So it is now the end of the semester. It is not the end of my work period though. I am going to continue working throughout the winter break. I still have to get the belts right on the rotational caster. There is still a lot of slippage and one of the belts attachments snapped during its first use. It took two of us to spin it by hand so that both the inner and outer axis’s spun at the same time in some kind of a pattern.
I did write up instructable.com and thingiverse.com posts. They give far more instruction on how to build the machine, as well as some much needed pictures to show the machine from different points so that you can actually SEE what is going on.
I got some decent pictures of the final bunny canvases, the test bunny army that I created, and the rotational casting machine.
I am going to also continuing printing bunnies throughout the winter break as well. My attempts to cast have not gone as expected. The mold turned out well, but using Task 15 from Smooth-on was not a good material choice (even though it said it was for rotational casting). Due to the lack of oxygen inside the mold the material doesn’t set in the time is said it would. It took over 12 hours for it to set. And even then, because it was not setting right when set to rest the material settled to one part leaving thin spots and holes. I am looking around for a better material.
Which is why in the meantime I am going to print the forms. I am working with wood filament right now. It has taken some time to get it to print well, and not caramelize the material, but once you got it it prints really nicely. It comes out looking like turned wood with slight color variation as the temp changed slightly throughout the printing process.
So here is a sum up of what I did this semester:
- I built a 3D printer
- I learned how to use the 3D printer
- I learned how to fix the 3D printer
- I tested several different PLA filaments
- I (mostly) built a rotational casting machine
- I created a mold for a bunny head for casting
- I made several attempts to cast – none of which turned out
- I came up with a solution for final pieces that will make worth canvases for people to create with
- I just generally learned a lot. 🙂
Not a bad couple months. I just wish I had been able to do more. I have one more month of winter break to work on things. I would like to have at least 30 pieces printed and ready to hand out by the start of the new semester so that people will have several months to work on their bunny shaped canvases.