3D Printed Hand Planes?!?!?

You’re kidding right? Nope… with the advent of the 3D printers and the availability of them to the average joe, it was just a matter of time. I got the idea to look over on Thingiverse last night after watching Rex Krueger’s video about an injection molded hand plane, check it out:

So I figured if someone can make an injection molded one, why not a 3D printed one… and sure enough… there are several. And best of all, there’s even parts for some of the old Stanley’s out there.

Now I know some purists are screaming from on high “I’m not putting some 3D printed piece of crap tote or knob on my vintage Stanley Sweetheart !!!” but come down to it… I would rather have a 3D printed knob or tote on it while I wait for the real thing to either be made or found.

The other things I was able to locate on Thingiverse were quite interesting as well. There’s several actual planes ranging from itty bitty ones, to dado planes, and what I guess you could consider an actual plane. Some of the ones that really caught my interest were the ones that use razor blades for the irons… these seem to be a cost effective way to make a small utilitarian plane for stuff like rounding over corners, beveling edges, or doing chamfers. I have to get out in the shop and print some of these things to see how they actually work but I am definitely interested to say the least.

Now all that being said there’s also accessories and stuff you can print and stuff like a #4 and #6 blade that I suppose one could use as a template for making their own blade out of metal. There’s also some honing guides for sharpening and even a couple little keychain planes for decoration.

All in all, I was really impressed by the selection there on Thingiverse and can only imagine what else is out there on some of the other 3D sites that you can browse. Just be prepared to sort through a LOT of airplane and unrelated stuff.

Here’s my search link on Thingiverse:


Clearly these sort of tools would suffer the same downfalls that Rex illustrates with the injection molded plane, or would they? For those of us that know anything about 3D printing, we know that you can use some pretty hardcore filaments for all kinds of things from flexible plastics to metals now days. Add to that services like Shapeways which will outright 3D print damn near anything you want in metal and you might just be well on your way to a whole new niche for hand planes you might have never thought about exploring before. I honestly hadn’t until last night and that was my second time watching that video.

So whether you’re a die hard purist or a new to the craft woodworker, why not at least consider what 3D printing can offer you in regards to replacement parts or expanding your selection of tools? Don’t want to ruin your nice new Veritas on a raunchy piece of wood… then grab a 3D printed plane and tear it up.

I calculated the cost of printing the model in the picture and for the filament to print it in Polycarbonate, which is presently the hardest I have on hand, it would be $12.00 ( and pink I might add ). A hand plane for $12.00 ?!?!? Really ?!?!? We shall see, and once I get things sorted out in the shop and have some time off to do it… we’re going to do a build video of some of these 3D printed planes and accessories/parts so be on the lookout.

Until then… take your idle hands and put them to work !!!