Hey everyone!

Here’s an update on everything I’ve been working on:

I finally took the plunge and bought my first 3D printer. This is a FlashForge Finder which I got for $500. There are cheaper printers out there, but from everything I read, you have to do a lot of fiddling and modification to get good prints. I was looking for something that worked out of the box and gave me decent enough prints so I could test my models before ordering from Shapeways.

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I was very pleased to find that the prints from the Finder are VERY CLOSE to what Shapeways was producing. A couple of coats of Filler Primer, some light sanding and I’m ready to mold or assemble!

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There are also lots of free models that you can download and print (or order printed from the site) at My Mini Factory, Pinshape and Thingiverse.

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This Yoda (about 2″ tall) is one of the first test models I printed. There was no cleanup done do him, Just painted so I could see detail.

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The Mars Curiosity rover model I downloaded from NASA’s site. Great detail and articulated!

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It’s a magical toy-making machine, and I couldn’t be happier!

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With my new printer, I could complete the rest of the parts. Here are the legs right out of the printer.

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The head and the body from my printer.

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A test fit of all the parts. I still have a little cleanup to do before molding.

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COMBAT CARL

I wanted to mold all of Carl’s body parts in a brown that matches his skin. With small quantities of resin, even one drop makes a big difference.

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Finally, I arrived at a color I liked! (FYI, that 3 drops of brown, yellow and red, 5 drops of white in 40 grams of SmoothCast 300 resin)

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The first test pulls from the molds.

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Look at Carl’s little knife!!

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I used this bit in my Dremel to carve out the spaces for the joint tabs.

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I’ll still be ordering the joint pins from Shapeways as they’ll be more accurate and stronger than what I could print (or pour).

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Assembly begins on the first copy.

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The wrist joint.

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This copy will be sent to the tailor for sizing the pants and vest. The mis-colored parts were poured with extra resin from another kit.

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One problem I found when pouring the parts was that I was getting air bubble trapped around the joint tabs. Also, I didn’t make them long enough for a secure working joint.

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To fix this, I added pins to the joint and I will just drill out the corresponding spot on all the parts.

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To test the theory, I printed a pin.

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I made the shaft longer so the resin part of the joint would be stronger.

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The test pin that makes the elbow joint.

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It works! Yay!

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MR POTATO HEAD

After molding the replacement eyes, I found a problem with them. The rim caused by the recessed back made for a weaker pin hole for the eyebrows (right). The pin on the eyebrow was also too thin and risked snapping off. I modeled a new master (left) of all the parts which I then printed.

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Here are all the new parts with a coat of primer. The old eyebrow is in black for comparison.

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Oberyn Martell’s Spear

I’ve been collecting Dark Horse’s series of Game of Thrones plastic statues. I know Prince Oberyn didn’t have his awesome spear before he fought The Mountain but I don’t care! I would make one!

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I sent off to Shapeways (pre-printer) for this print in their acrylic detailed material The spear is only 9.5″ long.

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After painting.

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Detail of the spear head. Modeling those snakes was not fun.

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To make the tassels, I bought a brown lens cleaning cloth and cut a small section into fringe.

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The cloth glued into place.

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MUCH better.

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LIFE-SIZE ICE CREAM KITTY

One of my favorite characters in the new animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the fusion of a cat and a tub of ice cream…Ice Cream Kitty!! He doesn’t get to do much aside from sitting in the freezer but he’s awesome!

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I modeled him to sit on a shelf or inside a plastic bowl. I haven’t decided which way to go yet.

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Here’s his head which I just finished printing.

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RESIN CUP GAUGE

For my projects, I pour small amounts of resin. I’ve been getting by with marking the cups with a sharpie after weighing but you can’t re-use the cup the next day.

I finally sat down and measured the common increments that I use in disposable cups. Print the linked file on clear Avery sheets, trim out, apply to each cup and you have a easy way of measuring your resin (as long as it’s equal amounts by volume, that is.)

DOWNLOAD

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Here’s how it works:

I use the small clear 9 oz. cups from Wal-Mart.

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Please the bottom line of the gauge at the base indent.

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Don’t forget to label which cup gets which part!

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Hopefully updates will be coming much sooner but no promises!

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