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Thread: 3D Printing the Mars Rover Curiosity, the Hunley and the Hubble

  1. #1
    Registered User GATOR's Avatar
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    3D Printing the Mars Rover Curiosity, the Hunley and the Hubble

    I'm a 10 year user of Lightwave for my illustrations, but in the past few months I've been getting into 3D printing. To that end, I've done a few projects that were both a learning experience and a lot of fun to do. My pipeline is: Lightwave 3D, Simplify3D for print prep, Print on a Duplicator 4.

    My body of work is still pretty shallow, but I thought I'd share the experience here.

    Below are some links to some of the projects I've completed. All are modeled in Lightwave.

    http://donfoley.com/3d-printing/project-details/776-2

    http://donfoley.com/3d-printing/proj...bble-telescope

    http://donfoley.com/3d-printing/proj...-the-curiosity

    All are models based on illustrations that I've done for clients. But when I built the original models, they were just for illustrations. So the new models are built from scratch for 3D printing. The Hunley piece spends more time on the process of printing for 3D in Lightwave.

    If I could wish for one thing, it would be that overlapping objects wouldn't create a void. It would make my life SO much easier. Plus, I could use more of my archive for 3D printing without having to build from scratch.

    Enjoy!

    Don Foley

  2. #2
    skeptic lertola2's Avatar
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    Don, I have always admired your work. Thanks for showing your 3D printing projects. I find it very interesting as I am playing around with a Makerbot Replicator 2 at the office. I wish I was having as much success as you as I think I have a failure rate of about 50% with the 3d prints. My basic pipleine is Lightwave to Zbrush to the Makerbot software. The Simplify 3D software looks like it would be a big help. I am going to check that out.

    -Joe

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    Registered User GATOR's Avatar
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    Joe,

    Good to hear from you. Your work is the standard to which I strive to achieve.

    The trick to getting good prints out of a Makerbot is to not use their software. It sucks. I was frustrated with failed prints until I switched to Simplify3D. I'll try to hook you up with them.

    Other things....

    Put down a glass plate and cover it with a layer of Scotch brand painter tape. No other tape works for me.

    Print in PLA. I had a lot of failures with ABS. I print at 205° with no heat on the bed.

    Wipe the bed surface with rubbing alcohol.

    And make sure that bed is LEVEL!

    I hardly have any failed prints these days. If it does it almost always is the second head hitting something. I'm thinking about removing it.

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    Registered User GATOR's Avatar
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    Joe, I thought about my reply and I thought I'd change something. I said that Makerbot software sucks. It does. But it also may be your machine. The 3D printing community isn't real big on the quality of Makerbot and their customer service seems to be...lacking.

    I personally wouldn't buy their machines. They are the BIG company, and I hope they get better. But I think they grew too fast.

    Meanwhile, I have a new printer coming in next week. My Duplicator is running all the time on proofs for my models, so I needed a second printer. Once I take this new design through its paces, I'll let you know what I think.

    Don

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    These are awesome Don! I'll be sharing them on the LightWave website, too...

  6. #6
    skeptic lertola2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GATOR View Post
    Joe, I thought about my reply and I thought I'd change something. I said that Makerbot software sucks. It does. But it also may be your machine. The 3D printing community isn't real big on the quality of Makerbot and their customer service seems to be...lacking.

    I personally wouldn't buy their machines. They are the BIG company, and I hope they get better. But I think they grew too fast.

    Meanwhile, I have a new printer coming in next week. My Duplicator is running all the time on proofs for my models, so I needed a second printer. Once I take this new design through its paces, I'll let you know what I think.

    Don
    Thanks for your advice Don. I am not sure what the problem is with the Makerbot. I don't think its the leveling or the plate that is the problem because the machine seems to start the prints fine. It might be the particular materials that we have or the tension adjustment for the filament feeder or maybe the temperature. Often I get the machine to print an inch or two tall and then the filament plastic stops coming out of the print head so I get half finished pieces. I am slowly testing different temperature settings different materials and so on but its slow going because the machine can be printing for hours before it fails. I will be very interested in your experience with your new machine.

    -Joe

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    Lynn Cress lcress's Avatar
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    Don,

    Thanks for sharing your work flow. 3D printing is an awesome direction for 3D artists.

    Watched the roll out of the Dragon2 last night online. SpaceX's Elon Musk said that parts of the engine are 3D printed.

    Applications abound in this area of our field. Keep up the good work!

    Lynn

  8. #8
    wow excellent webpages showing the 3d printing process.
    i've got a mars rover i've been making for awhile, it would be neat to print it, i see how you've broken all the pieces apart.
    I'm definitely interested in printing my rover model too.
    your page is a good jumping off point for me. thanks!!

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