3D Printing…

Uh oh. I had a great time 3D printing (learnt a lot) and ultimately think that sadly the Type Cube Prototype #oo1 failed. Here’s how it went…

Started by exporting each of the letter files as an STL file, which was cool because I got to see a scary looking x-ray view of each one. Here is the ‘D’.

Opened up Cura (which is the 3D printing software for the Lulzbot TAZ 3D Printer I used).

Inside this I set up the letters as so [above].

With it all set up, the letters started printing. It printed for 19hrs and 5minutes. The Fabrications department were kind enough to leave it printing overnight.

The next I returned and what I didn’t realise was that the support structures would be so tightly stuck inside. Luckily with pliers and a screwdriver we were able to pull, push and yank them out.

Boom. Printed. The supports alone were pretty cool. I kept them.

Quite happy, I printed more. This time (some) placed upright so I could fit them more compactly.

Everything was good until I tried joining them. I assumed sanding would work. Naive.

I sanded like a mad man. Managed to force the ‘A’ and ‘P’ together but then a part of the ‘P’ snapped so I accepted defeat. The ‘P’ is my favourite letter in this face; so it was truly crushing to see it injured.

The cool thing is, I have a bunch of wicked letters. Type Cube Prototype #oo1: Failure.


Next step:

Now, as much as I’d love to crack on and make a Type Cube Prototype #oo2 right now. I just don’t have the time and I need to think about what my final piece will be. The plan is to show the variety of letters I’ve created along the way (including the failed Type Cube glyphs).

I do want to showcase the Type Cube as a final piece though, so I’m going to create much larger wooden versions that interlock. They’ll be fully coloured and everything. But there will just be three letters. I’ve chosen the combination from Layer One. The ‘H’, ‘L’ and ‘I’.

I chose these ones mostly because I love the coloured versions…

Lovely stuff. Can’t wait to make them! Let’s go!

But first I want to make some notes about what I learnt and what I’m going to change, going into the production of the Type Cube Prototype #oo2:

  • Firstly, I’ll redraw (inside Rhino 6) all of the letters and separate them into different layers. This will allow me more insight and control throughout the process.

  • Adding to this, I won’t bond the letters individual shapes with a boolean union until the VERY end. This is so that I can resize any parts that I need to, going into pre-print mode.

  • In the future I will start with a test print pairing of the ‘A’ and ‘P’ which is a nice small pairing. To obviously save money and time etc.

  • And now whats next; is a break. To focus on the wood version and also the digitally animated Cinema 4D version…

I feel even more excited at the prospect of hopefully one day completing the Type Cube in full colour after this initial set back. Set backs bring jet packs. And of course, more failure. But I’m ready.