In the not too distant future we’ll be able to 3D print replacement parts for things that break, make art that matches our taste, toys to play with and design objects to fill our needs around the house. Personal 3D printers like the Thing-O-Matic and people like Alex English of Proto Paradigm are helping democratize manufacturing.
Alex has released a useful set of 3D printable lids for canning jars to help around the kitchen.
1. Mason Jar Lid.Plastic lids for mason jars are available commercially, but as Alex points out, the design could be improved upon. His Mason jar lid design has facets around the outside that provide a better gripping surface. You can’t use these lids for canning but you can use them for storage in the refrigerator. As you can see from the photo, the seal is tight enough to hold water. Download the file at Thingiverse. It's available in wide mouth and regular versions.
2. Mason Jar Fruit Fly Trap
Do you have a fruit fly problem in your kitchen? Add a liquid to a mason jar that attracts fruit flies and cover it with this 3D printed fruit fly lid. The flies, attracted to the scent, can enter the lid, but can’t exit. Download the file at Thingiverse.
3. Mason Jar Straining Lid
Growing your own sprouts is cheap and easy. This 3D printed sprouting lid allows you to easily drain the water and rinse out your sprouts. Alex recommends using the lid to sprout alfalfa, radish, clover, mustard, cabbage, sunflower, and mung bean seeds. Download the file at Thingiverse.
4. Mason Jar Large Strainer
This 3D printed straining lid is designed for straining larger pieces from liquid. Use it to strain the juice from canned fruits and vegetables. Download the file at Thingiverse.
Alex predicts that within three years the technology will reach the point where the average person can buy and operate their own 3D printer. For now, he recommends using the open source files he’s provided with a service like Shapeways, Ponoko, and others. If you live in a large metropolitan area he suggests contacting your local hackerspace, or university about the availability of public use of 3D printers.
Visit the Proto Paradigm blog for a bonus can strainer and a fermentation lid.