Archive for December 2014

Filament follies

There are so many variables to juggle when using a 3D printer – temperature, design, workplace cleanliness – but few are as frustrating as filament problems.

Although I use ABS filament in my CubeX printer, lately I have been using PLA almost exclusively in my Cerberus 3D 250 and Gigante. The 250 uses 1.75 millimeter filament, while the Gigante uses 3 millimeter.

Yes, that means I have spools of both inhouse – open any closet right now, and you see spools stacked high. That’s especially true of the 3 millimeter because the Gigante sucks down filament like a hungry pasta lover inhales spaghetti. I now have a policy that, if I’m doing a large print, I must have a minimum of three five-pound spools to make sure I have enough filament from the same batch.

But that’s not the biggest problem with filament …. This is supposed to be 3 mm filament - Kevin Caron

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The more I use my 3D printer, the more uses I find for it ….

When I got my first 3D printer, sculptures were definitely on my mind. I thought about how I could make things that metal just resists, despite the fact that many people think I’m a metal magician (blush, blush).

Custom sculpture pedestal by Kevin Caron

Pedestal, printing upside down

As I’ve gotten more familiar with the machines and their capabilities, though, I’ve begun to see other ways to use them.

For instance, this week I started printing a custom pedestal for a sculpture I sold at a recent art show ….

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Speaking the language of 3D printing


In the second set of three days of the six-day studio tour known as Hidden In The Hills, which is sponsored by the Sonoran Arts League, I heard more from visitors about 3D printing.

Altogether, more than 1,300 people came through the studio I was in, and as the first artist theyKevin Caron's jewelry at Hidden In The Hills saw, we usually were able to engage visitors. The colorful jewelry and small 3D sculptures I call Progeny helped catch their eyes.

Most people were simply amazed – many had never seen anything that had been 3D printed. And then, when I showed them a photo of Gigante and explained how it worked, they often said, “Now I understand it!”

Of course, my large deltabot printer uses only one approach to this technology, but it was fun to see the light bulb go on for so many people who were curious but cautious about this new development.

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