Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Deck the Halls with 3D Printing!

ST Medical Devices

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and hopefully Santa Claus is bringing a 3D printer for under your tree this time. There are all kinds of fun holiday-themed prints you can make at home, and we’ve compiled a list of ten of our favorites to help you keep things merry and bright and 3D printed this season.

Twist Lock Present

First up is a 3D printed gift box with a hidden latch mechanism by Thingiverse user 3d-printy. The latch keeps the box closed nice and tight until the topper is twisted, revealing the present nestled inside. There are 3D files for square boxes, flat boxes, and rectangular boxes, none of which require supports to print, and assembly instructions are included as well.

“The spring works best if it’s printed with enough perimeter lines to make the arms of the spring solid. This works better than just increasing the infill % because perimeter lines will flow in the direction of the spring arms.”

Menorah Hanukkah Band For Pop-up Gift Card Box

Thingiverse user SyntaxNode remixed the Thin Band from 3d-printy’s Pop-up Gift Card Box and embossed it with a menorah so it can be used for a Hanukkah gift; the graphic is a free download from PNGWING with a non-commercial license. I know Hanukkah is already over for the year, but you can 3D print this and save it for next year!

Snowflake TIE Fighter Kit Card Ornament

I’m a sucker for ornaments and Star Wars, so I had to include this snowflake-themed TIE fighter kit card from MyMiniFactory user fixumdude, which can also double as a Christmas tree ornament. You can choose either solid or hollow wings, and there’s a version with a ring to hang it, and one with no ring; there’s also a “loose” version of each file with wider gaps and larger holes. If the parts are too tight or loose coming from your printer, try adjusting the Z height a little, and remember that good adhesion is necessary for precise details.

“A filament swap can be done around 2.4mm up to add some detail to the cards. Check your slicer for the proper swap height.”

Swirling Tree Ornament

MyMiniFactory user Slimprint says that it takes less than two hours to print one of these ornaments, with 0.25 mm layer height, 0.45 mm layer thickness, and a 0.4 mm nozzle at 35-40 mm a second.

“This swirling tree ornament is an easy-to-print and elegant object to help you decorate your Christmas tree. The ornament is designed to be 3D printed upright, without infill or supports. Just add a 10mm brim and you’re ready to go.”

Christmas Wavy Star Ball

I thought this ornament by Cults3D user Lukes3D was just too pretty not to include in this holiday print roundup! The goal was to create a geometric ornament that didn’t require supports, and the answer was to print out the parts and assemble them. Not only are assembly instructions included for the 70 x 70 x 73 mm ornament, but Lukes3D also added the steps and products needed to bling it up: hair spray, a glass jar large enough to hold the ornament, and glitter.

“It is quite important to have the glitter and filament color synchronised, we don’t want the filament color to peak through the glitter in case it is not fully covered.

“Throw the glitter into jar, give the ball generous coat of hair spray (piece of wire to hang it on is great) so even the inside is coated. Lower it into jar, close the lid and shake. Take the ball out, give the ball another coat of hair spray so the glitter doesn’t fall of easily. Now just let it dry.”

Christmas Reindeer – Prancer

Thingiverse user edgett remixed the original design for this cute reindeer print to make it a little easier; improvements include flat, even feet for more stability, and custom supports, though these need to be removed with an X-ACTO knife or Dremel instead of being twisted off.

This reindeer remix does need supports, but not a raft, and was printed out of white PLA on a Creality Ender 3 with 20% infill, 0.16 resolution, using a 0.4 mm nozzle.

FREE Cupido – Santa’s reindeer

Another reindeer 3D printed on a Creality system is this adorable miniature from MyMiniFactory user Lau3DeLucas, made out of Elegoo Water Washable resin with 9 second exposure times, 5 mm lifting distance, 150 mm per minute retract speed, and 0.04 mm layer height.

“I wanted to create a figure like this for a long time, it’s thought for everyone who wants to introduce their kids to the art of the miniature painting.”

The Fuzzy Christmas Tree

This mechanical, kinetic sculpture by Cults3D user JBVCreative is perfect for the Christmas season, relying on a spur gear system and bevel gear for rotation. Just stick an LED light or phone flashlight under the base to see it light up! It was printed in less than ten hours with a 0.2 mm layer height and 15-18% infill, using a 0.4 mm nozzle. The download includes all the necessary STL files for both the supported and non-supported versions of the tree.

“All the files have been pre-oriented to save you some set up time! All you need to do is drop the parts into your slicer and hit print! This download includes pre-arranged layouts for 205×205 (or larger) beds for easier printing!”

Tensegrity Menorah

Back to Hanukkah again, MyMiniFactory user coolthingsbyjacob created a menorah that “appears to inexplicably float in the air against the pull of gravity.” It was designed to be printed in one piece, with no supports, and fits standard Hanukkah candles, but beware—the Tensegrity Menorah is for decoration only, you should not use it with real flames.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah Ambigram

Finally, this last print, by Cults3D user TangibleCreative, celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas! It’s an ambigram, which is a calligraphic design that can be oriented in either of two ways to see a different message on each side; for instance, if you flip the word “mom” upside down, it turns into “wow.” This one, which prints with 0.2 mm layers and no raft, says “Merry Christmas” when you look at it one way, and “Happy Hanukkah” when you turn it on the diagonal. The model measures 277 x 268 x 22.2 mm, and only requires supports on the letters E, R, C, S, and T.

Happy holidays from all of us here at 3DPrint.com, and as always, happy 3D printing!

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