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3D Printing Comes Home for the Holidays

Christmas Day is almost here! The tree is loaded down with lights and crowded round with presents. Christmas crowds have been dodged to find the perfect gift, or possibly avoided altogether if you shopped online. Have some eggnog and a slice of fruitcake (does anyone actually eat that stuff?), and sit back to see what 3D printing is doing for the holidays.

In the spirit of peace on Earth and good will toward men, the ad agency BBH has been accepting donations for the homeless in the UK. As an added gift from Santa to those on the nice list, BBH was giving away snow globes to those who donate. One winner each day was randomly selected, and BBH would 3D print a replica of the winner’s home, using information gleaned from Google maps and streetview. BBH popped the replica in a snow globe, and created a unique thank you gift.

Christmas Star

3D printed Christmas star from Thingiverse. Courtesy of PaulM.

i.materialise has a holiday collection of 3D printed holiday gifts. It isn’t much of a shock to see 3D printing being used to create tree ornaments, but some of the results are really quite interesting. You can find similar objects by doing a search for “Christmas” on Thingiverse. The maker community elves have been busy at work creating 3D designs to print out for the holiday season.

If edible designs are more your thing, Choc Edge uses 3D printing to build objects you can eat, using Belgian Callebaut chocolate. The company has been visited by no less a personage than Stephen Fry, host of the UK’s Gadget Man series, which says plenty about the combination of delicious treats and interesting technology. Choc Edge also sells the 3D printers used to make the chocolate goodies.

One last item of interest, interactive marketing and design agency SapientNitro has created truly unique gifts using data gathered from social media. The gifts are in the shape of a star, the design of which is based upon how many friends that person has in different parts of the world. Each star includes an infographic map that shows which parts of the star relate to the location of their friends.

Below you’ll find a video of the Choc Edge printer at work.

Sources: i.materialise, BBH, Thingiverse, Choc Edge, psfk

About John Newman

John Newman is a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering magazine. He covers the rapid prototyping and manufacturing beat.

One comment

  1. That xmas star looks fabulous! Nice article, I just cannot wait to have my own MakerBot soon!

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