Thursday, 28 April 2011

New materials at Shapeways

Last week saw the long awaited advent of new 3D printing materials at Shapeways.

The materials are called Frosted Detail and Frosted Ultra Detail. Frosted detail boasts 0.1mm clearance for moving parts and 0.5mm minimum wall thickness. And Frosted Ultra Detail promises a very impressive 0.05mm clearance and 0.3mm wall thickness.

My first model for the Frosted Detail has been ordered! It's a little WIP Tesla Defense Tower for 1/1200th scale Victorian Science Fiction tabletop wargaming, and designed in a similar style to Spartan Games Dystopian wars models. The model linked to above has several parts sprued together, for easier painting prior to assembly.

The completed model will look like the model shown here . I've ordered two, one in Shapeways regular White Detail and the other in Frosted Detail for a side by side comparison.

Another model in the same order, in Frosted Ultra, is a Small Kraken, this one is my Kraken, scaled down to half the size.

All being well, the models should arrive by the end of next week (May 6th).

More squid!

Frosted detail and Frosted Ultra Detail are both transluscent/transparent, and the support material is a white coloured wax. A while back, I created a model using the Kraken above, scaled down to 18mm and place inside a solid block. I called this Kraken in Crystal... so I took the same model and scaled it down even further Kraken in Crystal - small.

Funky stuff
The model pictured to the right is my 3 Strand Mobius - I've also taken this model, scaled it down and placed it inside a solid block - if all goes well the block can be polished to reveal the mobius spiral inside formed of the wax support material. The model can be found via this link Mobius in Pendant.

Little stuff.
And so to the next model, Euro 4 in 1 micro maille sampler - this is incredibly small, really, really small. The rings have an inside diameter of just 1.51mm (that's right 1.51mm!), and 196 rings make up a patch 34.26 x 9.98mm (as printed). Will it work or not? The rings might fuse together... the model has gone into production already, and should be delivered by about the 12th May.

And now the finale...

The current world record for the smallest working Rubik's Cube stands at 10mm... with this little beastie, I'm aiming at 6.2mm! Each side of the cube comprises of 9 2mm squares with 0.1mm spacing. The mechanism design is more-or-less the same as the original patented Rubik's Cube, so even if the cube is printable, I won't be able to offer it for sale.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Silver painted dice bag.

After many, many days of dipping my chain maille dice bag in diluted silver acrylic paint, I'm finally happy with the coverage and look. All of the rings have a fairly even coverage and non are stuck together.

The dice bag is available from my Shapeways shop for $37.08 (USD), the price includes international shipping via UPS, additional taxes may also be payable depending upon the delivery destination.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Twin Rail Mobius - Reloaded

If you've seen my profile avatar, you might be wondering what it is.
I call it Twin Rail Mobius Pendant. The pendant is one of my designs that Shapeways 3d printed in stainless steel.

So why 'Twin Rail' and why 'reloaded'?
There's two rails with a mobius twist that form a circle. Three sets of these rails are stacked up and joined by a half-pipe. Reloaded is because this is an updated model that includes a ring on the back for a necklace.

The pendant is designed to take upto 31 6mm balls.

Here's a side shot.

Here's a video on YouTube showing how the balls move.

And another picture - this is how the pedant is supplied from shapeways.
You can buy one for yourself from my my Shapeways shop, included with the pendant is the rubber necklace with a bayonet clasp. Odering is handled by Shapeways and delivery takes upto 20 working days. The balls are not included, but you can add 6mm ball very easily, they just pop inbetween the rails. The price for the pendant is $43.30 and includes UPS delivery (local taxes may also be added depending upon the delivery destination)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Dice bag progress

Well, progress in painting my 70mm dice bag is going very slowly. I'm averaging about four dips into the paint per day... I've lost count how many times the bag has been dipped, but so far none of the rings have stuck together, and over the last few days, the rings are really starting to show a silvery colour.

