Archive for Videos

Using a 3D printer to refine a design

Creating isn’t always a one-shot process.

When I first conceived my 3D filament sizing set up, the bent piece of metal through which the filament ran to ensure there were no lumps that could jam the 3D printer seemed a simple yet elegant solution.

After using it for a while – and catching my coat on it, as you’ll hear about in the video – I realized there was a better way ….

This video explains what I came up with and how I used my 3D printer to create, then refine the design:

Boys Just Gotta Have Fun

Thingiverse homepageYeah, girls have to have fun, but so do boys!

If you’re a regular reader, you know that not everything I make on my 3D printers is a sculpture. Every now and then, I make a part or something we need around the house, and I have plenty more of those kind of projects to work on.

Recently. though, I’ve also been playing with some designs from Thingiverse.

If you’re not familiar with Makerbot’s huge community of makers, members have uploaded more than 564,000 3D models and are adding more every day.

The cool thing is that you can upload your own designs as well as download whatever you want.

I like to browse Thingiverse like I browse for new books to read, and one day I found some intriguing designs that I couldn’t wait to play with ….

 

Of all the designs I found there, the geared cubes and spheres really caught my eye. Well, really, it’s my brother-in-law Bill‘s fault – he’s the one who got me hooked on 3D printing, in part because he sent me a geared cube. Once I found the geared cube, then I also found a geared sphere.

These are really cool designs – I give huge credit to the designers.

Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I enlarged the designs and also began adding stripes to them. The stripes are super cool when you start twisting the cubes because they then make their own designs.

So here, for your entertainment, are some videos showing me playing with these giant geared toys:

A geared sphere …. #3Dprinted #3dprinting

A post shared by Kevin Caron (@kevincaronart) on

Coats of many colors: using finishes on 3D-printed resin

Epic Swoon, a 3D printed fine art sculpture by Kevin CaronWhen I first started 3D printing with my 3D Systems CubeX it was such a struggle to get the form completed the way I wanted it I never thought about finishes.

I was purely focused on the form.

Besides, 3D printing delivers the strong, saturated color of an opaque filament, such as in sculptures like my 5-1/2 foot-tall commissioned piece Epic Swoon, which has a red upper and a black pedestal, or the often glowing quality of translucents, like my sculpture Easy In.

I love how those translucent filaments embrace the light – one of my favorites is my sculpture Sunscraper, which practically bursts into flame it’s so luminous.

The first time I used a finish on a piece was with my sculpture Oculum, and it was out of necessity ….

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Taking a tumble: burnishing 3D-printed bronze

The Point, a 3D printed bronze sculpture - Kevin CaronMany sculptors work in bronze, but in my more than 10 years as a professional artist, I have worked in everything but. I have mostly fabricated in mild steel, but have also worked with stainless steel, Cor-ten (weathering) steel, aluminum, brass and copper.

Finally, with 3D printing, I have my first bronze! Well, it’s 80% bronze and 20% PLA resin, but the resulting print is clearly a different breed than the ABS and PLA resins I usually print in.

For one thing, it’s noticeably heavier. Seeing as I’m printed just two or three layers thick, it’s amazing how much heavier these bronzes are than if they’d been printed in the resin I usually use.

(Of course, that gets my mind going … if I could print a solid bronze, how much would it weigh? How would it compare to the weight of a traditional poured bronze? And we’re off and running through the grassy fields of my mind ….)

One of the big differences is that the sculpture isn’t done once the printhead rises ….

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100-year-old machine solves my 21st century 3D printing problem

Scale - 3D printing blog by Kevin CaronSometimes working with 3D printing is like discovering a new continent. You never know what goldmine you’re going to discover – or sinkhole you just stepped into.

Fortunately, most of the time I unearth goldmines. This time, I found yet another. What I didn’t expect was that I’d be using apparently timeless 100-year-old technology to solve a 21st century problem.

For a long time, I’ve been a bit frustrated because my 3D printer host software tells me how many millimeters of filament a print will take.

That is only of limited help, though, because filament manufacturers sell their product based on weight (kilograms or pounds) ….

 

So knowing how much filament you need for a job has been a real conundrum. Armed with the magic of the Internet, though, I was determined to find some way to know how much filament I have and how much I need for a 3D printing job …..

I began searching for measuring tools, thinking I’d find something digital. I did, but I also found the perfect tool that just happens to be really, really old.

Enjoy this video, which explains what I found and shows how it works perfectly ….

 

 

Building bridges: saving a 3D print using my hands

sunscraper-byhandA Facebook fan recently posted a comment about liking my metal sculpture because he prefers the “hands on” look.

I suspect he thinks, as many people do, that 3D printing is as simple as pushing a button. Well, in this Model T period of 3D printing, it’s anything but.

In fact, the 3D print that just finished printing yesterday actually required me to manipulate the print with my hands while the printer was running ….

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3D printing filament welder to save money and stress

Because of the size of its prints, running Cerberus 3D’s Gigante 3D printer makes filament Spools of 3D printer filament - Kevin Caronhandling a real challenge. I’m using 5 pound spools of 3 millimeter filament right now, but if I could find 10, 15 or even 20 pound spools I’d definitely use them.

Why? Well, when you’re running a multiday print, you go through a lot of filament. I’ve spent many a night waiting to change filament spools – well, that was until I figured out I could just switch a nearly finished spool for a fresh one before I went to bed.

I would never have done that, though, if I hadn’t already ordered the handy, dandy filament welder I got recently (yeah, I think it’s funny, too, that it’s called a filament “welder” – just one more welder in my toolshed!) ….

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The sounds of creation: listening to 3D printers

sound wavesOne of the many things I didn’t anticipate about 3D printing is its accompanying sounds. I don’t know what I expected, but I probably hadn’t even thought about the fact that the machines would, well, sing.

It reminds me of the popular sounds of whales many years ago – no one expected them, either.

Now that I’ve been running three different 3D printers for a while, I’m starting to recognize some nuances. For instance, each machine seems to have its own sounds, and the sounds change depending upon what I’m printing ….

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Three 3D printers running – for a while, anyway

Spirit of the Senses is an organization that introduces its members to contemporary arts and issues in a series of salonsI’ve had people over to see my three 3D printers – sometimes running, sometimes just sitting there – but recently I held my first real 3D printing event

There’s a group in the Phoenix metropolitan area called Spirit of the Senses that has, for more than 30 years, shared fascinating aspects of science, art, music, healthcare, politics and more with its members.

So it’s no surprise that they are curious about 3D printing! We were expecting more than 60 people to crowd into my house, so we thought we’d get all three of my 3D printers running …..

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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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