3-D Printed Cookie Cutters

I’m sorry, but I enjoy technology, and although I do not consider myself an expert, I am not intimidated to tackle it either. Thus, when my daughter and I started designing cookie sets to sell as a means to raise funds for charity, I decided to investigate the option of creating my own 3-D printed cookie cutters.

In the past, I have made plastic templates for hand cutting. ( Look here, for example.) However, that was when I only needed to hand cut one or two cookies of a particular unique shape. This time I wanted to cut a minimum of 24 spider webs of a particular size for a planned Halloween cookie set design. I already own a few 3-D printed cookie cutters which were purchased online, but at approximately $10.00 USD each, plus shipping, plus conversion to the lower valued Canadian currency, I figured the cost of ordering a custom designed 3-D printed cutter online would be too high.

😀 I was thrilled to discover that my local public library has a 3-D printer ( Makerbot Replicator 2 ) and charges $1.00 CDN per hour for printing. Some universities also have publicly available 3-D printers, but I live a loooong way away from any universities. After a brief online search, I came upon a free web-based software platform called Cookie Caster, that allows one to custom create a cookie cutter in .stl file format, which can then be “prepared” to print.

I already own a tinplate spider web cookie cutter, but it was larger than the size I wanted for this set. I traced the cutter on paper, scanned and then cropped the image just beyond the traced outline. I then opened the image in Word, and reduced it to my desired size. I then imported the image in Cookie Caster and created the outline of the cookie cutter. (Unfortunately, the “Magic Trace” feature of Cookie Caster does not appear to work.) The web site automatically turns the tracing into a 3-D image, with a standard depth of 6/8″ and a cutting edge that is 2 mm wide. I then exported the file, saved it on my hard drive, and emailed it to my  “library computer guy” (who shall henceforth be referred to as “LCG”) who printed it for me. Voila! The next day I picked up my cookie cutter, and it only cost $2.00 CDN!!

IMG_7351

Spider Web 3D Printed Cookie Cutter View 1

Spider Web 3D Printed Cookie Cutter View 1

Spider Web 3D Printed Cookie Cutter View 2

Spider Web 3D Printed Cookie Cutter View 2

The cutter worked well. The only issue was that, because it has a blunt edge, it left little wispy pieces of dough which I needed to pat down gently to create a smooth bottom edge. (I tend to decorate/flood the bottom surface of cookies as it is more level and therefore I get less flood icing running over the piped edge.)

Spider Web Cookie wihispy edge with textSpider Web Cookie Top with text

Spider Web Cookie with fixed edges with textSpider Web Cookie back with text

 

Having had relative success with creating my first custom cutter 3-D model, I wanted to create other more complicated cutters, hopefully with a more precise cutting edge. Unfortunately, the Cookie Caster interface seemed too small/simplistic to handle the more complicated designs I was envisioning. My  “LCG” suggested I try the free software, SketchUp, available online for download.

I downloaded and installed SketchUp 2015 . I found some useful YouTube Videos by a teacher named T Lewis, about creating a cookie cutter using this software. It took a little while to figure it out, but I managed to create a 3D model of a cutter. (Ok, it took me a couple of hours of playing with the software and watching YouTube videos to figure out how to do it.) After all that, it turns out that SketchUp does not have the built in capability to export in .stl format, which is a common 3-D file format, and the one I require for Makerbot. However, there exists an add-on software extension which must be downloaded separately and installed, but it does not do so automatically. I followed these instructions found on YouTube. I was successful and was able to export my 3-D model file to email to my “LCG”. I also downloaded a SketchUp Solid Inspector extension, which helps to locate areas on your 3-D model which need to be corrected….Here is a view of my simple plaque:

3D printed square plaque cutter by CheerfulMomma's Custom Art Cookies

To troubleshoot the blunt cutting edge issue, I carefully examined one of the 3-D printed cutters that I previously purchased online, to see if I could model a sharper cutting edge than just a 2 mm wide line of plastic. (I don’t like to take the extra time to fix the wispy edges. I admit I am a bit of a perfectionist! 😀 )

3D printed cookie cutter edge comparison by CheerfulMomma's Custom Art Cookies

3D printed square plaque cutter with fine cutting edge by CheerfulMomma's Custom Art Cookies

A whole new avenue of cookie design has opened up for me! Stay tuned to see what I manage to create next…

Happy Cookie-ing!!

Cheerful Momma

Print Shop Framed Logo Cropped

About CheerfulMomma

I am a Royal-Icing-decorated-cookie hobbyest/addict, who works part-time in Healthcare, and full-time tending to my husband, three school-aged children and one lovely Barbet (French Water Dog). I live in rural Nova Scotia, Canada.
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3 Responses to 3-D Printed Cookie Cutters

  1. Kathy says:

    This was a great blog post. Thanks for sharing all your information. I too am using Cookie Caster to make my cutters and am not so happy with it. I am going to try Sketch Up. I saw T. Lewis’s YouTube videos. I am glad you included those extension links in your post since I didn’t know about needing them. Please continue to blog on how you make your cookie cutters. Thanks again.

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  2. I am glad you found the blog post useful! Thank you for your kind comments. I haven’t designed any cutters recently, but perhaps your comment will bring me back to try another design. (I gifted myself a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine for Christmas, so I have been playing with creating stencils. Stencils take up a lot less storage space than cookie cutters. 🙂 )

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  3. Kathy says:

    One more question. How did you get that great beveled (sharp) edge on your cookie cutter please? Thanks.

    Like

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