Archive for September 2014

Software follies

Anyone who thinks that 3D printing just involves pushing a button has another think coming.

Especially since I got the Cereberus 3D Gigante printer, I’ve had a pretty steep learning curve.

Part of it is software. I’m still learning how to run the two programs that I use between my CAD software and the actual print, so that’s three kinds of software before the print head even starts moving.

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Changing filament midprint is easy, peasy

When I printed my first large-scale sculpture on my Cereberus 3D Gigante printer, I only had 1 kilogram spools of the 3 millimeter filament it uses. We didn’t know how many spools it would take, but we knew that the fact that the sculpture was hollow would help.

I’ve ordered some 5 kilogram spools now, but last week we didn’t have time for that if I was going to make my submission deadline for the Shemer Art Center‘s “Materialize” 3D art show.

Amazingly enough, that 1 kilogram spool gave me enough PLA plastic to create the sculpture Simple Planes With Aquamarine Stripe and start another sculpture – but just barely.

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From start to finish – 3-foot-tall sculpture printed on the Gigante 3D printer

Steve Graber, creator of the Gigante 3D printer, gets the print of my sculpture Simple Planes With Aquamarine Stripe (affectionately known as Aqua) going, explaining a little about the printer and how it works, before he leaves and the 3-foot-tall sculpture takes 24 hours to print.

And print it did, FLAWLESSLY. OK, there was one flaw: the stripe , but it adds to the mystery of the piece. Other than that, though, what an amazing experience.

Everything had to go flawlessly for me to be able to submit this sculpture to Shemer Art Center‘s 3D art show “Materialize,” and it did.

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Now THAT’S a sculpture – 3-foot-sculpture printed on 3D printer

With just days left to submit sculptures for the Shemer Art Center‘s 3D art show “Materialize,” I started printing my first sculpture – and my first piece at all – on Cereberus 3D’s Gigante printer.

This monster is 8 feet tall. It can print an item 5 feet tall and 34″ in diameter, but time was an issue.

I scaled up and queued up my sculpture Simple Planes to 40 inches tall. As soon as Steve Graber and his chief scientist, Hugh, were satisfied that everything was running well, I hit the “print” button.

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The Gigante Era begins ….

This afternoon Steve Graber of Cerebus 3D delivered the Gigante printer.

This 8-foot-tall deltabot printer demanded a prominent spot – OK, it’s in our dining room. The office ceiling is only 8 feet tall, and we didn’t want to forfeit any height – it takes an additional 7 inches or so of height to be able to stand it up.

It fits beautifully in its location:


Here it is printing a 3-foot-tall version of SImple Planes. It can print up to 5 feet tall and 34 inches in diameter.

There’s still a lot of ground to be broken with this printer – stay tuned ….

Crap! Still more art than science?


OK, “crap” wasn’t the first word that came to mind when I saw this mess.

After using two very different types of 3D printer, I can say that, thus far, there’s a lot to learn about this new technology than people think.

It’s not just “create something in CAD, slice it in, say, KISSlicer, then send it to the printer from Repetier.”

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It all begins here ….

I often get asked where I get my ideas. My standard answer is, “Red wine and dark chocolate.”

That has some truth to it, of course, but I also generate some ideas just by playing with forms. Sometimes that means putting things together in the studio, or playing with some of the magnet sets I have (you might be surprised what you can create with magnets), but often I create sitting in front of the computer.

In fact, that’s how I got involved with 3D printing. For many years, I’ve used CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to create designs that I can then see in 3D and place into photographs of the locations I’m asked to create work for. It allows me to change colors, orientation, etc.

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