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3dp_ten3dpthings_vday_picHow do you celebrate a holiday like Valentine’s Day with a 3D printer? It actually took me quite a while to figure out exactly what kind of article I wanted to write for this impending special day for couples, and the flower and candy companies that sponsor them. There are obviously tons of jewelry options available to show off, but I try to keep most of the models that I share free, or close enough that it’s a wash. Most 3D printed jewelry is far from free, and most free 3D printable jewelry looks like it’s free 3D printable jewelry. I also considered votives or candle holders, because romatic dinners are a thing on Valentine’s Day I guess, but that just seemed so boring.

I flip flopped on the theme for this week so much that I could have been running for political office. But at the end of the day, I think that the best way to go forward is always by keeping it simple. If you have a 3D printer and you’re in a relationship, then you’re probably going to want to 3D print something that is unique and interesting that you can’t get anywhere else. And I think that I have the ten 3D models for you.

So here are this week’s Ten 3D Printable Things – The Best Valentine’s Day 3D Printing Projects!


3D PRINTED ROSES

3dp_ten3dpthings_roses_1Roses by TWIESNER

Found on: Cults3D
Cost: $5.15

This is a no brainer. 3D printed flowers are a must print project, as everyone loves flowers on V-Day. Without a doubt, these are the best looking 3D printable flowers available, and I must have looked at all of them. There are actually dozens of different 3D printed roses available in fact, but I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone looking that this great 3D model is the most lifelike and realistic of them all.

Just be aware, there will be some ‘crafting’ required to complete this project, as the parts will need to be glued together correctly, and the stem need to be made from some bead wire. But I think giving your significant other flowers that never die is worth that extra effort.


VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIES

3dp_ten3dpthings_cookiesXOXO Cookie Cutter, Heart Wings Cookie Cutter, Love Birds Cookie Cutter, Be Mine Ring Cookie Cutter, Kids Kissing Cookie Cutter by OogiMe

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Cookies are a great way to tell the person that you’re dating that you care, and get a snack for yourself out of the deal at the same time. I mean, they’re not going to eat all of them by themselves, so you’re going to get at least one, right? These 3D printable cookie cutters are just what you’re looking for. You can pick the one that you like best, or just 3D print all five of them for a massive batch of cookies.

You could do store purchased cookies I guess, but no one really likes those store bought holiday cookies. They taste like chemical poisoning, and usually people just eat them out of politeness. If you really want a good cookie reaction then the only viable option is to make the cookies yourself. Here are some great sugar cookie recipes for all cooking skill levels, but for my money nothing beats this recipe from Alton Brown.


HINGED HEART PENDANT

3dp_ten3dpthings_heart_pendent_1Valentine’s Gift by bqLabs

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

I know that I just got done making a joke at the expense of free, 3D printable jewelry, but I am more than willing to make an exception for a cool model. This isn’t the most complicated entry on this list, but it is a nice, well-designed pendant that can be printed in some great material options. The pendant can be used as a keychain or hung around the neck, and it has a hinge on it, so it can be opened up and used as a small gift box or locket.

3dp_ten3dpthings_heart_pendent_2The hinged heart model was designed to require very little support while printing, only a small part inside of the model that needs to be removed. Personally I think this would look great printed in one of the many metal/PLA filaments available, but getting it shined up will take a bit of effort on your part.


SMARTPHONE FLASH HEART WALL PROJECTOR

3dp_ten3dpthings_iLoveU_2iLoveU Signal for iPhone by Dalpek

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

This is a silly 3D print, and hopefully not the only thing that you will get for your partner, but it’s a great way to get something that no one else will have using something that we all have in our pockets. This 3D printable wall projector is as simple as it gets, just hold it in front of the flashlight on your smartphone and aim it at a wall. Your date will get the message loud and clear.

3dp_ten3dpthings_iLoveU_1The model has two holes printed on the side of it, so it can be a keychain, or attached to a rubber band and wrapped around your phone for ease of use. And yes, if a heart isn’t really your thing and your aesthetic is more street-level crime fighter, then there is also a Batman version available.


VALENTINE-THEMED HANDCUFFS

3dp_ten3dpthings_love_cuffsLove Cuffs by DesignerFred

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

What you do with these Love Cuffs is up to you, and doesn’t need to be discussed publically, but I think we all know what use they would have. The chain that holds these cuffs together is made from heart shaped links, so either this is a cute gift for someone that you plan to get jiggy with at some point (kids still say jiggy, right?) or you’re a Cupid-themed superhero and these are how you plan on capturing super villains.

