I created this primarily for the ornament design challenge and yes, I am American.
Tools: I used SolidWorks to model everything. Pencil and paper were used for ideation. Images created using MS Paint.
Logistics: The string or hook goes through that loop that connects the present's ribbon to the hat (as shown in the picture). It's meant to have LEDs inside, which is why the glider and heart were cut-extruded.
Design Process: I chose a penguin because they evoke winter and also the Linux Tux. Tux is bringing presents of sci/tech fun to all! Because of the presents on the sleigh and the Santa hat, the ornament has sort of a Christmas feel to it, but I wanted to avoid exclusions and to evoke a more general winter holiday theme. I made a large snowflake with a Star of David at the center for Hanukkah and another one with the cross at the center for Christmas. Not wanting to leave out the third Abrahamic religion, I made a snowflake with the star and crescent symbol at the center. Also, to include the another major winter celebration, I added Chinese New Year symbols for happiness on a present, so Tux is also bringing the gifts of joy and good cheer!
Details: Being somewhat OCD, I spent quite some time on the details, so attached a picture of the smaller ones. Also, the best printer to use so the details would come out pretty would be the ones from FormLabs. Their stereolithographic 3D printers have much higher precision (as thin as 25 microns), but not everyone has access to those (I don't). It'll still look cool without high precision on the details, though the details do add quite a bit.
Step 1: Sketch the Rough Draft
Yes, this is a rather rough draft. Basically, get a rough idea of the dimensions and how to plan everything. I didn't put that much time into this part because I tend to change things a lot as I go along.
Step 2: CADing the Basics of the Sleigh
I drew a for-construction bounding box and then started splining away. I think the photos are self-explanatory because I didn't really have a set design in mind as I made this. If I did, I would have been much more efficient and extrude only once for the sleigh's swirly bottom part, but I basically just went with the flow of the design and made changes based on how things were looking.
Step 3: CADing the Basics of the Penguin
The penguin's body is basically made of ellipses, or at least that's how I decided to make it. The penguin requires new planes to be made, but it's all fairly simple and there are SolidWorks documentation online if any confusion arises. The face require more work because you have to sketch the shapes on a plane away from the head shape and then split that line, offset the face and cut-thicken it. The hat is a loft following a guiding line and ending in a revolved half-sphere. The beak is made the same way as the hat. The eyes and heart are made the same way as the face but the eyes are thickened instead of cut thickened.
Step 4: CADing the Presents
Basically boxes with some details for the ribbons.
Step 5: CADing the Details
Did a lot of splines for the snowflakes and then some reflections and circular sketch patterns. The gliders and CNY symbols were much less complicated in comparison.
Step 6: CADing Finishing Touches
Hollowed out the ornament so the LED-battery contraption would fit. Also added some details to the sleigh and sprinkled a few fillets here and there.
Step 7: Finish the CAD
Basically mirror the ornament and then the piece is basically done except for some prep depending on the type of STLs to be generated, which would depend on the way of making the ornament.
Step 8: Decide Which Way to Make It
There are three ways to make this:
Trapping LED: print tux_half1 and tux_half2. Put the LED and button battery contraption in one of them. Glue the halves together and trapping your LED!
Hole in Ornament: print tux_whole_led_box. Put the LED+battery through the led box as shown in picture. Tape up that hole. Not as pretty as above, but you get to change the LED without breaking the ornament apart.
LEDs? Meh: print tux_whole_no_led_box.