AMS Spring 2023

3D Printing a Wedding: Maker Saves Money and Incorporates Personality

Inkbit

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Planning a wedding isn’t simple – especially these days, when everyone wants to do something different, something no one else has ever done before. Everyone wants to put their own personal touch on their weddings, making them a celebration of the unique personalities of the couple being married. Weddings are expensive enough as it is, so it’s especially tricky to come up with something truly different while not going into decades upon decades of debt.

For Erin Winick at the MIT Technology Review, however, putting a unique spin on her wedding was also a way to save money. Winick is a huge fan of 3D printing and has two desktop printers of her own, which she used to 3D print everything for her wedding that she possibly could, including her headband, her bouquet and her bridesmaids’ bouquets, the reception table numbers, the cake topper and floral cake decorations, and the flower girl’s necklace.

“Whenever there was a choice between making and buying something, I went for the 3D-printing option,” Winick says. “…Like many other DIY and hobbyist projects, it allowed for a deep connection to the things I created. 3D-printed items have a personal touch you don’t get from purchasing something at the store.”

She is extremely grateful to the maker community for being so open with sharing their designs; she took advantage of several model-sharing sources to create what she needed.

“I pulled the models of the tulips for the bouquets and cake decorations, and the Lego Minifig cake toppers, off Thingiverse,” she says. “I adapted this model of a leaf created and uploaded by 3D-printer company Makerbot to make my headband. Lastly, I designed the flower girl’s necklace and all my table numbers from scratch in engineering modeling software, SolidWorks.”

To give a little something back to the maker community that helped her 3D print her wedding, Winick uploaded her table numbers and remixed leaf design for her headband to Thingiverse.

The bouquets were what took her the longest to 3D print, involving approximately 200 flowers printed from blue and glow in the dark filament. She worked on the bouquets after work and on weekends, spending more than 100 hours over the course of several months. Once all the flowers had been 3D printed, Winick attached them to styrofoam balls. She wisely decided not to throw her bouquet at the wedding reception, for fear of knocking someone out with “a big spiky plastic ball.”

In total, Winick spent about $75 on all of the bouquets, which was impressive considering that a traditional bridal bouquet is about $150 and bridesmaids’ bouquets run about $75 each. Her friends and family were deeply impressed with her efforts, following her progress on Instagram and expressing their amazement at how well everything turned out.

A quick search on Thingiverse shows that Winick isn’t the only one to think of saving money and adding personal touches to a wedding through 3D printing. There are numerous wedding-related models available on the site, including everything from cake toppers and centerpieces to the wedding rings themselves. The wedding industry is a bloated one that sucks up billions of dollars from people each year, so it’s refreshing to see more people turning away from that kind of rampant consumerism and using their own creativity and skill instead. That’s what the maker movement as a whole is about, after all – not only saving money but creating and doing for oneself.

“For me and my fiancé, 3D printing also brought a chance to customize our celebration to our personalities,” Winick says. “We are both makers at heart. By focusing on 3D printing, I was able to custom-design our wedding and create a physical representation of what we plan to do next: make a life together.”

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Source/Images: MIT Technology Review]

 

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