Twelve Elegant Gifts to 3D Print for the Holidays — from Thingiverse and FirstBuild


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It’s a brave and exciting new world we live in, full of innovations we once only dreamt about or saw a glimpse of in science fiction. Today, rather than making a shopping list and printing it out, or buying a gift certificate and printing it — you can just shop online and print the item out right in your home. Talk about quick turnaround and quick delivery. If that’s not motivation to stop everything and go buy a desktop 3D printer right now, I don’t know what else is.

This year, Thingiverse and FirstBuild have partnered up to bring you a set of 3D designs and ideas that are as easy as choose, download, print, and wrap. You can do your holiday shopping without even getting out of your flannel pajamas or starting your car.

With twelve items to choose from, I found nearly every one one of these 3D designs to be purely delightful gifts if not super helpful in what they have to offer both the gift giver and receiver, as everyone in the household can enjoy the perks.

First on your 3D printing shopping list comes Game Pieces from sablebadger at Thingiverse. What a great idea, and again, how things have changed. Previously when we lost pieces to a game, it just meant we would have to go out and buy a whole new game, or set. This would be first on my list so that I could replace chess pieces missing in several chess sets and amp up some more generic games that are fun but being neglected. They can be printed in whatever colors you like.


Second are the Guitar Picks by Thingiverse maker gabrielfp, but these would probably actually be first on my list to buy, with two guitarists in the family who are forever looking for a pick or asking innocent victims who took their pick (whether we can play the instrument or not). With three hardness options for standard guitar picks or V-shaped guitar picks, that gives you a variety to choose from.


3D Design for Guitar Picks

Number Three on the list are the ultra-cool Compound Polyhedra Christmas ornaments which should be gracing every tree this year. They are not only pleasing to the eye, but mark technological history with the advent of 3D printing making its way into everyone’s homes.

The complex designs, by Thingiverse user pmoews, are geometrics in the shapes of dodecahedrons and icosahedrons, in which the polyhedral, according to their creator ‘were generated so that the principal axes of the coordinate system, x,y, and z, coincided with three of their 2 fold axes, before combining one of the polyhedrons which was rotated by 90 degrees around the x axis.’ The options are available in:

  • Two dodecahedrons, with octahedral symmetry
  • One dodecahedron and one icosahedron, a dual compound with icosahedral symmetry
  • Two copies of the second ornament, with octahedral symmetry

You can find more about the inspiration for these beautiful shapes here.

3D Printed Compound Polyhedra Christmas Ornaments

Fourth, by cfeniak, is the WaveOnWave Table Stand that is such a unique Thingiverse design it can be used in three different positions. Specifically angled to ‘cradle’ your tablet, it was designed with the iPad Air in mind but accommodates thicker tablets as well. Another fantastic idea for probably just about everyone I know, the design fits on a standard 8″x8″ RepRap printer bed.

WaveOnWave Tablet Stand

Number Five is from FirstBuild’s Icebox Challenge by pixolido, and is something I’ve never seen or heard of all in one, and I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy it. The One-Move Bottle Storage and Opener not only lodges in your fridge and plays host to a six pack of bottled drinks, but get this: as you pull the bottle out, it automatically pops the top leaving it ‘at your fingertips’ to throw away. Pixolido points out that for maximum build, the design is meant to fit diagonally in a Replicator. The hanger for the device takes up little space in your fridge when not in use, and operates with a magnet.

One-Move Bottle Storage and Opener

Number Six, from Thingiverse, is the 2 Snowmen Collection created by lokilaufeysen. They can actually be downloaded separately, or as a set. For added fun, lokilaufeysen offers some links where you can find designs for items such as the candy cane and the tophat.

2 Snowmen Collection

2 Snowmen Collection

The Seventh items on the list I’d like to just order for myself — the Squiggle Vases, sized just perfectly for a desk or table. Created by bwevans, and shared at Thingiverse, these designs were drawn in Inkscape and extruded in OpenSCAD. To make the vases, these cylindrical designs were re-factored in MeshLab.

Squiggle Vases

Number Eight, by moto, is another of the wonderful and innovative designs from the Icebox Challenge at FirstBuild. We all need one of these gizmos based solely on the coolness factor. Ma-Cheese-Mo! surely is not just for manly man bachelors, as most everyone needs to carve out an already sliced piece of cheese from the fridge on a daily basis, excepting all my vegan friends — who even then, might be looking for a slice of Veggi-Cheese — and now they can have that truly with ease. This 3D printable device can hold 16 slices of cheese and is meant to be mounted with adhesive tape on a flat surface or with the designed brackets. Whether you need one or not, this will look great in your refrigerator and lend itself to many entertaining moments of conversation. You can see it in action, tossing Kraft Singles out one at a time, on Instagram.


Nine on the list is what all of your cash-laden friends require: a Money Clip. Created by pmagda, this 3D printable money clip features a pyramid design. The simple, sleek layout of this money clip will securely hold a dollar or 20, ensuring that all your bills remain in the right place. Download from Thingiverse and print it out in any color to create a useful and stylish accessory.


Item Ten is a simple but really cool piece of engineering that puts some ease in grabbing a can of fizz. Made by dukeisi, the Soda Caddy allows cans to drop down the ramp and roll to the front with a nice twist on the conventional holder for cans in the fridge. The Soda Caddy is another one of the elegant and streamlined entries in the Icebox Challenge for FirstBuild. While dukeisi hasn’t made a full-scale caddy yet, it can theoretically hold an entire 12-pack of cans, adding to the convenience factor.

soda caddy

Eleven, by yatesgd, is one of the most unique items I’ve seen lately. Call me a Florida girl, but this is pretty darned awesome looking, and even though I have absolutely nowhere to make use of these, I can’t think of a more perfect stocking stuffer novelty — plus, if you are up north, this really could be fun. The Snowball Fabricator is said to be ‘a cross between a pair of scissors and an ice cream scooper.’ To be 3D printed without supports, this Thingiverse design is simple but totally ingenious, and we really don’t want to miss out on such a thing!


3D Printed Snowball Fabricator

Celebrating the Twelfth spot on our holiday list, and certainly last but not least, is the very classy 3D printed Business Card Case by Thingiverse user skriver, featured at a size of 90×51 mm. In another wonderful design, if you need a different size for slightly wider business (or credit) cards, like 86×55 mm, check it out here. The holder can keep your business cards unbent and convenient, ready to be presented at just the right time.

Business Card Case

Let us know what your favorite holiday design listed here is, and what your plans are for coordinating holiday gifts and 3D printing at the Twelve Gifts for 3D Printing forum over at

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