Years ago 3D printing opened up incredible opportunities in medical fields. As the technology has evolved and moved into the consumer space; it has opened up opportunities for tools (and many other fields).
As always, I purchased all items I am discussing myself and have not been offered any compensation for these thoughts and opinions.
The first 3D printed part I purchased was a bit holder for Makita LXT drill/drivers thru Shapeways, Designed to hold 5 bits, vertically, these worked best with 1” bits. 2” bits were easily knocked out of the holder and scratched my hand when holding the tool. I don’t recall what type of plastic these were made of, it was strong and of sufficient quality and I never had an issue with a lost bit or broken holder. I liked it so much, over time, I have purchased 5 more.
Another 3D printed part I bought was a Leatherman belt clip for the Wave. As with the bit holder, the quality was good although a few too many time I smashed the holder getting in the car and the belt clip eventually broke off. Also for Leatherman Free P2, I bought thumb guides used to deploy the knife with one hand. I absolutely love this addition and highly recommend it.
This brings me to battery adapters. Anyone whose followed my other posts knows a single battery platform is important to me. However my platform (Makita LXT), like all OEM’s, doesn’t offer all of the same tools. So when I find myself in the market for a tool Makita doesn’t manufacture- such as a belt sander or glue gun, I turned to eBay for aftermarket battery adapters (Ryobi to Makita). Eventually I also bought a Dewalt to Makita adapter so as to be able to use the Dewalt 18v heat gun.
I find this approach to be mostly positive. Sure I am sacrificing some of the tools ergonomics and am running a risk that the tools safety features (circuit or heat overload, etc) are bypassed; but I am gaining the ability to remain on a single battery platform and purchasing bare tools saves on cost.
Some tools are even being Manufactured and can run with the major OEM’s batteries. I posted last year about the Girapow Rivet gun working with the Makita LXT platform.
Please note, use of a battery adapter is at your own peril. I’ve had luck, so far, and haven’t had any battery or tool issues. I am keenly aware that others have had issues. While I cannot say if it was the tool, battery or adapter that caused a problem- please be aware of the risks associated with using an adapter as tool manufacturers warn against this for a myriad of reasons.
I’m interested in hearing from the community on 3D accessories that you use and recommend.