Making 3D Printed Christmas Ornaments

Hi everybody! I am back again this year, bringing you some more holiday cheer from the GE Global Research labs! As an encore to the redesign of Santa’s sleigh and construction of a state-of-the-art “Toy Lab” for Santa and the elves, researchers are bringing high-tech manufacturing to Christmas tree decorations to ring in the holiday season using additive manufacturing techniques.

Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, is the practice of building up material to directly form a net-shaped product rather than forming a product by traditional methods such as forging, casting or machining material away. For GE, it is providing new degrees of product design freedom and the opportunity to reduce the time, cost and use of materials that go into making our products. For us in the North Pole, it means new possibilities in Christmas toys and ornaments! Check out the video featuring Juan Pablo Cilia, a Rapid Prototyping Specialist in the Additive Manufacturing Lab as he takes you through the entire step-by-step process from design drawings to CAD to the actual print!

View more photos or take part in the fun by uploading a picture of your coolest 3-D printed or science-themed ornament at  Happy Holidays!