AMS Spring 2023

Deck the Halls with 3D Printed Ornaments: 3D Design Contest from Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and Spectra3D Technologies

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cfccf78a12f1938317a65f7e15925e4c_1040x520header-3dcontest2016-1156-577-cThe Halloween candy is mostly gone, and next week is that big turkey dinner with our loved ones for Thanksgiving. Christmas will be here before you know it! It’s almost time for Christmas carols, Christmas trees, and, for Asheville, North Carolina, 3D printed Christmas ornaments to hang on those trees. The Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is teaming up again with Spectra3D Technologies for their third annual Habitat for the Holidays: 3D Printed Ornament Contest, an exciting contest we’ve enjoyed seeing before.

The contest, which runs until 11:59 PM EST on November 22nd, is open to the public. No need to worry if you don’t own a 3D printer – the winning ornament will be printed by Spectra3D Technologies’ MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation 3D printer. All you need is your imagination! Those new to 3D printing are encouraged to approach this fun and creative contest as a learning opportunity. The contest provides many helpful resources, including instructional webinars, and links to 3D design software such as Autodesk Fusion 360, Autodesk 123D Design, SketchUp, TinkerCAD, and Blender.

Check out the video below (from the 2015 ornament contest) to check out a webinar on 3D design for ornaments:

Ornament design must incorporate Habitat for Humanity, in order to shine a spotlight on affordable housing. The winner will be announced and the ornament revealed at the Asheville Habitat ReStore at 11 AM on December 3rd. Stick around to see a live 3D printing demonstration by Spectra3D Technologies, and don’t forget to purchase the unique ornament, as it will be printed in multiples and sold to the public. All proceeds from sales related to this contest will benefit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s building programs.

There were over 60 contest entries in 2015, and Jacob Whitten, then a 7th grader at Enka Middle School, was chosen as the winner.

“This contest is a fun way to get the public thinking about 3D technology and Habitat. 3D printing is becoming more popular and is being taught to young people in our schools. However, many people still have not had an opportunity to hold and touch something that’s been 3D printed, or to watch this technology in action. It’s a commodity, and we’re excited that we’re able to sell these 3D ornaments at the ReStore,” said ReStore General Manager Scott Stetson.

horizontal_2_color-300x100The judges look at creativity, overall concept, design quality, theme, and printability. Age does not matter in this heartfelt holiday contest, you just need a fun idea! However, if you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must provide written consent to participate.

This brings us to the rest of the contest rules and guidelines, as outlined in the contest:

  • Your ornament should portray the holiday season and represent the spirit of the holidays in Western North Carolina.
  • The ornament should include a reference or allusion to Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.
  • All submissions MUST be in the STL file format and less than 10 megabytes in file size.
  • The maximum ornament size should be 4″ x 4″ x 4″.
  • If your creativity is running wild, feel free to submit multiple entries.
  • We respectfully reserve the right to modify any winning design in order to improve the quality of the final print.
  • Winners acknowledge that their design could be mass produced or their files made available for download to be sold with profits to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
  • No copyright images or 3D models will be accepted.
  • All work must be original.
  • No payment or purchase is necessary to enter or win. A payment or purchase will not improve your chances of winning.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • The sponsors are in no way responsible for incomplete or misdirected entries or any technical issues that result in the failure to submit an entry.
  • We ask that the winner(s) must be present at the ornament reveal on December 3rd at 11 AM (unless the winner is from out of town).

The winner will receive a free 3D printed version of their ornament, as well as their choice of a $100 ReStore gift card or a 3Doodler 3D printing pen. They will also be showcased on the websites and social media sites of both Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and Spectra3D Technologies.

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1983 and was the first habitat affiliate in North Carolina. Through Habitat homeownership and home repair programs, more than 1,350 adults and children in Buncombe County have achieved the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better future. 

Spectra3D Technologies is a group of educators and designers who are based out of Asheville, North Carolina. They are passionate about the exciting future of 3D printing and are working to promote the 3D printing revolution throughout the region. Discuss in the 3D Printed Ornament forum at


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