Jan 26, 2015 | By Kira

February is a difficult month to love. For most of us in the northern hemisphere, it’s smack dab in the middle of winter, with the grey skies and frigid temperatures to prove it. Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone, yet Spring is still just out of reach. Then, of course, there is the controversial date that is February 14th.

Indeed, Valentine’s Day can come with a whole host of anxieties for the single and the taken among us. Unless you’re the ultra-romantic type and have been planning this for months, chances are come February 1st you’ll be wringing your hands trying to figure out the ultimate questions in life: “Should you buy your S/O a gift? How personal should it be? What if they don’t like it?” Likewise, if you’re flying solo this year, by choice or by circumstance, the dreaded holiday can feel like a social death sentence.

But fear not, fellow 3Ders. The answer to all these worries lies in your 3D printer. Forget meaningless chocolates and teddy bears. Ditch the impersonal card, and save your wallet from that totally over-rated, over-packed and over-priced restaurant downtown. The best gifts are unique, customized, and truly come from the heart, which makes 3D printing the perfect medium to make something creative and memorable that your sweetheart will adore. And if you happen to be alone? Even better! All the more reason to treat yourself and spend the day on that new project you’ve been meaning to tackle.

In honour of combining modern romance with 3D printing, CGTrader, the 3D model marketplace, has launched a Valentine’s Day 3D Printing Challenge. “What 3D printing brings to the table is the unexpected, the impossible-made-possible and the truly personal,” they wrote. “So we think it's time to 3D print the present that will leave your SO in awe (and get you all the great prizes!)”

The Challenge, which runs from January 14th to February 9th, will have one winner and two runner-ups, with the principle award going to the best 3D model uploaded during the challenge period. The first place winner will receive one roll of filament by Cartesio3D, an interview with CGTrader, $150 and 150 credits by CGTrader and a CGTrader tshirt.

Inspired by their challenge and list of great 3D Printed Gifts for Her, 3Ders has put together our own compilation of some of the most unique and heart-warming 3D models on the market. Take a look and then get your creative juices flowing… Valentine’s Day waits for no one.

1. For the Adventurous Couple: BackBone He2 (Helium): Three Position Garmin Mount by Ogeecrew (€39.87)
One of the best ways to spend time with your loved one is to get out of the house and try something new. From cruising around the city on fixies to heading for the mountain trails, this hands-free Garmin Mount will keep you on track, because stopping to ask for directions is so not sexy.

2. For the Travelers: Sydney Opera House ($299) or Mini Eiffel Tower ($25)
Whether your are reminiscing about your honeymoon destination, the bridge where you popped the big question, or planning a future trip together, a miniature model of your favourite global destination makes for a great desktop accessory and conversation starter.

3. For the Dapper Gentleman: Clip-on Bowtie (€109.63)
There's nothing quite like a man in a tailored suit, but why go for a generic black tie when you could 3D print a one-of-a-kind bow tie? It's lightweight, and clips on easily. For an added bonus, pair it with these adorable mustachioed cufflinks and you're ready for a night on the town.

4. For the Stylish Lady: Ribbon Ring by AMINIMAL studio (€279.05)
Nothing, I repeat nothing, says "I love you" like a stunning ring. There are many options on the market, such as this classic diamond ring by Piettro Jewelry, this mechanical heart by CSI designs, or the more suttle, secret hidding heart ring by geektalk, but the most important thing is to choose the ring that best suits your partner. This beautiful double ribbon ring was inspired by the structures found in magnetic fields and would be perfect for the modern, statement-making woman.

5. For Baking with Love: Icing Syringe ($25)
There are those who love to eat, and those who love to bake, and the ideal couple has one of each. For decorative and delicious cakes, cupcakes and desserts, why not whip up this pretty pink syringe?

6. For Dancing the Night Away: The Mush - A Natural Sound Station for iPhones ($376.95)
This innovative sound deck not only looks cool, it amplifies music from your iPhone speakers without using any electronics or wiring thanks to the specific design of the inner sound chamber.

7. For the Nesters: Modern Black Love Seat ($17)
The sleek, modern design of this love seat is sure to encourage a little cuddling and canoodling--two of the best parts of Valentine's Day.

8. For the Avant-Garde: "The Kiss" 3D Printed Model ($10)
This beautiful, sensuous sculpture by CGTrader member Toxsam would make a great addition to a newlywed's first home. As the designer describes his portrayal of a first kiss: "your body shakes, your brain explodes and you can only think about your mouths becoming one for the first time, the second, the third..."

9. For the Math Lover: Klein Bottle Opener (€58)
The Klein bottle is a mathematical phenomenon--a surface with only one side. This bottle opener is functional, pretty, and perfect for the mathetmatician in your life.


10. For the Skeptics: Gumpy Cat Bust (€34.88)
Okay, let's face it. Despite all of the great, romantic gift options available, Valentine's Day just isn't for everyone. This 3D printed Grumpy Cat, on the other hand, is a surefire way to cheer up even the most cynical among us.

So there you have it, 10 inspiring ideas to get your creative juices flowing. For more ideas, check out CGTrader's list of entries, get your submission in before the contest closes on February 9th and be ready for the look of pure happiness on your significant other's face. You can thank us later.


Posted in 3D Design


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