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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these past few weeks, you’ll know that the Silhouette Alta 3D printer is finally here!
We’ve written a full review and feature report of the Alta here, but we decided to put together a list of ideas of things you can make with this brand new machine.
While many of you out there are cutting pros, we know that many of you are pretty new to the world of 3D printing. And when you’re a newbie, it can be hard to find entry level ideas and progressions to try.
Thankfully, Silhouette have included 25 free designs in your library to get you started.
But there are plenty more things that you can craft with a 3D printer — we’d go so far as to say that they’re the crafter’s dream tool kit!
Let’s take a look at some of the things you might want to try your hand at…
Keychains are one of the easiest and most rewarding objects to craft with a 3D printer.
We love this gorgeous Day of the Dead inspired skull keychain — just choose the color filament you want and the work is done!
We know that Christmas is still a long way away, but we can’t resist these Christmas Sock cookie cutters!
The Silhouette Alta 3D printer will be able to handle these simple designs with no problems at all — just make sure you invest in some red and green PLA filament.
Vases are an insanely popular object to make with a 3D printer, for some reason that we haven’t quite grasped yet.
We think these spiral vases look particularly cool — yet simple enough not to give the Alta too many headaches.
Salt and Pepper Shakers
There are an incredible number of different salt and pepper shaker designs on open source sites like Thingiverse — cuddling ones, Star Wars ones, Tardis shaped ones… you name it.
We have a particular fancy for these squirrel shaped ones. Can you say, cute?!
Figurines are another popular thing to make with a 3D printer — just make sure that you’re making them for personal use rather than selling them. You don’t want to wade through the quagmire of copyright issues otherwise.
There are plenty of different designs to choose from, but we really like this Baby Groot.
Reusable straws are all the rage nowadays thanks to the green initiative, and they’re also a quick and easy thing to make with the Silhouette Alta.
We’re big fans of the curly design to boot!
We make plenty of scrapbook embellishments with our vinyl cutters but you can really notch it up a level by making them 3D.
There are loads of different 3D embellishment and button designs to be found online, but we’ve got a particular hankering for these buttons right now.
Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, pendants — whatever small pieces of jewelry you can think of, you’ll be able to create with the Silhouette Alta 3D printer.
Just beware, as an entry level 3D printer, the Alta is best equipped for simple designs rather than highly intricate ones.
Stackable geometric shapes are really easy to make with a 3D printer, and look incredible when stacked all together.
We love this plantygon which has been specifically designed for succulents.
- Designer: PrintFutura
- Download here
Printing stencils with your Silhouette Alta is another way to use a 3D printer as a tool for your other craft projects.
There are simply hundreds of stencil designs available.
We love this frog-shaped one for latte art.
You’re not the only one in your household who could benefit from the Silhouette Alta 3D printer — these dog tags go to show that Fido will too!
Labyrinth Gift Box
Giving cash can be a bit of a boring — if highly appreciated — gift, so one way to jazz it up a bit is an interesting presentation.
This labyrinth gift box is a cool way to make the giftee work for their money — they have to solve the path to correctly open the box.
Boxes in general are a fantastic way to make use of your 3D printer, and what’s a better trinket holder than a jewelry box?
This heart-shaped box is simple yet beautiful.
The Silhouette Alta has quite a small print size for a 3D printer so any furniture making has to be on the small size — ideal for dollhouse furniture!
We’re particular fans of this mini outdoor garden furniture set.
If you fancy going for something a little more complex, try out this awesome cellular lamp.
It’ll work as both a lampshade for an LED light or as a sculpture.
Bookmarks are a great little present or stocking stuffer — and are a super easy thing to make with your Silhouette Alta.
We particularly love these owl-shaped ones!
We’ve made cake toppers plenty of times with our craft cutters, but we think they’re especially good looking when they’re crafted with a 3D printer.
Why not try it out with this ‘Just Married’ topper?
If you’re looking for a practical usage for your Silhouette Alta 3D printer, then you need to test out this bottle opener.
This is an easy print and doesn’t need to be printed with metal.
This awesome basketball goal doubles up as both a paper weight and a basket to store stuff in — perhaps some stationery.
Hamburger Patty Maker
We think that this hamburger patty maker is our absolute favorite design on Thingiverse.
Who doesn’t want a patty maker that can imprint the words ‘BITE ME’ and ‘MINE’ into your burger?!
A smartphone stand is another great way to get a practical use out of your Silhouette Alta.
This phone stand design is simple and effective — just choose your favorite color filament to mix it up a bit!
Buying a phone case can be expensive, not to mention that you won’t always be able to buy exactly what you want.
There are plenty of phone case designs available online — have a search and see what works best for you.
There’s nothing worse that all your cables being tangled together — so why not use your 3D printer to make an effective cable wrap?
This particular one is designed for your lightning cable for your iPhone.
Sunglass Visor Clip
Another super useful design to try out with your 3D printer is this sunglasses clip for the sun visor in your car.
Perfect for the sunny summer months!
You probably already have a hair comb — but we’d bet serious money on the fact that you don’t have a shark shaped hair comb!
Try this out for size with your Silhouette Alta 3D printer.
Book Page Holder
Another book-related design to try out with your 3D printer is this cool page holder, which will allow you to keep your book open while using only one hand.
Easy and simple to make — a great project for a 3D newbie!
Another easy design to test out with the Silhouette Alta is this one for guitar picks.
Let’s take it back to the ancient times and try making a spinning top with your 3D printer.
These tops are orbital, which means the centrifugal forces used to spin it make it easier and longer-lasting.
Another, slightly more modern, game to make with your Silhouette Alta 3D printer is this cool puzzle cube.
It might take a little longer to create as there are multiple colors at play here — and therefore multiple filaments — but looks like it’s worth it.
Coasters might seem a little dull to make with something as exciting as a 3D printer, but you can really get creative here.
We love this tree silhouette coaster, for instance.
We probably could have included chess pieces under the mini figurines we outlined earlier, but we thought these awesome Pokemon-style chess figures deserved their very own entry!
Spirographs are one of those things that we all used to love as kids, but probably haven’t bothered with much in adulthood.
But now you can create your very own spirograph set with your Silhouette Alta 3D printer — whether for you or your children!
What are you looking forward to making with the Silhouette Alta 3D printer?