Can You 3d Print Dog Toys? “Dog owners are always looking for the next best way to keep their pets happy and entertained. When it comes to 3d printing, there is no shortage of ideas for dog toys. However, not all of these designs will stand up to your pooch’s chewing habits.”
This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of designing a 3d printed toy that can withstand an average chew session by an average-sized dog.
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Can you 3d print dog toys?
Yes, you can! Do it with your 3d printer or use 3D printing services. Detailed examples and reviews follow in the article.
You’re a dog owner? Do you often bring home found objects to play with your four-legged friend? Why not make a custom toy for him instead? Download a free model from the internet and print it out in the nearest 3D print service.
3D Printing is becoming more popular. More and more people can get access to such great technology, that’s why 3D printing services are popping up like mushrooms after summer rains. The price of 3d printing is still high but there are already affordable printers for home and office use.
Last year we published an article about 3d printing for dogs, and it got a lot of attention from people all over the world. We decided to help our readers even further and provide more useful information about printing services and free 3D models for dog toys.
Can You 3d Print Dog Toys?
Where can I print my own dog toy?
If you have a 3D printer, this is probably the best and cheapest way to print toys for your dog. You can make a toy in any size or shape. The only downside of this solution is that you need to collect the needed materials and wait until printing ends before giving them to your pet.
A great alternative to this is the ability to print toys directly from your browser.
The advantage of home printing is that you have all control over the material, resolution, etc. – but the downside is that it can be very expensive if you plan on making a lot of custom toys for your dog.
3D printers are not really cheap and they also consume a lot of plastic materials. A cheap 3D printer won’t cost more than $300-$400 which only prints small items, so most people are interested in more expensive 3d models like Ultimaker 2 or Zortrax M200 (both out of our price range). If you’re looking for something cheaper then Monoprice Select Mini might be a good choice for you (around $200).
The cheapest and easiest way to print a custom dog toy is to use 3D printing services. You can upload your file and order it directly online or pay a little more and get the printed object delivered to your home address. This option is particularly interesting for those who live far from big cities as you don’t need to spend money on an expensive printer with all the needed accessories, maintain it every day, etc. You just pay for what you really need – fast delivery of ready-to-use items made by professional 3d printers.
3D Hubs – A great choice if you’re looking for someone close by where you can quickly drop off/pick up the model that was printed in any material of any color. I have tested it quite a lot during the last few years and can highly recommend it.
3D Hubs have already connected more than 7000 printing services all around the world so you won’t need to worry about finding someone near your location if 3d hubs are not available. You just upload your model, choose one of many locations where someone has an accessible 3D printer and order it via their website.
This is probably the cheapest way to get something printed for yourself or as a gift – most of the service providers will offer discounts of up to 50%!
3D Hubs allow you to choose the material and color (if available). Delivery is usually in 1-4 days and it’s quite cheap.
Can You 3d Print Dog Toys? (cre: yeggi)
Are 3D printed dog toys safe for pets?
A great range of fun, cute and sometimes bizarre 3D printed dog toys are available on the market today. Many animals love to chew on things, so it is only sensible that there are plenty of options for them too – just like people! There’s no shortage in design or colors either. New FDM (fused deposition modeling) printers can even print multiple colors at once, meaning any pet owner is spoiled with choice. But let’s take a look at whether these new options are safe for our furry friends.
The first thing to know about what you should feed your pet is always to check the label/ingredients list for anything potentially harmful; plasticizers, phthalates, and BPA will be the most common names you will see.
While this is no guarantee of safety, it can definitely help you figure out what might be best avoided in your pet’s toys. Many FDM printed items are made with ABS plastic or PLA plastics (polylactic acid). These plastics are generally considered safe for human consumption in terms of BPA and phthalates. They do contain an additive called DEHA which has been found to cause cancer when ingested, although that risk is minimal when the product is not in direct contact with your mouth or eating utensils.
What about other materials commonly used in 3D printing?
There have been a few articles by various media outlets around the world about toxicity issues using open source 3D printers due to the use of flexible TPU filament. The main concerns are gelatine particles in the filament which could potentially contain carcinogenic or gene-altering materials. It is not clear if these concerns are exclusive to flexible filaments but it is something you should be aware of before using them with your pet’s toys.
