Thursday, July 11, 2013

What You See Before You Get

My Makerbot got sick and had to go back to the factory for a full examination. It has been determined, after lengthy observation that the poor thing is terminal. It's death knell, as it turned out was due to a faulty Mighty Board interface. In the middle of her labors, she'd just go off path, crash into the wall and shake violently(nearly as dreadfull to watch as a convulsing child). In truth, she's never been entirely well, despite some very handsome prints. Nor is this the first time she's gone back to the factory. In light of that and this most recently diagnosed problem, the good folks of the Makerbot support staff have decided to send me a new Replicator 2.

While I've been waiting for this new printer, which I pray will perform perfectly this time around, I've been preparing models for printing. Revisiting projects and exercises from a couple of years past is an interesting voyage through the ether of ones and zeros and poorly placed polygons from an earlier time in my development. In short, there's plenty to do about making a model print worthy, things that I wasn't aware of at the time that I had originally sculpted this. That said, this smooth girl between two wheels has, after a fair bit of modification, been made ready to ride into the realm of physical reality.

When this piece gets printed as a single figure with wheels, It will consume approximately half of the Makerbot's build area at 11 inches in length(Y), 6 inches tall(Z) and 3 inches wide(X). In order to print the divergent variation in the lower right corner, the model will be sliced down the center, effectively dividing the model into two separate component which would then be rotated to a side by side parallel, thus taking up the entire 6 inches of the X axis. Once printed, the two parts will be glued together along their sliced planes to create an object that is 3 inches wider than the Makerbot would normally print in a single go. As is always lovely about working in these new sculpting mediums, the luxurious standard of what you see before you get. When the PLA finally hits the build plate, I predict that the first iteration of this model will be printed in just under 20 hours.

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