For years now John McClane has been gracing Christmas trees around the world thanks to easy to make ornaments featuring Bruce Willis’ character in a vent. You could always make one with a few household items, but now you can 3D print it instead, complete with LED lighting.
Maker Nate Higgs is behind this project and was kind enough to tell us how it was made.
“A couple of years ago I saw an internet post where someone had made one of these ornaments using shiny card stock and really liked the idea,” Higgs says, “When I first got my 3D printer I wanted to be able to make my own designs but lacked the modelling skills. This ornament seemed like a good candidate for learning OpenSCAD due to the simple geometry.”
After a few hours of modelling the design was sliced in Cura and printed. This won’t take long as the ornament needs to be light enough to not bend the branches of any tree it will be displayed on.
The version you see on this page measures in at 5.28 X 2.98 X 38.7 centimetres and features a bit more than printed plastic.
McClane himself is actually a regular, 3D paper print of a still from the movie. This is bent slightly to give it a sense of depth and inserted into the printed vent.
To simulate the light from the Zippo, a flame flicker LED is used, powered by a watch battery which is tucked away on the bottom side of the print.
While a silver or grey filament can be used to simulate the colour of the vent to avoid painting, Higgs does suggest breaking out the brushes (or cans) to make the inside of the print black. For the best results here the duct should fade to black from front to back.
You can see pictures of the finished ornament in the gallery below, and this short video shows what the flicker LED looks like in motion.
The files to make your own version of this project are available for free on Thingiverse. It includes the print files for the vent as well as the picture of McClane to stuff inside of it.