I need to find a way to design and build a real shopping cart for my project. I have not idea where to start from but I'm thinking maybe I can 3D print the shopping cart which will allow me to quickly iterate on the design. How could go about with 3D printing a project like this?

Please I will appreciate other suggestions better than 3D printing

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you want a model or real sized one? $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Feb 24, 2021 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ If you plan to print full size, be aware that we are talking about DAYS if not WEEKS for each print. It's not so "quick" iteration... $\endgroup$
    – FarO
    Feb 24, 2021 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish The real one $\endgroup$
    – e.iluf
    Feb 24, 2021 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ @FarO Thank you, i was not aware of that. I wonder if there are other options. $\endgroup$
    – e.iluf
    Feb 24, 2021 at 22:31
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    $\begingroup$ Do they expect you to weld metal? I don't think they expect injection molding. Polycarbonate sheet are strong enough, but you're talking about $1000 of material. $\endgroup$
    – Perry Webb
    Feb 26, 2021 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


If you need a real shopping cart, please think about actual requirements.

Carts are sturdy devices, build on very consistent frame, because they are meant to carry heavy loads. The built must be focused on good jonts and durable wheels, otherwise forces from load or streatching would quickly damage the construction. Some parts of frame are normally under strain, and a direction of load forces is not always downwards, therefore frame has to be robust.

Cheap additive manufacturing technologies of standard printers are not suitable to produce objects of this size in one piece. If to follow this idea, one chellange would be to design pieces of the print, which could be connected or glued into a ready cart. 3d prints have tendency to snap along layers of print, therefore frame would need to be carefuly built from parts designed to be printed horizontally, rather than vertically. Construction of wheels carrying the cart with assumed load could be not possible, because load forces could mangle them very quickly.

Only the amount of material needed to print the whole thing could exceed cost of the cart. And the same would be about more expensive printing techniques, like printing of metal. The shopping cart is a good example of thing which is not worth printing (at least in 2021).

BTW: Shopping carts have some plastic parts, and printing these could be indeed possible. I suppose they are only protectors, not a part of cart construction frame.

I would advice to look to get a ready cart. Check locally for used, worn out or reconditioned shopping cart for your project. Maybe even try to rent it somewhere. It would be much easier and quicker then trying to 3d print the cart, even if it is possible to do it within some reduced requirements.

  • $\begingroup$ Just the labor of drawing and printing is usually more expensive that something that is mass produced. The advantage of 3D printing is custom and prototype. Titanium alloy might be an exception because it must be machined. Buildings are also an exception because they aren't mass produced in the sense of injection molding. They heavily involve labor. $\endgroup$
    – Perry Webb
    Feb 26, 2021 at 10:12

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