Last weekend we were at the 3D Print Experience show in Haarlem. Not as visitors, but with our very own stand! Most of the other exhibitors were businesses, but the organizers were kind enough to give us the opportunity to show the general public the hobbyist side of 3d printing.
After we set up our Etsy Shop and had a few orders, somebody came out with a custom order a bit challenging for us. He wanted some markers for a card game (like Magic) and he loved our purple tentacle so he asked if we could print 15 mini purple tentacles.
The purple tentacle model is about 7cm tall and the base is 5cm diameter and that’s too big for a card marker so he asked if we could do it about 1-2 cm base diameter. We were worried that with that much down-scaling we will lose too many details, so we decided to experiment on ways to do it just to see if it was even doable. Continue reading
We’ve been printing for a while and showing our models to everybody around us. So many people asked us where to get one of our ‘printies’ that we decided to start a shop in Etsy!
For the moment we have listed the two more popular items among our colleagues and friends: the purple tentacle and the cute octopus, but we will add more items very soon.
You can have a look at the shop here: The Fabsterdam Outlet
For a while, we’ve been thinking about upgrading our photo setup. We take most of our pictures with our phones, for convenience, but it’s difficult to get nice pictures of small, 3d-printed models this way. Using a ‘real’ camera helps, but for really nice pictures you need a light box. This is essentially a box-shaped diffuser that gives you a nice, even, white background with uniform lighting. Rather than paying a lot for a commercial one, we decided to give this DIY Light Tent project a go.
After some time in silence… we’re back!
“A lithophane (French: lithophanie) is an etched or molded artwork in thin very translucent porcelain that can only be seen clearly when back lit with a light source.”
3D-printed plastic works fine, too. There is an excellent post on the RepRapPro blog describing the whole process from start to finish. This was something we just had to try ourselves, of course.
We’d been reading about this technique called ‘vapor treating‘, that is supposed to smooth out the surface of prints. Bathing them in vapor of a solvent would blend the ridges so typical of 3d printing, so that the part would look almost injection-molded. This looked like something we’d like to try ourselves.
Different plastics require different solvents. The solvent for ABS plastic is acetone, which is both widely available and not too toxic. We have a lot of pieces lying around from semi-successful ABS printing experiments which are perfect candidates for some smoothing.
We really like this new purple filament, so we’ve decided to keep printing more purple thingies. And of course, we had to print this…