How to Assemble a 3D Printed Harry Potter Style Spine Candle Set (with Minimal Effort)




Introduction: How to Assemble a 3D Printed Harry Potter Style Spine Candle Set (with Minimal Effort)

About: I am a Mechanical Engineer who loves to design and build things. I'm always working on new and fun projects.

Have you seen this spine candle holder over at Thingiverse but didn't know how to have it made or assemble it?

Well that's the intention of this instructable.

What you need:

- 3D STL files (see above link to the thingiverse page)

- 3D printer or printing service such as 3D Hubs

- Crazy Glue

- Exacto Knife

- Sandpaper

- Testors Contour Putty

- Tea lights

- Lighter / Matches

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Step 1: Start With the Bottom Section

I would suggest to have all the pieces printed at the same time, but that's up to you. And I'll go through the prints divided from bottom to top.

Aside about print quality: When I had these pieces printed they had varying quality and fill %. Some were rougher than others, some warped off the print bed. But this instructable is meant to help you fix the final piece if these things have happened.

Note: All the Spinous Process (bone off the back of the vertebrae) should point downward

The bottom is composed of:

- Bottom Left

- Bottom Right

When you have your print, first thing to do is cleanup.

- Using an exacto knife and pliers, trim the raft around all the edges of the print and pull off the support material (if used).

- Also using the exacto knife, trim off imperfections from the surface of the print

- Go over the surface with some 100 grit sandpaper, lower grit if it's really rough, then work your way up.

- Lay a piece of sandpaper flat on a cutting mat and sand the flat surfaces to try and smooth out any warping or imperfections in the print.

- You should be ready to start some assembly. Apply some crazy glue to the large section of the left half, and apply a bead to the vertebrae pieces.

- Line up the right half and press together, it's best to hold the pieces in the vertical position that it will be standing to get the pieces lined up.

- Once the glue has cured, look at the piece make note of all the gaps you will have to fill.

Step 2: Middle Section

The middle is composed of:

- Middle Left

- Middle Right

This is identifiable by the irregular bottom vertebrae, and the lack of tea light recess.

Once again perform the cleanup with exacto knife, pliers and sandpaper.

- This time when you want to glue them together, you can either flip the piece upside down or hang the spinous process pieces off the edge of the table to make sure the bottom is flat and lined up.

- Once again, inspect the piece to note all the gaps that need fixing.

Step 3: Top Section

The top is composed of:

- Top Left

- Top Right

The top pieces are easily indentified as they have the recess for the tea light candle.

Once more perform the cleanup with exacto knife, pliers and sandpaper. Take extra care with the tea light holder portion as the wall thickness is smallest here.

- When gluing this one together, it's easy to just stand them up flat.

Step 4: Filling the Gaps

Now that the spine is in 3 pieces we can start looking at filling up the gaps between the pieces.

It is easier to fill them at this stage than when the spine is completely assembled as space is tighter when it's fully assembled.

- Using Testors Contour Putty, apply a generous bead along the gap.

- Using your finger, smooth out the putty into the gap the putty will dry out quickly while spreading. Apply additional putty as needed to full larger gaps.

- Using this method for the front gap, the bottom of the bottom piece, the top of the top piece, and along as much of the spinous process gaps as possible.

Step 5: More Putty Filling and Assembly

- Repeat the last process to smooth out the remaining gaps and irregularities.

Time for final assembly.

Make sure to sand the mating surfaces using a piece of sandpaper flat on the table or cutting mat.

- Apply a bead of crazy glue to the top of the "bottom section"

- Attach the middle section to the bottom section, lining up the features on the back Transverse processes (pieces that stick out on an angle from the center. Also try to line up the front seam.

Step 6: Final Assembly and Tweaks

- Apply a bead of crazy glue to the top of the "middle section" as well as the spinous process that will meet the top section.

- Attach the top section to the middle section, lining up the same way as before.

- Once the glue has cured, repeat the contour putty process for the seam between the top and middle, and, middle and top sections.

Congrats you have completed a spine candle holder :)

Step 7: Setting the Mood

Now, just make one more to make a set for your dining table.

- Drop a tea light candle in the top of each of the holders and light it up for some mood setting.

Warning, tea light candles can give off a significant amount of heat, be sure not to leave the candles unsupervised in case of possible fire. Another suggestion is to use battery powered candles.

3D Printing Contest 2016

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

Makerspace Contest

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest

Wizarding Contest

Participated in the
Wizarding Contest

Halloween Decor Contest 2016

Participated in the
Halloween Decor Contest 2016

1 Person Made This Project!


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6 Discussions


Reply 3 years ago

Thank you very much

Penolopy Bulnick
Penolopy Bulnick

3 years ago

Awesome! Great for Halloween or a Harry Potter party (or just whenever because they are cool)!


Reply 3 years ago

Thank you, my wife loved them, we really like the macabre kind of stuff and these are now mainstays on our dining table.


3 years ago

These are really creepy in a beautiful way. I love how they curve slightly, and almost look like they shouldn't be able to stand up. Which HP movie do these appear in? I remember seeing them, but can't place it. Very nice.


Reply 3 years ago

They are in The Prisoner of Azkaban, when harry is practicing fighting the Dementor/Boggart in Lupin's office.