Endless 3D printing, or The most expensive stove knob ever... worth it

Recently a burner valve knob on our stove broke off. So naturally I had to go out and buy a 3D printer to make myself a new one. I was inspired by @Cotty and his excellent thread on printing useful objects for everyday life. While I was at it I decided to label the knob to help me find it even before coffee in the morning. Now I’m considering remaking all of them with labels!

I’ve used SketchUp for work for so long but had never explored this side of it, it’s pretty fun. A few tidbits of wisdom from some past discussions on the forum have really helped me get started smoothly. Thanks to all for the knowledge.


I want my own 3D printer! I joined a maker space to have access to several without having to own one, but I’m finding in practice I never go there and do it.


It’s pretty fun / handy, and as the technology advances the price point for a decent printer is getting much lower. There are a lot of variables to producing a good quality print as I’m learning. After much experimenting and trial and error my PLA game is pretty tight. I’m still working on PETG and ABS. The point is with a well set up rig in a maker space or some of the online print houses now, you could afford to print quite a few very well made objects for a lower price point than owning you own. Of course, cost isn’t the only metric here. If I had an opportunity to try one out somewhere nearby I would have liked to experiment and learn a bit on their machines but wasn’t an option where I live.

Out of curiosity what model did you pick?

I poked around a bit and went with an Ender 3 pro. It ticked all the boxes I was looking for and felt like a good compromise between build volume, features and price. It’s been around long enough to be tried and true and has a big enough user base to have robust support, and a thriving culture of modifications for improvement. Of course I have very little to compare it to but so far I’m happy with it.

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A perfect example (if we needed another) of the superior brain of the male. A woman would have gone out and bought a knob or even a new stove, both of which would no doubt have been cheaper than a printer.
But the clever male of the species sees the true value in a broken knob and buys the printer thus giving himself an excuse to waste many hours in the shed avoiding the honey do list.
Utter brilliance.

By the way, you’ll be needing a large box to put all the things you have printed that aren’t quite right but you just can’t bring yourself to throw away.


Well thanks Box for putting all women in the same box. We needed a bit more prejudice here on the sketchup forums.
I myself am quite capable of spending hours and way too much money on something I could’ve readily bought :rofl:


I must admit, while typing that my whole body was screaming at me, be very very careful how you write this, you are walking a knife edge here and the dismount is a triple somersault with twist onto the head of a pin. :upside_down_face:

No worries. It’s just a fun moment and even a bit more critic to men than women, even if it looks otherwise at first.

People are afraid to make jokes these days.

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One rule I know but have time and again broken with catastrophic results is “never try to use ironic or self-ironic humor in an Internet post”.


I am proud to read this (while sitting next to my printer and printing new hooks for my caravan :wink:).
It is a very satisfying feeling to have both a printer and the right program, to be able to implement all your own ideas directly, isn’t it?


It is enormously satisfying @Cotty, thank you for the inspiration. Even when replicating an object that might be purchased inexpensively there is a quality of self sufficiency that is very rewarding. Not to mention avoiding getting in the auto and driving to a store, which is a tiny bit safer for everyone if avoided, and for me getting to bigger stores requires a ferry ride which makes it a commitment, so a printer is very handy. Feels like a good time to adopt some of the self sufficiency of the pioneers, grow a garden, bake your own bread, print your own solutions.

Plus, with designing and printing at home one can modify everyday objects to tailor them exactly to your own needs, or even make something that is not available at any price. That’s when the SketchUp / Printer combo starts to really pay off for me. My latest print was a sprocket guard ring that snaps on to my sons bicycle. I had a need and could not find a ready made solution anywhere, no problem. Necessity is the mother of invention.

It was fun getting the diameter and radial spacing of the clips just right for the sprocket. Snapped on first time!


practical and beautiful, a wonderful combination!


I really feel sorry for the people that buy printers without being able to model well. Imagine having to hunt for a model that is something like what you need but not exactly and having to modify it. I find myself needing something around the workshop and before I can really think about it it is somehow appearing on my printer. Ignoring any fancy artistic work that comes out of my printers, I couldn’t imagine not having one for all the simple practical things I make regularly.


Thanks for the post. I have a pot with a life time guarantee. Only trouble is that I have lived longer than both the manufacturer and the distributor and the pot lid knob is broken!
What to do? I will model using Sketchup buy a 3D printer and make a new one.

You could, of course, purchase another pot knob, or retro-fit one from a different pot, but that’s hardly the point. If you make one yourself you could make it neon pink, or put your family name on it, or put a snarling bengal tiger face popping out of the top, which would be sweet.

I also shamelessly copied this hook style from @Cotty s thread. Great for little hands to hang things up on.

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I don’t want to dissuade you from buying a 3D printer but as for your pot lid knob, consider it will get hot and the knob will melt and run down over the pot the first time you use it. You might need to print a lot of knobs. :wink:

You were bound to land on the knife edge. I bet that left a mark. :upside_down_face:

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I agree 100% that you need to know how to make 3D models to unlock the potential of a 3D printer. It’s also the reason that 3D printers aren’t on every desk in every home. People used to say, “it’s like 2D paper printers… soon there’ll be one in every home”. But the key difference is that while anyone can type words on the computer, modeling in 3D what’s required to make a 3D printer useful. Imagine having a 2D printer and only printing documents you download online from “paperverse” (made up name, obviously!)

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Latest print: A prototype scale test for a structure I’m designing. The actual product will be about 10’ tall and installed in a cathedral in San Francisco.

Two identical prints, a bit of monofilament, et voila…

Makes a pretty good coffee cup coaster.