When you’re planning a trip, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the logistics: airline tickets, hotels, and car rentals. But what about the actual journey? It’s amazing how much of a difference a bit of 3D printing can make to your road trip experience!
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, these eight amazing 3D-printed car accessories will help make your trip more fun and comfortable.
1. Headrest iPad Holder
Have you ever wanted to be able to use your iPad in the car, but didn’t want to shell out the money for an expensive holder? Do you have a bunch of restless children all scrambling for their turn on the iPad? If so, then this headrest iPad holder may very well turn out to be a lifesaver.
Downloadable from Thingiverse, it’s one of the more popular 3D prints on there, for obvious reasons: it’s simple, easy to install, and works with almost any car seat.
All you have to do is print it out and attach the clamps to the bottom of the headrests on the front seats. Then, slide in your iPad or another tablet, and voilà! You’ve got a safe way of holding your device while driving around town or on long road trips. The kids can watch their favorite movies all throughout the journey and that’s one less thing to worry about.
You’ll need two 64cm-long, 10mm-diameter aluminum tubes, five M4 30mm (or 25mm) bolts, and five M4 nuts among other hardware. If the headrests in the car are less exposed, you can opt for this alternative tutorial.
If you are looking to take on more 3D printing projects, here are some of the best websites where you can find 3D printing files and download them for free
2. Travel Toothbrush and Toothpaste Holder
This 3D print on Thingiverse by Alec Bledsoe can come in handy when you are heading out on a hike or camping. It provides a safe and convenient way to keep your toothbrush whenever you are on the move. The toothbrush and toothpaste holder is designed to be simple and efficient, and it is easy to pack in your backpack or suitcase. You may need to print more than one of this holder, for the rest of your travel party.
Apart from a toothbrush holder, there are other essential things that you need to pack along on a trip, such as first aid tools. We have outlined several first aid tools you can 3D print.
3. Travel Chess Set
If you’re a chess player and love to travel, this 3D print could very well be a dream come true. It’s a chess set in a box that you can 3D print yourself! Designed by Elliot Hatch, this Travel Chess Set (Thingiverse) features a sliding lid and requires no supports to print, which means less work for you. Also, all the parts of the chess set are 3D printable, except for the magnets.
The chessboard squares and the chess pieces are designed to have slots for magnets to be inserted. This helps the pieces stay in place and prevents them from falling over during play. It is also possible to try a slightly different design with the chess pieces by giving them a higher infill near the base to make them more stable. You will need 96 magnets sized 6 x 3mm.
This project isn’t particularly difficult, but it requires special attention to detail as you’re working on several small parts. If you are just getting started with 3D printing, consider taking on some smaller, less complicated 3D printing projects for the home.
4. Folding Travel Coat Hanger
This folding travel coat hanger is fantastic because it’s so small and portable. It can be folded up to fit in your backpack or duffel bag without taking up space for your clothes. Also, it can be printed in several colors and has two configurations for children’s and adult clothes.
It can come in handy when you need to hang laundry to dry or to keep your clothes as crisp-looking as possible. If you need to, you can also hang your ties, belts, blazers, and trousers. This travel coat hanger (Thingiverse) requires support and an infill of 50% or higher.
5. Car Seat back Trash Bag Hooks
A long road trip usually means more clutter in the back seat, especially if you have kids in the car. A trash bag would definitely come in handy, but it has to be accessible to everyone in the car.
This 3D print (Thingiverse) by YoungBunk is the perfect solution for keeping a trash bag in place on the back of your seat. The hooks are easily removable when not needed and can be printed in PLA or ABS. You should consider how hot it gets in your locality when choosing a filament. For instance, ABS has a much higher melting temperature than PLA.
All you need to do is print the parts (you could print just one twice), attach the hooks to the uprights of your headrest, and hang a trash bag on it, and your days of being worried about backseat clutter are over. Be sure to check the remixes on Thingiverse if the original design doesn’t work for you.
6. Sunglasses Car Sun Visor Clip
Sunglasses can block the glare of the sun and protect your eyes from UV rays while driving. This clip is designed to hold a pair of sunglasses fast to your car’s sun visor. This 3D print (Thingiverse) is quite a popular download, probably owing to its simplicity and effectiveness.
People who have made this 3D print have noted that using PLA filament will cause it to melt and bend in the heat of the sun. Therefore, it is advised to opt for nylon, ABS, or a more heat-resistant filament instead.
7. Travel Jenga Box
Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: you can’t play Jenga in a car. The game requires large, flat surfaces and plenty of free time, neither of which are readily available when you’re on the road. That said, Jenga sets usually come in flimsy boxes or tubes that quickly fall apart after long periods of handling.
This Thingiverse project by Shawn Wood allows you to print out your own travel Jenga box. This cylindrical box will make it easier to pack your Jenga set in a bag and hit the road, without worrying about the pieces falling out. There is also a second version of this project that is thinner and longer.
8. Tic Tac Toe In a Box (Noughts and Crosses)
Tic Tac Toe is a game where you have to place Xs and Os on a 3×3 grid so that they make a line of three—vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The aim of the game is to get three in a row before your opponent does. This 3D project allows you to take this classic game on the road and play wherever you are.
This 3D print (Thingiverse) doesn’t require any supports or rafts. Also, you can add a custom embossed design on the lid to really personalize the project. You can check the remixes on the project page for inspiration.
3D Prints for a Road Trip
Whether you’re looking for a new way to make your trip more comfortable or just want a fun thing to do on the road, there are so many possibilities! We hope we’ve helped you find something special for your next long trip or short commute. If your 3D prints are going to be spending long, sweltering hours in the blazing sun, be sure to choose a filament with a higher melting temperature.