Creating these snowflake patterns has been a wonderful challenge. The design itself was complex, but even more so was the challenge of creating a delicate design that could be cut on the CNC router. Maybe I should have started with something simpler, like the Christmas tree stars, but I'm super excited about how these turned out.
The design of the snowflakes is a VERY rough imitation of a plastic snowflake I found at the dollar store. I started with the large snowflake shape, trying first to create all of the straight lines. Part of the real challenge was to make the detail fine enough to look like a delicate snowflake while leaving enough space for the router bit to do its work.
In order to achieve the small details, I had to design for cutting with a 1/16" diameter router bit. Take a look and you'll see that all inside corners have a tiny radius built in to accommodate the small bit.
For the different size snowflakes, I simply did some creative trimming of the largest shape. I'm honestly not sure how I managed it, but the 8" pattern has a unique shape compared to the others. Notice that the other shapes are perfectly symmetrical no matter which way you rotate them. However, the 8" snowflake seems to have a "top" and a "bottom".
Otherwise, there are four basic sizes that all compliment the shape of one another. They look pretty neat if you hang them with a small snowflake on top and then a larger one suspended beneath.
I love Baltic birch plywood and this was my first attempt at using 1/8". Since the plywood has no voids, the 1/8" was plenty strong even for the delicate details of the snowflake shapes. Of course these could be made from nearly any material, even printed on paper.
Although I cut my snowflake patterns on a CNC router, they could just as easily be cut on a laser engraver or even produced on a 3D printer. I also printed a copy of one of the patterns and traced it as a pattern for a traditional hand-cut paper snowflake. It turned out surprisingly well!
There are a couple of options for using the pattern yourself. You can either copy the JPEG from above, or if you'd like a cleaner drawing, click here or the image to the left for a PDF version. As always, remember that you'll need a PDF reader to view the file.
If you like the snowflake patterns and would like to purchase one or more already cut for you, then please have a look at what's available to buy from my online shop. The snowflakes are great for Christmas decorations, but are also enjoyable all throughout the winter season. They're available in all four sizes seen in the drawings. Click on the pictures above for links to the individual product pages.