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How to Use 3D Printing for Other Uses



Kevin is looking at a monitor on which some diagrams appear. He explains that he sometimes uses his 3D printer to create thngs other than sculptures.

He's looking at a design for a pedestal for the sculpture Rush that he sold at a recent show. To complement the sculpture in its new entranceway location in a private Scottsdale residence, Kevin has designed a pedestal in which the bottom is round and the top oval.

For this project, Kevin is using a CAD (Computer Aided Design) program called Rhino to create the pedestal. He says Rhino is far more complicated than the CAD program he has been running. Rhino also is more robust and will do things that another CAD program he's used won't.

With the other program, he was unable to create a shape that was inclined consistently between the top oval and the bottom circle, which is why he has turned to Rhino, even though Kevin is just beginning to learn it. "It's the program of 10,000 buttons," he says.

As a comparison, to create the same pedestal in steel, he'd go the studio, get out a big sheet of steel and cut it to size. Next he'd make the round section, trimming it so it could fit to its oval top. Then he'd fabricate that oval top and the round bottom, weld, grind and smooth the pedestal before having it powder coated. The client, however, is a gadget guy like Kevin and wanted it printed on the 3D printer.

Kevin was up for the challenge. He is designing the pedestal, then sending it through the slicing software, to the host software, and finally to the Cerberus 3D Gigante printer. The host program is currently saying it will take 110 hours to print the 32" x 30" pedestal.

Before he started on this design, Kevin ran a small test. From experience, he's learned that sometimes the top can be a little thin or the sculpture too heavy, allowing the sculpture to wobble. So he printed a top with enough side material to test its strength. It's full size, so he can make sure the top is the right size for the sculpture itself.

He ran the test with a spare spool of filament so the color isn't right, but it came out well (and now makes a nice tray). You then see the sculpture sitting on the test top. Kevin looks at how it fits on the ends and front to back, and makes sure the sculpture is stable.

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