Category Archives: 3D Printer

Darth Vader Tap Handle


In honor of the long awaited release of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens I’m showcasing my Darth Vader Tap Handle.

 Difficulty: level_5

Due to the investment in a 3D printer and the amount of time it takes to get one dialed in and making parts, this one gets a high difficulty rating.

You also must posses some CAD design skills to generate the required files to send to the 3D printer.

Time Required:

This one was fairly easy, but printing time was about 6 hours total.

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  • Existing tap handle
  • Tap handle topper (In my case the Darth Vader bust)
  • 1/4″ wooden dowel rod
    • About a 1 to 1.5″ length
  • Glue
    • Super glue is best
    • It works well with the ABS plastic and the wood
  • 3D printer

3D Printer

Ever since I first saw my first rapid prototyping machine in college and then to a greater extent, seeing that this technology was nearly affordable for a DIY person like me, I’ve had a child-like fascination with these awesome machines.  It may sound goofy, but I’ve got the same level of amazement that I did when my Dad bought our first computer in the early ’80s and I was able to type my name and have it appear on our television.

I got the Flashforge Creator and I am very happy with it.  It had the right balance of cost, dual-extruders, reliability, non-proprietary filament and has required me to do a little bit of tinkering that has allowed me to better understand the capabilities 3D printers.

Great Fermentations

Celebrate by brewing the Milleniale Falcon beer kit from Great Fermentations.  Today only (December 18th, 2015) is a special 38% off deal. No promo code needed for the deal; just add the kits to your cart and go! Click the link below to see the list of eligible light and dark side beer kits!



It is really simple, once you have your handle and the topper printed.  I just used a 1/4″ dowel rod to attach the topper to the tap handle.  Drill a 1/4″ pilot hole in the top of the tap handle.

023-Vader Dunkel Side 3DP Front

Text creation for tap handle

At the time, I couldn’t find a font that looked similar to the Star Wars font, nor could I find a font generator, but now there are a few out there.  Here is one for example:

Font Meme

Tap Handle Creation

Just follow my guide for Super Easy Tap Handles

Darth Vader Bust

If you have a 3D printer and want to print one yourself, go to Thingiverse to download the STL files and build your own.

Darth Vader Tap Handle Topper on Thingiverse

Don’t have a Thingiverse account?

If you don’t have a Thingiverse account or have no interest in creating one, you can download the CAD files by subscribing using the form below:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

By clicking on the download, you agree to the terms of this license and to be added to the awesome subscriber list. Don’t worry, you won’t receive a bunch of trub in your inbox.
[lab_subscriber_download_form download_id=26]


023-Vader Dunkel Side 3DP Side

3D Printed Kombucha Tap Handles

Since introducing my 3D printed WBHY tap handles, I’ve had other requests for custom work.  This one required me to tap (no pun intended) into my artistic side.

This one in particular for the Pekoe Kombucha Bar in Toronto was pretty cool.

021-Kombucha Tap Handle - standard handle

I made a standard tea leaf with their logo in two colors as well as alternate versions that had icon toppers that reflected the some of the various flavor offerings.

021-Kombucha Tap Handle - all handles

This summer (2015) Pekoe Kombucha Bar will be serving at Front Street Foods in Union Station in Toronto as part of the summer market.  If you are in the area, stop by and try some of their kombucha and see the tap handles in person.

Check the original 3D Printed Tap Handles thread for current info on purchasing a tap handle or getting the link to download files to print your own!

If you want to see other creations, check out my Gallery of Customer 3D Printed Tap Handles showing some of the tap handles already made for customers.


Merry Christmas and a Hoppy New Year!

It’s a cheesy title, but I couldn’t help it.  Many of you have seen the post on my 3D Printed Tap Handles and I’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of interest, which is precisely the reason I have not posted anything new in about a month.  In this post, I’m going to show my 3D printed Hop Cone Christmas Light Covers.

Difficulty: level_5

Due to the investment in a 3D printer and the amount of time it takes to get one dialed in and making parts, this one gets a high difficulty rating.

You also must posses some CAD design skills to generate the required files to send to the 3D printer.

Time Required:

For the print time only, my virtual hop farm takes about 8 hours to grow.  Much quicker than real hops.

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$300 to $3000 depending on how nice of a printer you want to get.


A 3D printer


Recently, my printer has been running as much as the ideas in my head.  Having a 3D printer lets your imagination run wild and here I’m going to show you my latest brewing related creation, Hop Cone Christmas Light Covers.

017-Homer with lights on in light

Yes, that’s my Homer Santa Claus.  It was a gift from a great friend many years ago and I still look forward to getting it out every year.  The camera failed to do the color justice when the lights are lit, but they glow a pretty standard green.

My latest revision to the 3D printed WBHY Tap Handles was printing translucent filament over some standard gold filament to create a flask that looks more like what you have when making starters on your stir plate.

016 - WBHY Handle v3 - yeast flask

With that checked off on my wish list, I thought it would be awesome if I could make some slip on covers for Christmas lights that looked like hop cones.  Then beer nerds everywhere will have a way to decorate their kegerator, keezer, bar, brewing area or even your beer Advent calendar.

Assembly and Design

I started with the hop model I made for the tap handles, then hollowed it out and through a few iterations, I got the proper internal tabs to slide right over standard Christmas lights.

017-Into the hop

017-Inserting bulb into hop

Pretty simple really!

Here are some shots of the lights in different states with Homer modeling them.

In the light with the hop lights turned off

017-Homer with lights off in light

In the light with the hop lights turned on

017-Homer with lights on in light

In the dark with the hop lights turned on

017-Homer with lights on in dark

Growing the hops

Don’t you wish you’d get this kind of yield overnight?

017-Hops Printing

017-Hops Finished

The material is a translucent green PLA.  I started with the basic recommendation of blue painters tape, but experimented and I can now just print right on the Kapton tape.  I’ll try to be bold next and print without the raft.



I would recommend only using these on LED lights.  Standard incandescent lights do put off heat and I have NO idea what will happen after long term usage on those lights.  PLA melts at lower temperatures and could damage the lights or the lights themselves might overhead and burn your house down.  LED lights on the other hand, put off very little heat.  That’s one of the reason’s they are so efficient!

Want to build your own?

Here is the Thingiverse link so you can download and print your own.

Don’t have a printer and want to buy some?

I’m offering a printing service for those that don’t have a 3D printer and would like a to add these hop covers to their own lights.

Everyone should understand what cosmetic quality one should expect from a 3D printed part and the pictures on this post I feel, do a sufficient job of it.  I will not do any finishing work on the hop lights.  I feel that the as-printed look is part of the charm of these parts.

Lead time from the date of order could be up to three weeks.  I realize most people will want them while their Christmas decorations are still up, so I’ll be going flat out to get them to everyone ASAP.  If you have a drop dead date to receive them, give me an entire week’s notice and I’ll let you know how my schedule is looking.  Do NOT order unless you are fine with the standard lead time or you’ve gotten confirmation from me on delivery.

Use the links below to purchase via PayPal.  Shipping to the US only at this price.  If you live outside the US, contact me through the contact link in the top menu bar of the site.


ALSO, I’ve only made available the covers for the most popular 7mm diameter “crystal” LED lights.  I tried these on a few different brands of lights.  These lights also seem to go by the size “M5”.  I’ve almost got the mounting for the smooth skinny LED lights (5mm diameter) worked out.  Although not recommended, the 5mm version will fit the standard incandescent Christmas lights that everyone had up until LED lights became the rage.

Those 2 are the only sizes I plan to release.


*If you have Paypal purchase problems, let me know

Hoppy Holidays!

017-Group of 10 hops