A Few Thoughts on the Simplify3D Interface & Multi-process 3D Printing

I’ve recently switched over to using Simplify3D as my default slicer for 3D printing. Its controls are manual support abilities allow for greater control and have been a pleasure to use. It even has the ability to specify multiple print settings within a single print, which can be quite useful. The feature however is somewhat obscure and labor intensive to use. Here’s some thoughts on how this might be improved upon with a new UI:

Note: several times I have deleted a process when I meant to change the model, and this is why I am suggesting this change

Note: several times I have deleted a process when I meant to change the model, and this is why I am suggesting this change

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This solution better enforces the “story of the screen”, which is to start at the upper left

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First Print on Jetguy’s Big Boy CoreXY 3D Printer

Coming back from picking up the new printer from Jetguy, I haven’t wasted any time getting to work on maxing out it’s print area. Started right away at printing out my sketch for the gates of heaven piece. The Angel is modeled after Coney Island’s famous Dreamland entranceway, with the addition of a scan of Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz, a snake, apple and a little for Fredini flair. Here’s the first two prints off the machine:    

                 

  

  

  

  

Maker Profile: The Maestro of 3D Printer Building– Jetguy!

The new Fredini Core XY with Jetguy and I

The new Fredini Core XY with Jetguy and I

I spent the week driving to and from South Carolina, making a pilgrimage to the Mecca of 3D Printing; the home of Vernon “Jetguy” Barry. I first met Jetguy at NY Makerfaire almost 3 years ago, where he was showing off a massive 3D printer he had built, his Ulti-Replicator with over a meter square build area. I scanned him at my first ever NY Makerfaire appearance of the Scan-A-Rama 3D Portrait Studio, and we instantly became friends. Last year when he saw some of the work I’d been doing on Luna Park he dropped hints that we would be willing to build me a custom machine. So when I got this year’s Creative Glass Center of America Fellowship at Wheaton Arts I finally contacted him about building me a machine. My only design constraints were that it needed to be able to print at least a 12″ cube and it had to be less that 24″ wide so I can fit it down my basement stairs.

Jetguy with his massive CoreXY Ulti-Replicator

Jetguy with his massive CoreXY Ulti-Replicator

When 3D printer folks talk about Jetguy, its not uncommon to hear descriptors like Jedi, Ninja, Mad Scientist or Genius. He is a master engineer who understands all the mechanics of 3D printers in a way that few others do. For those who don’t know, these machines are complex organisms that take a knowledge of mechanical engineering, electronics, physics and how these elements interact with the firmware software they run on. Jetguy doesn’t have a huge online presence, except in online forums like the 3D Printer Tips and Tricks Google Group, where he can always be found weighing in about his passion, 3D printer hardware design.  To hear this guy talk is inspiring because his passion is about hardware design and he’s among the best 3D printer builders I’ve ever met. He also isn’t even interested in selling machines, he just loves tinkering and iterating on his designs.

The Secret Jetguy HQ in a Charleston, SC suburb

The Secret Jetguy HQ in a Charleston, SC suburb

Arriving at Jetguy’s nondescript house in an unassuming cul de sac in a Charleston, SC suburb was like discovering the secret batcave location. As I entered, it was evident that he is a confirmed bachelor- 3D printers in various states of completion and dissection were everywhere. His foyer, living room, garages and kitchen counters were like a museum of 3D Printing.

Jetguy's home is a vertiable 3D printing mad scientist's laboratory

Jetguy’s home is a vertiable 3D printing mad scientist’s laboratory. Photo ©James Armstrong

Jetguy is the quintessential American Maker, his online handle Jetguy comes from the fact that he has built a jet engine powered golfcart! See it in action here:

After the tour which included firing up a chinese tractor engine with a crank (It was raining so no jetcart rides today), it was finally time to get to the main event- the unveiling of the new printer. The machine marks the culmination of all of Jetguy’s learnings from previous machines like the CoreXY Ulti-Replicator, which combines all the best elements of the Makerbot Replicator and the Ultimaker designs with Dan Newman and Jetty’s open source Sailfish firmware. Jetguy explained to me that CoreXY is an open source 3D Printer design in which the belts governing the X and Y movement are set up so they cross in an X, and pull at opposite corners of the XY gantry to reinforce the movement of the extruder. To the non technical, its a fully open source hardware/software design that generates highly accurate prints. The almost 14″ cubic build area of this latest machine was built with off the shelf parts sold through Adafruit and Amazon and he plans to release the bill of materials in conjunction with his build log on Flickr.

