Can’t Afford Murti? 3D Print Them!

Can’t Afford Murti? 3D Print Them! August 4, 2017

If you can’t afford murti for your Hindu altar, it is completely fine to use pictures of Gods, Goddesses, and Gurus. You can even print them out yourself. But recently I came across another potential option: 3d print them!

You may be thinking:

If I can’t afford a murti how am I going to afford to 3d print?

It turns out you can often get free or cheap access to 3d printers. For example, my library system allows access to their 3d printers for 25 cents a gram. I’ve done a couple of projects that come out to $1.50 each! You don’t even need a library card to do it and the librarians are so excited to get new projects and see what you’re doing.

I’ve also heard that there are some open access workshop spaces where you can make use of their 3d printers, but I’m not sure how you find those. Perhaps check for any “maker” workshops or events.

I found these Hindu-themed projects on Thingiverse and My Mini Factory, sites with free 3d print files. You can download a free program like Cura to see how many grams an object is. It’s always possible to resize it too. My library’s 3d printer has a limit of 6 by 6 y 6 inches for an object because that’s the size of the printer bed (even more cool: it’s out on the counter and you can watch your object being created).

3d print hindu

They will come out solid color in whatever color filament the library has and then you can paint them, which is a lovely devotional practice in and of itself.

You may also want to lightly sand and/or rub with acetone (nail polish remover) to smooth.

Also think of the possibilities for Navratri golu themes!

You could search Thingiverse, My Mini Factory, or Yeggi for any theme at all: it doesn’t have to be Hindu.

See: Navratri Golu Theme Ideas

You can learn to create your own files using a free program link TinkerCad. Along with the basic tutorial on the site, there are many Youtube videos with more detailed instructions.

This is all, of course, far fancier than it needs to be.

Stretch your creativity in making devotional objects. You could use polymer clay, you could use beads, you could use even just a beautiful smooth river stone to represent God.


New to this blog? Check out these posts:

What Makes Me A Hindu?

Did I Start Out Christian?

Why Am I Called “The White Hindu”?

New to Hinduism? Learn more here:

Hinduism 101: What Do Hindus Believe?

Can I Convert To Hinduism?

Your First Visit To A Hindu Temple

Super Simple Daily Puja


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

    I love your idea and innovation. Every material have different vibration, which kind of connect that material with the vibration of the cosmos. This is a kind of a key to connect you with super reality.

    For it to be called Murti, it has to have prana patista, this gives life to Murti. Only certain materials are suggested for this purpose because of its vibration, for example paanch dhattu ( five super metals combination ) is considered best for this purpose. Stone is usually a last option for Murti. Same likewise you can’t have a key made out of plastic, you can not have a Murti made out of of certain material either. Because of this reason it will not give certain kind of vibration that is required.

    Don’t get me wrong, ideally how you perceive God is entirely your choice but these are the recommendations.

  • ajay

    From one point of view, Hindus proud that famous foreighners became Hindu, from other – some important Hindu temples in India are not allow to enter Hindus of non-Indian (western) origin, like Jagannath in Puri, Mahabaleshwar in Gokarna, Krishna temple in Guruvayur, Vishnu temple in Trichy and some others have plates “foreighners not allowed” on doors, and even if you are following Hinduism but have white skin – you not be able to pray in such temples. Indian media should write about this shameful racism of Bramins of these temples. How to promote Sanatana Dharma Worldwide and keep such skin colour segregation in Hindu temples in India?

    • HARRY

      This is not due to racism, this was due to culture appropriation. Each temple have specific concept and deity and some of them are local centric. For example, there are temple for Kul devta, where people from external families aren’t allowed in them. Only direct members of the family are allowed in, and it is same with temple that are dedicated to certain community , if you aren’t the member of that community then you won’t be allowed in.

      This is same with Mecca, if you are not Muslim, then you won’t be allowed in the mosque, they don’t even permitt certain kind of Muslims either.

      These are just the rules.

      Btw, for your information, temples are in control of the committee made out of local populace, Brahmin are only pujaris and they don’t have much say in it in the running of the temples.

      I think you need to dig up real information first before you put up this kind of comments.

      • ajay

        But i talk not about family temples or local rural community temples, but about famous and main temples (which i mention in my post) – all India piligrimage spots, where any Indian from any State can enter, but not white.
        Also, i talk not about just western tourists, but about Hindus of western origin, people who got intiation (diksha) in particular Hindu sampradaya and acepted Hinduism. But nobody cares are they Hindu or not – just skin colour segregation.
        If you are western accepted Islam – you can visit Mecca. But in Indian temples? Does it mean that Sanatana Dharma is not Universal religion?
        I asked in few temples who decide not allow white skin people inside? They said usually main Bramins of temple make such orders.

        • HARRY

          I have come across many cases where people usually blame Brahmin but in many cases they are not in charge of temple rules or their running, they are only pujaris of the deity.

          Most tourists only visit temple because of building, not to do darshan of deity, this is also another reason they say no.

          I think their main concern is ritualistic rules not being broken and most of the time you can’t guarantee this when tourists are involved.