Orchid Brooch

Decorative flower pin with thermoformed petals


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My wife asked if I would make a festive brooch for the hostess of the formal New Year's Eve Party that we will attend. After designing and printing one, I decided to make pins for additional guests. Each one is a little bit different, as I thermoformed the petals by hand.

Materials and methods

- PLA or other thermoformable filament (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoforming)
- Safety pins for the clasp. Mine had an interior length >16mm and a pin diameter ~0.8mm.
- CA or other strong glue to affix the pin to the back.

- Print all parts in PLA, or any other plastic that can be thermoformed. Decide which side of the petal_trio and petal_duo parts you want to consider the front of the petals. The petals can be printed at the low resolution setting for speed, but the smaller parts should be printed at a high resolution setting.
- Boil water. Pour some into a small cup or bowl. Dip one petal, excluding the square center hole into the hot water for 3-5 seconds.
- Remove petal from the water, and as soon as you can touch it, press your thumb into the middle of the front of the petal, with your index and middle finger on the back, shaping the petal.
- Repeat on the remaining petals. You can reheat petals if want to make corrections.
- Press the fully split arm (the arm with the ball end) of the pin_mount part through the petal_trio part from the back, with the partially split arm aligned behind a petal (now the vertical petal).
- Press the petal_duo onto the arm, in front of the petal_trio.
- Press the mount_cap onto the ball end of the pin_mount.
- Open the safety pin. Press the non-opening side, pintip down, into the exposed slot on the side of the pin_mount. Squirt in a little glue, and let harden.



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Mini jeff profile imageJeff Hertzberg published this design ago