Butter Pig

by steveweber314, published

Butter Pig by steveweber314 Nov 19, 2014
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34479Views 5020Downloads Found in Kitchen & Dining
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Are you tired of having to get out a knife, peel back the wrapper, throw away the wrapper, and wash the knife, every time you need a slice of sweet, creamy butter? So much work! There has to be a butter way!

Introducing the Butter Pig.

This little oinker happily stores and dispenses your butter, keeping it fresh and air tight, and easily slices off a pad whenever you get the craving. Just twist its curly tail. As a bonus, it also includes two extra attachments to extrude butter or margarine.* Stores one stick of butter.

Pass it around the Thanksgiving table, so each of your guests can grab a slice of pure, sweet butter. No more fussing with a complicated dish, or losing track of the butter knife. Butter tastes great on rolls, toast, garlic bread, croissants, corn, mashed potatoes, pancakes, noodles, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, biscuits, bacon, and more!

*When using the extrusion attachments, leave the butter out of the icebox to soften for an hour first.


"A chicken in every pot, and a Butter Pig in every icebox." - Herbert Hoover

Why not print a Butter Pig for your loved ones this holiday season! Makes a great stocking stuffer!!

Edit 11/26/14 - I've uploaded a new set of extruder attachments that are slightly thicker so the butter won't ooze out the edges. Also a new full plate STL with the updated extruders.

1/6/2015 - #IceboxChallenge winners have been announced! Butter Pig took 3rd place! https://firstbuild.com/blog/post/icebox-challenge-winners/215/

Pics of the winning designs at CES. Looks like they printed two of each, in orange and gray. You can see the pigs in the middle here: https://twitter.com/makerbot/status/552517008051679233/photo/1

12/15 - I uploaded a new 'half pint pig,' perfect for those of you with smaller printers, or if you've just got a half stick of butter.

Also added a 'laid-down' file, so you can try that if you have issues printing the standing-up one.

12/19/15 - I uploaded individual STL files for the half pint pig tail and body.

Let's see some pictures of your Butter Pigs!!!


Welcome to the wonderful world of Butter Pig ownership and maintenance.

Your Butter Pig includes three main parts:

  • the body
  • the tail
  • the guillotine

The body holds the stick of butter. The guillotine is used to slice off the butter. The tail has three separate moving parts:

  • screw (tail)
  • nut (hind quarters)
  • plunger (square thing that says 'Butter Pig' on it backwards)

Printing requires supports.

Once all support material is removed, ensure that the nut moves freely along the screw, and the plunger spins easily. The plunger can be snug, and may need careful handling to 'break it loose.' Hold the tail as close to the plunger as you can, so as not to apply too much torque to the tail.

Once the parts move freely, snap the tail to the body and feed your pig its first stick of butter. (For best results, remove wrapper first.)

Between each stick of butter, hand wash with warm soapy water.

Once the pig is assembled, it is very difficult to separate. This is by design, in order to make sure it doesn't detach from the pressure. If you need to remove it for cleaning, use a small flat-blade screwdriver to pry it loose.

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Note: IS NOT DISHWASHER SAFE. Completely ruined mine doing that. If you happen to accidentally melt yours, grab a hair dryer, set it on high, and bend that baby back into place!

I have no idea why this hasn't been featured yet. Great idea!

is there any chance of a "slight" tweak to make it so no part is more than 120mm in length? that is my max print height.

I don't want to try and "scale" anything as I fear the other bits won't fit right if I do that.

Original Butter Pig is 127mm (my max print height.) I designed it with pretty loose tolerances, so should be fine scaling it to about 95% as far as that goes. I think the butter would still fit too, because its pretty loose now. Another option would be to print the Half Pint Butter Pig, which is designed to fit a half stick of butter.

Nice I think I discovered I can actually print 125 millimeters I thought my limit was 120 I think I can afford to shave 2 millimeters and just ignore the 2 millimeters

BE CAREFUL when printing for food. Make sure you're using a BPA free, food-safe, etc.

could you please post the half pint butter pig tail and body in two separate files thanks.

Good idea. Done.

How much does the butter pig weigh?

You'll need about 124g of filament to print one. The pig tips the scales at a healthy 110g once the support material is removed (including the tail, body, and all three accessories) Coincidentally, that happens to also be the exact weight of a 1/4 pound stick of butter.

Nov 26, 2015 - Modified Nov 26, 2015

What are the chances of you being able to make the body a horizontal print with supports? My printer only has a 100mm Z-axis :( But has 150mm x 130mm X and Y axis

Or, possibly, to make a "butter pig lite" that holds a half-stick at a time?

