This is truly a great time to be a nerd–what with comic book movies, TV shows and new Star Wars adventures all around us we’ve officially gone mainstream. While most nerds wouldn’t ever let public scorn stop them from displaying the things that they love, the holidays are an especially perfect time to display all of your nerd-cred. This year it is easier than ever to decorate your house, and especially your Christmas tree, with the nerdiest decorations that you’ll ever be able to find.

So the theme for this week’s Ten 3D Printable Things is Nerdy Christmas tree ornaments, and I’ll tell you it was A LOT of work to condense all of the amazing options down to just ten. It was probably the hardest that I ever had to work to whittle my list down, so if you don’t see anything that tickles your nerd fancy, just take a look at Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, Pinshape and Etsy and you’re bound to find something that fits your nerd aesthetic.


3D PRINTER ORNAMENT

3dp_ten3dpthings_3dprinterChristmas Tree Ornament by ThingHuxter

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Why not start things off really meta with a 3D printable 3D printer ornament? This cool Christmas tree ornament will identify you as a 3D printing fan right away (whether that’s a good thing or not is a different story). The printer ornament is styled after an Afinia (or Up!) 3D printer and prints out in about twenty individual little pieces that will need to be glued together. You can print them in different colors, or just use a single filament color and paint on the details yourself.

The model’s designer said that he removed the year on the model, so you can add your own custom message or just leave it blank. While the files include the 3D printed hat, it shouldn’t be too hard to replace the hat with something else, like a mini Yoda head, if you want to use this for something other than Christmas.


SUPERCAPACITOR SANTA MOVING ORNAMENT

3dp_ten3dpthings_supercapacitor_santaEngineers Supercapacitor Santa by mrigsby

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Every one of my Ten 3D Printable Things lists needs an engineering project, and this rotating supercapacitor-powered Santa ornament fits the bill perfectly. This is a great starter maker project for kids, or anyone new to making and building. I would also suggest this as a great project for maker clubs and science classes, if it isn’t too close to holiday breaks (and the holidays).

The moving ornament includes Santa in his traditional holiday sleigh chasing Rudolf in his traditional holiday propellor airplane. Just like in the thrilling stories of Santa hunting down reindeer, Santa is shown engaging with Rudolf in their iconic death-defying dog fight at 30,000 feet for the fate of the world and all of the reindeer games. Oh, you haven’t heard that story?

The Thingiverse page includes a full list of components and assembly instructions, and the parts will need to be painted.

Here is video of Engineer Santa in action:


SUPER MARIO BROS. CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS

3dp_ten3dpthings_marioMario Christmas Tree by Mewalela

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

It’s-a me-a! Mario! Yes, if you have a 3D printer than you can have the Super Mario Bros.-themed Christmas tree of your nerd dreams. The 3D printable ornaments include Mario or Luigi, a cloud, a coin, KoopaTroopa, a flower and a goomba. The Thing files also include a PDF so you can print off the mario bricks and make paper loop chains to complete the look of the tree. The files can be printed using multiple materials, or printed in a single material and painted.

And here are a few other Super Mario Bros ornaments and decorations that you can use:

Pixel Star Tree Topper
Bullet Bill
Mushrooms
Spiny Koopa (Just don’t print the rest of the model)


RETRO GAME BOY

3dp_ten3dpthings_gameboyGameboy Christmas Tree Ornament by Simone Fontana

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

A Game Boy ornament is a must have for any retro-gamer in your life. This ornament is modelld after the original handheld Game Boy that most of us Generation Xers grew up playing with. Just like with the original you can print it out in any color that you want, and all of the small, black details like the screen and buttons are individual parts that need to be glued on.

And if you’re being saucy, you can even find a nice detailed screenshot of your favorite Retro Game Boy game, print it out, cut it down to size and paste it on top of the screen. Thankfully this Game Boy won’t give you eye strain trying to see the screen in the dark.


