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From Totoros to Puddycats, June Brides (and Bridezillas) Should Look Into 3D Printing

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rin1It’s always occurred to me that getting married should be about the union of two people and not a catastrophic financial nightmare, from the price of a ring which should cost at least five months’ worth of the poor guy’s salary to temperamental chefs and caterers, a complete remodeling of the in-laws house for the reception, and an entire process which often seems more about impressing the world at a glamorous venue than focusing on two people who by all accounts are supposed to be madly in love.

From the engagement to the nuptials, let’s just have some fun, brides and grooms. What about forgetting the tradition of stress and chaos and embracing simplicity, creativity, and gasp: even affordability. Indeed, many tech-savvy couples today are wowing the world as they espouse the benefits of 3D printing from the engagement ring to cake toppers and even wedding swag. And not only that—the use of 3D printing, from jewelry to novelties, is generally so unique and attention getting that you will be a trendsetter whether you meant to be or not.

From a couple of my favorites over the years–an amazing 3D printed wedding ring from a creative Burning Man designer or the brilliant NASA engineer–to many other lovely and certainly affordable designs too, there is plenty of 3D inspiration to be had, and brides and grooms around the world, along with innovative companies, are busy adding to the list.

Smart companies are beginning to sprout up with offerings of everything from 3D printed placeholders to ideas for amazing things you can do with 3D printed selfies. And while the technology should offer much greater affordability if you are exploring that with a creative wedding accessories startup or even a progressive planner, what about employing the true maker’s spirit and fabricating items on your own?

3ldcpe2lWe’ve seen some interesting projects cropping up on Reddit lately, always a wealth of inspiration from those delving into 3D printing for creating new and unusual items that are all sorts of amazing. Recently we discovered absolutely the cutest little wedding toppers you’ve ever seen, in the form of grinning Totoro characters meant as a gift.

My favorite touch here is the way they photographed the characters with the wedding rings dangling so casually, and beautifully, from the ears of the 3D printed creatures. User SweetSweetCookies and her hubby found the design on Thingiverse and added their own touch with the wedding colors of the couple whose ceremony they were preparing to attend.

Also, check out what just might become a new trend in sending out a very new and different kind of wedding announcement, from Reddit user AntaLife. The cool couple announced their impending tying of the knot with two Puddycats on a little pedestal, bearing their news.

“To announce this awesome turn of events her and I decided to make a cool little gift for our family. In the end the trinket ended up being a couple of 3D printed cats that were lit up by an ever-changing rainbow from two RGB LED’s.”

 

Schematic

This is quite amazing indeed as it is an announcement that lights up! According to AntaLife, this was actually a very simple design, using a single ATtiny25 microprocessor that drives some Red Green Blue (RGB) LEDs, and is powered by a single CR2032 battery as seen by the following schematic. A number of steps followed beyond setting up the lighting, however, as he first of all worked to make a very compact design. This involved moving the Surface Mount Technology (SMT/SMD) and designing the PCB in Altium.

After that, AntaLife proceeded to:

  1. Have the PCBs made in a distinctive gold/purple scheme, by OSHpark (see blog for more details)
  2. Solder required components using both a cheap hot air gun and an iron (see video below)
  3. 3D print the trinket body on his Prusa i3v 3D printer, making a simple base to hide the electrical and hold the two illuminated cats.
  4. Program the trinket using a SOIC chip clip to save space.

Current test 2

“Doing a quick test with my uCurrent (red box in photo) showed that the average current draw was around 7mA, meaning that on a 240mAh CR2032 battery the trinket would last for just under a day and a half,” said AntaLife. “Actual tests showed that on a cheap CR2032 battery the trinket would last for just over a day–mission success.”

For more details on this project, check out AntaLife’s blog. And if you’re interested in downloading this design in the original form from Thingiverse or the modified Puddycats version, you can make your own—as well as your own improvements should you so desire.

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While saying “I do” shouldn’t necessarily have to drain your bank accounts, you can invest some of your own time to make fun, personalized 3D printed objects, from those that will adorn the ring-finger to the reception table. And here’s to all the June couples—congratulations—and let the rice (3D printed, really?) throwing begin! Do you have any other great maker ideas for the big day and surrounding? Discuss over in the 3D Printed Wedding Novelties forum at 3DPB.com.

 

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