@zombienerd I feel your pain. My printer isn't much bigger. I uploaded 2 new stl files for you. One has the pig laid down horizontally, I haven't tried to print it, but i think with good bridging/supports you could get it to work. I also went ahead and made a half-pig. It stands 98 cm tall, so it should fit, and probably still holds 3/4 stick of butter. Either way, be sure to upload a photo and let us know how it turns out :)

Awesome! Thanks. I'll add the half pint to the print queue tonight! I'll post pictures when finished. I'll be printing in PLA.

Amazing design, I'm planning on printing it. Do you have any suggestion for how to make it food safe? I guess just use PLA and don't use it too long? I've heard that the layers can collect bacteria otherwise. I guess since this isn't going in your mouth, it should be alright? Or use an acetone bath to smooth it?

jmidjettesr mentioned a food safe PETG filament a few comments up. FWIW, I've been printing them in ABS. We've used the same one for six months or so, and run it through the dishwasher a couple of times. It's held up so far, and no one has gotten sick or anything that I know of.

Dec 30, 2014 - Modified Dec 30, 2014

I love the design but I can't get it to come out of a printer in any useable form. Been fighting with it for a week. Slic3r prints it near flawlessly but doesn't have enough internal support so the last side of the main body becomes stringy on the inside rendering it useless. ReplicatorG provides enough support but then warps it to death thanks to a complete lack of control of how much support it's going to add. Replicator also forces you to raft it - and outside of a blow torch or belt sander I've not yet found a way to separate ReplicatorG's raft from a model. I also see you've had similar difficulty printing the 'spread' attachment. How'd you work that out?

I wish there was printer software that would SHOW me the support before I print and/or allow me to add/takeaway in certain places. Until that day comes, I have no idea how to make this work. Still love it though!

Jan 2, 2015 - Modified Jan 2, 2015
jmidjettesr - in reply to galt

I am using Repetier. Free and full of awesome settings!!! 1st layer set at .30mm remaining layers set at .2. Using pillar supports and raft set at 4mm outwards and 3 layer height, lowered speed to 50% from 70%, Extruder temp at 230c and bed at 60c, fan set to always on w/auto control and low speed of 30 and high of 100, all on my homemade Prusa i3. Printing with .4mm nozzle extruding 1.75mm Glass PETG Filament : Glass series is PETG filament that is perfectly clear and super transparent with glossy finish

  • Commonly used in beverages, food, and other liquid containers
  • Has better flexible strength than ABS filament
    • Has great chemical resistance with good acidic and alkalic resistance

I will upload pics when I am done with the body. I have the crank and slides done so 6 more hours and the body will be done...

Jan 1, 2015 - Modified Jan 2, 2015
jonathanbruder - in reply to galt

Try using Meshmixer for supports. It has a terrible user interface, but will generate and let you manually remove specific support edges. Also, free :)

Edit: I don't recommend using meshmixer for anything but selective vertex editing, watertighting, and making support. Like jmidjettesr, I recommend repetier (with slic3r) for printing. I currently use octoprint to actually control the printer, though.

I really love this design. The functionality is nifty, and the design has tons of personality. But it's very hard to print and clean as it's currently designed. So I'd like to make some suggestions to make it easier to print.

Specifically, I'd like to suggest that:

1) You add some small supports into the design, so that it can be printed without support generated by the software. For example, in the slots in the body, if you put in some thin vertical walls, those will support the rest of the body above it, and are much easier to remove than the generated support. Similarly, under the round feet that stick out of the body, add a 45 degree triangle supporting the bottom of each leg (towards the build platform). These supports can be easily broken out, and waste much less material (and work and time) than auto-generated support.

2) The spiral plunger should print vertically, standing on the flat end so it doesn't require any support. If you rework the cap a bit, it can also print flat to the print bed, arching up and around the plunger without quite touching it. And by eliminating all of the support around the plunger, it'll eliminate all of the cleaning, and the two parts won't stick together at all. You will need to add 45 degree supports to the bulbs on the handle, or (even better) make it a separate piece that attaches to it.

2a) Alternatively, you could split the plunger into two halves, lying flat. This would be stronger than printing vertically, but would need to be glued together.

3) The slicers would be stringer printed flat on the print bed. You'd need to make that side flat to the print bed, though.

Thank you for all the feedback! I like your ideas and will try to implement some of them when I find the time. For most of these, the reasons I didn't do them to begin with is because my printer is very bad at bridging, but very good at auto-generating supports. I also had very a limited amount of time to design this, to enter it in the icebox challenge.