ATARI 2600 JOYSTICK

3dp_ten3dpthings_joystickRetro Joystick Christmas by Simone Fontana

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

And if that retro-gamer in your life is even more retro than the original Game Boy, then why not go back even further back into gaming history to the Atari 2600 joystick. Released way back in the pre-historic 1980s this iconic joystick was the symbol of video gaming for years, and is still instantly recognizable. The main joystick and the red fire button (can you imaging only having one button on a video game controller??) are 3D printed separately and simply need to be glued together.


SCALE SOLAR SYSTEM ORNAMENTS

3dp_ten3dpthings_planetsOur Planets Ornaments by 3DBrooklyn

Found on: Pinshape
Cost: Free

This is for the space nerd in your life, it is a scale (well, mostly) collection of all of the planets in our solar system. Including Pluto. And the Sun. And yes, that means that most of the planets are far too small to see, but that’s science for you. Of course you could always bump up the various sizes of the models a bit to make them stand out more, but if you do that means it means that you hate science and that will make Neil deGrasse Tyson very sad, then he’ll be totally mad at you.

Trust me, do not make Neil deGrasse Tyson mad at you, I hear that he sends Krampus to the houses of anti-science people for a good ‘ol holiday drowning. NDT is OG, so don’t cross him.


HOLIDAY DRAGON ORNAMENTS

3dp_ten3dpthings_dragonsDragon Ornament by dutchmogul

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

These cute little dragons can be printed out in two bisected halves and glued together, or printed as a single part that will need to have supports added. Although the wings will need to be glued onto the ornament regardless of how you print them. These are perfect for anyone with a Dungeons & Dragons- or Game of Thrones-themed Christmas tree, or they make the perfect tree decorations for that Daenerys Targaryen cosplayer in your life.


BOBBING DRINKING BIRD ORNAMENT

3dp_ten3dpthings_bobbingbirdsDrinking Bird Ornament by mrigsby

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

And here is a different sort of maker project Christmas tree ornament. These bobbing drinking birds attach to the Christmas lights on your tree and are working heat engines. Basically, if the head of the bird is cooler than the body of the bird it will continually make the head-bobbing motion. The birds will take a few minutes to warm up, but as soon as they do they will continually move up and down as long as they are attached to a working bulb that will heat up its body.

The Thingiverse page includes a full list of the components needed to make the ornaments and the assembly instructions. The parts can either be painted or just printed in different color filaments.

Here is video of several of these bobbing birds in action:


KRAMPUS TREE ORNAMENT

3dp_ten3dpthings_krampusKrampus! by Ricardo Salomao

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

If you don’t know who or what a Krampus is, he’s basically Santa Claus in serious need of a Snickers bar. Krampus is sort of a holiday boogie man that is the dark, mirror image of Santa and he rattles chains rather than jingles bells. Instead of rewarding good little boys and girls with gifts, he sneaks into the homes of misbehaving children, kidnaps them by stuffing them in his sack and takes them away to be drowned, eaten, or just transported to Hell. Basically, if you use Krampus to keep your bratty kids in line then you probably need some parenting classes of some sort. But they’ll probably be pretty quiet, at least.


LOCKABLE CHRISTMAS PRESENT BOX TREE ORNAMENT

3dp_ten3dpthings_lockableboxLockable Present Ornament by jijimath

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

This may not be the nerdiest ornament on this list, but it’s such a neat idea for a tree decoration that I needed to include it. It was a winner in Thingiverse’s 2013 Ornament Challenge. This is a working, lockable box that includes a working key that is needed to open it. It is perfect for hiding small gifts like jewelry, or even hand written clues to kick off a holiday treasure hunt.

The model is printed in seven different parts, including the box, the present ribbons and the locking mechanism. The designer also includes an optional 3D printable hook that can be attached to the box in order to hang it from the tree.

Here is quick assembly tutorial video of the box in action:


On behalf of everyone at 3DPrint.com we’d like to wish you the happiest, and nerdiest, of holidays!

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