This year students of WHSAD celebrated the holidays through a school ornament design competition. Students were challenged to create a unique design through the design platform AutoCAD as it would allow the designs to be 3D printed and painted. Students had a limit of around a week to come up with a draft for an ornament design and experiment with the design. Although this was a competition for holiday fun, it also proved to be a challenge for students as working freely with AutoCAD in 3D can be challenging at times. However, the students overcame any challenges presented and created several detailed designs in time for the holiday!
Some of the participating students shared their experiences which you may read below:
Kyanna Vinson (Competition Winner!):
After speaking with my architecture teacher, Mr. Codio, I decided to organize an ornament contest not for competition but for fun. I had a meeting with a few students who wanted to participate, and we discussed things such as how to design in 3-D, how to scale the object correctly, and how to place one’s name on the object in the AutoCAD design. Another thing I did was to create a flier to hang up around the school and in classrooms. In the flier, I included photos from last year’s seniors’ ornament designs along with information about the competition such as rules, contact information, deadlines, and prizes.
For my design, I decided to make something silly but creative. It was a snowman margarita and a snowman in a Coca-Cola cup. These were fun and silly designs but also challenging. Since it was my first-time 3D designing, it was difficult to get everything right. The harder parts of it were putting my name on the ornaments and designing the arms and the scarf. Through the process of trial and error, I discovered how to get things the way they needed to be. Not only did I learn how to 3D print but I also learned the importance of patience and taking my time because I would often get frustrated and a little aggravated. I would step away from the design when I felt at my wit’s end and then come back and try again after giving myself a break. Though after I finished and since I got the hang of it, I then helped other people, and from that teaching I got to understand AutoCAD commands so much better and now feel as if I can continue 3D designing and printing without too much of a struggle. I want to create more complex designs in the future, so there will probably be new challenges and points of frustration that may come.
With the holiday season approaching, I thought it would be a great idea to 3D print some ornaments. First, I was tasked to figure out what to make, and since it was winter, I wanted to make something that would keep us warm and make us feel warm. As a result, I came up with the idea of making hot chocolate out of marshmallows and candy canes. I googled the references and then got to work. Using a program called Blender, I imported a picture reference I had and started with a simple circle which I then turned into a cup. Since I was creating hot chocolate, I added a handle so you wouldn’t get burned while holding it. I added different things to my hot chocolate, such as marshmallows, candy bars, and candy canes to make it even more lively. It took me around 15 hours to make because I was 3D printing other things as well. After completion, it was then placed in an acid bath for 24 hours and finally painted by Brianny Estevez.
For the Christmas Ornament Competition, I was inspired by different Christmas themes and toys. I was inspired by toy trains, Christmas villages, and snowglobes as they all reminded me of Christmas and various different Christmas movies. I thoroughly enjoyed the creation of my ornament as I was able to create a small Christmas village with a train- as I had seen a picture of a similar Christmas figure and was determined to make something loosely inspired by the design. When I had completed the ornament, I was proud of how complex the village was, mainly due to how small of a scale I had to work with. Once I completed the small Christmas village, however, I realized the ornament was missing a fundamental part of its character-color. The paintless ornament was very cute to me but without paint, the small details of the ornament weren’t as prominent as I would have liked them to be.
In realizing this dilemma I came up with a color scheme for my ornaments. I decided to stick with more classic and dark colors, creating a more common and cool color scheme. I decided to follow through with the theme of using more common and cool colors as it gave the ornament the feeling of almost being in the city during Christmas. The painting of the printed ornaments was therapeutic to me as I was able to concentrate on the fine details of the painting process. Overall the entire process of creating the ornament was extremely fun to me as I was allowed to create whatever I desired.