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work- in progress

I am working on my upcoming exhibition and if you've seen my latest blogs and tweets, you might have guessed it; I won't be showing photos this time. The initial plan for this exhibition was a photography project, but about two weeks ago I put all the work I had already done aside and decided to go for something entirely different. So, as usual right before any exhibition, I'm working day and night to get everything done.

 

The exhibition will focus on how we experience buildings, spaces; these are a few parts I'll be using

When I discovered the potential of using a 3D printer for my art work I was hooked and when I decided to do an entirely different project using 3D prints I immediately bought an Ultimaker Original. About two weeks before my deadline- a little crazy, I admit, but a challenge is what makes life and work exciting and if I like doing something I don't mind spending day and night on it.

You can buy this 3D printer assembled, or as a kit. I went for the kit and built the printer myself (Elko helped of course). If you're patient and good at building and tinkering, I highly recommend it, because you will know the printer and it's parts inside out, which helps you in understanding how it all works exactly and how to replace or fix something if need be.
I really wouldn't go for it if you won't like working on this machine for hours and hours though. We spent roughly 14 hours on it (we made a timelapse of the process, but I haven't gotten around to editing it into a nice little video I can upload- when or if I do, I'll post the link here) so it's not like assembling something from ikea.

So far my results with the Ultimaker original have been very satisfying- the occasional hiccup aside. I wrote a bit about the difficulties of 3D printing in my previous blog and I might write a few more blogs that will focus on the technical aspects, but for now I'll stick to showing you a sneak preview of parts of the exhibition.

The standing doll is 9 cm high so these parts are very small. The drawings of the dolls were made in 123dcreature on the iPad, then prepared for printing using programs like meshlabtinkercad and cura. I made the drawings of the objects in tinkercad.

If you're in or near Deventer in the coming weeks, be sure to check back for more details on the exhibition. More info coming soon!

 

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.

PTT Pi

I saw this at the second hand store here. A fifties speaker. It has a few scratches and smudges but it looks fine mostly. Best of all: it has quite a lot of space inside.. so I decided we just had to buy it so we could put our Raspberry Pi inside and transform it into a music box.

We're both quite busy at the moment so it'll probably take a while, but I can't wait to get this thing working. Which means.. I'll need to buy a second Pi at some point because obviously I had other plans for it initially :)

(click to enlarge / fit screen)