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Piping Plover Egg


3D-printable Piping Plover Egg .STL file.

This accurate 3D-printable piping plover egg is a high-quality replica of the real thing. It is perfect for educational purposes, as a collectible, or as a unique decoration. The 3D-printable file is designed to be printed with a high level of accuracy, ensuring that the finished product looks just like a genuine piping plover egg. The egg measures approximately 32.5mm in length and 24.78mm in width, making it the perfect size for imitating the real thing. Whether you are a bird enthusiast, an educator, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, this 3D-printable piping plover egg is sure to impress.

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This is a 3D printable Piping Plover egg (Charadrius melodus) for all your artificial Piping Plover egg needs! Print it out and paint it and you’ll have a nice little decoy egg. Print a few and place them in a divot in the sand, and you’ll have a believable decoy nest! Best of all, this model is free!

This 3D printable, digital file is in STL format. It is scaled to life-size and ready for you to print and paint. This Piping plover egg is 32.47mm tall and 24.79mm wide, which is the average egg size for this species.

Piping Plovers are an small sparrow-sized species of shorebird that breed on sandy beaches in North America. In Ontario and much of the United States, they are listed as an endangered or threatened species at risk.

Their nests consist of a scraped depression in the sand, loosely decorated with shells and other beach debris to camouflage it. Breeding pairs of Piping Plovers typically lay from 2-4 eggs per clutch.

Animated render of a Piping plover egg

While we used an airbrush to paint our eggs, you can achieve similar results with a paintbrush for the base colour coat, and flicking your thumb along a toothbrush loaded with dark paint as a speckling technique. Alternatively, you could painstakingly add each individual dark spot with a fine-bristled paintbrush.

Our tested print settings

We successfully printed this model in resin on an LCD printer using the following settings. You may try to print it on an FDM 3D printer but due to its small size, it might be difficult.

  • Oriented upright
  • Layer height: 0.05
  • Hollowed:
    • Wall thickness: 2.5mm
    • No infill
    • 3mm drainage hole on the top and bottom
  • Support material: True

We filled the drainage holes with more UV-sensitive resin and cured it with a UV light source. Then, we sanded the ends so the patched drainage holes were undetectable.

Feel free to use these settings as a guide or use your own preferred settings. These are just the settings that we used when printing.

two 3D printed and painted piping plover eggs
3D-printed and painted Piping Plover eggs

Painting Suggestions

When painting most 3D prints, we recommend priming with a spray primer first before painting. This makes the print accept paint more readily. Priming in white is usually best because it makes it easier to achieve the desired colour with fewer layers of paint (often just one).

We painted the eggs pictured using an airbrush but do not let that deter you from attempting to paint some! It is definitely possible to paint a realistic egg without an airbrush.

We used double sided tape to hold the egg to the bottom of an inverted cup. This way the egg was easy to manipulate without directly touching it while painting.

We started by painting the whole egg a solid creamy colour. Then we added a first layer of dark spots using an airbrush and a wooden tongue depressor. The speckling technique involves spraying the paint at an angle towards the tongue depressor such that it slightly pools up and then blows off in small drips. For a better visual of the technique, this video demonstrates it well. We added another layer of creamy colour but only lightly to mute the dark speckles, then we added another layer of speckles on top. We did this to replicate the varying intensities of dark spots exhibited on real Piping Plover eggs.

We'd love to see your finished eggs! Please share them with us on our social media:

Additional information

Sculpt artist

Lincoln Savi