3D Printing for the Holidays

This discussion has a more recent version.
edited December 2021 in 3D Printers

As we enter the holiday season, we all start looking for new ways to spread holiday cheer. And if you have a 3D printer, it’s even easier than you might expect! Add new decorations to your home, find fun new projects for the family, or even print some neat gifts for whoever might be on your list. We’ve combed through the internet and found seven of our favorite prints to spruce up your home for the holidays.

Articulated Holiday Figures

These three holiday figurines come from Thingiverse user BQEducation. The set includes a reindeer, elf, and Santa Clause. All three can be printed in place without any additional supports, making them a fantastically easy print. And, if you want to continue the family fun, they can be painted with acrylic or enamel paints. Turn on the heat, cozy up to some holiday tunes, and spend a night bonding with the family! Check them out here.


Labyrinth Gift Box

Sometimes giving a gift is too easy. You want to make the recipient work for it. Add some challenge to your Christmas morning with this labyrinth box from sneakpoo on Thingiverse. It's essentially a maze wrapped around a cylinder that must be solved to separate the two halves. It's a great size for small or foldable gifts (like cash) and can be scaled up or down in your slicer to accommodate a wide range of gifts. You can check it out here.


Flatpack Reindeer Kit 

If you're looking for fun and small stocking stuffers check out this reindeer puzzle from Thingiverse user tone001. Like the plywood puzzles of yesteryear with pieces designed to be broken away from scrap wood and assembled into 3D dinosaurs, this reindeer can be created and assembled right in your own home. Thanks to plastic's flexibility they were able to create a nice, rounded look to the deer's forehead. Print it out using different colored filaments and give everyone on your list their very own holiday puzzle! You can check it out here.

Christmas Tree

For those of us in small apartments without the space for a full-size tree, 3D printing has your back. While idig3d's plastic version isn't as lifelike as the real deal, it can still help you get in the Christmas spirit. Printed in vase mode, this tree is a quick print for its size and doesn't use much material. You can scale it up quite a bit if you have a larger printer like the Ender 5. It can be illuminated from the inside and looks great printed in a silk filament. Glue some small ornaments or string some tinsel around it, and you’ve got a great tree alternative! Check it out here.


Snowflake Illusion Ornament

PrusaPrinter user Kagatov created this unique ornament. By varying the height of the lines through the ornament, they created a snowflake that's visible from the sides but disappears when looking straight at the ornament. This is a great print for an area people can walk around or where a bit of a breeze will cause it to spin. It needs to be printed with fine layers (.1mm or less) at 100% infill. You can find it here.


Grinch Ornament

No holiday roundup would be complete without at least one reference to everyone's favorite Christmas curmudgeon. A little bit of paint goes a long way towards bringing out the detail in his fur, devious smile, and evil-looking yellow eyes. This very detailed model from Prusa Research can be found on their website here.


Cookie Cutters

Thingiverse user oogime has uploaded a whole collection of 3D cookie cutters, including many holiday-themed cutters like reindeer, ornaments, and snowmen. While these cutters work great for sugar cookies, long term food safety is a concern with any 3D print. Food can get stuck between layer lines creating an excellent place for bacteria or mold to grow between uses. If you choose to use these cookie cutters more than once make sure you clean them extremely thoroughly before storing them. The whole collection can be found here.

Whether you’re already in the holiday spirit or just starting to ramp up, there's plenty of time to get some holiday cheer printed. We hope these holiday-themed prints can help get you in the holiday spirit and encourage you to put your printer to work this year.

Or, if you’re looking to get into 3D printing for the holidays and don’t know where to begin, check out our guides! We can help you decide the best printer, filament, and even how to start 3D printing!


  • magarity
    magarity ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Up Votes First Comment First Answer

    Just yesterday I was halfway through printing a decorative reindeer with Inland PLA when it hit a tangled spot and stopped feeding. I wound it to a spare spool all the way to the end there were several tangles to unravel. This is the third roll of Inland PLA I've had that is pre-tangled :( Please ask whoever is the buyer for that stuff fuss at the supplier because 3 out of the last 8 rolls is not a good QA ratio.

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