The cuffs print out straight, so they will need to be bent into shape a bit using a heat gun or a hair dryer. There will be some supports needed to 3D print the links for your Love Cuffs, but when you think about it, support is all anyone needs from a partner. *groan*


CLOCKWORK HEART PENDANT

3dp_ten3dpthings_clockwork_heart_1Clockwork Heart by 3DNA

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

This is probably a gift better suited for a specific kind of partner, but it’s a cool model that looks like it is fun to assemble. There is most certainly a steampunk vibe to the pendant, but it isn’t immediately noticeable or overly steampunk themed. It can also be locked with a special key, if symbolic prison-themed romance is your thing.

3dp_ten3dpthings_clockwork_heart_2The Clockwork Heart prints in about eleven different parts, so there are a lot of ways that this model can be made special with the use of multiple materials and paint. Personally I think the outer cage part of the pendant would look great in a metallic filament, and the insides would look cool in a translucent material. You could also apply a model smoother on some of the parts and give it a good paint job to make it something really special.


HEART AND KEY TWO-PART PENDANT

3dp_ten3dpthings_heart_key_1Heart and Key Pendant by Sajid Diaz

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

Okay, so this one may be a little bit cheesy, but it’s also just a cute little 3D printing project that is bound to make someone who is not dead inside smile. The symbolism couldn’t be any more clear, a heart pendant with a matching key pendant that fits snuggly inside of it. But dammit, whatever works, works.

3dp_ten3dpthings_heart_key_2Both the heart and the key include hooks on them, so they can be hung around the neck or on a keychain, and again this is a model that can be made really special with the right filament choice.


SECRET LOCKING TUDOR-STYLE BOX

3dp_ten3dpthings_tudor_box_1The Tudor Rose Box by loubie

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

So this one is not specifically a Valentine’s Day-themed print, but it was such an awesome design that I just had to include it. It is just a cool 3D printing project for any occasion, but a gift box certainly seems to be appropriate for Valentine’s Day. It even has a secret internal locking mechanism, so it can be used as a sly gift box for a certain type of ring *hint* *hint*, or as a small jewelry box. Because it was designed to resemble a wood-carved box, I think it is a no brainer to use a wood-based filament to print it so it can be naturally stained. I think it will look incredible if post processed correctly.

3dp_ten3dpthings_tudor_box_2The design is extremely detailed, as many of Loubie’s designs tend to be, so make sure that you only try printing this if your machine is capable of very high resolutions. There are only about ten pieces that need to be printed, but it will take a lot of work to get the box assembled and finished. If you don’t want to print it in wood and stain it, it can also be hand painted to be something really special.


ANATOMICALLY ACCURATE HEART

3dp_ten3dpthings_anatomical_heart_2Anatomical Heart by cicerone

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

I get that not every couple is a kissy kissy type of couple, so I figured that I should include something a little less conventional than Cupid-type stuff. 3D printing a detailed, anatomically accurate heart model is a nice way to say that you love someone without the need of cheesy sentiment or Hallmark moments. It can also be seen as a creepy warning or a threat, so choose the recipient very carefully. And you may want to leave out the fake blood.

3dp_ten3dpthings_anatomical_heart_1Because of the detail I’m not sure that this model is well suited to a standard FDM desktop 3D printer. This is really a model that should probably be saved for a DLP or SLA printer, and a transparent material would probably be best. You can also make it something really special by putting a light of some kind inside of it. Something like a Fairy Berry would be perfect.


SKIPPING VALENTINE’S DAY HEART

3dp_ten3dpthings_hole_in_heartSkipping Valentine’s Day by Greig Olivier

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

Now don’t think that I forgot about all of you single people, because no sir/lady I did not. If you’re sitting this Valentine’s Day out, but still want to print yourself something special, then how about a heart with a hole inside of it? What would be better for making your empty, loveless life feel better than a physical reminder of how lonely you are? And not only that, but a physical reminder of how lonely you are that you have to put a lot of effort into making.

Of course you could always 3D print this and give it to your ex as the designer of the model suggests, but I’ll be honest with you my friend, that may not be a good idea. Not only could this also be considered a threat, I mean it looks like a bullet hole, but if this person is your ex do you really want to devote time to 3D printing them a present? It might be time to move on.


Okay, that’s it. I think that I got something for everyone this time around, so get 3D printing! I hope that everyone has a nice corporate-sponsored holiday, and make sure that you all use protection. And by protection, I mean make sure that any post processing that you do on your models are done while wearing safety glasses.

As always I would love to see the results of anyone who 3D prints some of the models on my list, so please tweet me @SJGrunewald or feel free to email me!3dp_ten3dpthings_vday_banner

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