Jetguy was beaming as he unveiled the Fredini CoreXY!

Jetguy was beaming as he unveiled the Fredini CoreXY!

Some features of the design are:

The personalized LCD was a joy to see!

The personalized LCD was a joy to see!

Note the

An “A” belt pattern driving the Z screws ensures maximum surface area of the belt on the gears.

Core XY belt pattern- this enhances the machine's rigidity as the gantry moves in X and Y directions.

Core XY belt pattern- this enhances the machine’s rigidity as the gantry moves in X and Y directions.

Astrosyn dampers on the motors make this the quietest 3D printer I have ever heard. The power source doesn't have a fan so literally the cooling fan on the extruder is all you can hear while its printing!

Astrosyn dampers on the motors make this the quietest 3D printer I have ever heard. The power source doesn’t have a fan so literally the cooling fan on the extruder is all you can hear while its printing!

Aaron Tunnell's 3D Printer Filament monitor to auto pause prints in case of a jam or filament running out

Aaron Tunnell’s Auto-Pause 3D Printer Filament monitor in case of a jam or filament running out

We christened the machine the Jetguy “Big Boy” and I designed a Jetguy logo which we printed in two colors to mount on the front of the machine.

Jetguy's new Logo and

Jetguy’s new Logo and “Big Boy” nameplate

His home was filled with numerous curiosities, among which were

The Maker Guy's fully 3D Printed Makerbot Cupcake

The Maker Guy’s fully 3D Printed Makerbot Cupcake

Jetguy's Type A design, which he has provided to numerous local schools- one school reportedly has run more than 100 miles of filament through theirs!

Jetguy’s Type A design, which he has provided to numerous local schools- one school reportedly has run more than 100 miles of filament through theirs!

He's also a huge fan of 3D System's new Cube printer hardware design. He reapaired my beta unit that never worked properly and is anxious to work with them on resolving their firmware and slicer so the machine can realize its potential.

He’s also a huge fan of 3D System’s new Cube printer hardware design. He reapaired my beta unit that never worked properly and is anxious to work with them on resolving their firmware and slicer so the machine can realize its potential.

Before I left he had to cut a couple last minute plexiglass parts on his homemade laser cutter, built into a surplus Navy shipping container

Before I left he had to cut a couple last minute plexiglass parts on his homemade laser cutter, built into a surplus Navy shipping container

So, a huge thank you to Jetguy for all his generosity. I’m finally home and the Big Boy is hard at work churning out the first of many parts for me… a 33 hour print. My son will be surprised to see the machine set up in his bedroom when he comes home. Stay tuned to see some progress on my Gates of Heaven, to be cast in glass at Wheaton Arts this summer!

Won't Kostya be surprised to find this on his desk when he comes home for the summer?

Won’t Kostya be surprised to find this on his desk when he comes home for the summer?

Progress on the Helter Skelter

I’ve been done 3D printing this for a few weeks and finally just took a day off after Westport Makerfaire to spend a few hours starting to glue together the Helter Skelter. I can’t wait to add this to the installation. It’s considerably bigger than I originally realized it would be- it should look great when done.

   

         

 Thompson & Dundy’s Luna Park: 3D Printed- new images

I’m out in Coney Island this week working in a shipping crate to bring my scanning rig to Bay Area Makerfaire but I had a few moments to snap some photos of my Luna Park installation. As soon as I have a moment to start gluing I will be adding a new building: the Helter Skelter slide. Hopefully soon, so these will be my last shots without it.

