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Great Father's Day Gifts to Make With a 3D Printer or Cricut

Make the most of your crafting machines with these Father's Day gift ideas you can make yourself

James Bricknell Senior Editor
James has been writing about technology for years but has loved it since the early 90s. While his main areas of expertise are maker tools -- 3D printers, vinyl cutters, paper printers, and laser cutters -- he also loves to play board games and tabletop RPGs.
Expertise 3D printers, maker tools such as Cricut style vinyl cutters and laser cutters, traditional paper printers Credentials
  • 6 years working professionally in the 3D printing space / 4 years testing consumer electronics for large websites.
James Bricknell
3 min read
Father's day t-shirt and hammer
James Bricknell / CNET

Some of the best Father's Day gifts I've ever received have been made by my children. From homemade drawings to a jewelry box my daughter made in woodworking class, there's no end to the joy a homemade gift gives me. 

It's now even easier to make cool gifts with the advent of at-home 3D printers, laser engravers and T-shirt makers such as the Cricut Maker 3. If you have any one of these the door is open for you to make your dad a fun present he can cherish.
I've put together some of my favorite gift ideas from across the maker space to help inspire you to make something cool for Dad. Trust me, he'll love it.
Read more: Best Budget 3D Printers

Silver award of a dad holding id child on his shoulders
James Bricknell / CNET

Your dad is the best dad. Everyone knows it, except him. If you have a 3D printer at home, you can make this excellent award by TheCraftyBot to show him how you feel. It shows a person holding their child on their shoulders in a wonderfully minimalistic way. 

The base is the perfect size to add the word "Dad" or even your dad's name. Use a program like 3D builder -- free with Windows PCs -- to emboss names onto 3D models and you can make this a truly personal award.

fWhite t-shirt with dad by day, guardian by not printed on it
James Bricknell / CNET

Cricut vinyl cutters feel like they were designed with t-shirts in mind. It's so easy to develop an idea, cut it on the Cricut Explore 3 and get it on a t-shirt. I'm a huge Destiny fan, so my kids made this shirt for me last year. 

A special mention here to Cricut's infusible ink. It lasts much longer than standard vinyl so your dad will have his gift for much longer.

Hammer with number 1 dad etched into it
James Bricknell / CNET

If you've been looking at Etsy for Father's Day gifts you may have noticed that engraved tools can be expensive. I made this custom hammer with my Fluxx Beamo and a $10 hammer from Lowes. I know this laser etcher seems pricey, but if you make yourself an Etsy store to sell your creations it will pay for itself quickly.

Having a laser engraver allows you to carve or burn tools, glasses or even leather goods like wallets to make a gift you've already bought a little more personal.

3D printed wallet with a printer behind it
Agustin Arroyo

This design from Agustin is amazing. It's a lockable wallet that can store money and cards and can be printed in just about any color combination you can imagine. The design prints in just four pieces with minimal effort and the creator even added an editable file in case you wanted to add some personal touches.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

There are many tutorials online about how to grab a chunk of Google Maps data and turn it into a laser-etchable image. I used this one, which was very thorough. It uses an online app called Snazzymaps, which has a handy set of image-optimization tools to turn any Google map data into laser-ready art. 

After that, it was a simple matter of creating a hex-shaped template (you can make it a circle, square or whatever you like) and adding the image. If you want a slice of Brooklyn to rest your drink on, get my custom .svg file here.

 - Dan Ackerman

White mug that says Pappa's mug on it
James Bricknell / CNET

My dad comes to visit for a month out of the year from the UK, and this year we made him his own mug to keep here. Using the Cricut Easy press and my Cricut Explore 3, we made him this simple "Pappa's Mug" -- Pappa is the name my daughter calls him -- in about 15 minutes. Using infusible ink and sublimation-ready mugs, you can create amazing designs easily.

White 3d-printed lightsaber with green blade
James Bricknell / CNET

Making Star Wars gifts on my 3D printer is one of my favorite things to do. This particular print is a Lightsaber with a flick-out blade. It can be printed in 3 pieces so you can print the blade in different colors to the rest. This is an easy print that equals hours of fun for any Star Wars dad.
Searching Star Wars on Thingiverse or Printables will yield a huge amount of models you can print, or use in your laser etcher.

So there you are, just a small taste of the creative gifts you can produce with the right tool. Having any one of these machines is a sure-fire way to make as many gifts as you need, so do your dad a favor and make him something he'll cherish forever.