Friday, 10 May 2013

Monster Printing Experiments

The testing of the MakerBot Replicator 2 continues, we are learning a fair bit about how to get the results we want (when the dreaded heater sensor cable isn't stopping things - replacement will come at some point...)
We now have some 'white' filament which I am really looking forward to trying, the very transparent plastic we have been using that came with the machine is fun in many ways, but doesn't allow the form to be seen well at all. The almost crystalline look makes things feel much more jewel-like, all sparkly and translucent. When we set the shells to 1 and the infill to 0% you get a feel like solidified water - it may be hard to tell in the photos below, will try and take more that really show the effect.

Some of the other tests involved errors in models and what that results in for the print. You can see how a Max cylinder with a deleted poly prints - the Makerware software kinda tries to fill things in with imperfect results. The famous teapot, which is a poor model for 3D printing because of the curved base and the holes like the ring around the lid which doesn't join to the body. The teapot does print though as the infill holds things together.

When I did the Mudbox test I had no intention of 3D printing it, but when it came to do a high-res test - what better. The model is full of larger and finer details that would be a good experiment for the printer. The result is so so cool, when printed out at various sizes, the bigger ones are just a delight to hold.
Will have to think now whether the Loch Dreagan game should have the generic representative shape or a fully textured one...
Note that bringing all those polys back from Mudbox to Max to create the STL took a fair chunk of processing, plus you can see the nice plastic spaghetti that was made when the model didnt stick to the bed because I hadnt tidied up the base to be perfectly flat.

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