Whether it’s their birthday, new year’s or Los Reyes Magos, kids love presents! And there’s no better present than the one you’ve made yourself. Here’s a quick tutorial to help you make a neat DIY gift!
This colorful animal puzzle is completely 3D printable and free thanks to https://www.modelplusmodel.com/ . In this tutorial, you’ll find the link to the 3D designs, as well as a short explanation to make a wooden frame to complete the puzzle.
- wooden plank (plywood, MDF,….) of at least 50 x 70cm
- spray-paint or paint for wood in any color you like (we used black spray paint)
- 3D-printed animals (we’ll get to that)
- wood glue
- jigsaw (power tool)
- 4 x clamp-tools
- sanding paper
- hole saw (in different sizes)
- animal puzzle template
- box cutter
Step 1: start by 3D printing the animals. You can find all 3D models here: https://www.modelplusmodel.com/accessories/toys/f23-enzo-mari-puzzle-animals.html
We 3D printed them on 80% scale and 35% infill because we wanted all animals to be slightly smaller and really strong.
Step 2: while the animals are being printed, you can start making the frame. Start by sawing 2 equal pieces of wood of about 25 x 35cm. We’re going to make sure that there will be a border of about 3cm around the puzzle. This way, the frame will be nice and firm.
Step 3: download the animal puzzle template here. Then print it out (on paper this time 😉 ) on its original scale. We already scaled it to be 80% of the original 3D files. TIP: check whether the scale is OK by comparing it with a 3D printed animal.
Draw the outline of the animals on one of the two planks and cut it out with a jigsaw. TIP: drill out the rounded corners with a hole saw. Be careful during this step and make sure that you are working in a safe environment.
To finish off the planks, you can sand the edges.
Step 4: next, we’re gonna spray paint the layout of the animals onto the plank. This will help out your little one when making the puzzle.
First, print out another template of the animal puzzle on paper and cut out all the animals with a box cutter. Make sure that the border between the animals is sufficiently broad, this will make it easier to paint spray and will have a cleaner effect.
Then place it in the middle of the plank and tape it into place nicely.
Make sure that the tape covers the edges and that there are no blank spots. Otherwise, it will result in a bad paint job.
TIP: when using spray paint, keep the can at a distance of at least 20 cm so the paint doesn’t get underneath the paper.
Step 5: glue both parts of the frame together by using standard glue for wood. Make sure to clamp it together for a strong connection. TIP: place other pieces of wood or cardboard in between the frame and the clamps to protect the frame.
Check your glue instructions to know how long you need to let the glue set.