Simple Spring Hat

The arrival of Midges in Chicago this year incentivized me to make hats for the spring. The midges are no longer swarming, but my idea to make hats has taken flight. In designing the hat, I wanted something that was light in weight and colorful. I decided to keep it simple with a model that would not take a long time to print. The result was a hat that prints using vase mode; a visor attaches to the drum with glue. Voila! Spring hat.

I made a video showing how to design the hat using Blender software. The video is on YouTube. The instructions below show how to measure and calculate the diameter to make a hat for yourself.


Place a tape measure around the part of your head where the base of the hat will rest. The formula is Diameter equals Circumference divided by 3.14. Example: Head measurement is 19 inches (circumference). 19 divided by 3.14 equals 6.05 inches. It is best to use the metric system with Blender. Inches are easily converted to meters by typing “inches to meters” in the browser search bar.

Additional millimeters should be added to the diameter for fitting, about 4 to 10 mm. It is essential for fitting the graduated visor, otherwise, the hat will be too wide on the sides after gluing. The hat bends but does not stretch.

The visor can be printed normally or in vase mode, depending upon the style chosen. The style with graduated faces increasing towards the cylinder should not be printed in vase mode. The style with a flat top surface can be printed in vase mode.

The hat was designed to be printed in vase mode. I felt vase mode would be best for using PLA as the model will be bendable. I found that PLAs that print at 205° or higher were less likely to split between rows. The photograph below shows Cura setting for vase mode.

Many ideas come to mind for variations of the model. I added a skating vector to the purple hat I printed, but I forgot to turn the drum upside down before slicing. The space I allowed for the visor is now at the top and the skater is upside down. Rotating the drum is something to keep in mind before exporting the model from Blender.

Besides adding vector graphics, the middle drum section can be wrinkled similar to vases. I imagine if the exterior of the hat is treated with varnish, it can provide some protection from raindrops. Hopefully, many people will find this model useful, as it would be fun to see what everyone makes.

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