Introduction: Sylvanian Sized Dining Set (Tinkercad & 3D Printing Tutorial)
In this tutorial I'll be designing, printing and building a full miniature dining set. It will include a table,chairs and highchair, and a few accessories including plates, bowls, cups, and a jug as well as placemats and a tablecloth - each item has its own step so if you only want some of these pieces, feel free to skip steps!
I built this to fit Sylvanian Families figures which I believe use 1:12 standard dolls house scale but you can just scale up or down to suit your needs!
I found that Sylvanian furniture is somewhat limited - they have a particular aesthetic which is very sweet but not to everyone's taste so I thought I'd have a bash at making something a little more minimalist and modern for them!
I'll be printing my design but if you don't have a printer of your own there are plenty of people out there who will print your designs for you via sites such as Fiverr or Shapeways.
I've included my STLs here as well in case you just want to skip the design process - feel free to have a play around with my Tinkercad project here too :)
For the Printed Parts
For the Tablecloth
Scrap Fabric or Paper
Craft Knife or Scissors
Step 1: The Table
This is the simplest piece of the whole set so we'll start here:
- In your new Tinkercad project bring in a square and resize it to suit your model - mine was 100 x 50 x 5. I also gave it a radius of 1 so there wouldn't be such sharp corners
- Next, add a cylinder and again, resize it to suit your needs - mine was 5 x 5 x 50
- Make 3 more copies of the cylinder
- Use the align tool to place a cylinder in each corner of your table
- Move each cylinder 2 mm towards the centre of the table so the table top overhangs the legs
- Select all of your objects and group them together
That's your table done!
Step 2: Build the Chair Base
The chair we'll create using 3 pieces for easier printing and customisation!
Let's start with the base of the chair - this is a very similar process to what we just did for the table, only a little smaller!
- Same as with the table we'll need a square with a radius of 1 - this time mine was 40 x 35 x 3
- Again we'll need 4 cylinders for the legs only a bit shorter this time - mine were 5 x 5 x 20
- Next, we need to add some holes for the chair back and cushion to fit into - you may find it easier to work on if you flip what you've built over like in the 2nd picture
- add 2 square holes of 3 x 3 x 15 and rotate them back so they are at a 10 degree angle
- Place the 2 holes you just made in each corner at the back of the chair - check the 2nd picture for what this should look like.
- Add a 5 x 5 polygon hole that passes all the way through the centre of the chair base
If you're wondering why we're using a polygonal hole and peg for this, it's because it won't allow the seat cushion to rotate once in place like a circular hole would - this hopefully means you won't need to glue it in place!
Step 3: Make Your Cushion
Next we'll build the cushion!
Doing the cushion separately means we can give everything a flat base so you shouldn't need supports to print it and also means you can easily print several in different colours and swap them out whenever you like!
This will have a small peg on the underside so it fits into the chair base as shown in the first picture
- Place another square on the workplane and resize it so it's a little smaller than the chair base - mine was 32 x 35 x 5 and I gave it a radius of 6 to give it a more rounded, cushioned look
- Next, use a square hole to chop off the top 2mm of the shape to give it a flat top
- Add a polygon 4 x 4 x 5 to the centre of the shape (this is just a little smaller than the hole we made in the base so it should fit together nicely)
- Group everything together
Step 4: The Chair Back
Last piece of the chair now - the chair back!
- Again, we'll need to start with a square - mine was 35 x 50 x 3 and again had a radius of 1
- Next place 4 square holes to create a slatted look - I used 25 x 8 holes for the 3 narrow holes and a larger 18 x 30 hole for the bottom
- Group it all together!
That's it - you now have all 3 chair pieces ready to print!
Once printed, the pieces will fit together as shown in the last picture!
Step 5: The Highchair Top
The highchair is made of 2 parts - we'll start with the top.
Once printed the 2 pieces will fit together as shown in the first picture!
- Bring in a square 25 x 30 x 3.5 with radius of 1
- Duplicate the shape then make the duplicate 10mm smaller on each side
- Make the duplicate a hole and align with the centre of the original square before grouping the 2 shapes - see picture 2 for guidance.
- Add 4 more squares (shown in blue in picture 3) each should be 10 x 15 x 3 and align them with the centre of each side of your original shape as shown
- Finally, add a round roof shape (shown in green in picture 2) 15 x 30 x 3 and place it along one edge of your model - this will be the tray
- Select all of your shapes and group them - your model should now look like picture 4!
Step 6: The Highchair Base
Now we'll make the highchair base!
- Bring in a square 25 x 20 x 3 with radius of 1 - this is shown in red
- Add 4 square holes, each should be 11 x 4 x 15 and align them with the centre of each side of your original shape as shown in the first picture
- Add 4 cylinders 5 x 5 x 35 and align one with each corner - these are shown in orange
- Finally, group all of those pieces to make something that looks like the second picture
That's it! You've now got both of the pieces you need to make a highchair perfect for baby Sylvanians!
Step 7: The Cup, Plate, Jug and Bowls
Let's make some little accessories - I've given the placemat its own step as it's a bit more of a process but these pieces all use the same basic technique so I've lumped them together to save repeating myself!
- Take the basic shape closest to the object you want to make and resize it to suit your model e.g. for the cup I used an 8 x 8 x 10 cylinder and I've detailed below the shapes used for the other models.
