Have you ever noticed just how expensive buying for your pet can get? There’s something off about paying upwards of $40 for what’s effectively a giant cushion they call a bed, or filling a shopping cart with assorted toys that you know aren’t worth the weight of the cheap plastic from which they’re made.
3D printing your own pet toys and accessories is not only a much cheaper alternative to purchasing them, it’s also a really fun way to spice up the life of your furry (or not so furry) friend.
There are a lot of ways to use your 3D printer to enhance the lives of your pets, and here we’re going to look at a few of my favorites. Don’t worry, though, I won’t just be sticking to cats and dogs. There’s something here for just about any kind of pet owner!
3D Printing for Dogs
Dogs are man’s best friend for a few reasons. They’re loyal, they’re social, and they’re adorable as anything. Dog owners the world over have found a lot of ways 3D printing can enhance the lives of our furry friends.
Anyone can print a food bowl or toy, so I’m going to show you some of the more unique and cool options for 3D printing awesome new things for your trusty companion.
As someone who grew up with both a dalmador and a border collie, I can tell you firsthand that the depth of a dog’s energy reserves is not to be underestimated.
While they’re mostly just happy for the company and exercise, sometimes it’s just impossible for the average person to keep up.
This ball scoop and launcher is a great way to make sure your dog gets the most distance in their run without tiring out your arm! When you get home you’ll have your pet napping peacefully while you still have the arm strength to wield the remote.
Have you ever wanted to see through your dog’s eyes? While now you can (more or less) with this 3D printed camera mount to fit onto your dog’s harness.
Not only is this a cool way to experience the world as your dog sees it – except with more colors – and you can fit your camera with a wireless uplink to easily locate your pet if they get lost in the park.
Speaking of the park, dogs can go for hours without running out of steam, but they still need a drink of water and a nice snack every now and then. This portable water and food bowl is the best way to make sure you keep your pet hydrated while on particularly long walks.
What sets this print aside from your standard dish is that it even fits a standard size water bottle so you won’t need to carry it separately.
Honorable Mention: Accessibility Prints for Dogs
All dogs love fun and adventure, but sometimes we rely on dogs to look after people who can’t easily take care of themselves.
Service dogs are well-trained and extremely capable creatures, but their work to become professionals isn’t easy. These accessibility 3D prints are designed to be rubbed with various scents to help a dog associate smells with colors to help blind people.
There’s even a small mechanism to help them easily open handled doors or toggle light switches to aid their trusting wards.
3D Printing for Cats
Cats may not be as dependent or reliable as dogs, but that doesn’t make them any less of a great pet. They’re playful, fun, and aren’t so reliant on us that they take up our whole lives (unless we want them to, of course.)
Cats love to bat things, and if you don’t distract them enough, they’ll be batting the last of your favorite glasses off the table before you know it. To keep them occupied and your beverages safe, there are lots of cool toys you can 3D print for your feline friend.
These sphere toys are easy to print and can be made large enough to fit anything inside, be it catnip or even a treat. Your cat will have a great time throwing them around your floor to get at what’s inside or simply just to see them roll.
If you prefer to be a little more hands-on with your kitty’s playtime, then I recommend printing out this classic fake fishing line to bounce around and watch them go nuts trying to catch it.
If you want your cat to go truly crazy and just want to watch and get a few laughs, those of you who are more mechanically inclined will love this automatic laser pointer, that moves that little dot around the wall to keep your cat – and you – entertained for quite a while.
3D Printing for Hamsters and Gerbils
Hamsters and gerbils are surprisingly active creatures. They like to run, play, climb, and generally tire themselves out. A hamster in an empty cage will lose its zest for life quite quickly, so it’s a good idea to fill their homes with an assortment of toys and ornaments to keep them entertained.
As an all-in-one, I really like these ‘Hamster Land’ 3D printed hamster toys. This little set includes a few things to keep your little friend occupied like a castle, a customizable house, and even a working hamster wheel!
If you have gerbils who are more on the more energetic side, then you’d do well to print this playground. It has enough variety to keep them interested with all the physical challenge they could want.
Don’t think I’m forgetting our littlest friends. Dwarf hamsters are adorable little creatures that like to tucker out just as much as their bigger cousins. This dwarf hamster house is a fantastic, and amazingly cute, way to keep any dwarf hamster occupied, and give them a nicer view while they’re at it.
3D Printing for Ferrets
Ferrets are a popular pet. They’re cuddly, they’re energetic, and they’re a bit of a handful. As social creatures, they thrive well in pairs or small groups, so you’ll want to keep them occupied so you’re not chasing after them all day.
As burrowing creatures, ferrets like to be in tight spaces whether they’re sleeping or playing. So this 3D printed ferret tunnel is a great way to keep them happy and give them a way around their ferret cage that isn’t always underfoot.
Because it’s designed to be long, the files are for interlocking parts. This means you can print as many as you need to create a ferret tube in whatever length you need.
Ferrets like to sleep curled up and surrounded on all sides, which is why the ideal bed for them is a hammock. If you’ve made one yourself, then you may have trouble attaching it securely to the top of their enclosure, or just fret that your knots will come undone and send your sleeping slinkers to the ground.
This 3D printed ferret hammock bracket is a safe and easy way to keep their bed aloft and secure. No more ferret tears, only a good night’s rest.
Speaking of nighttime activities, ferrets never seem to be able to decide if they’re nocturnal or diurnal, and so can be alert and active at any given time of day or night. Of course, if you need your rest, you won’t want to have your ferrets roaming around unsupervised when you’re trying to sleep.
Of course, any pet owner is going to be paranoid about locking the right gates or securing the right doors, so this handy Locked-For-Sure indicator will tell you at a glance that your ferrets’ enclosure is sealed tight for the night. Peace of mind was never so simple.
3D Printing for Snakes
Snakes are popular pets. They don’t need (or particularly want) a lot of attention, and they’re an arguably cool addition to any home. Ball pythons (or royal pythons) are particularly common in any reptile lover’s life.
As they’re not social creatures, snakes like to be alone and hidden. Anyone who’s ever looked in a friend’s enclosure and wondered if there really is a snake in there will know that their predatory nature means they’re most comfortable in solitude and shadow.
Because of this, any snake enclosure will need at least one hiding spot for them to curl up and be at peace.
Snake hiding spots are simple to print, they don’t need to be any particular shape as long as they’re hollow and baseless. This easy 3D print is designed to look like a common rock and can be painted and decorated in natural colors to mimic a natural environment.
It can be used in any reptile enclosure, so it’s not just ball python owners who could use this in their ball python enclosure, if you own an iguana or other lizards, you’ll find this to be a fitting addition to their enclosure too.
If you prefer to view your snake more easily, this fake log provides them with a space to curl up and be alone while also being open enough to not obstruct your view. It’s pretty well detailed and wouldn’t look out of place in any reptilian pal’s home.
If the natural look isn’t for you, though, then why not print out this hollow house for your python to retire to? Don’t worry, snakes aren’t as fussy about their environment as many other pets, so the unnatural setting of a modern home won’t be an issue.
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