Jonathan Bobrow shared with us his 3D project KeyBit that provides a simple metal keychain attachment for a MagSafe adapter for Mac computers — a project that puts the “rapid” back into rapid prototyping in an interesting way. This project moved at a lightning pace from an idea he sketched out as a 3D model, to a first print that worked right off the bat back from Shapeways, to an item hosted in a Shapeways store for customers to have produced for them in stainless steel, and now, riding the wave of the demand, right into a crowdfunding project.
An interesting case study for how design for 3D printing using a printing service like Shapeways can not only help you obtain a rapid prototype of a project in a difficult to work with material, but can also help you identify from customer interest if the idea is worth pursuing further as a business idea.
From the Shapeways blog:
The MagSafe Adapter Key Ring by jbobrow makes sure you do not lose the Magsafe Adapter for the new MacBook and connects it to your keyring 3D Printed in Stainless Steel using the adapters internal magnet. Clever.
What other products could be designed to be 3D printed in Stainless Steel to use magnets embedded in existing products?
And check out the video below from his crowdsourcing campaign to learn more about the history of this project:
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!