While we still have a long way to go before heavy-duty tools can be printed at home using consumer printers, the average desktop printer can still produce useful tools for the home workshop or 3D printing area.

3D printers have come a long way since their initial development, and an increasing number of consumers are curating home setups for their printing stations. From makers who enjoy working on complex parts that use circuit boards to model printers who want to keep things in place while sanding and gluing, many 3D print hobbyists could benefit from having some extra tools in their workshop. If you’re one of them, why not print them yourself?

Vises

Small vises can be a huge help when working with tiny parts and circuitry. These two vises have a slightly different mounting mechanism and style.

Diodepress designed this 3D printed vise that is specifically intended for use with small electronic components.

 A 3D-printed vise with an extruding tightening arm on the right side.

TheGoofy designed a similar machine vise that is a bit more roust and complicated. Similar to diodepress’s design, this vise should not be used to provide high mechanical force, but it works great for holding parts in place while performing detailed work.

A flat vise with a short tightening screw on the right side. A small circuit board is clamped between the stopping part and the movable clamp.

Drill and wrench parts

Working on 3D printers often means working at uncomfortable angles and in tight crevices. To Overcome this problem, several designers have developed parts to make working with delicate tools and tight spaces much easier on the hands and wrists.

JohnSL designed an adjustable and customizable handle for Allen wrenches and hex keys. Anyone who’s had to repair or adjust their printer with the manufacturer-provided tools knows it can be a pain to get a good grip, particularly for longer processes. These handles make it easy to organize and use the tiny hand tools that accumulate over a maker’s lifetime.

Three hex keys with 3D printed handles. Each handle is adjustable, with a small extruding piece allowing the handle to lock onto the key.

Speedy777 designed this pump hand drill that is great for drilling small holes into light materials, which is very helpful for makers who routinely work on multi-part prints and need to drill holes for securing the pieces together.

A small drill bit with a 3D printed handle. The handle has 4 parts, allowing the user to use the drill bit as a hand drill for small projects.

Francfalco has put out several designs for a finger wrench, which is perfect for working in very tight spaces with small nuts and bolts. The designs allow for different finger sizes and can be further customized for comfort.

A 3D printed finger wrench is fitted onto the designer's finger. The finger wrench has an opening in which a small nut is situated.

Yucelll’s mini wrench kit make a great addition to the tiny tools that many home hobbyists find themselves needing. While printed wrenches cannot hold up to heavy forces, these little tools are great for assembly and working on smaller machines.

Several 3D printed wrenches are set up on a flat surface. The wrenches vary in size from about 3 inches to 1 inch in length.

 

Utility holders and tool stands

STIG_’s 3D printer tool stand is specifically designed to hold all the small tools, glues, and clamps required for working on 3D printers. Tool holder designs can always be tweaked to add more slots or increase/decrease spacing to make them more suitable for your specific needs.

A 3D printed holder for various tools and parts. There are slots for wrenches, glue, screwdrivers, and pens with slits for measuring tools like rulers.

Is it really a workshop if you don’t find a stray battery behind a desk or hidden in a shelf? Fafabienman’s dual battery dispenser is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also effectively organizes batteries for any workshop with a small footprint.

A 3D printed battery holder and dispenser that stands upright on a table. On the left, there is a container and dispenser for triple-A batteries. On the right, a container and dispenser of the same size is joined for double-A batteries.

Brycelowe’s tape dispenser is a great option for keeping your most-used tapes organized. This was designed for help with wrapping Christmas presents, but with a little tweaking, it could be perfect for small rolls of blue tape for improving bed adhesion or holding parts together while gluing.

A small, handheld 3D printed tape dispenser is being used to lay tape on an object. The dispenser has a small handle with a flat bottom. The tape is dispensed over teeth that can cut the tape when finished.

Miscellaneous tools

Jakejake’s hand-screw clamp designs are among the most popular utility prints on Thingiverse owing to their excellent appearance and lack of required post-processing. These clamps cannot provide the same kind of holding power as metal clamps for woodworking, but they are excellent for holding parts in place while gently sanding, painting, and gluing.

Two hand-screw clamps are clamped on the edge of the board. The clamp on the left has been extended to exert more tension. The clamp on the right is screwed to exert little force on the board.

3D print hobbyists often cannot rely on stock crafting materials for their prints. Mightynozzle’s customizable sanding stick gives makers an opportunity to print sanding blocks that are perfect for processing prints. While conventional sanding blocks and planning materials are too large and unwieldy for working with models and printed parts, this customizable design has huge scope for variability.

Two 3D printed sanding blocks are placed on a table. The block in the center is rounded on the edges, suited for polishing printed peices. The block on the left has a sharp, tapered edge, which is best suited for sanding corners.
(Source: mightynozzle on www.Thingiverse.com)