Forget 3D Printing: These Hacked Household Gadgets Are Cool New Tools

The maker movement is nigh, bringing with it an interesting tension between hands-on craft techniques and tech-heavy production. RCA-graduate David Steiner decided to put aside the 3D printer and step out of the studio to see what he could make using gadgets found in his own home—from a hand-mixer to the microwave.

It all began with a completely relatable motive (especially for space-deprived city-dwellers). “I have this inherent desire to make the most of the objects and architecture I already have, especially as I live in a really small flat which I share with three others,” Steiner tells Gizmodo. From that concept he began examining component parts around his place, looking for things that could be tweaked to perform entirely new tasks. “The washing machine was first; almost everyone has their own in the UK and I was fascinated by the vast size of the object in relation to the amount of time we use it.”

Ultimately, the kitchen provided the biggest bounty in terms of tools and final products. “The materials I developed consisted of edible elements, so instead of preparing a meal I decided to prepare the tableware,” he says. Everything came together in a series of iterative techniques that included lots of trial and error, with small developments followed by breakthrough moments.

Watching the process video shows a glimpse into a DIY domestic factory where metal baking trays are snipped into a foldable lampshades, tiny cups are thrown atop hand-mixers, wooden rulers are steam-bent in the microwave to make trays, and those washers become rotational casters for delicate bowls. It’s The Way Things Work by way of Instructables, and the results are refined and cohesive in a way that can be tough to achieve with makeshift methods.

Steiner hopes the project encourages others to consider their own belongings with a bit more curiosity, and hopes to someday—after some more “My project is alluding to the fact that anyone can—and always has been—able to make their own stuff,” he says. “Most people have just never tried.” [Dezeen]


These cork containers were turned on a dismantled clock atop a blender's base.

Forget 3D Printing: These Hacked Household Gadgets Are Cool New Tools


A baking tray lampshade, sliced into a foldable pattern with strong shears and folded into place in a door jamb.

Forget 3D Printing: These Hacked Household Gadgets Are Cool New Tools


Rotation-cast tableware, made in the washing machine in a mold held in place by a embroidery hoop frame.

Forget 3D Printing: These Hacked Household Gadgets Are Cool New Tools


The ruler tray, steamed in the microwave prior to bending into place.

Forget 3D Printing: These Hacked Household Gadgets Are Cool New Tools


The entire In House collection.

Forget 3D Printing: These Hacked Household Gadgets Are Cool New Tools


Utensils made from melted pewter figurines.

Forget 3D Printing: These Hacked Household Gadgets Are Cool New Tools


Photos by Lynton Pepper