December 22, 2015

First itteration of the 3D Printed Ornament

I was rather impatient all day yesterday. I had been tracking my 3D printed ornament in the mail and was anxiously awaiting it’s arrival. When eight o’clock rolled around with still no mail I was climbing the walls. Stupid (much needed here in drought stricken California) rain storm delaying the mailman. The ornament arrived shortly after Nicole’s bed time. Who knew the United States Post Office worked so late?

printed ornament

Overall I am pleased with how it turned out. The sandstone gives it a nice frosted appearance. But there are a couple of issues I was hoping to fix for next year.

One of my issues with it is the color. The sandstone prints fairly light. Overall the ornament looks a bit monochromatic, what with the off-white house with snow covered roof on a light silver key. The brown door really stands out much more than I intended. I thought that might be the case and was already planning to scrap the snow on top and do a brown/slate colored roof to help even out the color differences. That’s an easy fix.

3d printed ornament close-up

The next issue is the date. The date didn’t appear engraved like it was supposed to, and half the five is missing! I believe this issue has to do with the way SketchUp handles 3D text. Even though the text was given a negative “extruded” height, the text component was still shown on the same surface as the key. “Exploding” the text separated each of the letter surfaces from the key surface and I was able to adjust the height accordingly. ShapeWay’s preview screen gives me hope that the new version will print correctly.

The last issue is the only issue I’m not sure how to address. The wreath is filled in. I’m totally dumbfounded as to why. The interior diameter is 2mm, which should be well within ShapeWays capabilities. ShapeWays was able to print even smaller crevasses, like the region above the center window pane. This one is going to take some investigating, and possibly expert help.


Edited to add: Problem solved, thanks to the helpful community at ShapeWays!

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