Things like this “Dalek Remeshed” by tbuser. I think I need to drill two tiny holes to attach the eyestalk and a tiny toilet plunger on springs. Then they could wiggle as the Dalek is moved about. Or maybe I should slice the head off Ol’ Pepperpot, so I can mount it on a swivel. Or scale it up to twice its current size. With a human head in a compartment inside.
I think perhaps there is virtue in knowing what to change, and what to leave alone. So, onto the next thing.
I had the filament diameter set to 3.0mm instead of 1.75mm in some hidden part of Skeinforge (the slicing software). This made the printer extrude much less plastic than it thought it was. So the TARDIS is light, and a bit fragile on the edges, but the level of detail is still surprisingly good.
This simplified geometric take on Thor’s magical hammer Mjöllnir is by Vic. He was inspired by the viking era amulets, many of which have been found by archaeologists and treasure hunters. Joy bought me a pewter reproduction in England some years ago.
Vik had intended to use this model for a variant in lost wax casting, to cast a copy in bronze or aluminium. Sadly he got so engrossed in building a furnace, amongst other things, he never got back to it.
I’m hoping to find someone in my neck of the woods who does lost wax casting, so I can borrow their knowledge and equipment to cast some of my own designs in metal.
It is interesting to me how different people ‘get’ desktop 3D printing for different reasons. A friend who I’ve been earbashing for a while, and who has seen some of my earlier prints, finally stopped looking puzzled and started looking excited. “I get it now” she said, as she realised you could make cookie cutters of anything.
Serendipitously, the next cookie cutter didn’t quite work. The Slic3r, the software I used to convert the STL file into g-code, “optimised out” all the bits of the design it thought were too thin to bother printing. That turned out to be all the bits that would cut the dough! As a result, all I was left with was the “handle” at the top.
But it is such an elegant shape. Such strong geometry. And translucent. Suddenly I realised I could print out shadow puppets of arbitrary complexity. If you’ve ever seen Balinese shadow puppetry, or traditional Turkish shadow puppets, you’ll realise how cool that is. And how tedious (or meditative, depending on frame of mind or deadline pressure) making multiples by hand must be.
So although I could just have re-sliced the Raven Cookie Cutter properly (it wasn’t the designer‘s fault I messed up), and printed a usable kitchen utensil, I’m much more excited by the accidental discovery. I can tie yet another of my unfulfilled ambitions into 3D printing!
And if you’re not into making cookies, or puppetry, imagine making bespoke shape cutters for rolled-out polymer clay or precious metal clay.