ABS, PLA, and other plastics are generally considered nontoxic when consumed by humans, dogs, and cats alike. There have been tests done on animals demonstrating no adverse effects whatsoever after continuous ingestion for weeks or months – see a further reading section at the bottom of this article for more info on these tests. For pets that love to chew their toys up instantly, it is likely they will do just as fine chewing up a toy made of ABS/PLA as one made of any other plastic.
However, if your pet’s toy is made with another type of filament or you are concerned about the material it is made from, there are other materials commonly used in 3D printing which are suitable for pets too. There are even natural options for those who prefer something more eco-friendly! Filaments such as Woodfill, Titanium, Taulman Nylon, and many others have minimal to no toxicity concerns at all – see further reading section below for a detailed list.
TPU/TPE/rubber-like filaments should be avoided if possible though.
These do not break down quickly in landfills and can cause health problems when ingested by animals, especially smaller ones due to the size of the pieces they can break down into.
So to summarise safety briefly, if your pet is just chewing on their toy then ABS or PLA plastic filaments are likely perfectly fine for them – check with the manufacturer first for extra reassurance though! If you are worried about getting something non-toxic, however, you have many options available to choose from. Another thing to remember is that if your pet does ingest any pieces of the toy, they will most likely pass through them unharmed so there is not too much cause for concern!
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that some 3D printed dog toys come in dangerous shapes (sharp edges/points etc.), and may fall apart easily when chewed on by bigger dogs. Always keep an eye out for any non-3D printed elements, especially if they are hazardous materials or sharp pieces/edges. Also, take care when buying toys that attach to the collar with metal rings – if your dog is a determined chewer these could snap off causing serious injury to your pet.
So there you have it, folks! With only a few precautions taken into consideration, 3D printing can be one of the safest options for your pet’s playtime needs. Now get out there and get printing some awesome animal shaped objects full of thrills for our furry friends!!
How to make a 3D printed dog treat dispenser?
This dog treat dispenser has been created by 3D printing enthusiast Adam Jacob. It’s easy to make and you can download the STL file for free or order it from Shapeways if you want a 3D printed one. Adam used PLA / Petg, but other materials are possible too.
Threads were printed using 2 perimeters, 5 top and bottom layers, no infill with a 0.4mm nozzle at 210°C extrusion temperature. You can use any software that is able to import standard STL files (like SketchUp) and slice them into GCode for your 3D printer of choice.
Can You 3d Print Dog Toys? (cre: 3dprint)
3D printed pet accessories courtesy of Thingiverse user K-9 Prints, aka Cory Doctorow.
3D printers have been called the “robot revolution.” They’re already promising to transform manufacturing and design across a wide swath of human life, starting with everything from your wallet to your body. In terms of the latter, that may include 3D printing personalized help for animals in need.
In fact, 3D printing is actually being used for just this purpose right now. Dr. Stacy Lopresti-Goodman, Associate Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Physics & Astronomy was inspired by a stray cat she brought home while working abroad in Peru two years ago:
“When I got back from Peru I had to put my cat down, and I found that there was nothing for small animals. He had a little vest on but it didn’t have any support on the chest. Cats need something to keep their spine aligned, otherwise, they develop problems…I want to be able to help all kinds of animals.”
Dr. Lopresti-Goodman is designing 3D printed orthotics for her own cats with some guidance from Thingiverse user K-9 Prints, who designs various pet accessories including 3D printable Tinkerbell costumes, tails, bowties, bandanas, and hats.
The process begins by taking MRI scans of the pets in question (or just enough information about specific body parts if they can’t cooperate). The results are compared to a library of approved 3D models from the Center of Engineering Technologies at Mississippi State University.
The model is then tweaked as needed by Professor Lopresti-Goodman and printed out. In the case of her own cats, they’ve been more than happy to cooperate with their dosage – but not without some reservation.
3D printing is a great way to make one-of-a-kind dog toys, but it’s not for everyone.
If you’re interested in making your own toy, we recommend that you first consider the following questions before investing any time or money into the process: Do I have access to a 3D printer? Can my dog eat anything printed with ABS plastic?
Am I willing to spend hours designing and creating an object from scratch without knowing whether or not this design will be successful? If these questions don’t deter you from pursuing 3d printing as a means of providing unique canine toys, then go ahead!
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