Snowflake Earrings

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About: Instructables Community Manager - I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!

I wanted to make some fun and easy earrings for Christmas. Snowflakes seemed like the obvious design to go with. After playing around with Isi8Bit's Minimal Waves design on Thingiverse, I knew I wanted to do more prints with different colored layers. This seemed like a great opportunity for that. The result is a simple but pretty earring design that can be printed as one piece but gives you white snowflakes and a silver border.

Etsy

You can buy these earrings in my Etsy Store.

Supplies for this are pretty basic. You need:

  • 3D Printer - I'm using a Prusa MK3
  • 2 Filaments: I'm using just White and Silver - you can just print this in one color, but two colors is more fun
  • 2 Earrings / pair of earrings you make (depending on your earrings, you might need jump rings)

Instructable 292

Step 1: Designing a Snowflake

I knew I would want to sell these so I wasn't going to use anyone else's snowflake design. You can use mine, you can look online for someone else's you like or follow along to learn some basic steps for designing your own.

I wanted to design a really basic 6 pointed snowflake design using Tinkercad that is made up of hexagons and rectangles.

I started with a rectangle and got it the length and width I wanted it, then copied it and rotated the copies 60 and 120 degrees to get them spaced evenly.

Then I wanted the points to be actually pointed so I used a rectangle and a hexagon to make a cutout.

I added a hexagon to the center and then cut out the center of that to just get the outline.

I wanted little arrow type shapes along the outside and figured I could make those out of hexagons.

text

Once I had the arrow shape I needed to get them all lined up the same on each point. To do this, I lined up one the way I wanted it, copied the shape. Looked at the ruler to see how far over on the X plane, rotated the whole thing, then moved the one over I copied so it was in the same spot.

Then I repeated this (copy, rotate, move) until each point had one.

I was going to finish at this point, but it felt like it needed a little something extra, so I ungrouped the snowflake so I could get the center 6 rectangles and copied them, shrank them down a bit, used a hexagon to cut out their center bits and was left with just the points coming out of the hexagon.

Make sure everything is the same depth and

Done.

For the first set of earrings, I decided to start with a cutout oval in the size I wanted the earring. Then I took my snowflake and shrank it to fit inside a couple times. I made sure they overlapped with the edge so they would print together. I knew I wanted to print this with different colors so I made the snowflakes not quite as thick as the border. I did some experimenting with the slicer until I had it the way I wanted it. I loop was added to the top for attaching to the earring. Once the design was completely done, I copied it and flipped it so the other earring would mirror it.

For my other pair of earrings, I decided to stretch and distort the snowflake to get it to fit inside an oval cutout. The first time I made these earrings I just squished the snowflake design so it fit, but decided later to edit the snowflake to make the lines more proportionate. I don't even remember how I did this, but in the end, I had a nice oblong snowflake that fit nicely in my shape. Just like with the other earring, I knew I wanted different colors so the snowflake was made not as thick as the border and a loop was added to the top.

Step 2: Slicing for Different Colors

Now that I have the designs, I needed to figure out how to slice it so I could print the layers the colors I wanted. I am using Simplify 3D but other slicers (and printers) will also give you the ability to change colors at certain points in the print.

My print is 9 layers and I knew I wanted the first layer Color 1, the remaining layers until I reached the top of the snowflakes Color 2, and then the top of the print with just the oval outline Color 1 again. This meant I needed 2 color changes. The first color change went after layer 1, and I checked the layers and decided the next color change needed to happen after layer 7 which was the last layer of the snowflake.

(An easier way to do the earrings is to start with the snowflake color and then change to the border color when you get to the end of the print. I started with the border color because I wanted the back to not look the same as the snowflakes.)

{REPLACE "; layer 2, Z =" "M600\n; Color Change, Z ="}
{REPLACE "; layer 8, Z =" "M600\n; Color Change, Z ="}

For the test prints, I ran into some issues with the smaller snowflakes not filling in. One thing I usually do to fix this is increase the Outline Overlap to up to 35%. This didn't fix the issue completely so I ended up decreasing the Outline/Perimeter Shells to 1 to get those small snowflakes to fill in fully. You may need to do some basic tests yourself to see what works for you.

Step 3: Print and Put Together

Once you get to the printing part, you are in the home stretch!

Depending on your printer you can probably leave and come back. The print is pretty quick, even if you do all four earrings, so don't go far so you can do both of the color changes.

When it comes off the printer, all it needs is an earring and you are done.

Check out the images above to get a look at the front and back of both sets of earrings and see how the edge came out with the color changes.

Step 4: Floating Snowflake Earrings

I made one more pair after putting this Instructable together.

It is essentially the floating snowflake ornament but as a smaller earring. Attached are the files and the directions are the same as the ornament which can be found here.

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8 Discussions

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attosa

10 days ago

Dainty and gorgeous! I love your earrings because I have sensitive ears that can't take weight. <3

1 reply
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Penolopy Bulnickattosa

Reply 10 days ago

Thanks!
Yeah, I like earrings that really stand out but don't drag you down. It's nice when you can barely feel them :)