Monday, April 24, 2017

3D Printing at Tuacahn

Tuacahn Amphitheater in Southern Utah. Nestled into beautiful red foothil
ls hills.
Home of great theater, a Saturday farmer's market, and 3D printing. 3D printing? Yup.
Just inside their gift shop is a display case with 3D printed props from their previous shows.
From Peter Pan there's some kisses (acorns), Wendy's thimble, and a feather arm bracelet leverl created by printing a feather flat then wrapping it around a pole with some heat.
There are ornate crosses and woven pendants from the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
And lastly there's Smee's dagger and some phone cases and card holders. All of which are available for purchase. The props were actually used in the show.

I got the opportunity to talk to the guys using 3D printing at Tuacahn and it's exciting to see. In fact if there were a market for this sort of thing I think it'd be interesting to print new props and trinkets every night, use them in a show, and sell them afterwards. This is exactly the sort of thing 3D printing is good for and I thank Joseph Smith and Scott Anderson for taking the time to chat with me. I look forward to seeing what they do in the future.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Supported by viewers like you Video

I made the intro to this video the way that I did for a couple of reasons. First of all, Kevin MacLeod's Fig Leaf Times Two is irresistible. And second, this saved me from having to foley a decent sound track, which I'm not equipped to do. However, for the time I spend making the silent movie/retro computer text cards I maybe should have set up a folly studio. (Though i really like this card and I'm going to use it again.)

Of course the first thing I do with this computer, before I charged the battery, before I put the anti-scratch cover on the screen, is I posed Cymon on it in a sultry pose. I mean, naturally.
To be clear, I am not caught up on the supporter tiles, not by a long shot. And, especially the big ones, they will be featured in future videos on their own as appropriate. Nor is this project done. Honestly, when this his 1000 tiles maybe I'll stop. Hmm, that's a bit lofty. maybe 100.

It's difficult to say "I need your help" and not sound... well, needy. Or pushy. I hope I kept my message positive and struck the right tone. It was not easy to do, I can tell you. While I presented the list in my video as comprehensive, it probably isn't and it definitely may not remain true for very long. I may have other avenues open up in the future and close other ones that aren't benefiting me as much. But for now if you want to support me here's the list:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

3D Printing Fidget Spinners with Special Guest

Of all my kids Gabe really enjoys being a part of my videos the most. This may be the first non-livestream video he gets to be a part of. I'm curious what the analytics will say about his presence. Maybe he can be a regular co-host.

Sorry if I don't have much else to say about this video today. I'm planning an after-school program and today is the first day. Stressed out doesn't begin to describe my current position. But I'm trying to keep a regular schedule and the analytics say Wednesday is the day to upload, so I want that to be at least one of the days I upload on. Now that's done, I hope you'll excuse me as I do some last minute prep. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Using Acetone and Nailpolish to finish prints video

One thing I didn't mention in the video was that the acetone I use sometimes causes some white discoloration and I have yet to figure out how to get rid of it. for the skull dice I would sand the print after hitting with acetone to make sure it's as clear as can be before adding the final coat, something made difficult because sanding already made the outside cloudy.
So here's the supporter mosaic so far. It's only one or two big shout-out tiles away from complete at the moment. This is a project I'm very happy to be doing, and it's ongoing. New Pateron backers will be added. And the gofundme will adjust soon, as well. And, hey, I like to add people who just do me little favors to these tiles. There are little tiles exactly for that. The supporter mosaic will continue.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

FFF 3D prints as clear as glass with Colorfabb HT

In the past I concluded that optically transparent FFF 3D prints just were not possible. The process itself worked against this. Then Colorfabb wrote a blog post asserting that it was possible, with a special filament. So I knew I had to give this "HT" stuff a try.

What is Colorfabb HT? I have no idea. Even the name "HT" doesn't describe anything other than the properties of the blend. Whatever it is, it's designed to print and tolerate High Temperatures. But apparently it has another property, that causes it to continue to flow a little after printing and fill in the air holes left between the lines inherent in the FFF process. Normally this would be a bad thing, but apparently it wasn't so bad that they needed to throw out HT all together and produced this marvelous property that we are exploiting to make the coolest set of dice ever.
There's still some question about orientation. The skull can't print facing up, the eye holes need support, so should I print it on the bottom or the side? The bottom tends to be very clear, but if you haven't had a perfect purge that's a no-go. But on the side any bubbles in the print become very visible. There's no clear answer to this one, pun intended, but I think if you printed these I'd say skull down, and that's how I uploaded it.

Download and print your own embedded transparent skull dice, if you dare:

Friday, April 7, 2017

To support or not to support?

This was a commission job to do a character model based on someone Final Fantasy XIV character, and it is the most complex part I've ever modeled and printed. Part of the complexity of this model was the fact that it was a moving target. As an online game the player was constantly changing their costume. The other part of the complexity was that this character had a lot of clothes to model. In the future singlets and jeans only. And finally no matter what I did I could not come up with an intersting pose that didn't have massive overhangs.

I get a lot of guff from other 3D printing people because of my stance on break-away supports. So I decided to take this character and see if I could make supports work. I tweaked and adjusted and used every trick in the book to get a well supported part out of it. But when the supports didn't fail and fall before they got to the part they needed to be supporting, the supported arm, which was already thin, was made skeletal because of the necessary gap introduced so that the supports could be removed. And I'm not talking about the clean skeleton you see in the doctor's office, no, like a dripping, fleshy, zombie skeleton arm.
So I adjusted the design to print without supports. I removed the overhanging arm, gave it a slightly overhang orientation, and removed the book as well. Of course this part was too small to add any sort of registers to the parts so that I could line them up after printing so gluing them was a fine art of patience and a steady hand, and I admit that having the badly printed part for reference probably helped. But the final result was so much better.
Now, I'm not saying that break-away supports should never ever never be used. I still think they're a fine art and they have their place. But fine details on rounded objects is not that place.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

3D printing colorfabb bronzefill and brassfill chess set

Code for Scholars: J:AUJA RBMXH YOMXQH

Is there a word for accidentally making the right choice when you mean to make another? Does serendipity cover that? I was seriously gunning for bronzefill when I ordered the brassfill, but if I had I wouldn't have finished the job and would likely have just written off all fills as being garbage. But because I accidentally order bronzefill I had a good experience, and added a new filament to the ones I'm going to keep on hand.

These Dam2Dam medals are a keeper. I'm putting them in the portfolio this afternoon.

I gotta admit, I was super surprised to discover that not all *fills are alike. I mean I already know that the copperfill I tried out before wasn't really copper filled, and obviously I had wrecked a nozzle on Tungestenfill, but otherwise I had a good experience, but brassfill really is tough to get a good print out of.
Afinia "Copperfill" Steampunk robot chess set remixed from dutchmogul

Colorfabb Bronzefill and Brassfill diamond hourglass chess set by Makealot
I forgot to mention that because of the weight of it, the price of this filament is deceptively much more expensive than regular filament, so it's something to consider. For specific jobs, like the Dam2Dam medal, it's perfect and good to have on hand. But for regular and functional prints stick with the usual.