Things of the week: Christmas ornaments!

Your Christmas tree is probably up and decorated, but I’m going to pretend that it’s only just been put up and you’re still rather confused over how you’re going to decorate it. Instead of hanging those soon-to-be-shattered cat toys labeled as ‘bulb ornaments’ all over your tree, try printing your own! Or have a 3D print service do it for you because some of these are too cool for personal FDM (fused deposition modeling) printers…

Holed Christmas Ornament by pmoews

Holed Christmas Ornament by pmoews

This is a simple sphere with 198 star — err, “hypocycloids with 5 cusps” — holes. These are printed in two pieces that come out of FDM printers just fine.

Have an Open Source Christmas by macouno

Have an Open Source Christmas by macouno

Open source was a hot topic in 2012, so this festive sphere is appropriate. It elegantly celebrates six influential open-source players with clean silhouettes of their logos: Tux the penguin for Linux, the FireFox, the OpenOffice birds, the Blender (the program used to model the ornament) blendy thing, the Gimp creature, and the VLC traffic cone. Adorable. This one was printed by Shapeways.

Math Christmas Ornament by Dizingof

Math Christmas Ornament by Dizingof

Math! For Christmas! It’s what every normal child asks Santa for. This is pretty math too; because of the stacking Schwartz Math Surfaces in a high density grid, this ornament displays a neat effect when spinning. This can be printed on an FDM printer with a bit of patience.

Christmas Ball by cunicode

Christmas Ball by cunicode

This one is kind of mathy too, though more geometric and difficult to print. You’ll need an SLS (selective laser sintering) machine to pull this one off.

Snowflake Ornament 6 Points by Beauturner

Snowflake Ornament 6 Points by Beauturner

No Christmas tree is complete without snowflakes, so here are two. There are several others on Thingiverse, but I like these for their simplicity. Both are easily printed on personal printers.

Iphone Christmas Ornament by Claydiz

Iphone Christmas Ornament by Claydiz

If you own an iPhone 4, 4s, or 5, you could hang it on the tree and play Christmas music or video call your distant loved ones with this ornament. If you’re giving someone an iPhone, this is a great way to surprise that special person. This is an easy print.

Cube Ball Illusion by Ablapo

Cube Ball Illusion by Ablapo

Here is another ornament with an optical effect; at some angles it looks like a sphere and at others it appears to be a cube. Since it’s printed in six pieces it’s easy to print at home.

These ornaments are sure to bring some printed cheer to your holidays. Alternatively, they make great gifts! Merry Christmas all ye Makers of the World!