Family-friendly holiday activity makes 3D printing fun for everyone

By Donna Wright

December marks the month that we experience the shortest day of the year, but there is certainly no shortage of celebrations. Fortunately, with all the holidays we almost always have a bit of additional downtime to spend with friends and family. 

If you’re looking for a fun, family activity, or project for the kids to work on during a school break, look no further! We have a few project suggestions that can teach a valuable skill that is easy to learn and 100% free of charge.

Gather the kids together for a bit of 3D printing fun

We’ve designed a few seasonal decorations in Solid Edge to help you get started. Solid Edge is a powerful computer-aided design (CAD) tool that professional engineers use – but it’s easy to learn and use even for absolute beginners.

To get started, download a free copy of Solid Edge

Next, open one of our pre-designed seasonal part files in Solid Edge and send it to your 3D printer. Printing times will vary depending on your printer, but the feeling of creating something yourself will be worth the wait.

Have a little more time? Maybe you’d like to create your own design! Follow the steps in the quick video tutorial below to design and 3D print your own snowflake.

For more Solid Edge tutorials about how to modify our designs or make your own designs from scratch, check out our online Solid Edge tutorial library or visit the Solid Edge Learning Center.

3D printing is fun, but also practical

If seasonal decorations aren’t for you, how about 3D printing your own cookie cutter to use for baking cookies with your friends and family?

To get started, simply download and 3D print our gingerbread man/woman cookie cutter part file. Once you’ve printed your cookie cutter, have fun baking, decorating and sharing your creations!

As you’ll learn with these activities, 3D printing can be lots of fun, but there are also practical applications too. Many Siemens manufacturing customers use 3D printing to create new products faster than ever before. For example, Siemens customer You Mawo designs and creates eyeglasses using 3D printing. Medical doctors and dentists use design software and 3D printing to help their patients too. In fact, 3D printing is one of the top technologies predicted to influence the future of manufacturing, so it’s a wonderful skill for kids and adults alike to develop.

Gingerbread Cookie Cutter

Sharing is a great lesson at any time of the year

We hope you enjoy learning about Solid Edge and 3D printing. If you enjoyed this post, we invite you to keep learning in the Solid Edge Learning Center and share this post with your friends, teachers, and others in your community.

To share your own 3D designs with us, post a picture on Facebook or Instagram mentioning @solidedge, and don’t forget to include the hashtag #solidedge4holidays. We look forward to sharing your designs on our official Solid Edge Facebook page. In fact, the first three people to post their designs will win a $25.00 Amazon gift card!

Many thanks to Doug Stainbrook and Samuel Faraq for their generous help in creating these activities.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at