Budapest-based designer Adam Miklosi has decided to “upgrade” existing IKEA products with his open-source collection of 3D printed accessories.
This Uppgradera collection features six accessories which all aim to improve the user experience — hence an upgrade from before. In Miklosi’s words:
“The collection includes the 3D printable manufacturing file of 6 accessories that the user of the given IKEA product facing similar problems can manufacture or have manufactured locally, anywhere in the world.
My aim was to design products which solve real problems and with a little bit of ‘uppgradera’, make the user experience more pleasant and efficient”.
The first accessory in this collection was an improvement to one of IKEA’s lighting fixtures. Fitted with a high-power LED, the extremely bright light shines into the user’s eyes, since it does not come with a lampshade. Miklosi came up with a simple clip-on accessory that operates as a lampshade and can be used for work, reading, or mood lighting.
The second such product ‘fixes’ a bed tray. As the original material is slippery, it poses the risk of glasses frequently slipping and falling. Miklosi’s fix can be fitted onto the groove in the back of the tray, allowing for a stable base for cups and glasses.
Next up, IKEA’s toothbrush holder poses the problem that many of its kind do. Water that trickles down from toothbrushes accumulates and bits of leftover toothpaste become a home to festering bacteria. The solution to this problem is Miklosi’s drying grid, which simply keeps toothbrushes elevated from the bottom of the cup, allowing for constant ventilation (and thus, the evaporation of water).
Hangers are great, but what’s annoying is that they crease the shoulders of your clothes. The fourth upgrade in the collection is a pair of shoulder pads which attach to IKEA’s hangers, preventing clothes from slipping or creasing.
The designer also noticed that cheese graters are tricky to operate, due to the fact that the cheese falls down when grated. He designed a ring that can be placed on the cheese grater to prevent cheese from falling down and making a mess.
Last but not least, water-filled soap trays are an issue we’ve all faced at one time or another. The final accessory in the Upgraddera collection is a grid that can be placed on the soap tray to keep soap dry.
What’s unique about all of these upgrades is that even though they seek to improve an existing product, they fix the flaws that are present in objects that already aim to make our lives easier. This is proof that findings don’t have to target monumental problems to be helpful. Each of these accessories impact the average person in their everyday lives.
What’s even more interesting is that since these designs are open source, they allow people from all over the world to experience and experiment with these upgrades to improve their own user experience. The accessibility of these designs worldwide makes them extremely valuable not only to IKEA shoppers, but to anyone who uses everyday products. It is definitely an inspiration to see someone taking his own everyday problems and solving them for not only himself, but the people around him!
3D printing and IKEA are a combination that simply makes sense. A technology that allows for quick and easy customization coming together with the popular build-it-yourself collections from IKEA fit nicely together. We’ve also seen 3D printing applications like customized gaming accessories (for essentially all body parts) as well as IKEA’s own repository of 3D printable files.