Saturday, 20 July 2013

Heaven Sword

For my first painted print I decided to make the Heaven Sword from the Chinese drama Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre 倚天屠龍記 ). Firstly I sourced some reference images; some from the actual tv series, and some from replica's available on taobao. Then I made the 3D model In Maya, creating it as half the sword to be printed twice and then glued together:

As I working with an old version of Maya, I then had to export to .obj and import it into blender before exorting it as a .stl for Repetier-Host to use, I then had to go back and make several adjustments to the model after viewing the slicing until I felt it was adequate:

I rotated the model by 45 degrees and scaled it up by 6.5 to be as large as possible on the printing bed (Solidoodle 2).

The prints worked perfectly first time and I give them a quick file down (perhaps too quick in retrospect):

I then used silver, copper and black hobby paints to paint the sword using the paints in that order. Using some broken spaghetti to stir the paints before use.

After painting I then glued the two halves together with plastics glue, and was satisfied with the result.

The model is available on Thingiverse here

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Rings of Things

Experimenting with making rings, different sizes & printer settings.
Discovered you can tell the printer to really take it's time with the base layer, so you get a more stable platform to build off. Also discovered it's really hard to make a ring to fit properly.
It feels great once you sand it back though!

Also looks great under blacklight!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I want a blue kitty!

So, it was my friend's birthday the other day and she requested / demanded that I print her "a blue kitty". Accepting the challenge with my thus far limited printing experience, I started by creating the 3d model in Maya.

the concept was to have a little cat to sit on the handle of a mug, leaning over the brim. 

 After blocking out the general shape, i started modelling the details.

This is how the finishes product should have looked.

 As there were some overhangs in the model i figured it would be best to print it in two separate pieces then simply glue them together at the end, this however did not go as well as planned..

As the print was so small it lacked detail, particularly on the face, having more of a pig snout than that of a cat. In the 3d model I had created the two pieces with a corresponding concave and convex on the join area for extra strength, which was good in theory, but when it came to the final pint did not fit together at all, and needed a large amount of filling down, still leaving a stark line across the join.

After filing and sanding it down, I processed it with acetone for a smoother finish. I learn't several things from this, in particular things to avoid are; joining a print where there is no context for a  join line and printing small objects.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Night III - Acetone and Friends

Saturday rolled around and it was time to get a few tools.
Acetone, files, sandpaper - you know what's up.
At this point, our little corner was starting to look more and more legit.
I thought it'd be nice to make the logo for my chiptune music (Calavera).
We experimented again with putting down a thin layer under the model to give it more surface area (and sticking power).

It looked pretty cool, but was a bit rough. We wanted something more. We tried filing and sandpaper, and while it was decent, it wasn't quite right...

The next thing we wanted to try was acetone. For those unaware; if you heat up acetone it emits vapor which eats away at plastic, smoothing it, making it shiny and rounding everything. Basically exactly what we wanted, so we set to work making our living room look like some kind of meth lab.

20 minutes at 90 degrees Celcius, and this is what we got. A smooth, beautiful little piece of goodness. It's insanely easy and the results are great. You've just got to make sure you do it in a well ventilated area, as the smell isn't great if you don't. Also, you know - don't light a match directly above it or you get a small flame out the top.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Night II - Kings 'n Creeps.

We had a lot more time on the second night. Mike thought a little crown would be appropriate for our name here, and after a few failed attempts, we got this:

Turns out we needed more surface area on the bottom to keep the crown from getting pushed off the heat bed while it was being printed. We just cut that off with a knife at the end.

After that we were hooked. We needed something else to print, and we didn't have much prepared, so we jumped on and grabbed a creeper model:

Unfortunately half way through the print, our plastic ran out and we had to change spools. Then some time later something went really, really wrong - not quite sure what just yet.
What we ended up with was some kind of two-faced burn victim creeper. Oh well, onwards and upwards.

"....kiilllll meeee"

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Night I - Introductions

Well, I suppose introductions are in order -  I'm Josh, and he's Mike. Got it? Good.

This was our first very short night with the Solidoodle 2. Our very first 3D printer.

It came quicker then we expected and we were embarrassingly unprepared.
Regardless - we set out to sail the seas of the future - and the future was green.

We thought a cube would be elegant and simple. Unfortunately due to our lack of skill at this point, we didn't get past the base (this was because the bottom wasn't sticking well enough to the building platform) so by the end of the night, we had a couple of wonky squares. But you know what, we didn't care - 'cause we made them and they were ours and this was only the beginning.