Most gadget geeks already know how 3d printers have become the focus of an entire community, crowdsourcing and sharing patterns, designs or templates – known as models to 3d printing fans. Ereading, Kindle and Fire fans are obviously contributors to that whole mix. So here’s some choice designs/models for your ereading devices, and tips on how to find more.
Thingiverse is one of the favorite repositories for the maker culture and digital fabrication nuts. One maker there has produced an attractive-looking stand for the Kindle Paperwhite, ” simple and compact … perfect for travel.” Or if you want something more complicated and bizarre, how about this octopus tablet/phone stand? The perfect ereader accessory for a Lovecraftian, maybe. An even simpler printable stand for the Kindle Fire – 2012 version, admittedly, but probably just as applicable to the fifth-generation Fire with its 0.4″ (10.6 mm) thickness versus the 2012 version’s 0.45″ (11.5 mm) – is here. For a fully up-to-date version, which “also works pretty well with the Paperwhite,” there’s this 2015 Firestand. Or for a design that can be customized to your device by adjusting the printer parameters, what about this adjustable clip stand?
Aside from stands, however, the maker community seems a little slow to catch up so far with other accessories for the latest Fire. Which is a pity when you see such nifty ideas as this first-generation Kindle Fire case with a built-in stylus holder. Someone else produced a case for the same model Kindle Fire that’s also an audio blaster, designed to reflect the speaker sounds forward. Or there’s this Kindle Fire handle, built to allow you to hold the original Kindle Fire one-handed while reading. One ambitious maker even produced a Kindle 2 dock with its own built-in USB charging port, for those who still have that aging device.
Yeggi is another popular portal for 3d printing designs worldwide. There you can search models across Thingiverse and other platforms, although Thingiverse does still offer the widest and best selection of designs. But you can find new ideas from other sources, such as this Harry Potter Kindle Fire case from Tinkercad. And of course, random Googling will turn up others as well.
As for getting time on a 3d printer, if you can find a local fab lab, where makers and hackers come together to use shared technology, then good for you. Fab lab habitues might even help you out and suggest other options. Failing that, 3d printing shops are more and more common. Staples first rolled out the service in spring 2014, and it’s only spread wider since then. As of September 2015, Staples alone reportedly offered 3d printing services in 53 locations in the U.S. So happy printing, geeks.