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3D printing: difficulties

I don't know about you, but I keep reading over and over again how 3D printing will be a common thing before we know it- everyone will have one and print out their own tools and replacement parts for things they use in everyday life. I can't really imagine it being that easy and accessible for everyone just yet though. People who work with this kind of stuff tend to forget how easy all these things are to us, well, geeks, for lack of a better word. (..)

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3D prints

This weekend I had access to a 3D printer. Up until now, I didn't really have a clue what I would be doing with a 3D printer if I had one (or easy access to one) myself. Sure, you can print some cute or handy things other people made, but that's not a good enough reason for me to spend so much money on it. I admit I really love the 3D printed Dalek my husband brought back home one day (by request) (to my Dutch readers: this is a British thing- seriously people, just start watching Dr Who already!) but it's just a toy and how many of those plastic little toys do you want around the house anyway? I also love the little vase we printed (and pretty much the rest of the 3D printing world, I imagine), it's so pretty I wish I had designed it myself, but I wouldn't want an endless supply of vases.

I like creating things, not copying them. However, I'm usually a very 2D minded person when it comes to the medium I use. I take photos, I make drawings. On occasion I feel bold and I try to use clay but I usually end up making penguins then, and not much else. My brain always thinks 'penguin' when I think of creating something in 3D. Or furniture, but I wouldn't want that in clay or in small PLA printed parts.
True, my photography work focusses on 3D- spaces, the environment- but still, my medium is a two-dimensional one. And yes, I like it that way. No 3D photographs for me.

Furthermore, I hate 3D movies (the movie decides for you where you should be focussing which makes focussing on the background very hard, I don't think it adds anything to the story in any way and I am not fond of wearing the glasses either) and the 3D option on my Nintendo 3DS (gives me a headache even though some games look really cool in 3D, so I always turn it off).
I prefer architectural drawings, sketches or actual photographs above the renderings you see everywhere nowadays. Call me old-fashioned- in some ways, I really am- but the whole '3D craze' is beyond me.

As you can imagine, I wasn't too fond of the idea I'd have to use 3D drawing software. I just wasn't used to thinking like that. When I draw, I draw in lines. But I decided I wanted to make and print some things now that I had such easy acces, so I used tinkercad for the first time in my life.

My first self-made 3D print: a little box (click to enlarge)

I started simple. Well, sort of. Not a penguin- actually, now that I think of it, the thought of making a penguin hadn't even crossed my mind yet, how odd.
A box is an easy shape and I always have stuff that needs a box. I wanted it to have a pattern though, otherwise it would be too boring. Creating this pattern (which had to be perfectly symmetrical) in tinkercad took me a while (understatement; it took me ages) but I'm pleased with the result. I discovered it's not easy coming up with a nice repetitive pattern actually. It had to printable too, of course.

All the sides have the same pattern so you can see through the entire box.
I printed all the sides and then glued them together (I made cutouts on all the sides so they would fit nicely). I wanted the lid to have hinges but I went for an easier solution for now. At some point I'll work on a better lid for a box.
Part of my logo, the [•] part, is printed- or actually, left out- on the bottom of the box. I couldn't resist.

It's a small box, credit card sized. It still took the printer we used many hours to print all those sides with all those patterns.

My second self-made 3D print: a robot, inspired by a drawing I made a while back (click to enlarge)

Next, I decided to try and redraw one of my drawings in tinkercad; a drawing of a robot I made in Paper about a year ago. I changed a few things but overall it's pretty much the bot-bot as it was in 2D. I painted a few parts (by hand) to give it a bit more expression.

Bot-bot is 6,5 cm tall (the printer was working on this one for about 100-120 minutes). I have to say, I kind of love him and it was nice working on something as fun as this.
I'll be trying some other old drawings too. I've already started working on one, but it's a very difficult thing to print.

The original 'bot-bot' drawing

The original 'bot-bot' drawing

So, now I'm hooked. Seriously hooked. I really want to try some woodfill filament at some point (a mixture of wood fibres and PLA which gives the print a real nice wooden look).
I'm hoping I'll have some time to experiment some more soon. If so, I'll post the results here.

merry christmass, happy 2014!

2013 was a hectic year, I hope yours was great! I still have quite a few photos and thoughts I wanted to post on this blog but I haven't gotten to doing that yet. Soon, hopefully. In the meantime I wish you merry christmas and a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2014. See you on the other side.


daily project

#4 bath

I started a 365 project in 2009, without even thinking about it. I took an iPhone photo a day for one year. When the project ended, I started something new; but without any outside pressure, my work on that project quickly stopped- as soon as I got too busy with other things. So, in 2011, 8 months after I finished the first 365 project, I started with a new iPhone365 project. I missed the constant flow and pressure, even though they drove me nuts at times as well. This time I chose to be strict about the photos; I chose a few themes and a consequent look.

I finished that second iPhone365 in january of 2012, and another 8 months afterwards I thought about what these projects had done for me.

In the first project I intended to reset myself; to experiment again, to really focus on the image rather than the technical aspects of the camera. Somewhere along the way I started taking street photos. First with the iPhone, then with my 'normal' camera. The first project really helped me refocus, reset, so to say, and brought me a new subject; street photography.

When I started my second 365, I planned to take as many portraits as possible- a challenge for me as I was pretty much not a portrait photographer at the time. Whenever I met with someone I asked them if I could take their portrait. This included the dentist, another health care specialist and some of my clients. To my surprise every single one of them said yes. Apparently size does matter. If I didn't take a street photo or a portrait, it had to at least be an image that represented my day. I am actually focussing on portrait photography a lot more since I started that second 365.

That '8 months after the end of my second 365' retrospect is now. Apparently that's the amount of "free time" I get before I become restless and feel like I need a new project.. So, I started a new project. I like to draw and I have many ideas for other projects but usually those ideas just exist in my head (or they are forgotten scratches in a notebook, or they just disappear altogether) and I don't draw often enough to be able to refine that skill. So, this new project will focus on drawings and other things; on creating something on a daily basis.

#7 somewhere

Interested in those creations? Check for the daily stuff, or for drawings only. I am still a photographer and I don't have a particular style in drawing, so don't take it too seriously, I won't either. Except for the part where I have to create something every day, of course.