I present to you, the RepRap tie!
Update 12.30.2011: Added minecraft stl one one 20x20cm build plate and individual pieces in zip file. Yet untested! Don't know how well the holes will print when laying flat, please leave feedback if you try.
Update 12.30.2011: Added a stl file of a tie made from a stl file. Check out tie_stl.zip for source code. Not yet printed!
For years people have made ties out of wood, and I adopted the principle for 3d printing. Could it be a world first?
The basic idea is to take a 3d model, cut holes in it for string and then cut it into smaller pieces so the tie will bend.
I'm not overly satisfied with how the ties sits around the neck, perhaps someone has an idea for a better solution?
Also, any special ideas for a tie, just make a comment and I'll give it a go. :)
Print, drill, tie, wear proudly at at formal banquet, take picture, upload to thingiverse.
The .scad file is commented and includes a few examples. If you just want to render the plain tie, it only requires tie_plain.dxf.
You can tweak it to your hearts content, change the length, increase or decrease the number of pieces, thickness and whatnot. Note that even though most variables are changeable, it's not really that parametric, and you will need to tweak the values manually, especially if you modify the source (dxf/stl) a lot.
The plain example is a bit thin to my taste, so you might want to have a look at tie_plain_wider.dxf instead.
I like the look of printing the pieces standing up. If you like this as well, you could benefit from increasing the layer height to make them more visible.
Printing them standing up means you need to have good adhesion to the bed. I ramped mine up from 52C to 58C for PLA, and it worked fine.
When finished printing, drill out the holes (I used a 2mm drill bit) and fit a string through them. Take care not to run the drill too fast, as it will melt the plastic and can make visible seams on the front. The holes in the model could be bigger, but then they will be visible if your filament is not 100% opaque.
The sky is the limit here, there's no need for the pieces to be neither flat nor have straight cuts. Have fun!