Wonderful Foldable Printable Dodecahedron

Debra Ansell of [GeekMomProjects] fame came up with a neat, 3D design that prints flat and then folds up into everyone’s favorite Platonic solid: a D12.

Why would you want to do this? Well, folding up your 3D prints gives you a third dimension “for free” without using all that support material. Here, all of the outside faces of the dodecahedron are printed flat against the build plate, which is probably the nicest side of your prints. And embedding LEDs in the resulting shape would probably be easy because they’re all in plane. And speaking of LEDs, we kinda expected to see them here, given Debra’s motto: “LEDs improve everything” — that part is up to you.

Debra notes that she likes PETG instead of PLA for the extra strength in the thin-printed hinges, and we’d bet that your printer’s tolerances will need to be spot on for the clips that hold the whole thing together. (We’d be tempted to apply a little super-duper glue.)

As always with Debra’s projects, there’s some creative solutions on display here that’ll help you out whether you need a D12 or a D20, so give it a look!

Thanks [Peter] for the tip.

14 thoughts on “Wonderful Foldable Printable Dodecahedron

  1. The ironic part is that 3d printing was supposed to overcome the need for assembly like this. This design is suited for injection molding but seems antithetical to 3d printing where you should be able to simply print the dodecahedron. The benefit of folding parts like this is that you need not worry about things like scaffolding.

    All this aside, a more reliable design might be single side that has intermeshing/interlocking edges. Just print 12 and slide them together to get your dodecahedron. Then you could print different shapes and make some sort of lego-esq set.

    1. Perhaps there is a compromise with fewer snaps to hold it together as it is assembled, speeding the assembly process is that is important. I like it in that an object like a ball of a different color can be placed inside before it is completed. Or really any object that can fit that space. And I presume it is scalable.

    1. I notice these “gate keeper” type toxic comments seem to show up more often when the maker in question is a woman.

      Thanks for the reminder that we have a long way to go.

      1. Thank you for saying that. There’s a reason I’m frequently hesitant to check the comments when I make it into HaD. I don’t find the gatekeeping aspect of the comment nearly as disturbing as the dismissive assumption that they have every right to tell me what I *should* be doing and how I should be doing it. And yes the frequency of such comments correlates quite strongly with the gender of the maker.

        1. Thanks for the reply, and thanks for your contributions to the maker community. While I can see that something is obviously wrong (i.e. the bar for, and treatment of, women is much different), I can’t always see which parts are causing more harm/impact, so feed back like you provided is really helpful.

          I did print your D12 in PLA, went together great.

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