All posts by VickyTGAW

Etsy Shop Cameo on Mailbox Monday

Aww, my Etsy Shop snuck into Abuzz Design’s Mailbox Monday Livestream last night.  I love seeing the growing presence of 3D Printing on Etsy.  My shop is just one that Lauren covers (all the links stolen from Lauren’s video description are below).  Be sure to check out and, if possible, support my fellow creators!

A big thanks to Lauren for always being such a supportive member of our great community!  Definitely check out Lauren’s shop at http://etsy.me/2raDpGy

A Pyro Design Etsy – http://etsy.me/2qm4Gop
Improper Engineering Etsy – http://etsy.me/2qpzMtr
3D Central VA – http://etsy.me/2qlZWiy
MaxCrft – http://etsy.me/2pPfoRA
JAT.MN – http://etsy.me/2rjQytB
VickyTGAW (ME!) – http://etsy.me/2qlIjjh

Simplify3D’s Print of the Week!!!

Well now, that was a surprise.  I started getting some unexpected Twitter and Facebook notifications.  I was surprised to find I was highlighted by Simplify3D for their Print of the Week.

 


 

This five color print is for a friend in Crookston, Minnesota.  I, of course, use my beloved Simplify3D Multiple Processes.  I believe it is my largest multi-colored print– it took up the whole bed of the MakerGear M2.

I’m glad Simplify3D enjoyed the print.  I hope my friend does as well!!! :)

Using Blender’s Particle Systems for 3D Printing

One of the things that gives Blender its reputation of having a large learning curve is it is geared towards animation. It has a lot of extra features or capabilities we don’t use for 3D Printing.

Or do we?

Homesick for the Appalachian Trail, I embarked on making rhododendron themed drawer pulls. It was a Blender animation feature helped me pull off my vision. I had never heard of “Particle Systems” before and with good cause. They are typically used for animating dust, smoke, water, and hair. Thanks to a wonderful tutorial video by Blender Facile, I learned how I could also use this feature to convert a single flower model into the trademark ball of flowers for the rhododendron.

My steps for using the Particular System were:

  1. First, I made a model of an individual flower. Thinking about how I wanted this to be sturdy for people to grab, I kept the petals thick and shallow.
    Individual Flower
  2. To convert my single flower into a ball of flowers, the first thing I did was add an Ico Sphere with 2 subdivisions to my Blender project.
    Create - Icosphere
  3. I went ahead and removed the bottom half of my Ico Sphere and gave it a flat bottom.
  4. Once I was satisfied with my Ico Sphere, I clicked on the Particle Systems icon
    PArticleSystems
  5. I clicked on New to create a new Particle System
    PArticleSystemsNew
  6. I changed Type to “Hair
    Type-Hair
  7. I checked the Advanced box which would allow me to change some rotation settings later
    ParticleSystem-Advanced
  8. Under the Emissions section, I clicked Verts.  This is telling Blender that each “hair” (aka flower) is going to be associated with a vertex in my model.  For Number, I put in 26.  This just happens to be the number of vertices in my modified Ico Sphere.ParticleSystem-Verts
    I also unchecked the Random box.
    ParticleSystem-UncheckRandom
  9. Under the Rotation section, I first checked Rotation and then for Initial Orientation, I picked Normal.  The system is going to rely on my Face normals (the direction my faces are) to determine which way to rotate my “hairs”.
    ParticleSystem-RotationChecked-Normals
  10. Under the Render section, I picked Object and for Dupli Object, I selected the single Flower model I made.  And then my flowers appeared on my sphere.
    ParticleSystem-RotationChecked-AddObject
  11. Under the Render section, I checked Rotate and my flowers oriented themselves accordingly.
    ParticleSystem-RotationChecked-Check
  12. Since this is a feature geared towards animation, there is a large Physics section that really does not apply to my purposes.   The one thing I did play with was the SizeBy adjusting this setting, I was able to get my flowers to a size that provided some good coverage over the Ico Sphere.
    Size
  13. Once I was satisfied with all my settings, I clicked on the Modifiers icon and clicked on Convert.
    ParticleSystem-RotationChecked-ConvertParticles
  14. All of my “hairs” (aka flowers) became official objects in Blender.  I was able to click on each one and manipulate it like any other Blender object.  For example, I went ahead and rotated my bottom row of flowers to better achieve the look I was going for.
    Rotate Individual Flowers
Eureka!  I had my ball of flowers!  My modeling journey was far from over, but the hardest part about that journey was done, thanks to an animation feature I never thought I would need.

