In the Christmas print shop

At Christmas, I had a few more printers here than usual in continuous operation because I needed presents and Christmas decorations for my relatives. I came back from this visit with my old arcade machines.

Print factory

At the KBZ I set up my print factory, consisting of Qidi X-Smart 3, Anycubic i3 Mega, Sidewinder X2 and Sidewinder X3 Plus.

Printer at work

Type VII submarine

My brother has been writing his submarine simulation „Wolves of the Atlantic“ for years. As motivation, I thought I would print him a model of a Type VII submarine. I did this with my Qidi X-Smart 3, because this printer prints the PLA from Kingroon at 200 mm/s in excellent quality. The accessories were then also created using other printers such as the Sidewinder X2.

The model on Thingiverse unfortunately has an error from the third section onwards. Here the two fuselage sections do not fit together. There is a hard shoulder between the prints. Here I had to fill and sand and fill and sand and fill and sand and fill and sand and fill and sand and … oh, it wasn’t pretty. And in the end it was anything but perfect. I glued the individual fuselage parts together with cheap superglue from Tedi.

The filigree add-on parts are available separately. They are actually a case for a resin printer. It’s no fun with an FDM printer. Stringing, too much support required and very fragile in the end.

However, I left out some add-on parts after the left-hand propeller shaft broke off. Just before Christmas my nerves got the better of me and I still had to pack the boat. The delicate parts would not have survived packing and transport.

I quickly designed a stand for the model. Well, two of them. One for the table and one for the wall.

I gave the unfinished result to my brother for Christmas. He knows all about these boats. There is not one „Type VII“, but many. He said it was roughly a Type VII from … er … 1942 for the Atlantic? What do I know? But for the Americans it would be „Das Boot“, they know and expect nothing else. ­čÖé

The colours are from the Action Market. Acrylic paints from the can and from the tube. I endeavoured to do justice to the regulations of the time, but my brother said that they had changed time and again. German websites, especially if they used Fraktur font extensively, were rather incomplete with this information. But again, I’ve forgotten which he thought was the best source. I don’t really care. It’s a submarine, that’s good enough for me.

Speaking of Fraktur font: I created the nameplate with the Nametagdesigner and printed it on the Qidi with a filament change.

Background: The German submarine „Type VII“ was a series of submarines used by the German navy during the Second World War. There were different versions of the Type VII, which were improved and modified over time: A, B, C, C/41, D and F.

Within each main variant, there were individual differences between the boats as changes and improvements were constantly made to the series to meet changing requirements and threats.

Christmas bauble

Of course, the 2023 hottest Christmas bauble was not to be missed. Archaeologists will have fun trying to figure out why there were so many identical colourful baubles and what their purpose was. What fun! PLA rots completely after a few years. It consists of lactic acid. If you want to know more, click here.

There were also accidents. The X2 annoyed me again, but also with the Qidi the smoke on the chimney tore off during printing. But the ball was finished anyway and I christened the Christmas tree ball the „heat pump edition“. After all, we have a heat pump ourselves. The house in the bauble is just as well insulated as the real house: unfortunately, no light gets through the rainbow filament.

There is now also a sidekick to this bauble.

Background: The first handmade Christmas tree baubles were made in Germany. It is believed that glassmakers in Lauscha (Thuringia) began producing hand-blown glass ornaments as Christmas tree decorations around 1847. At first, they were simple baubles, often in the shape of fruit, nuts or berries.

Over time, the production of Christmas baubles developed further and ever more elaborate and decorative shapes were created. In the course of the 19th century, the tradition of Christmas baubles spread from Germany to other parts of Europe and later to other parts of the world.

Today, with the help of 3D printers, anyone can design and print their own interpretation of a Christmas tree bauble. Countless Christmas decorations can be downloaded from 3D printing portals.

In the meantime

The printers were busy, I could take care of other things. Fetching a Christmas tree. With the Twizy of course, it’s ideal for that. ­čÖé

It worked really well. It also held bombproof. Just make sure the front webbing isn’t too far forward, otherwise it’s in your field of vision. ­čÖé

I should have a look at my wife’s family grave, a branch would hang too far over. The understatement of the year. Whilst I was at it, I got it reasonably in line, even though there was a cold wind and it was constantly drizzling.

Luckily there was a compost heap at the cemetery, because I wouldn’t have been able to fit it all into the Twizy after all. ­čÖé

Christmas tree house

I also printed out lots of Christmas tree houses. I put a tea light in each one. The Rossmann drugstore is by far the cheapest place to get them, and not just locally. The ones from the dm supermarket are more expensive, but prettier. But you can’t see them anyway because they’re in the printouts.

Logically, of course, the house is nonsense. But it’s beautiful. My wife hates plastic, but when she saw it, she too was enchanted and called her son to come and see it. And what does he do? You know thirteen-year-olds, don’t you? No, because he immediately grabbed the house, clutched a few more Christmas trees and a Christmas baubles and dragged everything into his cave, beaming with joy. Aha, that wasn’t the idea. So the printers had to add more.

