamela Oldham writes on technology, healthcare, business and marketing topics. In her previous life as a senior-level marketing executive and continuing as an independent consultant, she's worked with small businesses and many of the world's best known brands in IT and healthcare.