Christmas is getting closer, and while it’s the season to be jolly, for some people this time of the year may be a stressful and frustrating time. For some, Christmas shopping can be a chore, and they may find it difficult to think of creative gifts to give their loved ones. Here at the Magigoo offices, this festive period is a jolly excuse for us to print various decorations and small trinkets that can be given as gifts. In this blog post, we will be sharing some of our favourite Christmas decorations, as well as some geeky gift ideas that we have 3D printed this year.
Christmas decorations can come in a variety of different forms. The most common decoration is the bauble, which typically has a round shape and can be hung on a Christmas tree. We 3D printed a variety of baubles and ornaments, such as the Rotating Stars, Rotating Ornaments, and the Gyroscopic Rings. These were all done using FDM 3D Printers, and were relatively easy to print, as they were fairly one directional prints.
Following the Christmas Tree ornaments, a couple of tabletop decorations that we couldn’t help but add to our 3D printed decorations. The first one is a large geometric Christmas Tree which was printed using clear PET-G, to allow for a degree of translucent properties. Another charming decoration that we printed was a standing 2D Christmas Tree with interchangeable ornaments. These can all be found on Cheesmondon’s Thingiverse Profile. The last tabletop decoration that was 3D printed was a small Singing Christmas Minion. This was done using PLA, and was printed with no supports and with a very good final finish.
While FDM is typically sufficient for most baubles, some designs have very intricate spirals and features that FDM cannot easily manufacture. For this reason, we used our MSLA Peopoly Phenom printer to carry out the following designs. First, as shown in our previous blog post about the UV Curing Chamber, we have the Christmas Tree Snow Globe. This design has a voronoi pattern, which makes it almost impossible to print on FDM without a terrible amount of support structure. The rest of the decorations printed on the Peopoly printer were the Spiral Bauble and the Spiral Ornament.
In these cases using SLA printing was also advantageous due to the fine details in these prints which are hard to reproduce using FDM technology. This is due to the fact that FDM printers are limited by the nozzle size as well as the thermal effects. This is especially evident in object which end at a point such as these baubles below. The grey one is printed using SLA technology as ends in a sharp well defined point while the blue one is printed using traditional FDM. Since the nozzle is hot it will cause the print to stay soft when the printing radius is low leading to deformed points.
3D Printed Gift Ideas
Christmas shopping can be relatively easy if you already know what you want to buy, however that’s not always the case. In this section, we will list a couple of geeky gift ideas that one could use as inspiration or to 3D print themselves.
The DaVinci Catapult Card is a small DIY project that is printed in the form of a gift card. The user will assembly their own catapult, with the small pieces that are taken from this gift card.
The Death Star Planter is a two part build that would be a great gift for any plant loving Star Wars fan. The parts consist of the Base, and the Planter which is in the form of the Death Star.
The Harry Potter Chess set is a small print, which consists of the 16 individual chess pieces that one player requires, as well as the box for convenient storage. It is recommended that the pieces are printed in either white or black, to keep with the chess conventions, but that is entirely up to the player’s choice.
The Christmas Crackers Surprise are a set of print in place Christmas Crackers, that when ‘snapped’ or opened, reveal a little surprise inside. The only way to find out what’s inside them is to print a couple and crack them open!
The Festive Nutcracker is a small two part print that is a must have for any walnut loving people. It works with a simple screw mechanism that slowly crushes the walnut’s exterior revealing the tasty nut inside!
We hope that this post will help you with your Christmas printing, of course there are endless choices of gifts online. The important thing is to start early and avoid 3D printing mishaps by using Magigoo, which incidentally makes an awesome gift for any friend or family member who is into 3D printing!