How 3D printing made this maker’s dream wedding a reality

Erin Winick, associate editor at MIT Technology Review, 3D printed her bouquet, headpiece and more

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If anyone has any objections to 3D printing a wedding, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Erin Winick, the associate editor of the future of work at MIT Technology Review, certainly didn’t have any objections, as the editor and maker opted to 3D print many elements of her own wedding. As she has reported, the whole celebration seems to have gone without a hitch!

With a background in mechanical engineering and a penchant for 3D printing, Winick saw additive manufacturing as the obvious solution to her dream wedding. Using her two desktop 3D printers, the bride-to-be set about 3D printing as many elements as she could for her nuptials, including her headpiece, table numbers, cake toppers, the flower girl’s necklace and bouquets for her and her bridesmaids.

3D printed wedding
(Photo: Mark Pariani | MIT Technology Review)

Not only did 3D printing help to save on costs (the plastic bouquets only cost about $75 to make, compared to hundreds of dollars for real flowers) but it also enabled Winick to form a “deep connection” to the things she created. “3D printed items have a personal touch you don’t get from purchasing something at the store,” she wrote.

In creating her printed wedding accessories, Winick sourced some designs from model sharing platforms such as Thingiverse (such as her Lego-inspired cake toppers and tulips for the bouquets). She also remixed a leaf design by Makerbot to create the stunning headband she wore. Other pieces, such as the flower girl’s necklace and the table numbers were designed from scratch using SolidWorks. (Winick says she has since uploaded her own designs to Thingiverse to give back to the maker community.)

3D printed wedding
(Photo: Mark Pariani | MIT Technology Review)

The eye-catching bouquets are arguably the most impressive element that Winick 3D printed for her wedding day, and they required a ton of work on her part. As she explains, she 3D printed about 200 individual flowers using her two desktop 3D printers and a combination of blue and glow in the dark filament. The process took over 100 hours, with Winick printing flowers and assembling the bouquets in her spare time for months.

Overall, the 3D printed wedding sounded like a magical event. Personally, I think Winick has offered a beautiful example of how the technology can be used in a tasteful, un-gimmicky way to add some DIY to a wedding celebration.

3D printed wedding
(Photo: Mark Pariani | MIT Technology Review)

“For me and my fiancé, 3D printing also brought a chance to customize our celebration to our personalities,” said the recent bride. “We are both makers at heart. By focusing on 3D printing, I was able to custom-design our wedding and create a physical representation of what we plan to do next: make a life together.”

If you’re wondering, Winick assures that she did not partake in the traditional tossing of the bouquet, opting to protect her guests from a blue, plastic projectile.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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