Every week there is more failure.
Tinkercad link: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/fPH71QxCeSw-day-200-cgr-candlestick-lathe
Thingiverse link: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:69779
Settings: MakerWare .3mm/low on a Replicator 2.
Technical notes: I’m no artist, so to get the profile of C’s face as the side of this vase required some tracing. Specifically, I sized a .jpg of C’s profile to be the same as the drawing window in anoved’s Customizer, and then put a piece of paper over the screen to trace the outline of his face from the .jpg. Then I put the paper over the box in the Customizer and looked through it to guide the mouse and trace out the profile. A *lot* of failure was involved here, and I had to try the Customizer sketch many times before it looked right. Then my initial try at printing a vase failed because of some massive overhang under the chin part of the profile. Trying to resketch to avoid that overhang didn’t work; somehow every orientation came with some unacceptable overhang. In the end I sketched a thinner model, downloaded the solid .stl model output from anoved’s Customizer, and imported it into Tinkercad, where I made a hole for a 7/8″ candle and made a septagon indentation at the top. The candlesticks were printed in white and then colored in later with a silver Sharpie. They look pretty good but it’s weird to pick them up because although they look a bit metallic, they each weigh only 32 grams!
Funny enough, as I read this sitting in front of me was a little 1, 3, sqrt(10) right triangle I'd printed today for a half-silly blog post I did with my kids. I'd originally planned to make the triangle by cutting up some 2×4's with a circular saw but then realized it would be easier (and less dangerous) to just make it on Mathematica and print it. I learned how to do that from reading and subsequently just playing around on your blog.
The piece itself is pretty unremarkable – just a triangle with a triangular hole in it made to look like what the 2×4 triangle would have looked like, but it took close to two weeks of playing around (and multiple fails) for me to really understand how to do it. So, yeah, there's definitely a learning curve, but it is pretty satisfying to learn how to use the printer effectively.
Anyone looking to learn about 3D printing should start with your blog. I sure hope you don't sign off after a year!
My theory on the article is that the writer was looking for controversy – there's no money to be made writing articles that talk about the successes and new capabilities of 3D printing, but if he can stir up some controversy, he'll get website hits. I do think that his comparisons to early ham radio and home sewing were apt, though.
The early hams were pioneers in a new technology, helped drive the development and deployment of radio, and contributed to the training of generations of engineers and scientists; although modern ham radio no longer pushes the same kinds of boundaries, there is still new development going on, and it still teaches skills that are useful in "real work". People have sewing machines at home not because they can't buy clothes, but because they want to make the kinds of clothes (or crafts, or whatever) that they can't buy – customized for size, color and style, replicating historical patterns or creating a design that nobody's seen before. I think that 3D printing combines aspects of both those hobbies (speaking as a ham, and someone who shares his house with talented seamstresses). It's a shame that the author didn't see further into the analogies he was making.
Now that I've calmed down a bit, maybe I could have been a lot nicer and just suggested that the author of that article try something a little easier. If he just wanted a quick and easy 3D printing experience with less of a learning curve then the Replicator Mini might have been simpler for him to deal with and more consumer-friendly, for example.
My first Replicator 1 print, Mr Shark, was a complete disaster – nothing stuck to the build platform – and I ended up with hot goo around the extruder and burnt fingers. We're lucky to have the internet and all the help & advice (e.g. blogs like yours) it brings – green tape / hair spray / blue tape / improved levelling have helped. Trial & error and a notebook (to remind me of settings) do work.
Austin / Aunt Daisy
Go on, contact Mr Stevenson and suggest he try something easier – like Max, the dog, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12260. Or the 120 cell ;-) http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20788