Matt Makes 3D Name Tags

Wow! This 3D printed name tag thing is really catching on! Lots of you have had questions about how they are made, so I thought maybe some photos would help. Here is Matt with the 3D printer.3D Printed Name Tag

After designing each name tag on a computer program, Matt puts the information into the printer. It takes over an hour to print each name tag. Think of it more like manufacturing than printing. The plastic comes on spools sort of like weed-wacker filament. It is threaded through a nozzle that heats the plastic.3D Printed Name Tag

These nozzles then move all over as the program tells them to and lay thin layer after layer. The build plate moves down after each layer.3D Printed Name Tag

The designing is an exact process, but the print is always a challenge. Will the printer heat to the proper temperature for the filament? Each filament color seems to have it’s own special needs. Sometimes, the colors will drip on other colors. But overall, it is a fascinating process! I took a little video of it making a name tag.

Here are some name tags that Matt printed to show the different colors.3D Printed Name Tag for Rug Hooking

I’m the lucky girl that has all these yummy colors to wear!3D Printed Name Tag

We have offered the name tags for purchase on my website, Gentle Spirit Creations, at this link. I’ve always wished people had on name tags when I’ve gone to rug hooking events. My poor memory just can’t keep up with all the new names! Well, they’ll remember mine now!3D Printed Name Tag

3D Printer Christmas Pyramids

When I was just a kid, my parents started the tradition of giving handmade gifts to others for Christmas. I love making jewelry for my daughters-in-law, but this year we made a joint gift for our family members. Matt is enjoying a new hobby: making things with a 3D printer. Here he is with the mysterious machine.Matt with his 3D printer

At first I was quite befuddled by the whole 3D printing idea. I think it’s confusing because of the term printer. Really, if you think of it as a hot glue gun sort of thing that extrudes hot thin plastic layer after layer as it builds up into a three dimensional item, then it makes more sense to me.  The Christmas presents all started when we visited my parents this fall. My dad had designed a Christmas pyramid and was printing it on his 3D printer. They asked if I would help paint the figurines. Figurines for the Christmas pyramids

I was hooked! These things were mesmerizing! I asked if we could use Dad’s designs and make them for our family too. We had to get busy to complete them by Christmas, but we did it. The printer was running non-stop for days in order to make four pyramids. Then came the painting. I thought the Marys looked so sweet.Mary figurines printed on a 3D printer

And the choir boys just precious.Choir boys, 3D printer

Finally, Matt put them all together and set them spinning. I really could watch them for hours. Here is a video of our completed Christmas pyramids.

Aren’t they wonderful?! I’m so glad Dad shared it with us and Matt made them. Christmas pyramids. 3D printer

Here are my parents holding one that they completed and figurines that were drying. I wonder if the one they are holding is the one they gave me? Burl and Shirley Updyke holding the Christmas pyramid that he designed for the 3D printer

It was a joy to give one to Matt’s parents.Matt's parents with the 3D printed Christmas pyramid

And to our sons.One of our sons and his wife holding their Christmas pyramid

We sure did enjoy thinking of our loved ones as we made these pyramids. And loved contemplating just what they represented: the love of our Father in heaven who sent his one and only son to come as a baby, endure suffering and death and rise again as our Savior, Jesus Christ! Praise God for his incredible gift!3D printed Christmas Pyramid

Who knows what we’ll make next year. This may have started a new trend for us! You can read about the construction of the pyramids on my mom’s blog here: Shirl and You – A Labor of Love and a Keepsake is Made