Monday, November 21, 2016

Wedding Design Build

When one of my Idahoan friends asked me to 3d print vases to hold electric candles for their wedding I had to dig in.  I went through several iterations, and it ended up being an excellent and interesting piece for their wedding.

They wanted something simple and geometric that would easily blend into the "natury" theme of the wedding (it was at City of Rocks in Alma, Idaho so you can't get too much more natury).  I fiddled around and came up with a basic idea on the right. Please don't look at a closeup of it, it's a pretty crappy print.

It was nice, but I wanted something more symmetrical...I also wanted a better print because I didn't want people to see that about one in public.  I had just started using PLA and was having a lot of problems with slipping, consistency on walls, and overall quality.  Another problem that was plaguing me was this weird bad printing on the right.  After some experimenting I found a setting configuration that worked:

  • Increase temperature to 215C
  • Decrease print speed to 30mm per second
  • Increase the roof thickness
One thing to note is that I'm operating with a pretty junky CTC printer, so if you're new to 3d printing be sure to experiment.  Each machine has it's own setting that work the best.  In the end I was able to make a pretty satisfying print.

Bannanagrams for scale

But this was just step one!  In the middle of this process I was asked if I could paint it to make it look like wood, and after a couple of google searches I discovered Wood PLA! It smells like delicious wood when it prints and actually has a wooden texture.

At this point I received the actual dimensions of the candles to I made the model a little taller
You may be asking yourself why I am only printing one vase right now.  I know I could fit 4 on this bed easily, and I tried, but I ran into a slight problem.  Wood PLA is incredibly....gooey.  No matter what the retraction distance I set, it would always stretch and leave a trail from one model to the other.  This left a very unattractive texture on the side of the vase. Which I did not want.  Sooooo I ended up print them one at a time.  A lot of them.

But it was worth it.  It was a lovely wedding, made only lovelier with my creations!  Enjoy a few glamor shots.