It’s that time of year again and you are realizing just how many people you may need to buy presents for. Even when shopping around for online deals, the holiday season can cost you hundreds of dollars. Instead of spending all of your money on presents for extended family, take some time out to make a unique, inexpensive 3D printed item.
Most people know someone in their family who enjoys a good game of chess. They may have a couple of boards in their house, but most chess players always enjoy a unique set.
You can set aside a lot of time and print an amazing set such as this Skyscraper set, a wobbly set, this Star Trek 3D set, and even these Minions, Pokemon and Harry Potter chess sets. There are also more generic sets such as this abstract version, a more wire frame essence set, a board that is extendable, and much more that can be found or designed.
There are normally quite a few wine connoisseur within your family and they would be happy to get a unique holder for their favorite pastime. Aside from there being a wide variety of options, you can even personalize the item with a minor amount of design.
Tree Toppers and Ornaments
Every Christmas tree needs a good star on top and what better one than the retro pixel tree topper seen to the right designed by Gustav Knape on Thingiverse. The topper may take a while to print, but it would be a great early present for any Nintendo lover.
There are also numerous random tree ornaments you can print and customize without much difficulty. These customizable, mailable snowflake ornaments designed by Laird Popkin on Thingiverse are amazing and can help you to find the exact piece you want. We also printed the xmas orb from Sharon Brackett’s Ornaments Collection One, seen to the right.
Frankenstein Light Switch Plate
While this seems like just a present for children’s rooms, I personally use this in my apartment and know many adults who would enjoy this as a gift. But it definitely works as a backup present for that niece or nephew you didn’t know what to get for.
The photo to the left is this switch printed in black and then certain parts were spray painted grey. The design is by Jeff Kerr on Thingiverse and is available for both the standard switch as well as the paddle type.
Popsicle Maker and Unique Ice Cube Trays
Recently I was wanting to make my own Popsicles out of orange juice and decided to see if there were any files that existed. I did a bit of tweaking to Perry Cain’s design on Thingiverse to get the maker you see to the right. We made sure to print this in t-glase by taulman3D , which is FDA approved as food safe. We would recommend only making parts such as this in similar FDA approved materials.
There is also the option to make unique ice cube trays. This Indianapolis Colts Ice Cube tray by zthralls on Thingiverse opens the possibility to make a unique tray with any professional team’s logo for all of your relatives and friends who are sports fans.
Fidget Spinners and Cubes
Ever since the Fidget Cube debuted on Kickstarter, there have been duplicates fabricated everywhere. Instead of spending $20 on the original or buying an off brand version, print your own for all of your friends!
We printed a similar print to the bearing fidget gyroscope pictured to the left, designed by Tim Snow on Thingiverse. Also pictured is a tri spinner fidget toy designed by 2ROBOTGUY also on Thingiverse. There are many different types available and you can even design one yourself. Print a bed of 10 in PLA, pop some bearings in where needed, and you no longer have to buy any presents for your your nieces and nephews. Just keep in mind that the majority of these should be printed in high resolution in order to work properly.
Unique Geometric Desk Displays
There is an endless supply of unique geometric shapes available for printing on Thingiverse. If you have that math savvy friend, I am sure they would enjoy a fun Klein bottle desk ornament, as you can see in the image to the right. That specific Klein bottle design is by Reed Kelso on Thingiverse.
If you want to get even more unique, there is the very cool Klein tea cup also pictured to the right, designed by Jacob Newman on Thingiverse. There are also tesseracts, Hilbert curves, fractals, Mobius strips, Seifert surfaces, and much much more.