Design & 3D Print a Bowtie




Introduction: Design & 3D Print a Bowtie

About: I am a queer, transgender, nonbinary, and mixed-race picture book writer/illustrator. As a young person, I didn’t have the words to explain the big feelings I had about my identity and relationships. It is so …

We wanted our Baxter robot to wear a bowtie for our upcoming Festival of the Fountains event! Unfortunately, most bowties don't fit Baxter, so we 3d printed one. This bowtie is perfect for Baxter, but also works well for humans. I used TinkerCAD to design a basic bowtie and then printed it in PLA on a FlashForge 3d printer, but you could definitely use a service like Shapeways or a local makerspace to print your bow tie.

Total Time: ~1 hour and 25 minutes

Design time: ~15 minutes

Print time: ~1 hour

Other time: ~10 minutes

Step 1: Design Bowtie in TinkerCAD

  1. Drag a half-sphere shape from the sidebar into TinkerCAD.
  2. Stretch out the shape by selecting the shape and dragging outwards.
  3. Then drag a box from the sidebar and make the box into a hole. Select all and group.
  4. Stretch your shape until it is about the size of one side of the bow.
  5. Duplicate your shape by selecting it, then copy and paste it. Rotate your duplicated object and move it so that it just overlaps the first side of your bow.
  6. Add a shape in between as the tied part of the bowtie.
  7. Make fasteners to glue on later by dragging a box shape into your work space. Use another box shape to make a hole. Group shapes and skew until it is the right size. Duplicate shape.

You can see our version here:

Step 2: Prepare for 3d Printing

You can either click "download for 3d printing" to download an STL suitable for printing yourself, or you can click "order a 3d print" to print through Shapeways, 3d Hubs, etc. and have your print shipped to you. I'll be printing myself so I downloaded an STL.

Step 3: Print It!

If you are printing it yourself, print it! I used PLA and tried it with and without a raft because we've been having some printer bed adhesion issues. This is a super easy print because it has a flat base with no bridges and minimal overhang.

Step 4: Hot Glue the Clips On

Hot glue those clips on. You could definitely try a different kind of attachment mechanism if it is for a person, like a top shirt button clip. You can easily thread a ribbon or elastic band through the back of it. Enjoy!

Step 5: Show Off Your Bowtie!

Colin the Human shows that Baxter's bowtie works well on him too. Who wore it better?

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