Brush With The Power Of 3D Printing

When it comes to 3D printing, functional prints are still few and far between. Sure, you can print a mount for anything, a Raspberry Pi case, but there are few prints out there that are truly useful, and even fewer that are useful while taking advantage of the specific capabilities of a 3D printer.

The Bouldering Brush from Turbo SunShine turns this observation on its head. It’s a useful device for getting the grime, sand, and sweat out of handholds while rock climbing, and it’s entirely 3D printed using manufacturing techniques only 3D printers can do.

If you’re thinking you’ve seen something like this technique before, you’re correct. The Hairy Lion from [_primoz_] on Thingiverse used a fine mesh of bridging to create small fibers of filament emanating from the mane of a lion. While it’s not a gender-neutral print, this is one of the first objects to make it to Thingiverse that truly showcased the sculptural element of many thin fibers of 3D printed filament. With this Bouldering Brush, these fibers become much more useful and even functional. It’s still a great technique, and if you can get your printer set up correctly and the settings correct, this is an awesome print that will easily demonstrate the capabilities of your printer.

Like the Hairy Lion, the Bouldering Brush is two handles that are mostly solid, and fine filaments of extruded plastic connecting these handles. Take the completed print off the bed , cut down the middle of the bristles, and you have a functional, completely 3D printed brush. Just don’t brush your teeth with it.

23 thoughts on “Brush With The Power Of 3D Printing

  1. >When it comes to 3D printing, functional prints are still few and far between.

    Are you kidding? 98% of everything I print is purely functional! What else do people print? Vases and benchies? Who doesn’t print functional parts?

    Maybe I should rephrase: “When it comes to introductory sentences, unique ones are still few and far between. “

    1. Apparently a lot of printers are just churning out baubles off thingiverse. My theory is that some people knew how to 3d model before getting a printer and some didn’t. If you have existing 3d modeling capabilities–along with designs trapped in the digital realm waiting to be let out–you’re much more likely to get utilitarian work out of your printer.

      I’m typing this post on a machine that’s almost entirely printed. Structurally, anyway.

      1. I think a lot of peoples are only buying a 3d printer because it’s cool. Once they have it they lack the need for it so it end up churning yoda and vases.
        Even if you don’t have 3d modeling abilities (and it’s not that difficult, much less than drawing or painting for example), you can find a lot of useful thing on thingiverse.
        In fact before printing something useful I always look at thingiverse first, as someone may already have the same idea.

    2. Exactly my thoughts as well. I own a printer, too. And almost every print that is used in a project is functional. My 3D printer sped up my production process in every regard. I can now finish projects in a few days where it took several weeks of work before. Best investment in equipment since I bought my soldering iron.

  2. Super cool. I love the 3D printed ‘biners (have a bunch on my desk) but I keep them well away from my climbing stuff.
    One can only imagine the mid fall face palm moment if you somehow tied off on one by accident :-/
    Guess its not an issue for bouldering :p

  3. “When it comes to 3D printing, functional prints are still few and far between.”

    Really? like, have you ever printed anything? The vast majority of my prints are for some end-use, with only a very few being trinkets or baubles. The only reason not to print functional parts is that you don’t want to print them. This has got to be on the top of my ignorant statements list, especially coming from HaD, I expected far more awareness of the topic coming from them.

    1. You can now buy a 3D printer in a hardware/department store and it costs about the same as a cheap TV.

      That means lots of people with no clue about engineering or even computers are now buying them because of the hype. They can barely turn the machine on and require a manual to feed the filament in, and they can’t do anything with them except print the demo files and some trinket they’ve downloaded off the web.

      In other words, 3D printing is now at the stage where home computers were in the 80’s. The parents of rich kids bought them out of some sort of “duty” to remain relevant, and the kids used them to play video games.

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