- Duplicate the shape and resize it so it's just a little smaller than the original - I made mine 6 x 6 x 8 in this example
- Make the duplicate a hole and align it with the centre and top of the original shape
Check out the first picture - I made the solid pieces transparent so you can see where the holes sit within all of the models
- Group the shape with its corresponding hole - you should now have a hollowed out version of the original shape as shown in the second picture.
To make the bowl with straight edges I used the same technique starting with a 20 x 20 x 10 cone shape (top radius 10, bottom radius 8)
For the rounded bowl I used a half sphere, again 20 x 20 x 10, - you will need to use a square hole to cut the bottom off the half sphere to give it a flat base.
For the plate, I just used the same cone shape from the straight bowl and reduced the height to 2mm, then used a second cone shaped hole to give it a small indent.
The jug is just a 20 x 20 x 20 cylinder with part of a pyramid used for the spout - I flipped the pyramid overand used a square hole to cut it down to just the one point I needed then used the same technique as above to hollow it out.
Step 8: The Placemats
The placemats are actually quite simple but involve a lot of little stages so I gave it its own step so I could include lots of screenshots as I think that might help to visualise what each stage is actually doing:
- Place a square and resize it to the size you need, mine is 30 x 20 x .6 and shown in blue
- Take a second square and resize to 2 x 20 x .4 then rotate it by 22.5 degrees (Tinkercad will snap to this rotation for you)
- Duplicate the shape and then move it 4mm to the left - continue to duplicate until you have a row of pieces long enough to cover your blue square (See red shapes in 1st picture)
- Group the red pieces together and duplicate them then use the mirror tool to flip the duplicate so you have a lattice pattern like the 2nd picture
- Add 4 square holes and place them so that they overlap the edges of the blue square by 2mm as shown in the third picture
- Group the 4 holes and the red lattice (take care to not select the blue piece as well)
- Create a final square hole the same size as the red lattice - check picture 4
- Group it with the blue piece to create a border (take care not to select the lattice as well this time)
- Group your lattice and border together!
Step 9: Print!
You now have everything you need to print a table and chair set - and a few accessories too!
Export your STLs and slice!
This should be a pretty easy print - I won't tell you how to slice your files as it varies by machine, material, slicer etc. but here's a few tips based on the models themselves:
- You shouldn't need any supports - I stuck to simple shapes with flat bases and separate parts purposefully so that it would be easy to print and you wouldn't have to waste material on supports
The only place you may need very small supports is on the chair base - I had successful prints of all pieces without supports though.
- Print smaller pieces more slowly - the chair back and accessories in particular have a fairly small footprint. If you're having trouble getting them to stay stuck you may need to clean and level your bed - if that doesn't fix it, slow the print down for the first couple of layers or add a brim or raft if you don't mind the clean up afterwards.
- If you're making these for young kids to play with, I'd recommend printing in PETG as it's less brittle than PLA. I'd also suggest printing with at least 20% infill so the pieces are nice and strong too.
Step 10: Build!
Once you've got your printed pieces it's time to put them together.
In my case, I found the pieces were fine straight off the print bed (My red pieces came out a little ugly - I think the PLA was a smidge past its best but not much to be done about that, I'll just reprint when I have some new filament!)
If you find you have some strings etc. or if you ended up using a brim or any supports, now is the time toclean up the individual pieces and if you want to paint any of the pieces, it may well be easiest to do that before assembly as well.
The Table and Accessories shouldn't require any assembly but you will need to build the Chairs and Highchair
To Build the Chairs
- Simply line the cushion up with the base of the chair and pop the cushion peg into the hole in the chair base.
- I don't glue the cushions in place so I can swap them out if I want to but you may want to secure them with a dab of superglue.
- Slot the chair back into the 2 grooves in the chair base
- I do use a small amount of glue here, just so the backs don't fall off with use. They usually stay on pretty well without it though.
To Build the Highchair
- Slot the highchair top piece into the spaces in the highchair base
- Secure by gluing in place - in my experience this is necessary as they won't hold together without a dab of glue
Step 11: The Tablecloth
I'll be making my tablecloth out of some wrapping paper scraps but it would look great made out of fabric too! If you don't have anything like that lying around then you could simply print or draw a pattern onto some plain paper and use that instead for a unique design!
What's great about this method is that you can swap and change tablecloths whenever you like as nothing is glued onto the table!
- Cut your material of choice to just a little larger than the surface of your table - the excess will drape down the sides of the table so if you want it to hang lower, just cut it a little bigger! (see picture 1 if you want to match what I did)
- Draw around your table - I used pencil and drew faintlyso it wouldn't show through the paper
- At each corner, make a small cut to create a flap. You should stop just short of where your pencilled corner is - see picture 2 as a guide
- Fold each edge along the lines you drew and stick each flap in place to make what looks like an open topped box (picture 3)
- Flip it over and gently slide it over your table top
Step 12: Finished!
That's it, you're all set, you should now have a table and chairs and maybe some extra bits and bobs too!
I hope you enjoyed making them and maybe learned a thing or two :)
I'd really love to see other people's takes on this too!
Maybe you changed the scale or maybe you made it a bit more ornate or maybe you made some really neat new accessories or did something really interesting with the tablecloth - even if you just followed this whole thing step by step, I'd love to see what you made if you're comfortable sharing it with me!
Edit: I really enjoyed making this so I've since made the kitchen shown here too! If you want to check it out there's an instructable for that too!
Runner Up in the
Big vs Small Challenge