The image to the right, shows the progress so far. Clicking on the image will take you to a larger image, in which you will see that the paint is still wet. During the 3-4 hour drying time, I move the bag about to prevent the rings sticking together. The paint I'm using is Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic - Silver (imitation) #702.

There's still loads more dipping to go yet, I want the bag colouring to end up looking like the model Baritone horn below.

I suppose I'd better provide a bit of info about the horn. My daughter plays the baritone horn in a local youth band, a friend's (= S) family member (= R) also played the flugel horn in the same band. S asked me if I could design a pendant of a model flugel horn and order it in in the stainless steel material the Shapeways do. I came up with a design and at the same time designed the baritone horn model.

I ordered in the two horns in Shapeways' white strong and flexible material to see how the designs worked out.

Here's the Flugel Horn 'as delivered' in WSF - the scale is about 1/12th. I used a fair bit of artistic license to keep the model small enough and sticking to the Shapeways design rules for the material.
Here's the Baritone Horn in WSF. Again I used a fair amount of artistic license to keep the model small and stick to the disgn rules. My model is based on the Besson BE757 which my daughter plays.
I got the go-ahead from S to get the flugel horn printed in stainless steel - unfortunately the model was rejected and even after beefing the model out to 2mm wall thickness it was rejected again. There's some discussion about that on the Shapeways forum, oh well... maybe when silver printing comes back I can have the horns made in silver.

Back to dipping the dice bag now, it will probably be at least another 4 or 5 days before the bag is finished.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

More 3d printed chain maille!

Firstly I made a half persian 4 in 1 chain using 2mm anodised aluminium wire, coiled and cut with aviation snips. The rings turned out to be about 10mm ID giving an aspect ratio of 5. Getting the weave right was fairly straight forward. Once I got my head around how the chain was formed, I set about trying to recreate it as a 3d model suitable for 3d printing, this took maybe upwards of 20 hours over 8 days adjusting wire size, aspect ratio and the angles of the rings... but finally... it worked!

3D printed Half Persian 4 in 1 chain alongside coloured anodised aluminium.

The spacing between the rings of the 3d print works out at about 0.4mm (1.8mm wire and 9.9mm ID, AR5.5) whilst this may seem small, I scaled the chain down to 55%, 1mm wire and gaps around 0.22mm just to see if the rings would fuse during printing... they didn't :)

The Half Persian 4 in 1 chain maille sampler is available from my Shapeways shop.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

More about chain maille

I suppose I'd better expalin a little about the dice bag.

I met up with some old friends recently. D said he was trying his hand at some chain maille jewellery, BING! 3D printed chain maille, maille without joins!

Not knowing the first thing about chain maille, I used my GoogleFu to find out.
There's great tutorials from Jeff Olin at and the Maille Artisans International League caters for all things maille.

My first chain maille without joins model was a pair of earrings using a full persian chain. From Shapeways, as they're not really a finished end product, I've set the model view to 'hidden'. If you're interested in taking a look, the model is here.

Next came along a Dragon Scale patch.

And then the European 4-in-1 70mm dice bag.

Next in line is a Half Persian 4-in-1 chain tester in two sizes with the same aspect ratio, I'm not sure how the smaller size will turn out as the gaps may be too small. Also a much larger dice bag, both are currently in production.

Dipping the dice bag is a long process. After about another 8 dips since last time, the silver is starting to glisten.

Friday, 28 January 2011

WIP - painting the chain maille!

This dice bag is one of my models that I had Shapeways print for me. The dice bag is made up of 319 seperate rings and I thought it would be nice to try and paint them.

I had a bit of a brain-fart and decided to dip-paint my Chainmaille dice bag in Sliver Acrylic paint. The image shows the dice bag after 5or 6 dips. It's slow going, I think I diluted the paint too much (10:1). The mica in the paint is starting to stick and there's a few glints of light here and there.

This is going to be a long process!

Well Oh!

This is my first venture into a Blog, and, erm... getting the layout of the page right is something that should be easy, but giving me a headache already :(

Whilst I'm sorting that out, here's a vid of some of my 3d printed items from Shapeways;

Onwards and Upwards!