Presidents of Christmas Past & Present: White House 3D Print Holiday Ornament

Introduction: Presidents of Christmas Past & Present: White House 3D Print Holiday Ornament

1 of 5 winners in the first-ever White House 3D Ornament Design Challenge! Thanks to all for the presidential and historical cheer for 'Presidents of Christmas Past & Present'!!

See's write-up on the White House's 'tech-savvy' decorations featuring 3D printed 'Presidents of Christmas Past & Present' ornament (Ornament in 2nd slide show picture after First Lady Michelle Obama debuting the decorations to military families.).

Signed versions of 'Presidents of Christmas Past & Present' available at

Post Update - 12/31/14:

White House Tour for a Winter Wonderland of Memories!

(See more pictures from my White House Tour here,

A few days before Christmas, I was fortunate enough to take a White House tour and see my ornament on display for the Holidays. From start to finish, being in the White House was an amazing experience and I wanted to share some pictures I took here with you.

I hope you enjoy and here's to an awesome New Year!

1. My 3D printed ornament pictured on a Christmas tree in the State Dining Room next to a richly painted portrait of President Lincoln above a fireplace mantel.

2. The State Dining Room is also home to the incredibly detailed and beautifully crafted White House gingerbread house, a popular White House holiday tradition started by First Lady Pat Nixon in 1972.

(Reference: White House Historical Society,

3. Lights galore in the decked White House halls

4. President of the United States seal stately elevated above all the holiday excitement

5. Iconic White House exterior

6. A few days after my trip to the White House and Christmas, a close up picture I took of my 3D printed ornament I had printed out.

Contest Post:

At first I had the idea of making a candy cane ornament for the White House challenge. But as you can see, that idea morphed into the Presidents of Christmas Past & Present ornament. I chose this design to play into the magic and wonderment of Christmas and the holiday season which have captivated our excitement and awe for generations. The ornament's bulbous shape, outer swirls and swaying 'Christmas Star' (inside the ornament) represent the magic and spirit of the holidays. Paying tribute to the White House and US Presidents, 44 shining stars orbiting the 'Christmas Star' pay homage to the 44 Presidents who have led this nation since the days of George Washington who first selected the site for the White House in 1791. With that said, I hope you like this design and concept and give this ornament a little presidential cheer by voting for it to deck the halls of the White House this year.

Happy Holidays!

Step 1: Draw the Ornament and Star Shapes

Draw the outline shapes of what will become the ornament body and 3D stars.

Step 2: Make Ornament and Stars 3D & Create First Swirl

Revolve ornament curve and extrude star curves to a point to make 3D.

Draw a Swirl curve on the ornament surface and pipe it with a circle or sweep it with another profile shape curve you like.

Step 3: Array Swirl and Place Stars

Polar array the piped swirl to get the desired number. 12 was a nice fit for this ornament.

Create the desired star layout by placing them on the red surface.

The 'Christmas Star' can be placed at the center of the ornament now.

Step 4: Create Swirl Windows and Wall Thickness

Draw the swirl window curves and polar array matching the same number of swirls.

Cut the red surface with the newly created curves then offset the cut surface inward, toward the 'Christmas Star', to the desired wall thickness. I used 1.2mm.

Bring back the presidential stars and add other details to the design if you choose. I added a plain bottom and ribbed top. These can be created in the same way as the ornament body by drawing your profile curves and revolving or sweeping the drawn curves on a rail curve to get the desired result. Yours can be simple or detailed.

Step 5: Add Bails for Ornament and Christmas Star

Step 6: Enjoy the Finished Design!

Boolean the relevant parts to each other and prepare the file for printing. Printing with a high resolution printer (when available) is recommended.

Step 7: Customize Your Christmas Cheer!

The rendering of the ornament at the start of this Instructable and the colors used while modeling, are examples of how I envisioned it might look.

Now it's your turn!

After printing, give it the colors that bring you the most holiday cheer and warmth of the season.

Wishing you a very regal and presidential MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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3D Printed Ornament Design Challenge

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    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you Canida! Wishing you Happy Holidays!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    such a fantastic ornament, I really love the design! good luck in the contest!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! I'm glad you like it.