You’ve started a brand new semester at college, you’ve settled into your course schedule, and you’ve just learned that your campus has an open-for-all 3D printer. What are some cool things you can make to spruce up your drab, empty, unkempt dorm room?
Oh, the possibilities are endless! You could spend weeks browsing sites like Thingiverse and Instructables and find thousands of free designs and ideas. But who has that kind of time? You’ve got coursework to do, tests to study for, and social events to hit up.
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Here are 20 things you can 3D print that’ll turn your messy and bland dorm room into a haven of organization and pizzazz.
1. Headphone Stand
It doesn’t matter if you have a rubbish pair of $20 cans or one of the best headphones available: when headphones are set down on a desk, they always take up too much space. This headphone stand is an effortless way to clean up dorm room desk clutter.
2. Headphone Hanger
If your desk is so tight that you can’t use the on-desk headphone hanger above, then opt for this off-the-edge headphone hanger instead. Don’t want to hang it off your desk? Hang it wherever else — all you need is a ledge. That’s what’s great about it: decorative and functional!
3. Earbud Box Case
Earbuds are perfect for college students. They’re portable so you can listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks anywhere you go. The problem is, earbuds tend to break easily — and that’s why you should print out one of these cases. It’ll protect without crimping or pulling on the wires.
4. Smartphone Amplifier
These days, the preferred way to play music is using a phone and carrying it around as necessary. But what if you’re gathered with friends and the phone’s speakers are too quiet? This simple amplifier solves that. It works like a horn: the parabolic shape increases sound volume. Easy!
5. Wall Outlet Shelf
If you have spare outlets, consider turning one of them into a charging station. But instead of plugging in and leaving your phone on the ground to be accidentally stepped on, use this shelf to keep your device safe and neatly tucked away. It also doubles as a neat conversation starter.
6. Wall Outlet Smartphone Dock
This smartphone dock is like the outlet shelf above but cooler. The only downside, depending on how you look at it, is that you’ll have to take off the original wall plate and mount this one in its place. Does it require a bit more effort? Sure, but the result is much neater, safer, and more practical. Plus, it’s an even better conversation starter than the simple shelf!
7. Self-Watering Planter
This self-watering planter is one of the most popular items on Thingiverse. It prints in two parts: the pot and the reservoir. Simply plant something in the pot, slide it into the reservoir, then fill the tube as necessary. This is a great way to liven up your desk with some greenery without having to worry about watering them all the time.
8. USB and SD Card Holder
If you’re a techy geek, then you likely have dozens of USB drives and SD cards lying around. Keeping them organized is tough, and you’d rather toss them all into a drawer — but finding one in all that mess can be impossible. Just use this holder instead, which has enough space for eight USB drives and eight SD cards.
9. Sticky Notes Holder
Even if you use a note-taking app like Google Keep, there’s something about handwritten notes that can’t be replicated on a mobile device. That’s why I always keep a set of sticky notes on hand, which is great when I’m talking on the phone and need to record something. This holder will keep your stacks of sticky notes in one place and in good order.
10. Pen Holder
No matter how techy you are, you’ll always need a pen handy — perhaps to jot down memos on the above-mentioned sticky notes. This pen holder is a smart way to keep your pen from rolling around all over the place while adding a pop of visual interest on your desk.
11. Desk Organizer
Is your desk covered in lots of random tools and knick knacks, like pens, erasers, USB drives, chapstick, keys, coins, or even nail clippers? An all-in-one desk organizer might be the thing for you then. This is as simple, minimal, and practical as it gets.
12. Cable Manager
During my college years, cable management was a huge pain in the neck. With so many cool devices to play around with, you’ll have to manage all kinds of power and connection cords — you don’t want to leave your dorm room a mess, do you? You’ll be surprised at how useful such a tiny printable object can be. Cable management has never been easier.
13. Cable Corners
When running cables around your room — coax cables and extra-long Ethernet cords come to mind — getting them to round corners in a non-ugly way can be tough. These cable corners solve this exact problem.
14. Cable Catcher
Imagine unplugging your laptop only to have the charging cord fall behind your desk. Who wants to spend the time or energy bending down, crawling behind, and fishing it back up to the desk? No one, that’s who. These nifty cable catchers will prevent that from ever happening again.
15. Adjustable Laptop Stand
Alternating between a sitting desk and standing desk is healthier over the long run for anyone who spends several hours per day on the computer. But standing desks are expensive for normal folk, let alone broke college students! So consider printing this adjustable laptop stand to use during your college years. It rises high enough to let you stand while working.
16. Stackable Hex Drawers
If storage space is scarce in your dorm room (it most likely is), then these stackable hex drawers will be perfect. Print as many as you want and stack them however you want. Leave out some of the drawers, or print them in different colors, to spice up the design. They can sit atop your desk, up against a wall, or tucked away in a closet. It’s your call.
17. Stackable Storage Bins
For something a little more traditional than the hex drawers, try these storage bins. They’re great for keeping papers, miscellaneous office goodies, cards, toys, books, etc. — and they stack so they don’t waste any valuable space on your workstation or floor.
18. Customizable U-Hooks
These customizable U-hooks are insanely useful as long as you exercise some creativity. According to the maker, one hook was so strong that it held over 100 lbs in a stress test! Use them for all kinds of things: hanging coats, keyrings, bookbags, purses, curtain rods, cabling, etc.
19. Toothpaste Squeezer
College and frugality go hand in hand, and one way to stretch your dollar is to squeeze every last drop out of your toothpaste tubes before tossing them. This particular one, unlike most toothpaste squeezers, comes with a knob and lock to prevent the tube from unrolling.
20. Dorm Pong Supports
While “dorm pong” is fun, it can also be messy. There’s nothing worse than interrupting play because a cup got knocked over and spilled “water” all over the place. These printable supports will keep your cups standing, plus they make the game feel a bit more official.
Other 3D Printing Ideas Worth Considering
In addition to all the cool dormy stuff above, there are several other printables that can increase quality of life during your college years. Start with these 3D-printed games, then move onto these useful-for-home 3D printables, and then these 3D-printed solutions to annoying life problems.
Have you 3D printed anything cool yet? Got any other ideas worth printing? Share them with us in the comments down below, and then share this post with your friends!
Image Credit: Kanashkin Evgeniy via Shutterstock.com