Every Halloween there’s a post-holiday period of at least a couple of weeks in which you can observe the process of decay the Jack-O-Lantern on your front porch goes through before it eventually becomes little more than a puddle of multi-colored goo. That is if you’re lucky enough to have retained your Halloween pumpkins and they weren’t, rather, smashed to bits by neighborhood delinquents. Unless you’re really fond of the Jack-O-Lantern science project, the North Shore 3D Printing Club in North Andover, Massachusetts has an alternative festive pumpkin project for you.
“3DJack” is the printing club’s 3D printed version of the traditional All Soul’s Day lantern, although if you’re looking for a less involved approach to pumpkin carving, this project is certainly not that (less complicated). The multi-colored, 3D printed Jack-O-Lantern is made up of 50 different pieces so even the post-printing assembly must have been somewhat time consuming. However, one of the major benefits of having a 3D printed Jack-O-Lantern is that you can use the thing again year after year.
3DJack was actually, in his first incarnation, a real Jack-O-Lantern. That is, a real pumpkin was cleaned out and carved with a simple, traditional design: triangles for eyes, a triangle nose, and a big, gap-toothed slightly sinister smile. Next, the group used a “high resolution 3D-structured light scan” to create a 3D model. The model was sliced to produce the 50 different pieces and then printed in multiple colors. Note that this would be a great way to use the last remnants of different colors of filament for which you had little use until this project made it onto your radar.
As the different pieces of 3DJack were printed, they were carefully labeled to make the assembly process easier. In truth, although assembly seems like it might be a bit time-consuming, there’s something quite appealing about the thought of putting together this Halloween version of Humpty Dumpty. Although the bright colors are fantastic, an autumnal palette would also make this patchwork pumpkin pretty visually appealing. Better yet, print your 3DJack using glow-in-the-dark 3D printer filament for an eerie Jack-O-Lantern that won’t require lighting from within.
The North Shore 3D Printing Club posted the project on Thingiverse and, while they did not provide instructions for making your own 3DJack, they did include a video documenting the process and the .stl files are available for free downloading, as well as including more details over at 3D Hubs’ Talk section. So, rather than going through the whole 3D scanning process, you can skip ahead to the printing, choose the colors you prefer, and make your own 3DJack (or Jill). If you don’t go with the glow-in-the-dark filament, be sure to also skip the real candles and go for some LED votive lights.
Even if the worst case scenario actually transpires and the local vandals smash your pumpkin, you can always put him back together again.
Will you be printing out any Jack-O-Lanterns this holiday season? Let us know in the 3DJack Forum thread on 3DPB.com.