The "I Love you Box"

We are always improving our finishing techniques, this week we evaluated finishing some high-detail "I Love you Box" prints. The files for this print are made available by MakeALot at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:676630

We printed the box in beige PLA at 190C on our 12" printer with Volcano heat block, 0.45mm layerwidth and 0.15mm layerheight

 
 

Using some inexpensive metallic paints and a $0.50 roller brush we gently rolled the paint over the raised details.

 
Here we are applying Silver paint

Here we are applying Silver paint

 
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We decided to felt the interior of the box, which both increases the contrast and improves storage of delicate objects.

The lid can be customized with any letter of the alphabet. Overall the Gold is much more striking from a distance, but the silver produces a nice subtle effect.

 

Save that Buddha and More Printing Tips

Buddha figurines are a great mindfulness reminder that brings calm and relaxation into any room. We found some amazing scans of Buddha's that have been sculpted throughout history available from the Scan the World collection at MyMiniFactory.com.

As should be expected, objects scanned from the real world are not necessarily FDM 3D printer friendly, so we will need to pull out a few tricks from our toolbox to conquer these prints.

In many cases you can save on material costs by printing objects hollow or mostly hollow. The problem with this are internal overhangs. External overhanging regions can be supported with... supports. Internal overhanging regions are usually supported by infill. When there is no infill these internal overhangs can cause complete part failure.

You simply create separate processes for different regions of your print. You can optimize all of the slicer settings for various regions. In this case I simply changed the infill parameter to save time and material. You could also change the layer height so that highly detailed regions have smaller layers and low detailed regions can have tall layers. There is a lot you can accomplish with using multiple process printing.

In the images below we applied a thin layer of XTC3D to produce a smooth finish that is ready for painting.

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During the printing of Buddha Shakyamuni one of the support columns broke free at about 65%. Unfortunately it was a critical support column which if left unaddressed would cause the print to fail completely. Being stubborn and impatient I didn't want to waste that time and material on what was otherwise a nice looking print. So I took the broken support column, wrapped it in painters tape, and then using more painters tape, wrapped it around the print so it jut out exactly where the support would have been. To my surprise it worked rather well.

After removing supports and applying a thin layer of XTC3D we were pretty happy with how this piece turned out.