3D Engraved Snowflakes



I live in Florida where there’s no snow. To fix that, I wrote and open sourced a snowflake generator that I’ve been using to 3D print unique snowflakes, available at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:37525. I just tried engraving them into Acrylic, and I really like how they came out.

To produce them I generated geometry in STL files, which you can do on Thingiverse using Customizer. There are also many generated available for download. Then I loaded the STL files into Meshlab, generated a depth map, inverted it so that the ‘highest’ parts of the snowflakes are carved deepest, and used 3D engrave to cut them into acrylic. The photographs are taken from the other side of the acrylic, so the engrave is on the bottom.

Rock engraving

I did notice some ridges in the carve, which you can see in the photos. I used the proofgrade “3D Engrave”. When I switch to Manual Engrave it shows 340 lpi, which I would think would be high enough to not have any ridging. Any suggestions?


We’ve been getting at least a few snowflakes every day since last Thursday. I like yours better.


Is this a situation that would be helped by de-focusing a bit?


Those are lovely! Great idea! I love the layers.


I agree. Defocusing on acrylic seems to give a nice look because it is more melted and a bit less pinpoint looking


What a cool project! I really like how you get dimensional with the different layers. Thanks also for the link–will check it out.


I am really digging the look of the inverted 3d engraving. What an interesting effect!


Those are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing and can’t wait to try it when I get my machine.


I’m a little concerned that would smooth out the carve and lose the white color, which I think really makes them pop…