Design and print of Christmas ornament

Stian Mork

By Stian Mork

One thing that’s for sure is that Christmas is coming this year as well, but like every other year my family and me always gets behind on the Christmas preparations. There is a lot that needs to be done, buying gifts, preparing food, cleaning the house etc. In my family, we always decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, but what should you do if you find that there is not enough ornaments and the stores are closed? Why not model and print yourself? So said so done.

I wanted to create a hollow sphere with an embedded detail in the center, I figured that a present would be suitable.


Modeling in SOLIDWORKS 2019 is a breeze. A lot of great tools to get exactly the shapes that you’re after.

First, I modeled a sphere as my base shape, then I sectioned the sphere with the new Slice feature in SOLIDWORKS 2019. By using this feature, you can get out a specified number of cross sections from any geometry that you want.

I could then use the resulting sketches from the Slice feature to create a 3D spline that I used for as basis for a Sweep.

By adding a Circular pattern and some more sweeps around the sphere I got the shape that I was after.

I then modeled the Christmas gift detail as a separate part.

Finally, I combined this parts in an assembly in SOLIDWORKS.

Prepare for printing

Next step was to prepare the part for 3D printing.

I saved the model from SOLIDWORKS as a stl file. Stl is the primary format for 3D printing since this is supported by all print software.

To prepare the model I opened it up in a program from 3D systems called 3D Sprint. Here I oriented the model so that it was placed the way I wanted in the printer and support structure was automatically created.


According to the small details in this model I found SLA/DLP printing to be the best suited since this is the print-technology in the market with the highest resolution.

I therefore chose to use our 3D printer Figure 4 from 3D Systems to create the Christmas ornament for me.


After the Christmas ornament was printed I postprocessed the part by removing support structure and clean the part in Isopropanol to remove the remaining of unused material.

Then the part was placed in the post-curing oven for the Figure 4 (NextDent LC-3DPrint Box) where it was cured with UV light for 90 minutes, this is done to achieve maximum strength for the material.

To make the part more Christmas-ish I spray-painted it with in a copper color.

And then, just in time for Christmas Eve the Christmas ornament was finished and hung on the three and we could finally relax and enjoy the celebration.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Click on the links for more information regarding the software and printer used in this article.


3D Sprint

Figure 4