3D Printing for Turkey Day

Can 3D Printing make cranberry sauce more appetizing and help grant more Thanksgiving wishes?

There are two supremely contentious periods every Thanksgiving at our home.

The first: getting the kids to eat my aunt’s “award winning” cranberry sauce. Begging, bribing, grounding—nothing seems to work.

Who can blame kids for not wanting to eat this? (Note: not actual product)

And the second: somehow appeasing a dozen children with a single wishbone. I’m sure geneticists everywhere are working on ways to selectively breed turkeys with more wishbones, but until then we’re left to fight a nearly hopeless battle.

For me, the most difficult bunch to please these days is the rapidly growing 7-and-under age group.

3D Printing Solution for Thanksgiving Problem #1:

I decided to tackle the first problem with shapes. It works with chicken nuggets—if they’re shaped like dinosaurs they’re suddenly 1000% more enticing! Will it work with questionably homemade cranberry sauce? I will find out this week, when I bring 3D printed cranberry-cutters in the shapes of a turkey and leaves.


3D Printing Solution for Thanksgiving Problem #2:

I’m feeling pretty good about my solution to the second problem: 3D printed wishbones for everybody! I printed them in small, regular, and even giant size. I’m sure there will be quibbles over who gets to take on the gargantuan wishbones, but at least everybody will have a turn. I might even have enough for a tournament!

A little preparation never hurt anybody, and on this Thanksgiving I think it might actually save the day. If the kids are happy, everyone is happy. And if they’re happy enough, they might even invite me to sit at their table.

And surprisingly, I think I’ll say yes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tyler Reid is the manufacturing application manager at GoEngineer and a SOLIDWORKS Certified Expert. Having earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, Tyler worked in the medical industry for several years as a SOLIDWORKS user before joining GoEngineer in 2010. His interests lie in machine tools, manufacturing methods, and witnessing these interests while visiting customer facilities.

[all images courtesy Tyler Reid]


What great ideas! I couldn't find a similar wishbone on Thingiverse. Any chance you can share the files? Or where they came from?

Hi Debby - you can find the wishbone file I used here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:550517 Hard to tell from the photos - but I printed these as large as 10" tall. Pretty fun to break!

Very creative creations. And an interesting use for 3D printing. But I am wondering if there was any post-processing required. I just read an article claiming that was the downfall of most 3D printing processes.

Hi William - you are right, post-processing can be a "hidden" step in many 3D printing processes. Some technologies require more post-processing than others. In this case, with FDM parts that did not require support material (no overhangs or voids in the part geometry), there was no post-processing needed.

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