This season, the spirit of Christmas runs through digital fabrication. Makery rounded up a stocking full of 3D files for original decorations, gifts to make at home or in a fablab. For a DIY Christmas.
Fablabs can hardly resist exploiting the Christmas theme with workshops for ornaments, gifts and decorations. Like Rutech in Rhodez, which is giving a workshop to make your own Christmas gift (on December 10 and 17), or Fablab Orléanais, which is hosting a Santa Claus digital workshop (on December 19). 3D printing lends itself well to temporary decorations, while gifts can be personalized (etching, etc.) by laser cutting in a lab. Here are a few ideas and tutorials for printing, cutting and preparing your DIY Christmas.
Snowflakes, clouds, stars…
It’s a well-known fact that no two snowflakes are alike. Just browse Thingiverse, the website for free 3D file downloads. We found this gyroscopic snowflake that prints out in one piece. Its creator, Roman Hegglin, recommends to not overheat the plastic, in order to keep the pivotal parts from melting.
Also to decorate the tree, you may prefer a more contemporary ornament, with a splash of pop culture, such as this star modeled after the world of Super Mario. The cult video game also inspired the style of these mini clouds. And you can always find the traditional round ornaments revisited as geometrical curiosities.
From the tree to the table, Oogime offers plenty of free holiday-themed cake decorations. But be warned, while PLA-type plastics may be compatible with food, the micro fissures resulting from a rough printing are nests for germs! However, no danger on the horizon for these non-edible gala deer, which will find their own place on the table, once decorated (with metallic paint, glitter).
3D printing time-lapse of ornamental deer, by Yeg3D:
An old string of lights can be revived by placing 3D-printed objects over the LEDs, like these giant microbes inspired by the Japanese manga Moyasimon, or simply a series of tiny trees. Not to worry, PLA plastic is resistant to the heat of the LEDs. You can also find more transparent light coverings for better translucence.
Gifts in a kit
Making things in a fablab means little by little acquiring the fundamentals of digital fabrication. Based on this idea, Julien Plas designed the evolving STEM toy for children aged 3-10. Starting with a wooden car (35€), parents can accompany their child in a fablab to make the accessoires, and later, introduce the electronics. The concept, supported by Woma, is unfortunately no longer taking orders for this year.
But there’s still time to make it before Christmas with a personalized skateboard at Ateliers Draft in Paris. While it can be delivered pre-assembled according to your preferences (shape and engraving, €197, $213), you can also make it yourself for €169 ($182) in their studio. There are still a few spots left before Christmas (on December 17) for the workshop, which will be ongoing through January.
If it’s too late to join a workshop, you can always disrupt the modeling market by offering original 3D-printed miniatures. For example, on the Shapeways website, this Royal TIE Interceptor by a Star Wars fan, selling for $10 (€9,20). Then all you need is the red paint for the royal guard, which can be found here.
What about placing your family in the famous nativity scene? Now it’s possible with a full-body scan. Effigy, in Paris, offers a guided experience to create a very detailed 10cm or larger figurine, starting from 225€ ($243). Photomaton offers a cheaper alternative for 59€ ($64), which allows you to use one their 30 booths in France to scan your face, which is integrated into a pre-fabricated body, then sent directly to your home as a personalized figurine. If you have your own Kinect, you can scan yourself at home with Shapify and pay $79 (€73) to receive your 3D-printed figurine in the mail. In short, be prepared to shell out for your “mini me” manger.
Don’t hesitate to share your own finds for a DIY Christmas in the comments below!