Background: The tradition of model Christmas houses, also known as miniature Christmas villages, has its origins in the German Christmas custom of putting up doll’s houses of all things. The miniature villages recreate festive Christmas or winter scenes. They may have originated from the desire to recreate nativity scenes or to avoid having to go out into the cold to see snow-covered villages live. It’s cosier inside, isn’t it?

Today, miniature Christmas villages are a popular part of Christmas decorations. The miniature Christmas villages are very popular, are available in every EUR 1 shop and can also be found on the relevant 3D printing portals.

Christmas trees

Because I upgraded my „ancient“ Anycubic i3 Mega with Klipper, it was also allowed to print. It currently manages an average of 160 mm/s and 7,000 mm/s┬▓ acceleration without the print quality suffering or me having to make any changes to the device. A benchy is produced in 32 minutes.

As I found a single Christmas tree house so sad, each house was given a differently sized tree. You can make them wonderfully thinner or wider. However, contrary to the instructions, I didn’t print them in spiral mode because then only one tree would have worked at a time.

To categorise the quality: This is four year old filament from Owl.

Background: The tradition of the Christmas tree comes from Germany and has its roots in the Middle Ages. People just wanted more glitter in their lives. It is often falsely claimed that Martin Luther had the first decorated Christmas tree. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the aristocracy and bourgeoisie spread the needled tree, which had been murdered young and brought into the parlour at home. In the 19th century, German emigrants brought the custom of paying homage to a sawn-off tree to other countries by decorating it with bling-bling. Britain’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are responsible for popularising the Christmas tree in the UK.

It is said that Prince Albert, who came from Germany, was indulging his own memories of the festive Christmas traditions of his homeland, which included the custom of the colourfully decorated Christmas tree. When Prince Albert married Queen Victoria in 1840, he brought this tradition with him to the British court. But there wasn’t so much tinsel back then!

A picture of the royal family around a decorated Christmas tree, published in 1848, was widely circulated and gave the public an insight into royal Christmas celebrations. The kitschy depiction of the royal family around a decorated Christmas tree was seen as romantic and idyllic.

Today, the tradition of the Christmas tree has spread worldwide.


As a first test on the Sidewinder X3 Plus, I printed a print-in-place gingerbread man. That went well, so I entrusted another job to the SW-X2. But it messed up again. It didn’t matter, because the X3 Plus stood by its side and I ended up with a few gingerbread men after all.

But here, too, the first test print was … funny. I made a mistake with the height of the layer change for the icing and so one of the gingerbread men was dusted with icing sugar. When I posted a photo of it, my brother immediately made a claim.

Background: The gingerbread man is a traditional Christmas biscuit. Originally from medieval Europe, it is moulded from delicious gingerbread dough and spiced up with icing and sweets. These sweet buddies are not just for eating – they also make a great decoration. They are the stars of Christmas baking, especially in English-speaking countries!

Giving presents

My mum will be eighty in 2024, so I can visit her at Christmas while she’s still in her seventies and fit. She’s got a rice/steam cooker from Midea that my wife gave me for Christmas two years ago and we’ve loved it ever since. Goulash or even a roast are tender to the bone in this appliance. Not to mention perfect rice. This thing is really great!

The submarine ended up under the tree. Not beautifully wrapped, but when I put on the transport padding, it cracked unpleasantly inside. So I preferred not to use wrapping paper. ­čÖü

Background: Giving presents is the aim of the Christmas tradition! Originally to celebrate the birth of Jesus, today known more as a „consumer party“. Family, presents, lights, laughter and joy. But also stress, disappointed expectations and the inevitable family arguments – giving presents is always the highlight of Christmas! Whether under the Christmas tree, at the Christmas roast or dressed up as Father Christmas with Uncle Herbert – it’s all about love, joy and the crackling of wrapping paper.

The tradition of celebrating Christmas on 24 December originated in Germany and has spread from there to many European countries. It goes back to the German tradition of celebrating Christmas Eve, the eve of the birth of Christ, as a special holiday. The 25th of December, the actual birthday, may be more central in some countries. Of course, Jesus Christ was not born on this day, right?


I brought my brother a box of Enterprises. Yes, plural. Lots of ducks, half ducks, to be precise. From the aircraft carrier to the NCC-1701 E. A Voyager and even the Orion spaceship from„Raumpatrouille“ also found their way into the collection. The space shuttle is far too small in comparison and was not printed.

I printed most of the print with the PETG Tough from Qidi. I wouldn’t do it again. PLA is easier to print, glue and paint.

He wanted to have all models in white, but that only looks good on the 1701 and 1701 A. There is a reason why the newer models are all grey. Even the NX-01 looks terrible in white.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of it, because at that point the camera on my old smartphone had finally gone. But I now have a new one.


I took home my two arcade machines, a Photo Play 2000 and a Fix-it-Felix, which had been in storage at my mum’s for years. Disappointingly, there was no room in the car for my Frankenstein table.