Saturday, December 17, 2016

Random 3D Printing Projects

Thinkspace had a 24 hour 3D design and printing competition a few months ago for which the design brief/theme was jewellery. I only had a hour or two to spare so I did up a quick puzzle ring: its designed to be printed in four separate parts, in four separate colours, each a little ring with tabs that click into each other. The tabs are positioned so there is a unique way of arranging the pieces (like a puzzle). It's not that hard to solve or anything. I made it in OpenSCAD. It's pretty much just a series of cylinders with holes, and the tabs are just rectangular pegs and cutouts.

OpenSCAD script and stl model files available here.

Working on this design got me excited about making 3D prints that could be put together from multiple parts printed in different colours, so I played with this idea a bit more. I made a little pixel art model of Link holding up the triforce from the original NES Legend of Zelda. It's a cool sprite because it's a small number of pixels and only requires three colours. I used an OpenSCAD to build the models from an array that contained the sprite data.

Since the sprite is mostly green, I printed the green layer to have a backing that would support the rest of the design. The pieces from the orange and "skin" coloured layers sort of just snap into the remaining gaps. First time I did the print, I designed all parts to have a pixel size of 2mm. When I went to snap them in I found they wouldn't fit, as the printer seemed to have a tiny bit of 'bleed' such that a 2mm pixel that stuck out didn't exactly fit into a 2mm gap. I redesigned the parts such that any pixels that were designed to adjoin another layer were about 0.25mm smaller such that they would smoothly fit together. The resulting prints worked well, but some bits required glueing, as they otherwise would float off the side.

Continuing on the Legend of Zelda theme I made some little heart containers and Link's sword. I ended up turing them into pairs of earrings by supergluing some sterling silver earring posts and backs on the 3D prints.

The 3D parts for the earrings can be found here.

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