Snowflake Icosahedron Ornament

by pdragy, published

Snowflake Icosahedron Ornament by pdragy Nov 28, 2013

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Forget those boring 2D snowflake ornaments. This season decorate your holiday tree with one of these 3D modular geometric snowflake orbs.

Inspired by ITSPHUN shapes (itsphun.com), and Mother Nature (organic snowflake design).

Happy Holidays and Happy Making!


You will need 20 snowflakes. Either print snowflake_single.stl 19 times and snowflake_top.stl once, or print snowflake_all.stl which has all 20 pieces of the design and fits on the bed of a MakerBot Replicator 2.

I used PLA, 2 shells, 75% infill, standard (0.20mm) resolution, no raft. Print time was ~ 2 hours for the entire design. Use clear PLA for a realistic looking snowflake.

For assembly, connect the notches in the snowflake together, using the picture as a guide. Make sure the notches slide all the way together. (Hint: start with 5 snowflakes connected in a ring, as shown in the picture with the green snowflakes. Think of it as a soccer ball with only the white hexagonal faces).

If the fit is too tight for the material you are using, scale the model up 105%.

For a smaller ornament, you can construct an octahedron, using only 8 snowflakes instead of 20.

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Top piece can not be printed correctly with Slic3r :(

The top piece stl file is not manifold. Slic3r 1.2.9 doesn't like it :(. The others are fine though.

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​Congrats, your model has been chosen as one of the best 3D Printed Ornaments this year! Search "Top Free 3d Printed Ornaments Printing Ninja" in google to see (sorry thingiverse bans url addresses)

My Christmas tree looks perfect thanks dude

Here's a hastily shot video that show how the series of 5-piece rings come together to form the icosahedron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4Y6_VzZQBQhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Check out Paul winning the Grand Prize for his design at 35:18 http://new.livestream.com/thegreenespace/events/2600987/videos/37527474http://new.livestream.com/theg.... Congratulations again, Paul! Enjoy that MakerBot Replicator 2 :)

2 questions: What is the thickness of each individual snowflake? and, Any chance you have a .dxf version, or failing that the original CAD in a friendly universal format like IGES STEP or Parasolid? This looks like a great laser cutter part to me.

A few things I forgot to mention:

  • Make sure the pieces are oriented correctly so that the loop/hanger on the top piece is on the outside.
  • The construction is sturdy on its own, but if you have cats a dab of glue on the joints might be wise.
  • If it does fall apart, flatten the flakes by hand or in a book to make reassembly easier.

Cool, would love to see pictures of glow-in-the-dark!

Thx for posting this! I'm making them in translucent natural and also glow-in-the-dark.

Just to point out that if you print eight snowflakes, you can make an octohedron without any problems.