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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…for 3D Printing

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Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, St. Nicholas’ Day, the Winter Solstice, Festivus…December is filled with holidays for us all to celebrate. And what better way to do so than with 3D printing? But whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering this year, or trying to get ready and leave the house so you can attend one (or five…), we know you’re busy and don’t need another thing to add to your already full plate. So we’ve taken the liberty of gathering up some fun holiday-themed 3D print ideas for you in this article. Obviously, you’ll still need to factor in time to actually print these, but sacrifices must be made somewhere, right? Maybe only bake five batches of cookies instead of ten this year.

Speaking of cookies, here are some adorable 3D printable Christmas cookie cutters from Oogime on Cults3D – they come in a variety of festive shapes, such as candy canes, stockings, bells, reindeer, mistletoe, snowmen, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus himself.

“For the baking enthusiast and home cooking aficionado, OogiMe is what you have been looking for. OogiMe digital designs have been tested to fit the requirements necessary for 3D home printing technology.

“We designed unique Cookie Cutters to print that incorporate the holiday spirit, especially for you and your family.”

A couple of the Oogime cookie cutter prints state that with a standard resolution and layer height of 0.3 mm, they shouldn’t take more than an hour to print.

Some people prefer making gingerbread houses to cookie baking, and we found a really awesome holiday 3D printing idea from MyMiniFactory user 3Demon – these are still cookie cutters, but for making a 3D printer out of gingerbread, instead of a house!

“Here’s how you can make a special kind of gingerbread house celebrating one of the best hobbies ever!” the 3Demon group wrote on Instructables.

“I would recommend actually reading the text and not just looking at the pictures so you can avoid some of my mistakes.”

I’ll let you read the rest of the instructions yourself if interested, though I will note that all together, the cookie cutters “should fit on 4 print beds and take about 10 hours of print time” if 3D printed at a layer height of 0.3 mm.

To make your home look merry and bright, you’ll need some good holiday decorations. Thingiverse user amytheengineer suggests this lovely front door wreath, which was 3D printed in four pieces on a JGAurora system. Even though the supports will be “a hassle to remove,” they are necessary for this print.

Thingiverse user deadspool posted this eye-catching Christmas Tree design, which can be 3D printed either as a solid or in vase mode, while Cults3D user Raeunn3D created this cute Snowman, which does not need any supports to print, and Tony Gonzalez on MyMiniFactory designed a 3D printable Spinning Stars Snowflake Ornament, which can be printed in place with no supports.

abbymath on Thingiverse used Mathematica to generate designs for 100 Snowflakes with random parameters, so they are all truly unique. No raft, supports, or infill are required, and the snowflakes were 3D printed at 0.2 mm layer height.

“My code creates all 100 designs, checks each for connectedness, and generates all the STL files in about 13 minutes,” abbymath wrote.

“Included among the individual STL files are five that each contain 20 of the snowflakes arranged to fit on a 200 x 200 mm print bed for quicker setup. Each snowflake has a diameter approximately 40 mm (plus or minus about 5 mm) and a thickness of 0.8 mm.”

Those who celebrate Hanukkah and are in need of a menorah fast, check out this Vase Mode Menorah by Jacob Surovsky on MyMiniFactory. It takes no more than an hour to print in vase mode, or with Surface Mode set to “Surface” rather than “Normal,” and is also a great mold for a cement craft. But, if you’d rather have a more permanent menorah, you can fill the interior with cement, and once it’s cooled, melt off the thin layer of plastic, which will leave behind a “beautiful and colorful organic texture.”

“Sometimes Fusion exports the units strangely,” Surovsky wrote. “If the menorah is really small in your slicer, make sure the units are set to inches or scale up by 2540%. Also, make sure to orient the menorah as displayed in the photos.”

I found some other 3D printable menorahs as well – Thingiverse user DavidPhillipOser designed a Customizable Simple Menorah that holds metal cups rather than candles, and Cults3D user hirez posted a lovely design with the Star of David as the base, held up by a pair of hands and adorned with olive leaves, “a symbol of peace that will grow only if we are all chosen to focus on light than in the dark.”

Moving on, it is now time for the Airing of Grievances, or at least it is for the people who choose to celebrate the secular December 23rd holiday of Festivus. Thingiverse user goodBEan posted this design for a Mini Festivus pole, which can fit “a 1/2 inch standard electrical conduit that is cheap, readily available, and made of aluminum so it has a very high strength to weight ratio.” You should use “as many shells as possible” for this print so the top stays intact, and it’s noted that some sanding may be required if the fit is a bit tight.

Finally, if you’re just not feeling that much holiday spirit this year, or you know someone else who isn’t, might I suggest this adorable Baaaa Humbug! design by Thingiverse user keithirma?

We hope you have a joyful holiday season, and that 3D printing makes it even better!

Have you 3D printed anything for the holidays? Let us know at or in the Facebook commentsbelow.

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