Inaugural 3D Printing Lady Chat

This afternoon I had the delight of joining some of the female YouTube 3D Printing Creators for our very first Lady Livestream.

We all had a blast and hope to do it again next month.  In the meantime, you can catch the inaugural episode on Clare’s Make It & Fake It Channel at https://youtu.be/1Csy_5cv9Fs

Community Live Stream – Myths of 3D Printing

I had some Internet woes, but I did join some of the community members for this week’s 3D Printing Friday Night Community Hangout.  This week, we were on Zidim’s 3D Printed Trains Channel.  The topic was “Myths of 3D Printing”.

You can watch this episode at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p747ClxAdw8

Interested in future Friday 3DP Community Hangouts?  Be sure to follow @F3DPCH on Twitter for news of upcoming episodes.

Community Hangout – 3D Modeling Programs At Joe Mike Terranella’s

This week’s Friday Night 3DP Community Hangout was a fun one!  Hosted at Joe Mike Terranella’s, we discussed different 3D Modeling programs and took turns doing screen sharing and showing off the programs we are familiar with.  I very much enjoyed sharing OpenSCAD and Blender, as well as seeing more of Fusion 360, which definitely has my attention.

Catch the full episode below.

For more details on future Friday Night 3DP Community Hangouts, follow @F3DPCH on Twitter.

 

Tour of my 3D Printed Houses

Greetings! I am starting to build up quite a collection of 3D Printed buildings! Today I thought I would give you a little tour of them and my design process and share some of my design guidelines and tips.

I’m from Prince WIlliam County Virginia which is outside of Washington, DC. With the exception one gazebo from New York, all my buildings hail from Prince William County, Virginia and most of those right smack from my town, Occoquan. So far, I have

  • Mamie Davis Gazebo in Occoquan, Virginia
  • The National Museum of the United States Marine Corps from Quantico
  • Mill House Museum in Occoquan, Virginia
  • Rockledge Mansion from Occoquan Virginia
  • And then, a custom piece, My Old Neighbor’s House, Occoquan Virginia.

All of these I modeled in Blender and they all start with one thing.

Reference Images
I go out and take reference images. In the case of my neighbor’s house, the prints were a gift and I needed to exercise stealth, so I actually tromped through the woods to snag some pictures of the back of the house. In the case of the Rockledge Mansion, I emailed the home’s owner which allowed me to open up a dialogue with them and I scored an amazing tour of the outside and the inside on the mansion.

Front

If I needed to supplement my own images, I found Flickr and Google Streetview to be a great resource for finding images of the more famous buildings

And…. there were two cases, where I really needed an aerial view to really get a good grasp of the building. The National Museum of the United States Marine Corps is a great example of that. I had all these side images and I just still could not figure out the geometry of the building. Something wasn’t right. Google Earth to the rescue! The aerial image was the missing piece I needed and suddenly everything clicked together.

Google Earth FTW

Base Model
Blender does have the ability where I can create what’s called an Empty and import in an image. I can rotate these, scale them, make them translucent, so it is very helpful for me as I’m trying to get the proportions of my base shapes right.

Detailing
With the detailing, I have done it a very formal way where my windows and my doors are actually a part of the base model. I used a tool called Loop Cut and Slide to make segments in my house where I’m going to put my windows and doors and then I extrude and subdivide accordingly. What I’ve decided I preferred is do model these details as separate objects. I’ll have Window Model, a Door Model, a Light model, A Railing model. I rather enjoy how easy it is to copy and paste that way.

