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3D Printed Holiday Gifts

The 3D printing lab was busy this holiday season with students and staff members planning and designing their holiday gifts. Shopping can be hard this time of year but these young inventors took gift giving to another level. From snowflakes to chess sets, these gifts were thoughtful, personal, and creative.

Gyroscopic Star-Snowflake

Ray Huff, Idea2Product Manager and Colorado State University student, designed 3D printed gyroscopic star-snowflakes to give to friends and family with greeting photos. “I thought it would be a good object that I could send to friends with a holiday card. It’s cool because it prints as a single part, but it has the interior snowflake attached in a rotating swivel so it spins as soon as you pull it off the bed,” Huff said.

The star-snowflake hanging in the window of Ray’s mom’s in California.

3D Printed Bird Feeder

Marlo Kerr, Idea2Product Marketer and Colorado State University Student, spent an astonishing 26 hours printing a bird feeder for her grandparents. Kerr printed with ChromaStrand on a Taz 5.

Marlo Kerr’s 3D printed bird feeder.

Holiday Themed Gifts

Daniel Sanchez, Idea2Product staff member, made a couple holiday
themed prints and one not so holiday themed ping pong ball launcher for his brother.

3D Printed Chess Set

While searching for holiday gifts this season, Sam Allsup, a student at Colorado State University, decided that he wanted to personalize all of this year’s gifts. Allsup had been doing a lot of 3D printing over this past summer and semester, and got the idea to 3D print gifts for his entire family. Looking back on fond memories as a child, Allsup knew exactly what to create for his grandpa. “My grandpa taught my brother and me how to play chess when we were kids. We really never played chess besides when we went to our grandparent’s house. My grandpa would always give us chess strategy books as gifts and he would read them himself, so he was really good,” Allsup said. “Unfortunately I didn’t read most of them, so he often beat me.”

Chess set in progress of being 3D printed in the Idea 2 Product Lab. Photo by Hillary Lorsch


Allsup had never created a chess set before, and it was a process finding a design for the set. “Originally I wasn’t sure if I could make the set on my own so I looked online at Thingiverse, [a website for people to share their 3D prints]. I saw a few different ones, but I didn’t really like any of them that I saw…,” Allsup explained. “There was one set that I found on Thingiverse that caught my attention. It was very modern looking and square, and I liked the pawns because they were simple little cubes. I took that shape and used it on all of the pieces giving all of them identical bases and simply varying the height of the main “trunk” of the piece.”

The 3D printed pieces ready for a game of chess. Photo by Sam Allsup

One of the biggest challenges he faced was coming up with a good design that would work for all the pieces.“The next challenge was deciding how big to make them – I pretty much based all of this on the height of the king I had in another chess set, and then I kind of “eyeballed” the size of the other pieces from there. The final thing was making the knight piece because of the asymmetrical nature of the piece.”