3dp_ten3dpthings_christmas_ornaments_bannerWhile I plan to have myself a very nerdy Christmas, you don’t have to bring video game or comic book characters into your holiday to give your decorations a unique and personal touch. Christmas decorations are as personal as the clothes that you wear or the furnishings that you bring into your home, and thanks to the wonders of 3D printing you can have just about everything exactly the way that you want it. And that includes your Christmas tree.

Whether you want your decorations to match your home and color scheme exactly, or you just want to make something unique and special for your family, there are literally thousands of ways to 3D print holiday decorations this year. So this week I hunted down some of the most unique, interesting or just plain cool holiday decorations that the internet had to offer.

Here are Ten 3D Printable Unique Christmas Tree Decorations & Ornaments:


GYROSCOPIC STAR ORNAMENT

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Six Swinging Stars Ornament by marcoalici

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Yo dawg, I heard that you like stars, so I put stars in your stars so you can enjoy looking at stars in your star. This cool gyroscopic star ornament is 6 interconnected stars that rotate in multiple directions, and it all prints as a single part. It prints in multiple sizes and can be used on trees or just about anywhere really.

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The model can be 3D printed in just about any color that you want, but if you’re using this on a Christmas tree then I’d suggest a bright color like red or white so it really stands out. Printing this in translucent material would also look great, especially with any lighting that you include on your tree.


GYROSCOPIC SNOWFLAKES

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Gyroscopic Snowflake by roman_hegglin

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

And if a gyroscopic star isn’t enough for you, then this fantastic snowflake ornament with the same basic concept is a must have. The designer created multiple versions of this ornament in various styles and sizes, so you could include several different versions on your tree. Like the star ornament, this snowflake prints as a single part and doesn’t need to be assembled.

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Here is a little craft tip for decorating 3D printed ornaments: Go to the drug store and purchase some clear nail polish with glitter in it. 3D print these snowflakes in a white filament, or paint them white, and then coat them with the nail polish. It will give the ornaments an icy and glittery sheen that will look great next to any holiday lighting. It would also be a lot less messy to do than using glue and loose glitter.


SNAP TOGETHER TREE GARLAND

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Snap Together Garland by faberdasher

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you’re going to make a 3D printing-themed Christmas tree then you have to include a 3D printed garland. This great system is perfect for customizing your own decorations, each piece prints individually and then just snaps together snugly. You can print as many segments as you need in any color that you want.

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Not only are the color combination possibilities limitless, but 3D printed decorations like this are also perfect for using outdoors because they are weather resistant and will hold their color all season long. You can trim your house in this garland, or string it throughout your home.


SANTA TREE HUGGER

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Santa Tree Hugger Ornament by Ben Pickard

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

Because Christmas has become a popular holiday celebrated all over the world, Jolly Saint Nick is a Christmas icon that is known in just about every corner of the planet. This giant tree hugging Santa is a fun way to bring him into your holiday in an unexpected way.

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Santa prints as a single piece and will need some support material, but he should clean up pretty well if you print him at the right angle. The finished tree hugger can be painted realistically, or you could just use a few colors to get the general idea across.


GIANT POINSETTIA FLOWER

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Poinsettia Ornament by Keenan

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

The poinsettia flower is another iconic Christmas decoration, but as beautiful as the flowers are, they are often quite harmful to house pets if eaten. Because I have several murder furballs (cats) living in my home, poinsettias have not been allowed in the house in years. This beautiful 3D printed version is a great way to bring a poinsettia into your home without putting your furkids at risk.

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This model prints in two different parts, the flower petals and the center of the blossom. You can print them in different colors, or you could choose to finish and paint the model after printing. Either way this model will look great once it’s been printed, and if you play your cards right, it will look almost like the real thing.


LIGHT-UP JAPANESE-STYLE LANTERN

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Japanese Lantern Christmas Ornament by Keenan

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Because Christmas is celebrated almost everywhere, including Japan, there has been a lot of multi-cultural influence on the holidays over the years. It isn’t uncommon for blended families to mix holidays together, to celebrate more than one holiday or to bring their own culture into the Christmas celebration.

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A few years ago I was shopping at a Christmas store that had dozens of different trees on display with various themes. My favorite that year was a tree that has a Japanese theme that was both traditionally Christmas and had an Asian flair. One of the special details was a series of small Japanese lantern ornaments hanging from the branches, and this fantastic 3D printed light-up version really reminded me of that tree. I’ve always wanted to recreate that tree, and these lanterns would be a great place to start.


GEOMETRIC SNOWFLAKE ORB

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Snowflake Icosahedron Ornament by pdragy

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

This cool ornament is made from multiple snowflakes that fit together to make a striking orb design. The individual snowflakes were made to interlock with each other, so you could print them in multiple colors and have some truly unique Christmas balls on your tree.

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Personally I think that these would look best if you 3D printed them in a white material and then coated them with the glittery nail polish, but the design allows for a lot of customization. You could print them in red and green, or all white or multiple colors to match multi-color Christmas lights. You can also size the individual snowflakes up and down and create different ornaments at different sizes.


CHRISTMAS TREE CHRISTMAS TREE STRING LIGHTS

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Christmas Tree Lights by Alzibiff

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

Yo dawg, I heard that you like Christmas trees so I put Christmas trees in your– okay, sorry, one Xzibit joke is enough, sorry about that. These cute Christmas tree-shaped covers for string lights are probably redundant if you use them on your tree, but they would look great strung around your home or walls. You can print each tree in a variety of colors, or keep them all the same color, depending on your holiday color scheme.

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The trees can also be sized up and down depending on the type of lights that you’re using, and you can even print them much bigger and put an LED light under it to use it as holiday mood lighting. Because these are printed hollow, just about any filament will diffuse the light just fine, but a clear or translucent material is going to look better than an opaque material.


FLAME CHRISTMAS TREE TOPPER

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Christmas Flame tree topper! by Ricardo Salomao

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

You can bring in the feeling of a good old fashion holiday fire without having an actual fireplace with this tree topper that looks like an open flame. You can set it atop your tree, or just use it around the house as a toasty light source, it has a ton of great uses.

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The tree topper is only two individual parts that print separate and easily snap together. Obviously the flame is going to look best in a yellow or orange filament, and it might even be worth painting a more realistic flame color on it. Just make sure that however you decide to light this tree topper up that you use LED lights that produce no heat, you don’t want to start a real fire.


MINIMALIST CHRISTMAS TREE

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Minimalist Christmas Tree Model by Daniel Porter

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

If you live in a small home, or are living with especially unruly murder furballs, and a real Christmas tree is just out of the question, don’t worry, 3D printing has you covered. This simple, minimalist Christmas tree is a perfect way to bring some holiday cheer into your home without the pine needles and fire risk.

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While there are 29 different parts to this tree, it is still pretty easy to assemble and should go up without any hassles. The design was made for 3D printers with small printing beds, so just about anyone can make this. But that also means that you can make it in a wide variety of sizes depending on the space available and the size of your printer.


Thanks for reading, I hope that your holidays are off to a good start this month and that you’re getting your decorating done early. Christmas is coming up fast, so don’t dilly dally too much. Next week I’ll be bringing you some great 3D printable Christmas gifts, so if you have any suggestions feel free to email me or send me a Tweet @SJGrunewald and give me your ideas!

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