This project was my first crack at using 123D Make to create something. Despite being a complete 3D noob, this came out looking pretty fantastic. The full-on release should be awesome. (I did cheat a little by stealing PenfoldPlant's 3D model to slice into bits, but y'all can scrounge up your own models when the time comes.)
The tree stands about five feet tall, and has a six foot circumference. It would make a terrible supermodel, but it looks rather nice as a tree. I made this for my girlfriend's cousin and her family, so I needed it to work or risk being "that weird guy who makes ugly Christmas trees." I think I succeeded in being "that weird guy who makes rather nice Christmas trees." I left them to decorate it, and I trust that it will come out looking nice. They have impeccable taste.
Feel free to download the .eps files and go nuts with your own tree. Resize to your heart's content.
Step 1: Print Files/cut Stuff Out
I used a laser cutter because I have access to one. If I had to, I could have easily used a good razor and a lot of patience to cut the images out of cardboard using paper templates.
If you'll be cutting out by hand, maybe make a trip to the rasterbator to change the sizes, ensure that your tree is bigger than A4, and generally make your templates easier to manipulate. I didn't do any of those things - laser cutter, remember? - but you might want to try it if you're having trouble getting from the file to a template you want.
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-20.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-19.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-18.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-17.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-16.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-15.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-14.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-13.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-12.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-11.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-10.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-9.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-8.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-7.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-6.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-5.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-4.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-3.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-2.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-1.eps
- Christmas Tree Demo 2-parts-0.eps
Step 2: Layout
I started by assembling each vertical piece of the tree, the bits that look like branches + the base.
Then I taped the horizontal supports (the Z pieces) together as necessary. The bottom two horizontal supports each needed to be assembled, as they were larger than the laser cutter's bed. Some duct tape turned them into more or less fully intact supports.
Assemble this in your mind a few times before trying it out for real. Seriously. The base gave me a bit of trouble as I decided to ignore it until the end. After a few rounds of dis- and re-assembly, I figured it out. Better to visualize it than spend the frustrating time putting it together and tearing it apart repeatedly.
Step 3: Assemble
This isn't terribly difficult to figure out, but it has the potential to be frustrating. Particularly with the five foot version I made. Floppy cardboard makes everything more difficult. Have no fear, though, because the more fully the tree is assembled, the sturdier it becomes.
You may want two people for this. One to hold, another to assemble.
Step 4: Decorate
I recommend silver, green, and red decorations. The gold looks a little too much like cardboard. Also, from that second image, it would certainly appear that less is more. :-D