For the last few days I have been testing various 3D printing filaments. The first one I tested was carbon fibre mixed with PLA. I printed it on a low quality setting, it took about eight hours to print and ran very smoothly. The support material was very easy to remove.
I tested tough flexible filament in black. This also printed off very well. The great thing about this filament was that it fed into the printer with ease and doesn’t snap like some harder PLA.
The final printed object was flexible and I was able to squash it and it returned back to its original form. I wasn’t particularly happy with the finished print quality though. It was a bit messy and the support material was very difficult to remove due to the rubbery nature of the material.
I tested a heat change filament. My home M3D printer had difficulties with this so I printed on the Up machine. This worked well and printed smoothly and in a good quality. The support was easily removed. Although I don’t like the colour the change to white when held in the hand. I have another colour change filament to try which is a little more subtle.
My favourite filament out of this range has to be the brass fill PLA. I printed this on the UP. It printed beautifully and the support was easy to remove. The piece has a really nice weight and sparkles like brass in the sun light.
I also printed a wood fill version. Initially this was printed on the UP with 1.75mm filament. This clogged up the machine so it was printed on the larger printer in a thicker filament which worked. The finished item smells like wood. When filed it feels like a cross between wood and plastic. The bowl has a nice weight but I don’t like the messy nodules the printer has left in some areas.
Today I have managed to finish one side of my cushion cover. Only another 11 to go! While I was making this piece I noticed my hook was occasionally snagging the wool making the piece less tidy. I have decided I am going to reprint the hook in ABS plastic as apposed to the PLA and then smooth it down afterwards using acetone. This will also give me the opportunity to make the handle a little larger. I was constricted by size on my last print because of the size of my home print bed.
This afternoon I have been building a 3D model of a design for a drinking tumbler. Because of the height of the piece I will find this hard to press from a mould so I am going to try and slip cast this along side the wine goblets. The CAD model is just over 16cm which I am hoping will give a good size after taking into account shrinkage during the firing process.
I am going for a similar design to my whisky glasses as I wish for the same theme to run through out the collection that will be used in my kitchen. These pieces will be smooth all over as apposed to the whisky vessels which have texture down one side.
I haven’t posted much of the crochet I have been making over the last month yet. I have had a few projects on the go so here they are:
My first project I finished was a snood. As it was my first finished item I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. I set out to make a normal tube shaped snood. However, after a few rows I realised that I was making a Mobius loop. This happened at the stage where I joined the first loop together. After crocheting the second row I skipped over to the other side which meant as I continued to crochet out the snood grew from both sides.
My second project was a pair of hand warmers. However I didn’t take into account the amount of black wool I had left, so I am waiting for more to arrive in the post to finish the second one. With the hand warmers I figured out how to crochet straight after the first row not creating a Mobius loop.
I thought I would then treat myself to a warm headband to keep my hair out of my eyes when I’m working. This took about two hours to make and again is a Möbius loop as I think it adds a subtle bit of interest in the piece when worn.
I have started making my first cushion covers for adding the soft finishing touches to my home.
This is the first one I started, however I made some mistakes at the edges of the pieces. I am going to take this one apart and start it again.
This Is the second cushion cover I have started making. I am much happier with the edges of this as I have perfected the changing stick at the end of the pieces.
This is my biggest project so far. I have began to make a blanket to be used either in the bedroom or as a throw in the living room or the container. So far I have spent two full days making this one and as I have ran out of wool I will need to wait a few days to continue. I plan to add in a lot of black and monochrome strips to this with a few hints of bright colours. I also plan to add tassels to the edges. I suspect that by the time I finish this piece I would have spent a few weeks time making it. I really love the feel of the piece and it is already quite heavy and warm. It will be a very functional piece and I feel the fact it is entirely handmade will add to the unique feeling.
For the last two weeks I have been settling in to my new life in Dundee. I have been getting equated with the university campus and finding my way around. I have been buying glaze for my shot glasses as well as printing more press moulds.
Today I set myself the task of designing a colander for the kitchen of my shipping container. I find the kitchen implements quite and interesting area of my study as it is both a tool and could be 3D printed or I could also go down the line of hand building them.
I feel that as I have to build everything in my house some simpler items such as colanders should be directly 3D printed to save time. However I am still aware that I would like to focus on the aesthetics of the piece.
I had a few ideas I ran through in my sketchbook looking at cell structures and geodesic domes. Here is the first CAD model I have made:
This design was inspired by the roof design’s of both Buckminster Fuller’s domes and Grimshaw’s Eden Project. The only concern I have is if the holes in the piece are too big it will be impractical and food will fall through it. I will print this to test first.
Today I have been trying out the press mold for my whisky glasses. The first few I did were a little floored but the more I made the better they became. My 3D printed chizel was perfect for cutting off the excess clay from the top of the mold. I was keen to see the effect of using molds printed on different machines. The mold from the ultimaker gave a much smoother finish to the pieces. I like the effect of the two contrasting textures.
Close up showing both textures in the clay.
Selection I have made so far.
Some of the vessels came out with areas that were not smooth. I found placing the clay back into the molds and pressing them again sorted out this problem.
Mold before use.
Clay pressed into the mold.
Clay cut with 3D printed chisel.
To speed up the drying process I used my hair dryer. This worked well for the clay but warped the outside of the orange mold slightly with the heat. The inside seems to not have been effected which is good.
Clay smoothed down and drying also showing warped mold.
After spending Saturday and Sunday trying to print out the press mold from my M3D micro I have been left with a pile of nice white and orange spaghetti resembling parts of my mold. I managed to get one half of the mold printed ok. This is in orange PLA. This morning David at the City of Glasgow College kindly printed the second half for me in a bright red PLA from the College ultimaker machine. The ultimaker gave a much smoother finish than the M3D. I will try the two parts with clay but may need to get both printed on the same machine.
Failed M3D print on lowest quality setting.
Print from the ultimaker machine.
I did manage to get a few samples from the half build press molds over the weekend. I placed the join of the molds where the join of the triangles meet in the piece so that the final piece is less messy to look at by eye. I used my 3D printed Chizel to take the excess clay off the mold.
A few of the first pieces I tried were quite difficult to get out of the molds when wet. I tried spraying the mold with wD40 before hand and then drying the clay a little with my hairdryer before removing. This made the process much easier.
I am happy with the form of the pieces. I think maybe I should try accentuating the overhangs in some places where they might be a little subtle or lost compared to other sections.
After spending a few weeks playing with porcelain and designing the ceramic bedroom light it has given me some ideas for making drinking vessels for my container. I have been coming up with some designs in my sketchbook along the same lines as the base of the bedroom light I have designed.
Through these pieces I would really like to be able to show the mixture and contrast between the handmade and the use of CAD. What I really enjoy about this with clay is the way in which clay is naturally so organic and malleable by hand. It makes the process easy to both impress on and use CAD but also has a warm hand made finish or feeling.
The glasses will be pressed into CAD molds and hand finished on the inside. I would really like to use a simple white cracked glaze on the outside and a more metallic glaze splash of colour on the inside.
Render of shot glass designs.
Last night I came home from work excitedly with plans to print a small shot glass and make them over the weekend. As I went to bed last night I set my printer up to print the mold through the night. I woke up at 4am to a strange buzzing noise. As I got out of bed I found a big pile of white spaghetti in my printer. The print was due to take 7 hours, so I collaborated the printer set up the print again and went back to bed.
My overnight print fails.
The same thing happened at 8am and again at 10am. I have cut down the mold size a little to make the build 5 hours and put on to build again. Fingers crossed this one is going to work so I can make some shot glasses later.