   

    

               

A Process for Glass Casting from 3D Printed Positives

I wrote recently about being selected for a Creative Glass Center of America Fellowship, but thought it was about time to show off some experimental castings I made there last fall that helped get me the fellowship. Last Summer I blogged a first test of this process, but this Fall I was able to do some more substantial castings and learn some more. Here’s some process shots:

Wheaton Arts is home to the Creative Glass Center of America in Millville, NJ, where I will have a fellowship this year, based on these experiments that I did this past fall to create a workflo for casting glass from 3D printed objects.

Wheaton Arts is home to the Creative Glass Center of America in Millville, NJ. It lives in this building, a recreation of a 19th century glass factory.

Hank Adams is the Creative Director of CGCA and he does an amazing job running a world class glass shop. Boola just likes eating scraps and thinks she's a person.

Hank Adams is the Creative Director of CGCA and he does an amazing job running a world class glass shop. Boola just likes eating scraps and thinks she’s a person.

While at Wheaton, I got to stay in this lovely vintage Airstream Trailer!

While at Wheaton, I got to stay in this lovely vintage Airstream Trailer!

These were my two successful casts. This slideshow will walk you through the process of creating them and attempt to share my learnings from the experience.

These were my two successful casts. This slideshow will walk you through the process of creating them and attempt to share my learnings from the experience.

I started with 3D prints. This is Makerbot's Artist figurine Zee, which was given to me by Rob Steiner at Bold Machines. I customized him with some devil horns made out of wax.

I started with 3D prints. This is Makerbot’s artist figurine Zee, which was given to me by Rob Steiner at Bold Machines. I customized Zee with some devil horns made out of wax.

I had three 3D Printed PLA pieces to cast altogether- A 24" tall Luna Park Tower (printed in sections), Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz 18" tall figure (printed on Makerbot's Z-18 printer), and the Zee figurine. I used some cardboard and hot glue to piece together a reservoir for each print before going to make a mold around each.

Altogether, I had three 3D Printed PLA pieces to cast- A 24″ tall Luna Park Tower (printed in sections), Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz 18″ tall figure (printed on Makerbot’s Z-18 printer), and the Zee figurine. I used some cardboard and hot glue to piece together a reservoir for each print before going to make molds. I also used some brown wax to smooth some rough areas of the prints.

It was a beautiful day in the shade of the Studio's smokestack.

It was a beautiful day in the shade of the Studio’s smokestack.

I made some small sprues as air vents for the fine details on the tower.

I made some small sprues as air vents for the fine details on the tower.

I also cut wire mesh to reinforce the molds with.

I also cut wire mesh to reinforce the molds with.

I just used a cardboard box for a form for Zee.

I just used a cardboard box for a form for Zee. The bigger molds used tar paper as a form to cast the plaster around the 3D prints.

The classic mold material is a 50-50 mix of Plaster and Silica with wire lath as something to strengthen it. I did a first coat a little wet as a splash coat to make sure I really have the whole surface.

The classic mold material is a 50-50 mix of plaster and silica, with wire lath as something to strengthen it. I did a first coat a little wet as a splash coat to make sure I really have the whole surface.

The mold is filled with mix and sets up.

The mold is filled with mix and sets up.

Because of the silica, a mask is very important!

Because of the plaster and silica, a mask is very important!

It was a very long day of mixing plaster in 5 gallon buckets. The big molds were extremely heavy so I set them by the furnace to dry out some. I was sore that night!

It was a very long day of mixing plaster in 5 gallon buckets. The big molds were extremely heavy so I set them by the furnace to dry out some. I was sore that night!

They were so heavin, in fact that we had to tie them onto the fork lift to lower them in the oven!

They were so heavy that we had to tie them onto the fork lift to lower them in the oven!

Hank is an expert with the fork lift!

Hank is an expert with the fork lift!

The oven they gave me was about 3 feet deep, so we gently lowered the molds in.

The oven they gave me was about 3 feet deep, so we gently lowered the molds in.

Here you can see the bottoms of the 3d prints in the molds. The next step is to burn them out overnight.

Here you can see the bottoms of the 3d prints in the molds. The next step is to burn them out overnight.

There's the bottom of the  Zee figurine.

There’s the bottom of the Zee figurine.

