Sunday, December 8, 2013

3D Printed Ornament

Every year our wonderful next-door neighbors invite my kids over to help trim their Christmas tree - my kids love opening their boxes of ornaments and throwing tinsel around. (Not to mention the chocolates and cookies that come with the visit.)

Each year we make them something to add to their tree. So now that I have my loaner Afinia printer, what else could I make but a customized ornament?

First I found an image of a tree that looked easy to trace:

I imported the image into SketchUp, and used arcs to loosely trace around the tree. It's easiest to do this in X-Ray view, so that the picture can be seen through the SketchUp faces that are created.

I then used the Offset tool to separate the three segments of the tree, pulled up everything 3 mm, then pulled up the white parts an additional 2mm. The names were added with the 3D Text tool, and curved with the amazing Shape Bender plugin. And luckily I remembered to add a small hole at the top.

I set the printer to pause at 3.1 and 5.1 mm to change colors: first black, then white, then red for the names. Here's how it turned out, after about 90 minutes of print time:

 And here you can see the vertical layering:
 And here it is on the tree, fitting right in!

 Today it's snowing on the East Coast, so I have some time to start planning out my next printing project. I'm thinking about personalized pencil holders....

Anyone can design anything in 3D!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, this is great! Love the use of technology, the personalization, and the educational value of the project. Might need to try something like this with my students. Great work! Hope your neighbors liked it.