This ornament was inspired by snow. When I think of the holiday season my first thought goes to the beautiful snow that covers the ground. I know many people where I live have a love hate relationship with the stuff, but seems for me that the holiday season is never complete without the magical dusting of snow. I wanted to portray that magic in my ornament which I named "Winter Wonderland" It consists of a snowman sitting in the middle of a snow flurry. I found that it was easy to bring this design to life by following some simple steps. In this instructable I will guide you through the steps I took to make this design and show you how to make this ornament or any ornament you can imagine.
What you will need
A design idea
A 3D design software (I used a great software called Tinkercad)
A 3D printer (if you want to print it yourself)
A little time and patience
Step 1: Step 1: Sketch Your Design
The best way to start any design is to sketch the idea out. Sketching is an easy why for you to get a design idea out of your head and into something more tangible. A sketch will allow you to work though your design and change things before you start with the 3D edit. Here are some of my design sketches when working on this project.
Step 2: Step 2: Choose a 3D Design Software
Next you need to choose a 3D software program to design your ornament. As I said before, I used Tinkercad to design my "Winter Wonderland" ornament. It is a free online program that is simple to use and is great for people who have little experience with any other 3D software. I would suggest you use whatever software you feel most comfortable with. Other software that could be used are AutoCAD or Solidworks.
Step 3: Step 3: Form the Snowman
In my actual design process I split my ornament into 2 parts. The first part I designed was the snowman. I chose this as my starting point because I have been building snowmen for years and it was a familiar place to start from.
Step 4: Step 3.1: the Snowman's Head
I began with the snowman's head. The great thing about Tinkercad is that on the right side there is a column of shapes that can be dragged onto the screen to use. Then they can be resized and rotated to create the desired look. For my snowman head I used the following shapes.
1 - Sphere
2 - Cylinders (one tall, and one wide and thin)
5 - Cylinders for the mouth
1 - Cone for the nose
2 - Cylinders for the eyes
The trick to assembling the face is turning the cylinders of the eyes and mouth to make it look right on the face. It took a little time for me to get the angles right, but with a little trial and error the pieces will fit how you want.
Step 5: Step 3.2: the Snowman's Body
The snowman's body was easier to build after the face was finished it only consisted of 5 pieces.
2 - spheres to make the body
3 - Cylinders for the buttons
After the body is complete you can put the head on top to create the full snowman. Part 1 done!
Step 6: Step 4: Form the Snow Flurry
After the snowman is complete it is time to build the snow flurry. To make the flurry you will need the following pieces.
1 - Half sphere for the base
1 - Cylinder (hole) for trimming the bottom of the ornament
1 - Fast Helix for the flurry (found in the shape generator under the community shapes)
2 - Stars to make the top loop for the hook. 1 shape and 1 hole.
There are some tricks to putting the flurry pieces together. First to get the fast helix to the correct shape certain settings are needed. Those settings are shown in the picture above.
Another trick when putting the fast helix to the base it is important to make the helix a bit oval shaped instead of a circle (shown in the third picture). This will merge the bottom of the helix seamlessly with the base instead of hanging over the side. Placing the cylinder on the bottom will cut of the extra tail of the double helix that is exposed at the bottom.
A final trick with creating the hollow star is to make the star that will act as the hole slightly wider than the star shape. This will make certain that the hole goes all the way through the star to make the nice hollow star shape.
Once all the shapes are placed together the second part of the ornament is complete.
Step 7: Step 5: Combine the Designs
Once the two parts are complete the only step left is to combine the two items to create the ornament. Place the snowman in the middle of the storm flurry. Merge the whole design and you have your ornament. After everything is together make sure to check the size of the ornament so it will fit on the tree. A good size for an ornament is 3in by 3in which correlates to about 76mm. Once you make sure the size is right then you are ready to print out your design.
Step 8: Step 5: Completed Ornament Design
Here is the completed ornament design. Once you have the .stl file you are ready to send it off to the 3D printer. Print out the ornament or whatever design you created, add a small hook to the ornament, hang it on your tree, and enjoy!
Happy Holidays everyone!