Tip – When you are doing separate models with your detailing (and you aren’t going to do formal Boolean Unions in Blender), you want to make sure they are exactly flush with the base house. At least in Simplify 3D, if there is overlap, Simplify 3D will leave gaps between the two objects– whereas if you have them lined up exactly, you can be super lazy in Blender and Simplify 3D will recognize them as objects that should be one and slice accordingly.

Detailing Design Guidelines
With my detailing, I tend to keep them 0.3mm – 0.5mm high. With my 0.35mm and 0.40mm nozzles, those “90 degree overhangs” have no trouble on my printers, don’t need supports and still render very well in the final print.

Detailing Tour – Windows
Like most things the window detailing is about 0.3mm – 0.5mm high. In my neighbor’s house, for example, the panes are 0.4mm high and then the shutters are another 0.1mm above that.

Window Sizing

Tip – Slice as you go
When I’m working with small details and I want to make sure they translate, one thing I do is slice as I go. A perfect example of this is window panes. My Mill House Museum, the windows came out fine on a Shapeways fancy Sand Stone Printer. When I went and printed it on my FFF printer, I noted the vertical panes were too thin so the printer didn’t bother with them. In subsequent models, I’ll preslice sections to see how it is going to look on my intended printer.

If you don’t slice as you go and you find some missing details, there are options. In Simplify3D, you can try to adjust Horizontal Size Compensation (It’s under the Other tab) to get a better slice.

Horizontal Size Compensation

Detailing Tour – Outdoor Lights, Bay Windows, Garage Overhangs
I modeled the light, but there was deviation from real life— if you look at it from the side, I taper the bottom up– I give it a nice 45 degree angle to help with the overhangs. I did the same thing with the Bay Window and also you’ll see a small triangular wedge between the car port and a screened in porch. This is just to give the printer some solid overhangs to work with.

Outdoor Lights

Detailing Tour – Railings
The biggest trick to the railings is coming up with the dimensions with the slats. I didn’t want something too delicate. I have found 0.65 – 0.85mm to work.

Railing Mrked U

And I reused through measurements on my neighbor’s house. I just got and pasted to get their detailing for their screened in porches.

Reusing Railings

Detailing Tour – Supporting Posts
When I got to my neighbor’s house, I had some posts that would be supporting an awning. I went ahead and increased that to be over 2mm thick on each side so there was more strength and stability.

Awning Posts

Detailing Tour – Awning Hack
And with the awnings, I wanted to print those without supports. What I ended up doing there is I had two small layers connecting the main house with the posts. My very own support beams. They were just 0.5mm high which meant my printer would print two layers for it. Then, the rest of the awning came in and bridging settings kicked with ample parts to “bridge to”

Awning Hack

Textures
There are other approaches you can do with textures. You can, for example, use a grey scale texture map and use the Distortion modifier. I have found that to be a little intensive on my machine resources and making it difficult to continue to the tweak the model.

Textures - Laying Out

I do have a few “textures” I add to these models — stonework, brickwork, shingles, and finally siding. These I believe are mostly 0.3mm high. The Stonework I did slightly as purist. I actually used Bezier Curves to trace out real stones from one of the historic buildings in my town (Note– there are many ways to skin this cat). For bricks, siding, and shingles, I modeled one piece and then used the Array Feature in Blender to make an entire sheet.

Remember with the Spinning Pokestop, I talked about the Power of Intersection? This is an example of that. By Duplicating key vertices and separating them, I would make a template of the part of the model I wanted texture for. Let’s take the front of my Rockledge Mansion. I wouldn’t want Stonework where the windows and doors were. So I make an object of just want I want textured.

Texturing Template

I put my textured piece, in this case, the Stonework in the middle of it and then I take an Intersetion. Viola! Texture.

Textures - Intersection

Texture Piece

And just like my other details, I make sure that is flush exactly with my base model, so it slices nice and fine in Simplify 3D.

Hack – Use Layer Lines To Your Advantage
I had been doing shingles for everything… until my very last model, my Neighbor’s House. I was doing a “Slice As You Go” and I noticed, the natural layer lines looked remarkably like shingles, so I rolled with it.

Layer Line Shingles - FinalLayer Line Shingles -Small