With a 3D printer, holiday ornaments

Why buy your Christmas tree ornaments when you can make them with a 3D printer? GE scientists get festive in the lab.

OK, this is pretty cool.

Scientists at GE posted a new video showing how they designed their own Christmas tree ornaments via computer-aided design (CAD) software and a three-dimensional printer.

3D printers can create a lot of things, some mechanical and very complex, like a ratchet or an engine component. A holiday ornament is no challenge for the technology, also known as additive manufacturing, but it's an object most people can relate to.

In the video, rapid prototyping specialist Juan Pablo Cilia takes us through the process step-by-step, from initial whiteboard drawings to final product. Naturally, he makes an ornament that looks like a jet engine.

Now all we need to do is figure out how to 3D print the tree.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com