Overnight, the oven went up to 1000 degrees, then back down. It was about 24 hours of waiting until I could open the oven, but the molds burned out very nicely.

Overnight, the oven went up to 1000 degrees, then back down. It was about 24 hours of waiting until I could open the oven, but the molds burned out very nicely.

The Pla burned out extremely cleanly. Yu can see there are some cracks in the molds as the  PLA does expand and contract some as it heats so for the future, I can print with less infill and play with some other mold material formulas to try to minimize this cracking.

The PLA burned out extremely cleanly. You can see there are some cracks in the molds as the PLA does expand and contract some as it heats. For the future, I will print with less infill and play with some other mold material formulas to try to minimize this cracking.

We lost some mold material between Zee's legs, but the mold burned out very cleanly.

We lost some mold material between Zee’s legs, but the mold burned out very cleanly.

The molds were packed with cullet- chunks of the glass they use at Wheaton. Its a Spruce Pine Soda Lime glass. It would be nice to do some castings with optical crystal, but these were just tests so I was focused on what was available and cheap.

The molds were packed with cullet- chunks of the glass they use at Wheaton. Its a Spruce Pine soda lime glass. It would be nice to do some castings with optical crystal, but these were just tests so I was focused on what was available and cheap.

The GB4 computer is the standard oven controller and has been for over 30 years in the glass and ceramic world. I would LOVE to see someone make an internet connected Arduino oven controller with a mobile phone web interface. These things are archaic! If you're an Arduino Hacker interested in exploring this, please contact me.

The GB4 computer is the standard oven controller computer and has been for over 30 years in the glass and ceramic world. I would LOVE to see someone make an internet connected Arduino oven controller with a mobile phone web interface. These things are archaic! If you’re an Arduino Hacker interested in exploring this, please contact me! I have given this much thought and would like to work on bringing glass studios into the 21st century.

Because of the mass of the molds, they have to be slowly heated and cooled. It took another 12 hours or so to bring the molds back up and begin to melt the glass.

Because of the mass of the molds, they have to be slowly heated and cooled. It took another 12 hours or so to bring the molds back up and begin to melt the glass.

We first brought the oven to about 1200F and as the glass melted down in the molds I kept dropping more in.

We first brought the oven to about 1200F and as the glass melted down in the molds I kept adding more chunks in.

One design flaw with these molds was that they were so deep. It would be more ideal if the molds were shallower and the glass did not have to flow down so far. I ended up bringing the ovens up even hotter in an attempt to get the glass to flow all the way in.

One design flaw with these molds was that they were so deep. It would be more ideal if the molds were shallower and the glass did not have to flow down so far. I ended up bringing the ovens up even hotter in an attempt to get the glass to flow all the way in.

It was freakin' hot in there!

It was freakin’ hot in there!

Finally, the glass stopped flowing and I knew the molds were full.

Finally, the glass stopped flowing and I knew the molds were full.

The kilns need to be vented to crash them down to annealing temperature as fast as possible, otherwise the glass can "scorch" and devitrify, causing it to have a more milky appearance.

The kilns need to be vented to crash them down to annealing temperature as fast as possible, otherwise the glass can “scorch” and devitrify, causing it to have a more milky appearance.

I just turned off the oven and left it open for a few minutes at a time. The goal is to let all that heat dissipate and bring it back to ~960 asap. The problem was there was so much mass in those molds.

I just turned off the oven and left it open for a few minutes at a time. The goal is to let all that heat dissipate and bring it back to ~960 asap. The problem was there was so much mass in those molds and the refractory brick holds the heat. It was a couple hours of venting before I could start the annealing cycle on the computer.

The pieces took about ten days to cool down. Annealing glass involves soaking it at particular strain temperatures, then slowly cooling it down to room temp. I left and returned in two weeks to find this.

The pieces took about ten days to cool down. Annealing glass involves soaking it at particular strain points to even out the temperature, then slowly cooling it down to room temp. I left and returned in two weeks to find this.

The molds were so heavy and by now fragile that I just dicested them right in the oven.

The molds were so heavy (and by now fragile) that I just divested them right in the oven.

