Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Making the Holiday Season Merry and Bright with 3D Printing

ST Medical Devices

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Floating State Ornaments with Heart Cutout

While the official first day of winter isn’t actually until next Friday, December 21st, it’s certainly felt like winter here in southwest Ohio recently. For me, this means drinking hot chocolate, sleeping in flannel pajamas, donning mittens and a scarf every time I walk outside, scraping the frost off my windshield when I need to go somewhere, and asking my husband to spread pet-safe salt on the back porch steps so our elderly dog can get down to the yard to go to the bathroom without slipping and breaking his furry neck. But it also means hauling all of my Christmas decorations up from the basement and setting them out, as well as braving the crazy crowds at the mall to find the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone on my list.

Luckily, these last two – decorations and gifts – can be helped along through the use of 3D printing. If you have your own 3D printer at home, the best part of 3D printing during the holidays is not having to leave your house to take care of the essentials. Here at 3DPrint.com, we’re saving you the heavy lifting and compiling a list of holiday 3D prints to make from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re looking for the perfect festive decorations, there are many great 3D printable Christmas tree options out there, like this one from Cults3D user tanyaakinora or this version by Thingiverse user Tony_D, which prints without any supports. It also definitely wouldn’t be Christmas without some 3D printed ornaments; my favorites include this Christmas Ball by Cults3D user Luci, these Floating State Ornaments with Heart Cutout on Thingiverse by PenolopyBulnick, and this quick and simple 3D printable snowflake_04 found on MyMiniFactory.

“Printed in white PLA on highest quality setting using in Simplify3D, 10% infill,” wrote Rich Williams, who goes by Akronovation, about this last snowflake. “No supports required.”

Nativity scenes are also popular 3D printable decorations – check out this traditional set by MyMiniFactory user Stephen Bailey, or this more modern version, found on Thingiverse by user T-Maz and 3D printed at 70% infill.

Nativity Scene Modern

Advent calendars come in all shapes and sizes, and 3D printing makes it even easier to customize them. Case in point: this awesome Deathly Hallows Advent Calendar by Thingiverse user LoisG, who 3D printed the calendar on a Flashforge Creator Pro out of PLA Wood material.

“Due to the size I had to make the sides in 6 pieces and glue together,” LoisG wrote. “I used Gorilla Glue as the surface wasn’t flat enough to use Superglue.”

Deathly Hallows Advent Calendar

3D printing also helps when it comes to the more utilitarian aspects of the holiday season, like this Holiday Light Holder by Cults3D user BOLROD, these Christmas Tree Feet for a mini tree by Thingiverse user Almantle, and an ingenious Christmas Light Wreath Clip found on MyMiniFactory, created by user James DeRuvo.

“Had a few of the light clips on our Christmas wreath break this year,” DeRuvo wrote. “No idea where to buy them, so I whipped out my mobile phone, took a picture of the white one, converted it to a 3d model using Selva3d and Tinkercad, and five minutes later, I’m printing replacements! That’s what I what I love about 3D printing!”

It’s not Christmas without cookies, and what better way to make your dessert festive than by making some 3D printed cookie cutters?

MyMiniFactory user airin danielle shared this nice cookie snow flex cutter design, and TeamOlivia posted a variety of 3D printable designs in this Christmas Cookie Cutter Set on Thingiverse, which includes Santa, a reindeer, a Christmas tree, and a present with a bow on top.

“All of them were designed so that they could be decorated very easily (if that is your preference) or have room for something more detailed,” TeamOlivia wrote.

Of course, it’s a big world out there, and not everyone celebrates Christmas. On MyMiniFactory, I found a Multi-Color Dreidel by Mosaic Manufacturing and this Kinara – Kwanzaa Candle Holder on Thingiverse by user Fargo3DPrinting.

“This is currently prone to tipping backwards, so some adjustments will be made in the future,” Fargo3DPrinting wrote about the holder. “It was designed to be printed flat on its “back.” Full size will fit 1/2″ tapered candles. Can be scaled to fit bigger or smaller candles.”

Kinara – Kwanzaa Candle Holder

Happy holidays, and as always, happy 3D printing!

Will you try making any of these holiday-themed 3D prints? Let us know! Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

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