Dec 23, 2016 | By Tess
Whether it’s the festive songs on the radio, your dwindling advent calendar, or the lineups in shops that have tipped you off, it is unmistakably Christmas-time. If you are still looking for ways to make your holiday season more festive, we’ve got a couple of suggestions that, in case you were wondering, won’t break, or even dent the bank!
Check out our top picks for 3D printable holiday games, decorations, accessories, and baubles:
While the holidays are a busy time, full of eating, family, and unwrapping, the most memorable moments usually arise during the calm moments, the times when you can simply sit back, relax, watch a movie, or play a game with your loved ones. In my own family, every year it is customary to gift someone with a new game for the whole family to play. And while last year may have been an elaborate edition of Monopoly (Wizard of Oz!), this year a 3D printed game could do the trick.
This 3D printed candy checker game was designed by Italian maker Giuseppe Finizia and offers a both fun and delicious way to pass the time on your holiday break. All you need to play is a checkered board, a set of 3D printed pieces, and some small candies (think Smarties, M&Ms, Skittles) to place inside each piece. Naturally, the winner gets to eat all the candy!
Finizia used a Zortrax M200 to 3D print his own checker pieces, though you should be able to recreate them on any desktop 3D printer. No supports are needed for the print.
Some of our favorite winter-holiday decorations are without a doubt these stunning 3D printed customizable snowflakes. Maker Laura Taalman (aka “mathgrrl”) developed an innovative “Snowflake Machine” that can automatically generate unique snowflake models using mathematical algorithms, computer code, and certain adjustable parameters. With over 45 “makes” on her Thingiverse page, each snowflake more stunning than the last, it would be crazy not to make your own.
By simply installing the Snowflake Machine on your computer, you’ll have virtually infinite snowflake designs at your fingertips. After all, every organic snowflake is unique so why shouldn’t every 3D printed snowflake be?
If you do 3D print your own customized snowflake ornament, be sure to post a photo of it to Taalman’s page.
Whether you are partial to sugar cookies, gingerbread, or shortbread, there is absolutely no justifying eating boring round cookies this holiday season when there are tons of amazing cookie cutters out there. But don’t worry, you won’t have to brave the busy shops to get your hands on some, as you can simply 3D print your own Christmas cookie cutters at home.
If you’ve got the skills to design your own, you can always make customized cookie cutters, but if you’re short on time, there are lots of great (and free) 3D models to choose from. Some of our favorites include this 3D printed festive bell shaped cookie cutter, this Santa Claus cookie cutter, or this Rudolph the Reindeer cookie cutter, all designed by OogiMe, the maker/baker extraordinaire.
Also, if you liked the customizable snowflake ornaments, you’ll certainly love the 3D printed cookie cutter edition, created by Laura Taalman with the help of maker Matthias Peschek. The customized 3D printed snowflake cookie cutters would not only be the perfect gift to a fellow baking enthusiast, but would really help you to stand out at your office or family Christmas party. Get printing and get baking!
This collection of adorable 3D printed articulated Christmas toys is at the top of our 3D printing wish list this year. Designed by Spanish bqLabs, the collection consists of a 3D printed reindeer model, a Santa Claus model, and an elf model. The best thing about the cartoonish toys is that they can not only be 3D printed in one go, but they are also articulated, meaning that their arms and legs can be adjusted and moved.
The toys will need to be 3D printed with supports, but according to the designer, the supports can be easily removed, simply by pulling or twisting.
While cute on their own, for the full festive effect, you might want to paint and decorate the 3D printed baubles before putting them on display.
The next few items on our list of 3D printed holidays baubles fall into the category of modern takes on classic decorations. For instance, instead of settling for your regular yuletide wreath, why not spice things up a bit with a 3D printed plastic wreath. Designed by Thingiverse user “slimchaps”, this 3D printed wreath features a minimalist, but still eye-grabbing design.
The best part about the 3D printed wreath is how remarkably simple it is. You’ll simply have to print the leaf model six times (or more depending on how large you want your wreath) and print out some of the cute red studs. For added detail, slimchaps has even included a stud model with “Xmas” written on it. With all the pieces printed, you can easily fit the leaves together by assembling them like lego.
For the same size as the wreath pictures, slimchaps recommends 3D printing at a scale of 150%.
A couple years ago, Canadian 3D designer Yeg3D posted a free 3D model for a holiday deer. The deer, apparently not strictly a reindeer but actually a mix of mule, white-tail and reindeer species, is still one of our holiday favorites. On it’s own, the 3D printed standing decoration is quite festive, though we recommend taking the 3D printed deer deco to the next level by either painting or spray painting it, as Yeg3D has done. It’s really amazing what some glitter paint can do!
Also, feel free to adorn the 3D printed animals with bows, bells, or whatever other festive fittings you have lying around. Your friends and family will love them.
This next 3D printable Christmas bauble combines two of the holiday’s main decorative icons: the Christmas tree and the snowflake. At first glance, the 3D printed decoration looks like a relatively ordinary (but still lovely) fir tree decoration, but when you look at it from below, a stunning snowflake pattern reveals itself.
