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It is December and that means it's time to print your own Christmas ornaments. Christmas ornaments are a great way to practice your 3D modeling skills and I will show the approach I took in replicating one of our existing ornaments.
The video above quickly goes through the process I took in modeling, printing, and painting my ornament. Below is a summary of the steps I took.
The above picture shows the ornament I decided to replicate on the left with my finished and printed design on the right. I used Fusion 360 as my modeling software. Fusion 360 allows for parametric modeling and also has a sculpting environment that allows for making organic shapes. I won't go into great detail on the modeling but the video above gives a quick overview of my approach. Those interested in learning how to design for 3D printing can check out my online tutorials by visiting desktopmakes.com.
I printed the model in PLA. I used 2mm resolution and no supports or raft and a 10% infill. After printing I took the model outside and hung it on a bird feeder using a coat hanger wire and applied a layer of primer. Depending on the quality you're looking for and the amount of time you want to spend you can chose to sand the model with a fine grit sandpaper prior to priming. Just make sure to wear a dust mask when sanding plastic and be in a well ventilated area.
After priming I let the model dry overnight and then painted using acrylic paints. I painted the entire model in white and then went back and applied paint to the scarf, hat, nose, eyes, and mouth. I applied two or three coats on each section.
After painting and letting the paint dry it was time to apply a clear coat. The clear coat will seal and protect the paint job as well is give the model a nice finish. I ended up going with the Rust-oleum glitter spray finish. It applied a nice sparkly shimmer to the ornament similar to the original model.
And here is the finished model. I was very happy with the finished product. It will definitely be displayed on our Christmas tree this year and years to follow. The STL files for this model can be downloaded from my thingiverse page.
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