Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Merry Christmas to all New and Previous Cube Owners!

I'm hoping that our ranks increase dramatically on December 25.


We're happy to have you join us and look forward to hearing from you.  That also goes for those times when things don't seem to be going so well.  Working through issues is how we learn the most about our tools and our craft.

Cube Owners

This blog exists to serve all Cube owners... from those that bought the 1st Gen Cube to the newest of the new.

The good news for all 2nd Gen Cube owners is that the printer and software continue to be improved by firmware and software updates.  Each of my 2nd Gen Cubes is a much better printer today than it was when it was first delivered thanks to 3D System's commitment to continually improve the Cube.

Expect continued additions and improvements in the coming year.

Users have also helped to identify those things we can do to make our printing experience more reliable and precise.  For instance, in the coming weeks I will upload a new Cube Print Table Leveling Tool that dramatically helps check that your Cube's print bed is perfectly level and makes the job of bringing it back into level a whole lot easier.

Sense Owners

My excitement about the Sense 3D Scanner remains unabated.  Let me know if you found a Sense under the tree this year.  The combination of the Sense Scanner and Cubify Sculpt is extremely powerful.  For me, the Sense is primarily going to be about saving memories in a whole new way by creating various types of 3D portraits and sculptures.

As I write this, two Cubes are printing frames for some cameo-style portraits that were created with the Sense and Sculpt.  They will be part of a unique gift to friends and family.

As soon as I have thoroughly tested it, I will be uploading a frame that mates a Sense 3D Scanner to a MIMO 7" USB touchscreen monitor.  It makes the task of scanning a LOT easier.  I'll post a video that demonstrates it.

The Coming Year

I've worked for the Justice Department, the military and NIH.  RICO cases, secret aircraft and health systems demand high security.  But, to be honest, I have not found any organization that is able to keep a secret about new products as well as 3D Systems.  I had NO idea the Cube, 2nd Gen Cube or Sense was coming before the public announcement.  So, I have no idea what is in store for us this coming year.

All I know is to expect something good.  And, that CES, in January, is a good time to pay attention.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Experiments with Painting Cube PLA Prints

Now that I have the new Sense 3D Scanner, the amazing potential of this great tool has stormed my brain with hundreds of new applications for 3D printing.

The Sense color capabilities can't be realized with the Cube printer; but, that does NOT mean that we cannot begin to think COLOR with our prints.  And, this most likely means paint and dyes.

So, I've been experimenting with using modeler's paint to see how it behaves with my PLA prints.  The first test seems to be success.  I only use the term 'seems' because I don't yet know how well the lacquer that I am using will hold up over time.  For now it looks great and helps to mask the natural layers of 3D prints.

Experiment 1:  Metallic Over White

Here's a quick look at my first experiment.

For this object, I used multiple coats of Testor's No. 28141, Sterling Silver Metallic 3D followed by several clear coats.  The results, in person, are much more impressive than captured by this photograph.

Future Goals

The Sense/Sculpt combination dramatically opened up new possibilities for using the Cube 3D printer in the category of Crafting.  While scans of faces and heads is a natural, there are many, many ways to present those scans beyond the simple bust above.  Making cameo style ornaments is another.  Here, for instance is my first attempt to create a cameo style portrait.

Sense Scanned Cameo Portrait Style 3D Print
While a simple single color works, it should be a lot more impressive with some color that accentuates the cameo motif.  Options might be experimenting with various antiquing and patina techniques.  But, the primary goal will be to minimize layering artifacting.  So, paying close attention to experimenting with modeler's filling and priming materials. 

I'm also very interested in learning to use an airgun for shading and stenciling.  So, if we have any experts in this area I REALLY want to hear from you!

I'm really looking forward to these experiments and look forward to seeing what YOU are doing in this area.  You contributions will be greatly appreciated.