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Blizzard of Customizable, Mailable Snowflake Ornaments: with Kickstarter!

by laird, published

Blizzard of Customizable, Mailable Snowflake Ornaments: with Kickstarter! by laird Nov 27, 2013

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Summary

Snowflakes are unique. Now so are snowflake ornaments! So why print one ornament when you can have a Blizzard!

I'm making a unique line of 2014 Kickstarter snowflakes. If you'd like to back this 3D printed art project, see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laird/snowburst-2014 . The project video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlOK49rwcew&feature=youtu.be .

This Thing is customizable and can generate:

  • Snowball ornaments, an arrangement of three intersecting snowflakes to print and hang.
  • Snowflake ornaments, flat snowflakes to hang.
  • Snowflakes, perfect for scattering around for decoration.

Prints quickly and easily out of PLA, for ecologically friendly snowflake ornaments!

I'm printing and mailing them to my friends and relatives for Xmas. They're specifically designed to be mailable flat, then (for the 'snowballs') assembled by the recipient. Print the snowball assembly instructions at https://docs.google.com/a/popk.in/drawings/d/1N98OkbFxATnuw_ZJArYcHN3YTW1GWePNyFZi0X45olo and send them to your recipient.

The ornaments aren't going to blow off your tree. It was blowing up a storm, and as you can see http://youtu.be/EulzPW4e3Nc
and the clips held just fine.

I created these because, between the wind and the temperature, these are the only interesting snowflakes we're going to see here in Florida.

UPDATED:

  • Improved rendering performance (thanks, [email protected])
  • Added "Lithophane of snowflake", which look very nice when backlit. (Removed: I'll make this a different ornament)
  • Made "hexagons" varying number of sides, giving more variety to the snowflakes.
  • Made 'hexagon' widths slightly random
  • added 'minthickness' tweak, so you can set this to ensure that all lines are thick enough to print and remove from the print bed on your printer. By default some lines can be 0.6mm, which is one extruded line. Making this 1.0 ensure that thin lines are two extruded lines, etc.
  • added another digit to the label so that you can use a date (DDMMYYYY) so you can generate birthday snowflakes.
  • Assembly instructions: https://docs.google.com/a/popk.in/drawings/d/1N98OkbFxATnuw_ZJArYcHN3YTW1GWePNyFZi0X45olo .
  • Added "Snowflake Ornament" part, which has a hook and snowflake number
  • Made inner hexagon random.

Instructions

Generate Snowflake

To make your own snowflake, open this Thing in Customizer, and enter a few settings to make your own, only-one-in-the-world snowflake ornament.

Snowflake Tab

Pick a seed number, which will generate your unique snowflake. Try entering your phone number, zip code, or birth date!

Pick the part to view. These are:

  • Preview of the assembled snowflake ornament. Don't print this.
  • Plate that contains the three pieces that assemble into a snowball. Print this. Arranged to fit nicely on a Replicator print bed.
  • Snowball1, Snowball2 and Snowball3, The three parts to assemble, to print one at a time. These are useful if the plate doesn't fit on your printer.
  • Snowflake is just the snowflake to print by itself. This is a nice decoration, and prints quickly, so they make great holiday gifts!
  • "Snowflake Ornament" is a snowflake with a hook on it, for hanging.

Tweaks Tab (optional)

Usually the defaults are fine. This tab lets you tweak the snowflakes if you don't like the defaults. The settings are:

  • Adjust spacing between snowflakes on build plate. Negative makes them closer, positive makes them further apart (mm). Look at the Plate and set this so that the three snowflakes are close together but not touching.
  • Trim the ends of the guides by this much (mm) if they are too long. 0 to not trim.
  • Ring radius (mm).
  • Clip thickness (mm).
  • Scale to fit on build plate, if needed. Does not scale thickness. If the ornament is too large for your build plate, make this smaller, such as 0.8. Normally leave at 1.0.
  • Clearance between the pieces. If the pieces are too hard to assemble, make this larger.
  • "min thickness" limits how thin the snowflake parts can be (mm). If you'd like the snowflake to be thicker/stronger, make this larger.

Build Plate Tab (optional)

This lets you preview the print on your build plate, so you can see what fits. This doesn't affect the print, but it lets you see if you need to tweak the snowflake to fit your particular printer.

Assembly

Assembly instructions for the "snowball" snowflake ornament, with diagrams, are at https://docs.google.com/a/popk.in/drawings/d/1N98OkbFxATnuw_ZJArYcHN3YTW1GWePNyFZi0X45olo .

  1. Print the parts. Either print the plate (which fits nicely on a Replicator), or each of the three parts one at a time. Clean up the prints. In particular, make sure that the slots are clear so that the pieces can slide together.
  2. Start with Piece 1, which is the piece one slot with a hook at one end, and the label with the snowflake number on it.
  3. Slide the piece that has slots on both the top and bottom down into the first piece. You may need to twist the clip to the side to allow the second piece to slide into place.
  4. Slide the third piece down over the first two. This locks them together firmly.

If you prefer the flat snowflake ornament, just print that part!

And hang your unique new ornament!

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Congrats! I thought you model was one of the best choices for a 3D Printed Christmas gift! I made a link from here: http://3dprintingninja.blogspot.com/2014/12/top-20-free-3d-printed-christmas-gifts.html

laird - in reply to

Very cool, thanks!

Tell your readers that if they don't have a 3D printer, they can contribute to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laird/snowburst-2014 and get a snowflake or snowball printed and mailed to them!

I'm making a unique line of 2014 Kickstarter snowflakes. If you'd like to back the project, see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laird/snowburst-2014 .

Congrats laird, well done!

Thanks!

Ornament Challenge Winner! Woot! Thanks, judges!

Nice, however entering a date of birth that begins with a zero seems to break it. For example 05121975.

laird - in reply to ajayre

Yes, I noticed that Customizer doesn't like numbers with leading zeroes. Leaving the leading zero will work, and generates the identical snowflake.

This makes me think - I could let people use text as the seed instead, which might be fun!

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