3D Printed Business Card Holder & 3D Printer Recommendation

I do a lot of work in innovation, creative problem solving, Lean Six Sigma, and guiding others toward achieving unique solutions to their challenges. I also enjoy 3D printing – this quite utilitarian hobby enables the quick repair and acquisition of many of life’s needed widgets!

Need a bracket to hold two tables together? Print it! Plastic knob break off your lawnmower? Print it! Want a completely custom business card holder with a jet engine’s fan on the front to advertise your brand? Well, that’s what we’re for.

Pictured here are two of my current 3D printers. Every printer comes with its own trade-offs whether that be material, reliability, auto-bed leveling, WiFi, and more! If you’re looking to procure your own printer, think about what you might use it for, and don’t make an emotional decision. Some of my recommended-can’t go wrong picks are at the end of this post.

I occasionally torture test products including 3D printers, and I can honestly state the results are all over! Every new toy has its learning curve and its frustration points…

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Heard of Thingiverse?

Thingiverse is a large community hosted by MakerBot where you have free access to 1000s to redesigned models from people all over the world! Make, Share, and Discover of the categories and I’m an avid user. There are many other similar services.

Get the File & Print!

You may download the business card holder from Thingiverse HERE.

What you’re getting into is shown in the displayed photo. This is the 3D model I designed for the this print.

The file is intended to print with the bottom of the business card holder flat on the build plate. The fan blades are rather thin, so I would recommend utilizing support material to receive the best finish and resolution of the lettering and blades.

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Recommendations

First, What Printers do I Currently Use,

How can I give a recommendation without disclosing the models I use on a weekly basis for (whatever…). That would just be biased!

Note: None of the below reviews are sponsored by any manufacturer and is based on my professional experience. Product links are affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase using the link, I will receive a royalty without it costing you any more! I appreciate your support.

Printers at Home,

  • Variquest Trifecta 800: Purchased at an auction, this company markets toward primary schools and is an absolute workhorse! You likely can’t buy it unless you’re a school though…
  • Klic-N-Print 3D Printer: Purchased online from a company liquidating their assets and found the technology curious. Again, another strong workhorse with high reliability, auto bed leveling, and many available materials, but has quite a few extra steps to process prints.
  • Dremel DigiLab 3D40: Fun product, very easy to use. I use lots of Dremel’s products and torture every single one, but they keep going! This printer has been no different. Dremel has a few printers in their lineup.
  • Prusa/Reprap & their 1000s of Clones: Meh… I’ve found these are essentially all the same, but a few use high quality components(Lulzbot or Creality Ender 3 Pro ). Always put it in an enclosure and stay mindful of thermal gradients on long prints. Typically come with a lot of maintenance and setup before you may execute a print.

Printers in my Lab,

  • Makerbot Replicator+: Amazing, send the job and forget! Has a removable build-plate with special grip making parts stick while printing and easy to remove. Only prints in PLA and can be susceptible to drafts, so build walls around the outside. Durable printer, this is the machine I travel with to schools, and is easy to use with the MakerBot Print software.
  • Ultimaker 3: Absolutely beautiful machine! Handles long prints with no issue. Works on Cura, an intuitive software that also runs many other printers – great integration. A bit on the pricey end, but give outstanding quality. Dual extrusion machine with a wide variety of material choices.
  • Ultimaker S5: Everything about the Ultimaker 3, but bigger, better, and a whole lot better looking! šŸ˜‰ Definitely on the pricey end of a beginner printer, but this is for multi-day jobs where the business demands reliability and delivery.

3D Printer Recommendations,

Based on personal use experience from hobby and torture testing, these models are the best printers to get started with as they offer great quality, low learning curve, and repeatable printing with limited frustration and maintenance!


MakerBot Replicator+ Award Winning 3D Printer

A bit on the more expensive end, but has great support, strong community, and SUPER easy to use printer.


Da Vinci Mini Wireless 3D Printer

Da Vinci use to make awful printers, but has come a long way over the years in terms of a budget 3D.

Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer

Great all around affordable product from a legacy company. Easy to use and a staple in many primary schools for students to use.

Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

Simple & affordable DIY product I have tested, exceeding expectations, and many other DIYers successfully utilize.

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It’s All About What YOU Want!

Are you a hobbyist just wanting to get into 3D printing and don’t have a big budget or are afraid you’re not going to like it? Pick up a budget printer like the Davinci, Creality Ender 3 Pro, or even better, browse Facebook Marketplace for a used machine and get a great deal!

Are you a STEM educator seeking to place a printer in your classroom? Absolutely chose a printer like the Makerbot Replicator+ or Dremel DigiLab 3D40. These are easy to use printers with low maintenance and high uptime. Your students are bound to love it (without taking all of your time).

Are you a professional seeking to build high quality prototypes to iterate or show customers? An Ultimaker 3 or Ultimaker S5 are your best bets. If you’re seeking gloss-like surface finishes, take a look at Formlab’s SLA printers – a different technology, but produces extremely fine features at a very high resolution.


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