Luna Park Tower.. in glass!

Luna Park Tower.. in glass!

I was slightly nervous the oven might close on me- that thing was deep!

I was slightly nervous the oven might close on me- that thing was deep!

A couple process shots of divesting Zee.

A couple process shots of divesting Zee.

The mold materiam bloke off pretty easily.

The mold material bloke off pretty easily.

revealing what's underneath...

revealing what’s underneath…

Devil Zee!

Devil Zee!

I used a diamond saw to cut off the reservoir

I used a diamond saw to cut off the reservoir

The final Zee.

The final Zee.

Luna Park tower required a lot of picking and scrubbing to get all the mold material off. I also had to be careful not to clog the sink.

Luna Park tower required a lot of picking and scrubbing to get all the mold material off. I also had to be careful not to clog the sink.

Both final castings. I have a couple parts that broke off on the Luna Park Tower that I'd like to glue back on. but overall a good first experiment.

Both final castings. I have a couple parts that broke off on the Luna Park Tower that I’d like to glue back on. but overall a good first experiment. Above you can see Mat and Julie’s legs- they proved to be to skinny for the glass to flow into.

So what did I learn?

First, the work I will make in my fellowship will be shallower castings 9-12″deep at the most. I will be making relief panels cast from 12x12x12″ 3d printed sections. I think these high relief castings will be easier to produce and yield better results. Though I like the jade-like appearance of the glass in these, I would prefer more of a translucent glass appearance for my final product. The shallower molds will be easier to cast and cool so as to avoid devitrification. I also will do some more experiments with other mold formulas. Perhaps some other mold materials will crack less as the PLA expands during burnout. Finally, I’d like to explore casting with hot billets of glass as opposed to cold chunks of cullet. Basically, hot casting ingots of molten glass from a furnace so they skin up and stop moving, but are still quite hot when they are dropped into the molds. These ingots are then dropped in the molds and will more easily be heated to flow in. This should also yield a clearer quality to the glass.

So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed. I’m looking forward to using the process to make some work during this year’s fellowship!

New Luna Park Photos By Raymond Adams

Raymond Adams (http://www.raymondadams.net/) is a photographer friend who I met out in Coney Island. He’s been shooting in the neighborhood for while now and was a Kickstarter backer of Coney Island Scan-A-Rama.  He recently came out to meet me in Coney and shot some nice portraits of me in the installation of Luna Park at the Coney Island Museum. Thanks Ray!11054745_10204541944282739_71594317_o 11034546_10204544275381015_1535181905_o 11025317_10204495361198191_1899424994_o

A Work in Progress

I posted this piece the other day but made a lot of progress on it since so I’m posting an update. Inspired By Dreamland’s Creation as we other religious art historical works, this piece is sculpted on 3D scans and will be chopped into blocks, 3D printed and cast in glass during this year’s residency at Wheaton Arts’ Creative Glass Center of America. I’m thinking the first one will be 3’x4′ in size but how cool would it be as an architectural glass wall at 8’x10′? What’s Next? The Gates of Hell!

Heaven3

Dreamland's Creation

Dreamland’s Creation

Announcing The Great Fredini as a Recipient of Creative Glass Center of America’s 2015 Artist Fellowship!

I’m pleased to announce that I have been selected as a 2015 Fellowship recipient at Wheaton Arts’ Creative Glass Center of America to pursue a body of work based on techniques I have been developing to cast glass from 3D printed positives. I plan to use the fellowship pursue works on themes of Heaven and Hell. These ideas evolved out my interest in Coney Island through Dreamland’s famed attractions of Creation and Hell Gate, but have deeper roots in art history- specifically Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise, Rodin’s Gates of Hell and Gustav Dore’s Paradise Lost. The themes of Heaven and Hell resonate to me in today’s era of climate change and environmental collapse, so I plan on exploring digital sculpting on top of 3D scanned imagery to create sculptures that can be 3D printed and cast in glass. Below is one work in progress from this new series. I’m really excited about exploring this work and hope to have some news about it in the future!

Work in Progress

Work in Progress