After printing a couple dozen of these to give away as xmas presents, I've gotten really fast at what I jokingly call 'shucking' the pigs. The most difficult supports are in the slots in the body. I take a needle nose and remove the large back and forth squiggly things first. Then with a scalpel, gently pry away the remaining raft-like material. I could make a video tutorial or something, but most likely this procedure will vary a lot from one printer to another.

I am a little confused :P

I just printet this today, but can't understand how it works, :

whenever I want some butter I need to take of the tail, twist it, and then reassemble? I can't turn it with everything assembled?

You need to make sure the plunger rotates freely before you assemble it. I've updated the instructions to make that more clear. Sorry about that.

Hey Steve thanks for the reply.

I all the parts move freely but since the plunger fits the body so tightly there is no way the plunger can move around :)

The only way you can rotate the tail is by taking it out of the body :)

So I was wondering how you use it :)

Made one in pink PLA but the piggy tail end is REALLY SUPER TIGHT .. might have to file it a bit to be able to remove it without potentially breaking it.. otherwise a cute model..

My piggy tail won't turn when put into the body. That section is really tight and small, so I can't "break it" to get it to turn without eminent breaking of the shaft.

Try firmly holding it by the little box on the end of the screw, just next to the square thing that says butter pig on it. Then with the other hand, turn the square to break it loose. That way there isn't any stress on the screw/shaft. It sounds like you might also want to use more infill to make the tail stronger. Good luck :)

Haha very creative, It reminds me of play dough type tools

Any hints on slicing/printing settings? Layer, infill, shells?

Printed last night successfully using Clear PLA @ 210c, No HBP, Blue Tape at 50mm/s perm 100mm/s infill, 15% support, sliced with Cura. It assembled nicely and fit well but I have not tested it with butter yet.

I can only tell you the settings I use on the Up Plus2. 0.3mm layer height, ABS. Part: angle < 45, surface 3 layers. Support: dense 3 layers, space 8 lines, angle < 30, area > 5. It takes 8.5 hours on 'fine' quality, using 'loose' infill. Loose is the second highest infill setting. You'll want lots of infill to make it strong.

Thanks. I printed one PLA with 30% infill. Worked OK for half a stick of butter, then the face cracked off. I'm going to do one now with ABS at 65%, and afterward I'm going to vapor polish all the parts.

I would not use those materials for any food handling purposes.
ABS is toxic as well as the acetone. What ever you do, be safe! :)

SOunds like you might have layer adhesion issues, may want to up your temp a bit

Printed an orange one out last night. Thank you for sharing.
Design / Slicing works great in the ReplicatorG software. Pulling the supports out wasn't even as bad as I had anticipated.

very cool idea. Good job!

It's not slicing well at all in Kisslicer, I ran the parts and the plate through netfabb cloud and netfabb basic repair and it's not solid at all. I'm not showing any problems with the model just the slicing. It looks like a great model I really hope to print this.

I exported the models from Tinkercad. Would it help if I provided them in OBJ, X3D, or VRML format instead? (Sorry I don't know much about slicing. My printer handles that stuff automatically.)

Nov 24, 2014 - Modified Nov 24, 2014

Plate is not manifold. But other than that it's wonderful. It's really fun to watch the screw mechanism print. I haven't had as much fun watching a print in a long time.

What do you mean by 'not manifold'? Sounds like the other models are working ok for you then? Just the plate has issues?

"Not manifold" means that there are holes in the .stl mesh. It's also known as being watertight (i.e. you could submerge the virtual model in a virtual liquid and it wouldn't be able to fill that model). Mosts slicers should tell you if a model is manifold, and it can attempt to correct them but it usually doesn't work with a highly detailed model like yours. Usually, unless there are obvious gaping holes, the object should print fine.
I'm still trying to get the tail to print, but I'm going to try in ABS next.

I'm guessing this is caused by the tail containing three interconnected moving parts, the screw, nut, and plunger. Using the liquid analogy, the liquid would flow between those parts. Each of the parts is watertight though.

Really nice work! I recently posted a butter cutter myself and had considered this sort of design but I was concerned with the forces required to extrude it. I'd better get to work on another post for that contest now eh? Ha ha.

Ha! What are the odds? I was thinking about doing a pivoting design like yours as well. There's definitely a butter storage/dispensing niche that needs to be filled. Good luck to you!

Sweet! (pun intended) I agree, I hate having to prep just to use stick butter! I will be printing this!