I didn't exactly 3D-print the whole sink. I 3D-printed a part that enabled me to combine two parts in order to make one--a damned good one in fact.
Let me explain, because the story of one of my first 3D-print jobs is a case in point example of personal fabrication and why 3D printing is awesome.
The Goodword Alchemy R + D lab is based out of a at the end of a hall in gigantic warehouse in Somerville, MA, where, until recently, there was no running water. As we are working on a couple of chemistry-related projects there, we needed to set up a simple sink that would last us at least until we got the water all set up.
We had some tubing and some of those three pronged chemistry clamps lying around, so we figured we could make a sink using those parts.
We bought a 5-gallon water jug and figured we could siphon water out it using the tubing, and we figured we could use the chemistry clamp to cut off the flow through tube when we wanted to turn off the water.
It turned out that the chemistry clamp did not work at all for this. It simply bent the tube, but it did not stop the flow of water at all.
So we tried rubber banding a square piece of wood into the clamp to provide a flat surface against which to close off the tube. It broke.
Next, we tried a piece of steel, which didn’t work either because tube kept moving around whenever we clamped and unclamped it. When we tried attaching the rubber band to the steel, but the amount of rubber bands it took to hold everything in place it cut off the flow of water to the tube.
Thats when we took to the 3D printer:
What you see here is a part that I designed in about 20 minutes using Solidworks. It took about 2 hours to print out this part. the idea is that the two arms fit over the prongs on the 3-way clamp. The tube fits perfectly through the hole, and the slit in the tube hole is for the third prong to close off the tube.
What really amazed me, (and what ought to impress you about the power of 3D printing) was how quickly we moved from a simple, but somewhat crazy invention to the physical incarnation of that object--infinitely reproducible (if anyone else were to find themselves in the ridiculous waterless situation we were in).