Home-based 3D printing is getting pretty unremarkable. Sure, printers aren’t as ubiquitous as, say, PCs. But you wouldn’t be any more surprised if your neighbor had a 3D printer than if you found out they had a drill press. In fact, sometimes the real value of 3D printing something isn’t to make a working part, but to make up something that helps you create other things using methods other than printing. That’s exactly what [iqless] does when he uses his printer to make some jigs to help him easily build shelves. (Video, embedded below.)
The issue is making dowel joints for the shelve’s feet. Sure, you could just drill a piece of scrap wood as a template, but with a 3D printer you can do better. Using OpenSCAD, it is possible to create a parameterized jig that fits exactly the job at hand.
There are several advantages to this approach. First, you can iterate on the design without having to rebuild a new jig. Of course, if a jig gets worn or broken, you can simply print another one. Finally, because the script is parameterized, it is easy to create a new jig for similar circumstances that have different dimensions.
If you have done a lot of OpenSCAD, you probably won’t see much new here, but if you haven’t created parameterized scripts, the video can show you how easy that can be.