Archive for July 2014

Adventures with 3D slicer software ….

Learning to use the Cerberus printer has opened my eyes not only to new hardware, but also to new software. I’m glad I’m getting a chance to learn this software before the Cerberus Gigante – which will be able to print sculptures 5 feet tall – arrives.

Jacob and Steve Graber, the geniuses behind Cerberus, turned me onto Repetier-Host, the printer interface, which allows the computer to talk to the printer. Even though Repetier has a built in slicer – which tells the printer how to create the layers – they recommend using a program called KISSlicer (yeah, that KISS is the one we’ve heard for years: “Keep It Simple … Slicer”).

Being the curious type, though, I wanted to see what the difference was between the Repetier-Host slicer and KISSlicer.

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‘3D what?’

I know now to check for the look.

I had lunch with a colleague today and was talking about working with a 3D printer. I looked over and noticed she looked puzzled.

“Do you know what a 3D printer is?” I asked.

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Art and 3D printing

Obviously, my interest in 3D printing is in using it to create art, all the other wonderful uses of it notwithstanding.

Accordingly, it was great to see some other artists’ work on NYCE. I’ve seen artists’ work on sites like Shapeways, where I do some of my fabrication when I want more exotic materials, but  it’s nice to see the focus being art.

I found NYCE when one of the proprietors emailed me after connecting through Twitter – I’m making some interesting connections through Twitter regarding 3D, which makes sense, seeing as 3D printing is, for me, about the intersection of art and technology.

You can connect with me on Twitter at @KevinCaronArt.

 

From plastic to metal using the “lost plastic” method

This isn’t one of my videos, but it’s an interesting one about using 3D printing to cast metal.

Instead of the lost wax process, though, they are using PLA plastic ….

Thanks to Tom Meeks of cubifyfans.com for sharing this.

 

Installing the Cerberus 250

Jacob Graber, adjusting the Cerberus 250 printer in Kevin Caron's office

Jacob Graber, adjusting the Cerberus 250 printer in Kevin Caron’s office

Jacob Graber of Cerberus 3D stopped by the office to install the software and hardware for the Cerberus 250, a smaller version of the Gigante printer I’ve ordered from the father – son team.

The Cerberus machines are open source delta style 3D printers. The Grabers sell kits or will build the printer for anyone who is interested.

The software is also public domain. I’m still wrapping my head around this software. It’s so much more adjustable than the Cubex software. That’s easier, of course, but I’m excited about what I’ll be able to do with this software.

The Grabers recommend Repetier-Host and KISSlicer software.

Soon after installation, I did a video about the differences between the Cerebus delta type 3D printer and my “old” Cubex printer – see it here.

 

Introducing a different approach to 3D printing

I’ve ordered a new 3D printer that will be able to print a piece 60″ tall and 34″ in diameter.

While I await its arrival, Steve and Jacob Graber, who are building the printer, lent me a smaller version, the Cerberus 250.

In this video, I compare the loaner to my Cubex 3D printer. See it here.

How to use a 3D printer

This 5-part series shows how I created a maquette, or small model of my sculpture The Runner.

The video was featured in my one-man show at the Chandler Center for the Arts in October 2013, as was a metal maquette and the actual sculpture itself.

The sculpture sold shortly after the show closed. I don’t think the video or maquettes had anything to do with it, but it was great for me to have proof-of-concept to make sure it would stand up!

 

 

A Sculptor Takes on 3D Printing ….

As a sculptor, I’ve been using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software for many years to create designs for new and commissioned sculptures. CAD is a major source of the .STL files that are fed into 3D printers to create three-dimensional objects.

 

So when 3D printing became available, I was immediately interested. I started reading about and researching the printers and how they work.

 

The first 3D printer I actually saw was at the FabTech trade show in Las Vegas in November 2012. It was $10,000. That was still out of reach, but the prices had come down dramatically from the $100,000 and up price tags I had been seeing.

 

The following year, I purchased his first 3D printer, a Cubify Cubex printer. It can print in three colors and produce something the size of a regulation basketball.

Kevin Caron's Cubex 3D printer

Kevin Caron’s Cubex 3D printer

 

I didn’t print any basketballs, but I immediately began printing some of my CAD designs in ABS and PLA plastic.

 

I created maquettes (small models) for my own amusement as well as for commissions. Now people could literally see what their sculpture would look like, and hold it in their hands.

 

I did a 5-part video series on a sculpture called The Runner, which went on to be featured in his one-man show at the Chandler Center for the Arts in October 2013. You can see it here.

 

I also created some original sculptures, including one called Holy Cannoli.

 

Now I’ve ordered a new printer, one that will print a sculpture (or maquette) 5 feet tall and 34″ in diameter.

 

I’ll be sharing my adventures with 3D printing here, so please join me ….