British Columbia

Vancouverite takes Christmas crafting to the next dimension

With a 3D printer, one Vancouver woman says you can make all of the Christmas decorations and gifts you need from the comfort of your own home.

Megan Barker used her 3D printer to create all her Christmas crafts this year

Megan Barker has used her 3D printer to print out all her Christmas decorations this year. (Jeremy Allingham/CBC )

One Vancouverite was able to make all her Christmas crafts and gifts in the comfort of her own home this winter by using her own personal 3D printer.

Megan Barker, a Simon Fraser University biology lecturer, said 3D printing is the perfect way to make a personalized gift.

"I really like making things and projects," she said. "You can make personalized things that you know the person is going to really like because they're interested in it."

Barker had made cookie cutters, ornaments and even a set of plastic Christmas crackers which include a fun centre.

"[The crackers] print in layers, and it includes some kind of mystery thing on the inside. I decided not to cheat and watch while it was printing so I actually don't know what's inside," she explained.

These 3D printed Christmas ornaments are available on Thingiverse — a website with user-generated digital designs. (Genapart/Thingiverse)

Barker said most of her designs come from a dedicated online community of 3D printers. Barker uses the design-sharing website Thingiverse which allows users to upload 3D designs for anyone to use and modify.

Printing is easy, she said. You simply upload a file to the printer and leave it alone for a few hours until the object is created.

Barker first got into 3D printing last Christmas, when she purchased a "reasonably cheap" printer between $300 and $400 that required minimal assembly.

"You can really get into 3D printing. You can go off the deep end and spend thousands of dollars," she said. "It's an amazing community of sharing."

Barker's set of Christmas crackers with her trusty 3D printer in the background. (Megan Barker/Twitter)

With files from The Early Edition

To listen to the interview, click on the link labelled Vancouverite uses 3D printer for her Christmas crafting