Saturday, August 22, 2015

3D Printing

During the past semester I had a course of 3D printing. It was mostly a disaster, since first there was a train strike and our teacher couldn't get to Weimar and then the school's 3D printer broke up and they couldn't get the repair parts in time and then the lesson-free time already started and I was in Finland for the second weekend. (It was supposed to be a two-weekends course, but the other weekend was cancelled four times.) Talking about the German efficiency.

So, I couldn't really print anything with the 3D printer, but it was ok, because I like to do things with a budget. Meaning that people wouldn't always need to buy expensive toys to do stuff. That's why I acted as my own 3D printer and made a small Master West468 from the old BBC scifi series The Tripods. (Yes, that explains a lot about my internet nick, doesn't it?)

First, I made a 3D model in Blender. The teacher asked us to use Rhinoceros as well, so you can see that model in the pic as well, but personally I prefer Blender. After this, I used a freeware programme called 123D Make to create the layers for cardboard. Since it's a free programme it has its failings. I couldn't get it to show the other leg of the master, so I had to reflect each layer manually to make the tripod into a tripod instead of a bipod.

3D models of the master

After the model pdf files were ready it was just tedious cutting for a couple of days. I noticed on the go that it's a good idea to be really exact with the thickness of the sheets, since even 0,2 mm difference will get multiplied when you have 100+ sheets. I left a few of the layers out when the model started to deform. Still, the result was rather neat. George was happy to have a friend for his world conquering plans. That'll be interesting to see...

Building the 3D model of the master

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