Introduction: 3D Printed Golden Snitch

Picture of 3D Printed Golden Snitch

(Provided file does not have VT logo)

Shortly after getting my 3D printer, I needed to get my older sister a birthday present. Knowing that she's a huge Harry Potter fan, I decided to replicate one of the most iconic, and smallest, items from the series. To make the snitch more unique, I added the Virginia Tech logo to the front, because the only thing my sister likes more than Harry Potter is her alma mater.

The snitch file in this Ible does not have the VT logo in order to make the snitch more universal and avoid any copyright laws. I know little to nothing about copyright laws, but I prefer to stay away from them as much as I can.

Step 1: Print the Snitch and Wings

Picture of Print the Snitch and Wings

Two options for this step.

  1. Download the attached STLs, add any emblem, and print the parts on your personal 3D printer.
  2. (Recommended) Visit my Shapeways store, Dan's Additive Goods, to get the parts professionally printed in the correct materials. I make a grand total of $1.75 on the parts, so I'm not angling for a pay day off these things.

Step 2: Paint and Assemble

Picture of Paint and Assemble

With the help of

  • a modest paint stand
  • a thin paint brush
  • Antique Gold acrylic paint

you can bring the snitch to life. Be careful not to dunk the snitch in paint because you may lose some of the detail and probably fill the inside with liquid gold.

Step 3: Optional Finishes

  1. You may notice that there is a hole on the bottom of the snitch. You might think this is for cleaning the print, but it's actually to allow the snitch to be mounted on a stand. I have not made a stand (yet) but if you'd like to beat me to it, feel free.
  2. The snitch was hollowed to reduce the material and cost of printing, but it leaves the whole thing a little light. One creative solution I've seen for this is to fill the snitch with hot glue. Using the hole on the bottom again, you can fill the inside cavity and give your snitch the proper heft it deserves.
    1. The hot glue is likely to clog the holes for the wings. To fix this, simply run a small diameter drill through the part. It should feed very smoothly.

Step 4: Life Size Snitch

Thanks so much for the support everyone. I can't tell you how excited I was to see this featured!

All of this positive energy pushed me to do even more with this. I finished up a file yesterday of the snitch modeled life-size. All you need now is a Nimbus 2000.

I successfully printed this model on my Cube 2 printer in glow-in-the-dark blue PLA. If you print it at home, let me know how it comes out.


ThirdEarthDesign made it! (author)2016-09-29

Thanks for the Instructable, this will come in very useful for my Halloween project :) great 3d model.

Porda (author)ThirdEarthDesign2016-09-30

Great painting! I hope y'all have fun with the print.

Ryan11b (author)2015-07-27

Porda, would it be possible for you to send me the solidworks file you made this with. Would appreciate it very much!

Porda (author)Ryan11b2015-07-28

Hi Ryan11b,

I've gotten this question enough that I think it's finally time to post the files.

I've uploaded them to the Thingiverse page here

If you make something amazing please share!

firecrossbow (author)2014-10-19

Would anyone know how to and give me instructions how to add my own emblem? I would like to add an "E".

Porda (author)firecrossbow2014-10-19

Hi firecrossbow,

To add your own emblem you just need to open the file in your favorite CAD program and extrude your emblem onto/out of the surface. Is there a specific CAD software that you use?

firecrossbow (author)Porda2014-10-19

Yes I use auto desk inventer

Porda (author)firecrossbow2014-10-20

I haven't used Inventor myself, but you should be able to import the STL, draw your emblem, create an extruded feature of your emblem merged with the snitch body, and then export it back as an STL ready to print.

I would also like to know what software you use. Your model is great, but I'm trying to figure out a way to cut it into 2 halves so that I can make a container out of it. I use maya, but so far I can't find a way to split it in half evenly.

I used Solidworks to create this model. Unfortunately, I don't currently have access to a Solidworks license, or else I'd happily split it in half for you. You may want to check out Meshlab if Maya is giving you trouble. Meshlab should be able to split it in half-ish, you may have to eyeball it a little bit.

firecrossbow (author)Porda2014-10-20

What CAD software do you use?

firecrossbow (author)Porda2014-10-20

Ok, I'll try that. Thanks for helping.

firecrossbow (author)2014-10-17

Hello, I was wondering if you could tell me how to add my own emblem?

abeer2 made it! (author)2014-08-24

Just got it yesterday and put the finishing touches on it today.

Experience with Shapeways: - Awesome. Was taking a bit too long for the production, so I can contacted them to see if its possible to have it bumped up in the production order. No questions asked, they bumped it up and notified me. Everything arrived neatly packaged and with no damages

Assembly process: - Awesome as well. Ordered paint off amazon, came with a selection of multiple metals, including silver and gold. Decided to do brief strokes of silver for the feathers, which kind of created a neat effect of actually being silver feathers, rather than solid, would recommend. Gold was okay, wish I could do just an actually gold snitch. Wings inserted with no issues, I kind of just painted them in, hoping that it will last... if not, I will superglue it.

Additional comments: - I do regret not having sand paper, I think, and you can clearly see that 3d printer marks on the front of it, that it wouldn't hurt to take some sand paper and even out some part of the ball so when you paint it looks smooth.

P.S. I am going to try to modify the model to be a bit bigger and be able to store something on the inside of it... for example a ring...

Porda (author)abeer22014-08-25

Hey abeer2,

Your snitch looks great! I'm glad the whole process went smoothly for you. I never knew you could ask Shapeways to expedite your print.

I'm going to play around with printing the snitch in polished plastic to remove the layer details, but hopefully not wear down the intentional features.

I love the idea of modifying it into a ring box. You'll have to let me know how that goes, maybe even post your own instructable on it.

Cool Dude 123 (author)2014-08-12


dil2abu (author)2014-08-11


Verticees (author)2014-08-08

I would say that this is awesome, but that would be an understatement! Fantastic job!

Porda (author)Verticees2014-08-11

Hi innovator007,

Thanks for the awesome morale boost :) you'll have to let me know how it turns out if you print it yourself.

michaelgc (author)2014-08-10

Really, really awesome! I am a middle school stem teacher and we are looking into getting a 3d printer for the class. Projects like this would be awesome for the kids.

Porda (author)michaelgc2014-08-10

Hi Michaelgc,
It would be awesome to see kids learning about 3D printing with this design. Good luck getting the printer, and you'll have to let me know when you print your first snitches.

nagiquadi (author)2014-08-10

what kind of 3-D printer did you use for this awesome project?

Porda (author)nagiquadi2014-08-10

Hi Nagiquadi,
I did a test print on my Cube 2 printer which came out alright, but the featured pictures are from my Shapeways print. I always go to Shapeways for my high quality prints.

Porda (author)2014-08-08

Thanks! It was definitely a learning experience with curved surfaces in Solidworks.

Wow, gorgeous design!

About This Instructable




Bio: Mechanical engineer, alumnus Colorado State University, and member of Alamance Makers Guild.
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