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3D Printing for the Holidays

December 19, 2017 | Tutorials

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It’s starting to feel a lot like the holidays at the indicrew office, especially with this awesome indico logo tree topper designed by Tori — artist, maker, and one of our front-end devs 🙂
Tori’s been dabbling in 3D printing lately — here she walks us through her design process:
“So the inspiration for this project was basically an off the cuff comment during one of our meetings where someone — I think it was Nic (one of our back-end devs) — said that I should print a topper for the tree. I started mulling over how I would design it. After a couple of days, I settled on using our logo in some way. The logo is kind of minimalist in itself, so that worked well with my design style.

I didn’t make any sketches, but I had a pretty good idea in my head of what I wanted to create before I started designing in Fusion 360. I quickly modeled the outer ring and inner dot, and played around with how to make the dot float. I settled on the smallest post that I felt would be thin enough, without being fragile. Printing it flat on the bed added some more strength to it (more on that later). The cone was inspired by some of the old mid-century style holiday decorations I’ve seen in the past. It gives the design a certain simple elegance. The only part of the design process that was kind of an after thought was the snowflake in the center, because I wanted to give the topper a bit more holiday flair. I used a snowflake generator site to build the shape. I had to take it into Adobe Illustrator to expand the lines and build a solid shape, before bringing it into Fusion and cutting the shape into the dot.

Snowflake center piece design file

The topper prints in five pieces. Everything aside from the cone prints flat on the bed, which allows for the best detail and more strength. The cone prints on its flat end. Unfortunately that meant that the pin that fits into the cone was printed with horizontal layers, which isn’t as strong as vertical layers. As I was gluing things together with superglue, the cone pin snapped off inside the ring. I wound up drilling it out and gluing in a wooden dowel instead.

Cone design file

For the lovely gold color, I printed the topper in Matter Hackers Gold Pro PLA, and then finished it with Rust-Oleum Glitter spray paint.”

The final result!

And voila! If you like Tori’s designs or are simply into 3D printing, definitely follow her on Thingiverse. Happy holidays from the indicrew!

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