Patriotic Ornament




About: Design Principal / J O Y C O M P L E X

I thought that this was a really neat Instructable contest. I wanted my ornament to take advantage 3D printing so I wanted to have multiple interlocking parts that would come out as the ornament was printed. I design many items for my shop on Shapeways, Joy Complex, so I'm pretty familiar with the design guidelines for SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) Nylon. So this ornament is designed with that material in mind (though the model should print using different processes, only you'd have to snap the moving parts in place).

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Step 1: Step 1: Drawing

My first step was to come up with a design! When I read about the contest I was about to go to sleep. But just before I did, a design came to me so I turned on a light and quickly sketched out what I had in mind. (Not the best drawing but I was pretty tired).

Basically I saw an ornament that had 50 stars and 13 stripes. I also wanted it to be in a traditional Christmas globe form.

Step 2: Step 2: Bounding Box

I opened up Rhino which is the CAD program I use to design things in 3D and began getting to work!

The rules stated that the ornament could be no bigger than a 3" box. I do all my work using the metric system, so I converted that to about 76 mm and made a bounding box with those dimensions. I made a globe in the middle of that box that was smaller than the minimums because I knew the 13 movable stripes would take up a good portion of the design limits.

Step 3: Step 3: Modeling the Design

Using the globe as a guideline, I created an array of stars on 13 trellis shapes. It worked out that I had 52 stars. However, I knew that they would get replaced with the year (MMXIV) and my initials (JSB). So the stars I arrayed over the trellis worked out!

Step 4: Step 4: the 13 Stripes

I created the stripes to sit on pegs attached to the trellis. Originally they were rectangular but I thought making them more pennant like gave the ornament a sense of movement through the air - like a shooting star. So I tapered them and aligned them to the pegs.

Step 5: Step 5: Quick Render

I then wanted to see how it would look when printed in red nylon so I did a quick render.

I think it came out pretty neat!

3D Printed Ornament Design Challenge

Participated in the
3D Printed Ornament Design Challenge

First Time Author Challenge

Participated in the
First Time Author Challenge



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    6 Discussions

    Oh, I especially like the red one - that would look wonderful on Christmas tree! This is one of very few in the contest which look like something I would actually want to put on my tree. Very nice design.

    1 reply

    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback! I designed it to be printable with any of the SLS nylon that Shapeways prints with. Here are some examples of those colors. These are from my #JoiTorii project. If you are interested, you can read more about that here -


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful ornament. My favorite so far. You've got my vote! I love how whimsical it is and very smart creating the bounding box. Good luck!

    1 reply
    Joy Complextinaciousz

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I appreciate the support! Would be so cool to see it printed and hanging in The White House!