If you shop in IKEA, you'll agree that the real challenge of visiting the store (besides getting stuck in the one-way system, of course), is getting through the marketplace without making a mountain of impulse purchases. With small items covering everything from soap dishes to pasta jars, these items fill your home with pared-back Scandi style – but do they always do the job as well as they could?
One designer, and keen IKEA consumer, realised some of IKEA's products could be improved upon and set about a year-long project to do just that. Using 3D printing, he 'fixed' a series of items, and provided the instructions for you to follow suit. (Or to model your own, you could use this top 3D modelling software.)
Adam Miklosi (opens in new tab), a freelance industrial designer, used 3D printing to create add-ons for six IKEA marketplace staples. Titled Uppgradera, the project began when he noticed that the lowest-grade IKEA soap dish is designed in a way that allows the soap to sit inside the water, resulting in a less-than-ideal sludgy mess. Motivated into action, Miklosi designed and printed a plastic grill (above), which sits inside the soap dish and stops the soap from sitting in the water.
Over time Miklosi identified the flaws in other IKEA products and designed 3D printed additions. His Behance page (opens in new tab) explains each product's problem and upgrade in detail, along with some beautifully designed product shots for each.
Our favourites include the cheese-catching ring for the ever-popular CHOSIGT cheese grater, which has always bugged us because of the amount of cheese that falls outside the unit. There's also a shade for the oh-so-bright table lamp and a grill for the toothpaste holder. Say bye-bye to toothpaste slime at the bottom of the cup.
The project is open-source, and is currently in beta testing to be fully downloadable – meaning you can print and add them on to your own IKEA basics. Find out more about the project here (opens in new tab).
We love the design initiative and the idea that at-home 3D printing could be used to improve already existing projects is a brilliant use of the technology. There might be some environmental concerns about creating more products in order to fix products, but it's certainly less confusing than KFC's promise to start printing 'the meat of the future'.