3D Printed WordPress Bow Ties

Sometimes my hobbies cross over into each other. This year I attended WordCamp US in Nashville and had an idea. Why not download and make a bow tie with a WordPress logo on it?

First I went to Thingiverse and I quickly found this one. I already had the WordPress logo from converting the SVG with Fusion 360 and I began to work on combining the two files.

About an hour later I swore profusely. I had a lot of problems. My PC was a little under powered. Fusion 360 can do amazing things and you can design a V8 engine with it including all the parts. My limited Fusion 360 skills were failing me.

All I wanted to do was take the logo, position it on the tie and export the results to a new STL file for printing. But I'm not really good at manipulating imported objects that way in a tool like that.

Tinkercad to the Rescue!

Autodesk makes Fusion 360 but they also have a 3D editor that lives on the web and runs in your browser called Tinkercad. I imported the two files, positioned the logo where I wanted it and exported it for printing.

It took me all of 5 minutes. The first pass had the logo a little too thin and it broke too easily. It was also upside down; I thought the clip on bow tie would work that way. Sometimes I make poor choices.

Different Colors

Just as before with my WordPress coin, I wanted the bow tie to be one color and the logo to be another. My working printer does this like so:

  • Print using one color filament till the 59th layer. I used a tool to figure that out.
  • Move the nozzle to the corner and the print away from the nozzle. The nozzle is 200° C and that will melt any plastic it is near.
  • Beep loudly. This is an important step as the 3D printer is in the basement.
  • I remove the old filament and insert the new color.
  • Log into Octopi via my iPhone's browser and tell the printer to resume.

That's it. The bow tie came out well and I printed a few more. Did I mention that I sometimes go overboard? I printed 9.

Opensource All of The Things

The bow tie I downloaded is licensed via Creative Commons – Attribution and Thingiverse provides an easy to print attribution card HTML. Which I could not incorporate into this post except as a graphic and a link.

The 3D printer community is mostly opensource and these were printed on a Prusa i3 clone. I used Simplify 3D to slice the file into gcode but there are some really good opensource slicers such as Cura and Slic3r. I've had some bad luck with Slic3r but I think I sorted that out now.

If you want to play with this modified bow tie then you can download it via Thingiverse. Or create an account in Tinkercad and play with it there. It's an easy thing to do and is lots of fun.