Making Custom 3D Printed Cookie Cutters

The term, “cookie cutter” is often used to describe things that are the same for everyone.  It implies an average product for a mass market of consumers.  However, a new option for making cookie cutters has flipped this term on its head.  Because we can make custom cookie cutters with a 3d printer, now cookie cutters don’t need to be mass produced or the same for everyone.  Using 3d printing we can make very custom cookie cutters.  If you wanted to, you could produce just a single custom cookie cutter for an event pretty cost effectively.

With desktop 3d printers becoming more available, we’ve seen many hobbyists and makers using this means of production to make an array of custom products at home.   Some examples of things people are making at home with 3d printers include accessories for tech and electronics products, home goods, figurines, collectibles, and more.

Including cookie cutters.

Why 3D print cookie cutters?

Imagine making custom cookies for a specific person or event and being able to make a big impression at a party.  Because you could make a cookie cutter from any simple line design, the possibilities are endless.  3D Printed cookie cutters could be made for events ranging from birthdays, bachelor or bacherlorette parties, holidays, a special occasion, or for professional use as well.

Want ideas for what to make with a custom cookie cutter design?

Custom cookie cutters could be made into:

  • Letters/ A name
  • A company logo
  • Custom artwork/ design
  • A video game or cartoon character
  • A unique abstract shape

You can find many people on Etsy that have created shops with custom designs that have made using 3d printers.

Want to make your own? Here’s how.

How to Make Your Own 3D Printed Cookie Cutter

Step 1:  Start with a design

For a design, all you need to start with is a simple line drawing.  This line drawing will need to be eventually made into a properly formatted vector (line) file in a program such as Adobe Illustrator, or CAD software such as AutoCAD, Rhino 3D, or a host of other options.  However, if you don’t have access to these, you can start out by sketching a line drawing of the cookie cutter design you are looking to produce.  A few things to stay mindful of:

Design Requirements

  • No intersecting lines:  You are trying to just make one cookie with each cutter, if your design has many intersections, than the cookie will be not one piece and will be brittle.  What you want is an outline.
  • Keep it simple:  There isn’t going to be much precision here for one main reason.  Cookies rise and expand when baked.  Any very small details that you make will be lost in this process, so it’s best to keep a fairly simple outline.  For example, if you are baking the shape of a human figure, you may not want to draw individual fingers for each hand as those details may not show up in the final cookie.  Also, small details will make removing the batter from the cutter more difficult.
  • Size matters:  Make sure it’s not too big or too small.

Not all the details have to be a part of the outline – you can also let some of the icing or decorating afterwards create some details.

Step 2: Convert the design to a vector file (lines)

In order to take the design and make it into a 3d file with thickness that we can print, we will first need to convert the hand drawn design into a CAD (computer aided drawing) file.  If you have a familiarity with CAD vector software, you can skip straight to this step and design right in the software itself.

What you’ll need: vector software such as Adobe Illustrator, VectorWorks, AutoCAD

If you use any of these programs, you will want to eventually get to a line drawing that can be exported to a .dxf file.  This is the file that we will open up in Rhinoceros 3d.

Or you can trace the curves directly in Rhino.

Step 3: Give the lines thickness

Once we have the lines imported into Rhino, we want to first perform a technical checklist.  We want to confirm the following

  • We want to confirm that all the lines are connected
  • We want to confirm that there is one closed curve (no open curves)
  • We want to make sure that the drawing is the correct size.  Make sure the units are in “inches” and that it is scaled correctly.  You can use the “distance” command for this.

Go to the “Top” viewport to draw your shape.  If you want to trace an image in Rhino, go to the “Top” viewport

To connect and close our outline, we select our line(s) and use the “join” command.  If you see “one closed curve” in the command response, then you are good.

Take this curve and use the command “offset”.  Choose the option to offset both sides of the line, then offset .03″.  This will create the outline of the shape that is .06″ thick (slightly less than 1/16″ thick).  This is thick enough to print well and thin enough cut through cookie dough.  Take these lines and move them to a new layer called “Cookie Cutter Outline”.  Leave the original line.

Step 4: Offset lines for a base

Next, offset the same line again, but with a distance of .0625″.  This will create a shape that is about 1/8″ thick, which will serve as the base of the cookie cutter.  Take these lines and move them to a new layer called “Cookie Cutter Base”

Export to a .STL file and you should have a print ready file for your new custom cookie cutter.  Now you can 3d print your cookie cutter at home.

Step 5: Print!

Export to a .STL file and you should have a print ready file for your new custom cookie cutter.  Now you can 3d print your cookie cutter at home.

A Note About Safety:

Materials:  Not all 3d printing materials are food safe.

2017-07-30T15:13:54+00:00 June 9th, 2017|3D Printing|