Introduction: Critter Cookie Cutters

About: I've been an artist all my life. Probably nothing I couldn't accomplish according to my grade school teachers who said "I would make a perfect student if I would just stop drawing all the time". I'm …

Intro: When I first started experimenting with 3D printing, the simplest project I thought would be to do cookie cutters. Going to my existing library of artwork, I decided to make them of the Wood Badge Critters. Initially I was going to do full body's but realized some of the creatures weren't very adaptive for an actual cookie so I switched to just the heads. Some still ended up having problems which I'll detail later.

Step 1: Draw Outlines

Using existing reference I drew outlines of each individual critters head, mostly profiles. With the exception of the Owl and Buffalo which are straight on. I sketched out on paper the rough idea for each head. I then drew these out in Adobe Illustrator using the Pen tool to match my shape as best I could, if not better to get the finished shapes. For a proper thickness later on I used about 5 points. Now its important to note here that once you have your basic outline shape your going to want to duplicate this element and make it recessed. For example if you just export the existing outline by itself you'll get a solid shape when you import it into Tinkercad. But if you outline the outline (make it double lines) you'll get the hollowed out version.

Step 2: Export

Now there are several methods you can use to create your 3D files for actual print. My personal choice is to export the individual head outlines as SVG files. After I had all of these done. I imported the SVG files into Tinkercad. Create a new 3D file and then import the individual head. Keep in mind your working in millimeters, so adjust your imported file accordingly to get the finished cookie cutter size. Mine were all between 3" & 4". I end up setting it to just art and scale at 50%. You may need to play with this to get close to the finished size you want.

Step 3: Import - Extrude - Export

If the imported file isn't close to the size you want then scale or adjust it. Regardless of over all width and length you can then extruded the height to about 3/8 to 1/2 inch tall (if its already not close to what you need). Notice the thickness of your SVG file can vary depend on how thick of a line you drew your outline to be. Since these are cookie cutters they don't have to be all that thick (but you want it to be thick enough for durability and printability). Once I was happy with the final shapes and sizes I exported the finished designs out as .STL files for 3D Printing.

Step 4: Print Out Cutters

Print 3D, I can't give you any specific details regarding this as I rely on my daughter to print my files for me. I did have to go back and redo one or two of the critters as it was clearly to big compared to the other cutters.

Step 5: Make the Dough, Cut and Bake

I used my grandmothers sugar cookie recipe. I don't do it justice, but my daughter has nailed it when making her christmas cookies. After rolling out the dough I cut the cookies out for however many I needed for each particular critter. It was during this part I realized a couple of the cutters were going to have to be retooled. The buffalo and the antelope specifically. The antlers were just to narrow and the dough kept sticking in the small narrow areas. The other aggravating part was after baking the thinner portions tended to over cook a bit.

Step 6: Ice Cookies & Decorate

Decorating the cookies was the fun part. Even though I was a bit pressed for time I didn't go all out. I decided to just slap a coat of critter color icing on them. And initially added a Black gel dot for the eye or eyes. Another mistake… The Black gel never solidified or hardened and would stick to the other cookies if I stacked. So I opted to replace with sugar eyes. Which I think helped the look of the heads. If I'd had more time I might have liked to piped icing with a complimentary color for more details. Another great thing about experimenting... you can eat the rejects. At any rate… they were all still eaten.

Overall I was pleased with the end result of the experiment. I'm working on a different variation where the totem pole critters (see other Instructable) I created will imprint into the dough and cut out at the same time. Hopefully in the near future I'll be able to give that a go.

Attached is an .STL file with all the cutters in one file. I had originally lost all my files for these so they may not be as shown in the pictures shown. It was the best I could do.

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