I printed my face!
That’s what I texted my mom after, you guessed it, I printed my own face using additive manufacturing. Last Tuesday’s seminar equipped me with everything I needed to move from scanning my face to creating a scaled model of myself. This project was my first 3d printing experience that I was responsible for from start to finish. I printed a name tag that my group and I designed on Tinkercad but I was completely uninvolved with the use of the actual printer itself. Though I can say that I did in fact successfully print my face, it wasn’t the smoothest of processes for me.
I didn’t have time to print in class so I ended up coming to the lab Wednesday to complete the assignment. I had all the time in the world because my work and class for the day had been completed. After loading my ready-for-print file onto the Replicator, I had a guru assist me in prepping the machine. Minutes into the print I could tell something was wrong. It was obvious that the printer filament was being excreted just above the platform. The lab guru explained to me that my print must not have been completely touching the platform. After canceling the print I ran back to my computer to fix my file.
After a quick observation I could tell that my base wasn’t completely making contact with the virtual platform. Easy fix. I moved down the object so that the base was actually below the platform. I figured that would simply cut out the bottom and have everything not cropped out be touching the base. Fast forward 10 minutes and I find that this isn’t an actual fix to my problem. The guru couldn’t completely explain why my fix didn’t work, but suggested instead I go back to the basics and fix the original design on Tinkercad.
Frustrated with my lack of success and waste of time, I rushed onto Tinkercad to fix this once and for all. I wasted no time playing around. I used a “hole” box and completely cropped anything on the bottom the wasn’t even. Exported the file to Autodesk, brought it to platform and set it on its base just to be sure that I wouldn’t mess up yet again. This time around, after a wasted 45 minutes, I successfully was able to print my face object. Well, I know the base looked good, I haven’t actually seen my object as I left early once printing began. I bet its good. I’ll keep you all posted on my twitter @MatarDMS!
Learning can be frustrating… but rewarding! This was my first time working with the machines on my own and I really wasn’t surprised that things went wrong. This isn’t to say I would have much rather it worked on the first try but an admission that that’s how my learning usually is. A little bit of trial and error. Not always being the most careful with instructions. This isn’t the worst thing in the world as I feel it solidifies the lessons especially well with me. Learning is learning at the end of the day, no matter how many attempts it takes.