It’s that time of year again. It’s colder, you can see images of Santa Claus and reindeer everywhere, and there’s the pressing question of what to get so-and-so for the holiday season. While you could go to the store, or shop around for what to order online, there’s always the option of making something yourself. Before you consider the savings from giving all your relatives personalized sculptures made out of duct tape, consider a 3D printed holiday season.
Check out six of these cool things you can print for others this season:
Harry Potter fans rejoice! This printable Snitch model is a nice home-made gift for anyone in love with Hogwarts.
There’s been a lot of controversy about 3D printing and firearms, but this printable rubber band launcher shouldn’t cause any holiday concern. There are a few examples of launchers out there, but this allows for multiple bands to be loaded at once, without being overly complicated to put together. It is worth noting that you may need to buy some machine screws and small bolts for this one.
Pocket Tactics is a small-scale miniatures game designed to be easily carried, while still being engaging enough for serious gamers. A game only takes up about a foot square of table space, and is playable in about a half hour. The designers at Ill-Gotten Games provide rules, tiles, and miniatures through their Thingiverse page, here. Pocket Dungeons is a variant focusing on a dungeon crawl scenario.
Although 3D printing has always had applications for the miniature wargaming community, a complete game you can easily print and carry with you is a nice addition.
Wallets and purses always tend to get cluttered. It’s a given. If you know someone who’s wallet always seems to attract oddities beyond the old receipt or extra credit card, this is a perfect toy. It is a wallet sized dinosaur model, placed in sprue to keep it convenient to carry with you. No one should ever be stuck without a dinosaur in case of an emergency.
Chess sets are a great choice of printable gift. There are a variety of different styles to choose from, and depending on design you can save a little filament based on the fill pattern used while still having a solid-feeling piece. Look around a bit before you settle on what design to print for the chess enthusiast you know. Here are some cool sets we found:
Seej was developed with a little bit of printing evangelism in mind. It’s a table top wargame where you launch pennies to topple enemy flags. Walls are built out of blocks to surround and protect the flags. They provide starter sets with simple catapults, blocks, and flags to get started, but that’s not where it ends. The designers encourage you to build your own coin-launching siege weapons to one-up your opponent, making it as much a game of effective engineering as it is knocking over your opponents pieces. Know any other 3D designers or printers? Introduce them to Seej this year.
Although many people have heard of 3D printing, really exposing them to it by making something fun and useful is a great way to show them its potential outside of a hobby. They’ll be interested in how it was made, if you can make changes to it, and may consider buying a printer themselves. Most importantly, it’ll give everyone something to talk about that you love. Share that joy with loved ones this year; that’s really what the holidays are all about.
Have a happy holiday and print some cool stuff!
Need more gift ideas? Check out: