3D Print Your Own Creation

You can now 3D print just about anything you can imagine and design – even if you don’t own a 3D printer!

Our family is fascinated by 3D printing. Over the past few years, it has increased in popularity and become more common and mainstream. Even our schools have added 3D printers as part of their science and technology programs.

One of our family traditions is to decorate holiday cookies. In addition to the usual sleighs, stars and reindeer, we like to add some unusual shapes like bison, T. rex, and stegosaurus. This year, we wanted to add a tardigrade one of our new favorite animals, to our cookie menagerie. However, after a few internet searches, we couldn’t find one.

Tardigrade-Cookie-Cutter-150x150That’s when friends told us about Shapeways, a 3D print shop, where we could custom design and 3D print our own tardigrade cookie cutter. Shapeways has Cookie Caster, an online program to easily draw cookie cutter designs for 3D printing. We’ve been drawing our own designs with Cookie Caster including elephant seals, manta rays, bats, and tardigrades.

On the Shapeways site we chose the size at which to print, the type of material (food-safe plastic rather than other types of plastic or metals), and the color. Then we ordered our cookie cutters and are now waiting for them to arrive. We even set up our own online store where Shapeways takes care of printing, packaging, shipping, and billing in case anyone else is interested in our designs.

So with a few hours of creative drawing, a little bit of computer skills, you can create a full fledged online store to sell your creations! Just imagine the possibilities.

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