Archive for January 2015

A 100-year-old 3D printed sculpture?

I know I have more to share about the technology side of 3D printing, but please enjoy this interruption to talk about art.

Crimson Singularity, a contemporary art sculpture by Kevin CaronYes, I like the aspect of using these tools to do my work – the tools I have used over the years have had a huge influence on how my art looks – but 3D printing is not the point, it’s the path.

That’s what’s driven me to take a moment to talk about a recent project for which I used my CubeX 3D printer.

I’d developed a form in CAD, a variation on the umbilic torus shape I’ve used in three different sculptures – Torrent, Crimson Singularity and Wherever You Go, There You Are – and wanted to see what it would actually look like. I wanted to be able to hold it in my hand, rotate it, see how the piece fits together.

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Outsmarting the filament bulge

As we narrow down where our challenges are with the Cerberus 3D Gigante printer – we’ve wrestled with software, hardware and filament issues – we’ve at least found one way to deal with the dreaded filament bulge.

How filament can be anything but a consistent size from beginning to end eludes me, but as we covered in a previous post, we’ve had a couple of bulges that stThis is supposed to be 3 mm filament - Kevin Caronopped the extruder cold. But then, what could you expect when 3 millimeter filament is more than 3.47 millimeters wide? In fact, the filament is supposed to be under 3 millimeter – about 2.95 mm – but  in places this filament wasn’t even close and the extruder couldn’t handle it.

While Ultimachine figures out what went wrong, I had to come up with some sort of solution on this end to finish printing this 30″ tall pedestal. So I came up with what I call an FCD, a Fiendishly Clever Device, so I could keep printing ….

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More adventures on the bleeding edge

I wish I could say that the holidays are entirely the reason for not posting recently, but that’s only been part of it.

Steve Graber putting the card into the top of the Gigante itself.Truth be known, I’ve been having fits with the Gigante. Fortunately, Steve Graber from Cerberus 3D, the company that built my 8-foot-tall deltabot printer, has been very present and very patient.

“Present” has helped because I’ve had some hardware issues. One of the struts let loose at one point, for instance. He also has replaced the carriages and platform (I’ll have another post that goes into more detail on that) and the Bowden tube that the filament feeds through, as well as completely rebuilt the hotend.

But there have been other problems, too ….

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