AS REVOLUTIONARY technologies evolve, they shrink—once taking up entire rooms, they eventually fit on your kitchen counter. 3-D printers have made it to that stage. And at around $300 for high-tech machines, they’re now affordable enough that almost anyone can have a go. If you still view them as irredeemably nerdy, it’s time to rethink.
To design and print everything from toys to phone cases, tools, coat hooks, even passable jewelry, all you need is the machine, downloadable plans and some plastic filament. Here, some ways to use 3-D-printing that could make you a cooler human being, at least in the eyes of other nerds.