Introduction: Art Deco Hair Comb

With hair getting longer and longer and longer during stay at home orders, maybe you are experimenting with different hairstyles. Why not create a custom hair comb to add some pizzazz to your new look? This tutorial will show you how to design an Art Deco inspired hair comb on Tinkercad. Go with the style or create your own look. Have fun!


plain hair combs

3D printer

filament in various colors (a great way to use up small bits or samples)

metal bowl

hair dryer or heat gun

safety gloves

super glue

bobby pins

Step 1: Get Creative

Draw or sketch your design on a piece of paper. You may want to research some images to get inspiration.

Step 2: Make the Base

In Tinkercad, use the box shape (which I sincerely wish was called a cube) to make a rectangle 100x10x2. This is going to be my base for my hair comb. It will be the part I glue to the comb.

Step 3: Concentric Circles

Following my design, I created layered circles. To do this, I used a smooth circle (40x40x2) I had previously created in tinkercad and saved in my shapes. Then, I added tubes of various thickness and heights. Adjust it according to what looks good to you. I aligned them along the x (horizontal) and y (vertical) axis.

Step 4: More Circles and Layer Heights

I duplicated the circle and placed it along the base. I moved the base out of the way for now. I added the duplicated and resized for the middle circle. This is where I strayed from my drawing, but I'm entitled to make artistic decisions (and so are you!). Layer heights are really important. They should probably have their own step. The layer heights I use for layer swaps with a single extruder are as follows"

  • 1.2mm
  • 1.6mm
  • 2.0mm
  • 2.4mm
  • 2.8mm
  • 3.2mm

You can group shapes together to make sure they are the layer heights you want them to be. I had the background circle at 2.0 and increasing from the outside in until the innermost tube was 3.2. Once this is just the way you want it, cut off the bottom and bring your base back.

Step 5: Finalize and Export

I added a few lines to the base that were 2.4 in height so they will be the same color as the outermost ring. Export your design as an .stl and open up your slicer. I am using Prusa Slicer which allows color swaps easily.

Step 6: Slicing and Layer Swaps

Add your design.

Slice it.

Go to the layered view. Along the side you will see a height bar. Slide the bar and click the + on the slider to add a color swap. Each time it reaches that point in the print, the print will pause and the printer will prompt you to unload and load filament. Then it will resume. It is important that you let your layers finish. So, if your first layer is 2.0mm high, you want your first swap at 2.2mm.

Slice it again. Now you will see how long each layer will take.

Export G-code to an SD card.

Take the card to your printer. Select your colors and get them in the order you want to use them. I have four layer heights, so I want to choose four different colors. Prep the filament by snipping the ends. Start your print.

Step 7: Around the Bend

This is where the metal bowl and heat gun come in. When your print is done, take it off the print bed. Wearing a protective glove, heat a metal bowl using the heat gun. I heat it for about 10 seconds then gently press the design for about 20 seconds. I repeat this until I have the comb flush against the bowl. I had a small metal bowl that was the exact curvature of my hair comb, so that was brilliant. The print might stick to the bowl while it is hot. That is okay. It will release when it is cool.

Step 8: Attach the Comb

Once your design is bent to the right shape, apply a line of super glue to the plain hair comb. Carefully set it in place and hold it for a minute. Use bobby pins to keep the design on the comb while the glue cures. Wait 24 hours before wearing. (This is the hardest part for me.)

Note: If the bond is weak with the super glue, you can try hot glue with a glue gun. It will have a more flexible bond. I am still experimenting with this. I will update the instructions as needed.

Step 9: Show Off Your Artwork

Time to do your hair in a French Twist or updo and add the comb for decoration. Take a pic and post it!