3D Printed Quilt

The 3D Printed Quilt is a collaborative art piece great for beginner 3D designers!



Setup and Supplies

This project is called the 3D Printed Quilt and is a community project where all members of a community can design and print a custom piece to be added to the quilt. It is intended to hand in your space as an art installation.

Just like the 3D Printed Keychain project, you will also be working from a template in Tinkercad to make this object.

All you need for this project is Tinkercad and a 3D printer.


Build time:

Approximately 30 – 40 minutes

Skills needed:

  • Basic computer skills


  • Computer
  • Tinkercad – web-based 3D design software
  • 3D Printer


How to Make a 3D Printed Quilt Piece


Step 1: Access quilt piece template

Log into Tinkercad, so that when you open the quilt piece template, it opens in your account.

Click on this link to open the template you will use for your keychain: 3D Quilt Piece Template-Tinkercad


Step 2: Open quilt piece template in Tinkercad

Once you have the file open, click the “Copy & Tinker” button.


Step 3: Begin customizing your quilt piece

When the template appears on your workplane, you can begin customizing. To access letters or numbers, click the “A” or “1” in the top right.

NOTE: DO NOT alter the size of the quilt piece. If you change the size of the quilt piece, it will not fit when you go to connect them together.


Step 4: Complete your design

When you have completed your design, it might look something like this. Make sure that there are no stray objects anywhere on your workplane because those will cause your print to fail.



Step 5: Group all objects together

  • After checking your workplane for stray objects, select all objects in your design by clicking and dragging over them to highlight them all in blue.
  • Once all the objects of your design are highlighted in blue, click the “Group” button at the top of the Tinkercad window.
  • When properly grouped, your design will be all one color. It is now one object and is ready to be downloaded for printing.


Step 6: Save your design

When you are ready to print your design, save and download the design by following these steps:

  • Click on “Design” in the menu in the top left.
  • Then, select “Save” from the dropdown menu.



Step 7: Change the name of your design

Next, you will want to make sure to change the name of the design so it is recognizable as yours when it is printed.

  • Click on “Design” again in the top left menu. Then, from the dropdown choose “Properties”.
  • When the Thing Properties window pops up, select the text and delete it. Change the name of the file to be your First Initial, Last Name – keychain. (ex: FLast-keychain)
    • Then, click “Save Changes”.



Step 8: Download for 3D Printing

When the filename has changed, you are ready to download. Click “Design” again and choose “Download for 3D Printing” from the dropdown menu.

  • When the Download for 3D Printing box pops up, click the “.STL” button.



Step 9: Assemble your quilt

When prints are complete, you can begin assembling your quilt. There are many ways to secure your pieces together. In the example above, we used yarn to tie the pieces together, which was affordable and quick. I would continue by tying all corners together on each piece of the quilt.

Attach the first row of pieces to a dowel rod or something similar and you are ready to go! Display proudly as a collaborative 3D printed project made by your youth.

On our large quilt at DHF, we used small (1/2″) binder rings, like these, to connect the pieces of our quilt. This was more costly and time-consuming. Then we attached the top row to one of our rolling whiteboard racks using much larger binder rings.

BONUS: As an added feature of your 3D printed quilt, you can have each designer paint their quilt piece once it is printed, before you assemble the quilt. For more information on how to do this, check out this article: 3D Print Finishing with Paint


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