Some of my favorite memories are from the times I spent as a computer salesman during the home computer revolution. I met astronauts, entertainers and an entire community of very smart people but the number one question my prospective customers always asked was “how do I convince my spouse?”

Today, I count myself fortunate to be part of another revolution, the home 3D printer. Like the computers I used to sell, 3D printers are continually evolving, becoming faster, more dependable and more capable with each generation. Not to mention my filament supply. If I were to take inventory, I probably have 20 rolls of filament. Different colors and different types to be sure but how do I justify that new roll of filament to my wife?

Fortunately, computers or 3D printers, the answer still hasn’t changed. Details will change from spouse to spouse but the method is always the same, let your spouse see what it can do for them. My task was easy, my wife is into gardening and 3D printers bring a number of benefits into a gardener’s life, as well as adding a touch of whimsey.

My first contributions to her garden were nothing more than plant labels and spacers. I had one spool of purple filament and my prints tended to break with small amounts of force. It was just enough for my wife to realize that my printer could make her life easier. It wasn’t intentional but I realize now that my prints were also building a case for each of my upgrades. Each time I upgraded, I made sure my wife also benefited. Each upgrade enabled stronger labels, more vibrant colors, more complex models.It was when I started printing spacers to lift her containers off the deck that she suggested I buy more filament. That was the point I knew she had accepted my printer as part of her life.

Keep in mind, it doesn’t always have to be gardening and it doesn’t always have to be perfect. If you don’t continuously strive for more complex models, your spouse will never see the need for an upgrade. Consider the cat feeding reminder below, those are the colors I had, not the colors that I wanted to use. Printing it lets my wife see that it works and would look far better in different colors.

If you find yourself short of ideas, go to or PrusaPrinters and search for garden. You’ll be amazed at how many useful models you find. Remember, show them how the printer can improve their lives, not how much it improves your life. Amazing how that works, just ask my wife.



© 2021, Byron Seastrunk. All rights reserved.

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