The 3D model for the Christmas tree with snowflake profile can be downloaded for free from maker Genapart’s Thingiverse page. The maker has uploaded four different versions of the decoration: one without hanging hole, one with hanging hole, a twisted tree without, and a twisted tree with a hole. With a few successful makes already posted on Thingiverse, we can only suggest that you try to print your own Xmas tree/Snowflake decoration.
For a more DIY craft-based ornament, go no further than these stunning minimalist 3D printed ornaments uploaded by Thingiverse user Maarten Kurver. According to the maker, you need to 3D print the “ball files” 8 times, the bottom file once and the ball cap file 1 to create a single ornament. With the separate pieces, you can either glue them together or as Kurver has, use a 3D pen to assemble them in an inconspicuous way.
The range of different ornaments is impressive, and we can only imagine how absolutely stunning a Christmas tree would look decorated only in them.
For print settings, Kurver recommends printing the ball cap and cap files with 2 shells, no infill, and no supports. For the ball files, you should be able to print with your desired settings.
Shopping for the holidays can be difficult and often stress inducing, so it is no wonder that many people have resorted to buying people gift cards. Not as impersonal as cold hard cash, gift cards can be a much appreciated gift. It can be a challenge to make the cards themselves an exciting gift to open, as simply handing over an envelope doesn’t always have that oomph you want. Fortunately, a number of makers have created some very cute designs that are specially geared for giving gift cards in a fun and festive way.
This 3D printed gift card case, for instance, designed by Advanced 3D Creations, can hold a standard sized gift card in it, and will certainly give the recipient of the gift an added appreciation for it. The small box, which is designed to look like a gift box with a bow, simply slips apart to reveal the card inside. If you do plan to 3D print the card holder, just be sure to measure your card. The box is designed to hold a card measuring 3-3/8" x 2-1/18" x 1/32”, so if it bigger or smaller you might have to scale the print.
One of our favorite holiday prints from 2016 is this awesome 3D printed card insert that is basically a DIY kit for building a reindeer bust. The flat card, which can be slipped into any envelope, can simply be snapped apart and assembled to become a mini mounted reindeer by following some instructions.
Of course, because the model itself is quite flat, you’ll have to be careful when 3D printing and perhaps play with some settings. Maker Tony Short, who created the reindeer card, suggests 3D printing the piece at 100% infill and at a resolution of 0.2mm. He also recommends using top and bottom layers, and printing the first layer at a slower rate than usual. The maker has also included laser cutting files for the holiday craft on his Thingiverse page.
If you’re looking to spread some light this holiday season, we suggest checking out these amazing 3D printed holiday-themed parametric tea lights. For the light part, you will need some supplies other than a 3D printer, including a CR2032 clip-in battery, a 5mm LED, a switch, and some soldering tools. By following some simple instructions, you should be able to assemble the light-up base of the tea light using a couple 3D printed components.
Once the base is set, you can choose from a number of fun 3D printed “hats” for the light, including a snowman, a Christmas tree, or a more traditional candle. Of course, you can always design your own as well, if you want to customize your holiday lights!
This year, Hanukkah’s celebrations coincide with Christmas, so we just had to include some of the Jewish holiday’s iconic decorations. This 3D printed modern Menorah for instance, could be a great addition to your family’s celebrations. The impressive design, which measures 220 mm x 117.6 mm x 73.7 mm can actually accommodate and hold candles. For a tiny version of a more traditional Menorah style, there is also this 3D model, based off of a religious artefact. Some assembly is required for the latter.
As a small Hanukkah bonus, we’ve also included this great 3D printed dreidel, which actually works!
There is no question that the best gifts are often the most personal ones. If you’re looking for a small and festive token to give out this holiday season, why not make some customized 3D printed star ornaments. Designed by Thingiverse maker Alberto Perez, the flat star ornament can simply be opened in your Customizer, where you can change the text of the star, the size of the star, how many points it has, and even what pattern it consists of.
Though simple enough, the 3D printed star ornaments would look stunning hung up in windows or on a Christmas tree.
3D printed gift tags are a fun way to take your present wrapping to the next level. These holiday themed gift tags, designed by maker Lauren Angers of AbuzzDesigns, use dual extrusion to print in two different colors. Angers has also made a collection of different styles for the gift tags including one with a Christmas tree decal, a snowflake, an ornament, or a gift box.
For a non-dual extrusion option, there is also this 3D printed gift tag emblazoned with a letter and a snowflake. The minimal yet chic design is a great way to distinguish who gifts are for, that is, unless everyone in your family has names that start with “M”! The best thing about the 3D printed gift tags, is that they can be reused, year after year!
The last item on our list is certainly not the least. Based on a stunning 3D model by maker Russ Taber, glass 3D printing startup MICRON3DP has showcased their technology by 3D printing a glass Christmas tree. While you won’t be able to recreate a 3D printed glass Christmas tree on your own desktop computer, you can still make your own out of plastic.
The 3D models, which can be found here, should be 3D printed in single wall vase mode and without base layers (so a light will fit in underneath).
From all of us here at 3Ders, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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