Trusted for 23+ Years
3D Print Sex Toys
Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert
What You Need To Know
With 3D printing more popular than ever many people are coming up with all types of useful things that they can 3D print. Thus, it certainly has crossed the minds of many who wonder if printing a sex toy is a good idea and if it would be safe.
With free 3D printing blueprints for sex toys available on the web, one would think that it is safe to use them, but ultimately the answer is no; in most cases it is not safe to use a 3D printed sex toy, and this article will explore why and what you can do to make your sex toys safely should you desire to do that.
They May Not Be Safe To Use
Using a 3D printer to print out a sex toy may seem like a great idea. After all, you can do it in the privacy of your own home without anyone knowing what you are making, and it is an instant sex toy. So what could go wrong? A lot.
The way a 3D printer works is by creating an object made of thin layers of a material based on a pre-configured blueprint or template. The material used is based on the 3D printer filament or cartridge you select to create an object. 3D printers use various materials to create objects, such as ABS plastic, nylon (PLA, polyamide), epoxy resins (stereolithography materials), glass-filled polyamide, metals, and more. However, most people use ABS plastic, especially when printing out 3D sex toys.
When a 3D printer creates an object, each printed layer builds on the other to complete the form you desire. It can look solid, but it actually is not, which leads us to the first reason why using a 3D-printed sex toy may not be safe to use. The microscopic gaps in the 3D-printed sex toy are perfect for storing bacteria, fungus, and mold as well as transferring sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STDs / STIs). Specific examples include bacterial vaginosis (yeast infections), cystitis (painful bladder syndrome / PBS), urinary tract infections (UTI), and STI, which are transferred from one sexual partner to another by sharing a 3D sex toy such as chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes. For more information, please see our Porous Sex Toy Guide.
Using A 3D Printed Sex Toy With A Condom
The surface of a 3D-printed sex toy is quite rough and is not great for making anything that comes into contact with the body, such as footwear, bracelets, mouthguards, etc., as they have tiny splinters that can cut into and embed into the skin. While you can use a sander or chemical bath to smooth out any rough spots, the tiny fragments remain but are just smaller. This can still cause skin irritation and, in some cases, infections, especially when used internally, as are most 3D sex toys.
Some may logically conclude that if they simply put a condom over the toy, they are safe from bacterial issues and should be good to go. However, this illusion of safety should not be depended upon because the layers of the 3D sex toy can break and splinter, causing small punctures through a condom, thus, making even that layer of protection useless and putting the user at risk for damage to their body.
This does not even address whether or not a condom and lubricant will have a chemical reaction with whatever material was chosen to 3D print the sex toy, which can get complicated, as outlined in some of related our sex toy safety guides:
- Sex Toy Materials
- The Ultimate Personal Lubricant Guide
- The Myth About Polyurethane Condoms & Lubricants
Silicone Conformal Coatings
Some have suggested that you may be able to spray on a silicone conformal coating (often used to waterproof circuit boards); however, the layers are so thin that it will take a great deal of coats, and even then, you may not have made the 3D sex toy safe because silicone conformal coating can cause defatting and drying of skin which may result in skin irritation. To learn more about the complexities of safe silicone, please see our guide: Silicone Sex Toys: Is Yours Real & Safe?
How To Make A Safe 3D Printed Sex Toy
There is only one way at this time that one should use a 3D printer to make a sex toy, and that is to print a hollow cast imprint of a sex toy and then pour a safe substance such as silicone or rubber into the mold to create a solid, safe sex toy. The issue is that casting a platinum-cured silicone mold or peroxide-cured mold that is properly post-baked requires effort, money, and equipment.
Are 3D Sex Toys Worth Making?
Unless you are going to manufacture sex toys by casting sex toy molds and invest in the equipment needed to do it, then the answer is that they are not worth making as they are not cost-effective to make a safe mold for a single sex toy, and when simply 3D printed, they may not be safe to use. Our advice is only to use nontoxic sex toys manufactured by reputable sex toy manufacturers and enjoy discreet shipping from a reputable sex toy retailer like us.
Make Your Own Molds
Another safe option is to use make-your-own dildo or labia kits. To learn more about them, see our Make Your Own Sex Toy Guide.
Feel free to also explore our Homemade Sex Toy Guide.