How 3D Printing Can Make Your Tiny NYC Apartment More Functional

Take a trip with me.

You live in New York City.

$1,800 gets you a 200 square foot apartment.

With a roommate.

This means you're forced to be creative with your space.

And sometimes make sacrifices with your possessions.

Unless...you know how to use a 3D printer.

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KNOWING HOW TO USE A 3D PRINTER UNLOCKS YOUR WORLD

I was hanging out in a small studio apartment in Midtown recently, and my friend seemed particularly troubled.

"UGH! I can't put this mirror ANYWHERE that makes sense!"

Knowing the versatility of 3D printing, I said, "Samantha, tell me where you want it, and how you'd like it to behave."

Would you like it to swing out from behind your couch??

Done

Do you want it to fold down from the ceiling with a counterbalance?

Done.

Anything is possible with 3D printing. Tell me where you want it and how you'd like it to behave.

We started brainstorming immediately.

 

 

IF THERE WAS A PROBLEM, YO I'D SOLVE IT

Her main issue was not being able to see her whole body.

She could put it on the couch, but her feet were cut off.

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She could prop it up on a low box, but her torso was cut off.

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GOAL 1: She wanted to be able to see her whole body.

Her next issue is that she didn't have any wall space that jived with Goal 1.

GOAL 2: Make it work in the available space.

After roaming around the apartment, which took all of one minutes, we decided that a hinged operation on the kitchen doorway afforded her the most flexibility.

She could pull it out when she needed it, and put it away when she didn't.

Most importantly, she was able to see her entire outfit before going out on that hot date.

 

 

THESE LONELY PRINTS...THEY HAVE NO SUPPORT

I started with a quick sketch of the wall so that I could go home and design the mount.

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And then hopped into Fusion 360 and came away with this:

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As is a theme with my designs, I avoid having to print with supports at all costs.

My design decisions are first and foremost dictated by functionality. But support-free printing comes in at a close second.

If you can avoid printing with supports, it greatly increases the chance of a successful print.

Especially when I'm sharing my designs with the whole world and I don't have control of people's printer/slicer settings.

No supports = easy printing.

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FORM < FUNCTION

Since these parts were going to be holding a mirror and used daily, I wanted to make them pretty robust.

Three things that give you the most bang for your buck:

Increased Wall Thickness

Increased Infill Percentage

Correct Print Orientation

Each part was prInted with 4 outlines which gave them a wall thickness of 2 [mm].

Plenty for what we're doing.

An infill percentage of 20% was used.

This may seem small to some people, but considering the fact that I usually print somewhere around 10%, 20% was a decent increase.

Finally, choosing the right print orientation is extremely important. You want to make sure that the highest forces act perpendicular to the printer's z-direction.

What I mean is, you don't want the stresses of normal operation attempting to pull the layers apart.

Do all three of the above, and you'll be sitting pretty with a functional part.

 

 

HOMELESS MIRROR GETS A HOME

No need for words here.

Whoops..

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MY 3D PRINTER IS A HAMMER, AND EVERY PROBLEM IS A NAIL

It's kinda ridiculous how versatile 3D printing is.

I've used it to make a custom tap handle for a kegerator, redesigned a squeeze-tube baby food container for a client, made a working ukulele because I was too impatient for Christmas, and now improved the functionality of a tiny NYC apartment.

Show me a problem, and I bet I can use 3D printing as the solution.

I'm serious.

If you have a cool idea or a problem or anything at all, I'm willing to try to apply 3D printing to it.

Fill out the boxes below with your idea:

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Recently I realized that riding my longboard in NYC is pretty dangerous, and if I wanted to make it safer, I needed to be able to brake.

So yeah, I'm designing and printing a braking system for my longboard.

I'm telling you, nothing's impossible.

 

 


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