I recently updated the works in progress page to include more information on “The Warning Signs”.
I also added a separate events page here: Events. I will continue to show upcoming events as part of my monthly posts, but have moved the list of postponed conventions to this new location and will not add them to my updates unless there is a verified schedule change.
Added event Quad Con – Peoria = This event will replace the Dec 6th Quad Con event that was canceled.
Event postponed – Unfortunately Planet Funk Con has been postponed until further notice. I have removed it from the events page, but hope that they will reschedule when its safe to do so.
“Endow” is currently featured on Writers Pay It Forward!
“The Warning Sings” Due to the current state of things I was unable to hire a proof reader when I had planned to, so I needed to make changes to my intended schedule. Rather than letting it collect dust, I decided to use the time to add more short stories to the collection. As long as all goes well, the book will be expanded to include at least ten stories. You can check out more about “The Warning Signs” here: Works In Progress
readersfavorite.com will have all three of my available books listed as prizes in the monthly book giveaway. If you are interested in winning some amazing books by great authors you can check out the monthly giveaway here: book giveaway /Rise or/and here: book-giveaway/lost and here: book-giveaway/endow
Upcoming Event Reminders:
Concealed Realms is now schedule to participate in Quad Con on March 6th and 7th in Peoria. The event will take place at the Northwoods Mall.
Concealed Realms is scheduled to participate in Quad con on March 20th. This event will take place in Burlington IA at the Westland Mall.
We are scheduled to participate at Raptor Con! The new dates for the event are August 21st and 22nd. This event takes place in Evansville Indiana. To learn more visit: www.RaptorCon.com
“Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.” – Bryant H. McGill
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” – Ray Bradbury
“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” – Steve Jobs
“Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.” – Edward de Bono
“Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer.” – Marilyn Monroe
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity.” – Dan Stevens
“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land
Definition of philomath:
Noun “a lover of learning.”–www.merriam-webster.com
Adventures in 3D Printing
Are you a philomath? Recently, I have encountered a problem concentrating and have fallen a bit behind on my expected output. Is it quarantine fatigue, some type of burnout, or perhaps its just the added distractions of multiple people trying to work from home? Who can say for sure, all I know is that when I find myself in a rut, learning about new things usually helps pull me back and boost my creativity.
Creativity and Basic 3D Printing
A few months ago, we decided to give 3D printing a try. The idea of taking a design from digital to physical seemed very intriguing and so we purchased a relatively cheap printer, The Creality Ender 3 Pro. There are different types of 3D printers for use with different materials such as plastic, resin, metal, and color. This machine is used for 3D printing with plastics.
Right off the bat we discovered that the process requires constant tinkering, but also found that the fun out-ways the frustration. I even tried my hand at creating some simplistic digital designs of my own and after a few failures finally managed to get the hang of it, I think… Anyway, digital design is a whole different learning experience and perhaps I will write about it at a later date, after I have had more practice… In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about design? Here is a link that should help: thingiverse.com/jumpstart. With this post we will look at the (very) basics of 3D printing with plastics, for fun and for function.
What is 3D Printing and how does this printer work?
3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model by laying down many thin layers of a material one at a time, to bring the digital representation into its physical form. Every 3D printer builds parts based on this additive manufacturing principle.
This 3D printer works by extruding plastic filament through a nozzle which it moves around very precisely under computer control. It prints one layer, waits for it to dry, and then prints the next layer on top of the last. The process repeats until the 3D model is complete.
When we talk about plastic, generally we mean “plastics”. There are many types which differ physically and in chemical makeup. 3D printers use plastics that melt when you heat them and turn solid when you cool them back down. These are known as thermoplastics. Each kind varies in strength and flexibility. Several of these types of plastics are readily available and commonly used by hobbyists.
When its been recommended, we have attempted prints with ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PTEG (Polyethylene terephthalate glycol), although all of the prints I have featured here were made using PLA (Polylactic acid). This is probably the most versatile and low cost type available for at home use and unlike some plastics, PLA is bio-based and biodegradable.
What can you make?
Well I would like to say the sky is the limit, but you are limited by the abilities of your printer and the designs. My printer is not really a professional one. It is a nice affordable printer, if 3D printing is a hobby that interests you. In my opinion it does a nice job with detail as long as its calibrated correctly. Professional machines are much more expensive.
There is a limited built volume of 220 x 220 x 250mm. Generally if this is an issue I scale down the object. For instance the tissue dispenser in the image below was too large for my printer and so I reduced the size so that it would fit a travel sized tissue container. The other option if this occurs, is to slice the design and print it in sections. This is how the hulk model was printed, although I did not slice it myself. I used a sliced remix that a member of the thingiverse communities created.
Three things that we had to learn right away
There are lot of things to learn when it comes to creating consistently successful prints. There are any number of things that can go wrong before, during, or after you select start print. Three things that we had to learn right away were the importance of bed leveling, temperature control, and when to use support structures.
Your print surface needs to be flat and even. A few signs that your print bed is not level include, prints warping upwards and gaps in filament across the surface. We started out Manually leveling our bed between jobs, but have since added hardware that will probe the bed and make adjustments before each print.
Print temperature control for the bed and nozzle are also important. Different types of filament and even variations of the same kind of filament have different heating requirements. There are several signs that you may need to adjust your print temperatures. For instance, if the print bed temperature is too high the print could curl or warp. (low)Likewise, if the nozzle temperature is too low, the plastic will fail to adhere adhere to the bed and if the nozzle temperature is too hot, you could burn the filament, or end up with stringing and blobs.
Things like large gaps and overhangs are handled by adding supports before you print. When printing is completed they are easily removed. There are two common types of 3D printing support structures, a tree-like support only touches the overhang at certain points and a linear support that consists of vertical pillars which touch the entirety of the overhang or gap. If you want to see the printer in action or want to see an example of supports, you can view the time-lapse video of the Moai Tissue dispenser below.
Interested in some of other ways to ensure or enhance print quality, you could check out simplify3d.com. The link will lead you to an article on the usage of rafts, skirts and brims.
From the useful to the unusual
As you can see from the photos of some of the project we have completed, there is no limit to the useful and unusual designs being shared among the 3D printing community. Many of them are available as part of the creative commons (or share alike) for personal use. – Always be sure to read and adhere to the designers restrictions in regards to copyright. Similar to the writing community, I have found that members of the 3D printing community are very helpful, and there are vast resources of information available to those willing to learn from this amazing group of creators. If you are interested, be sure to check out Thangs, thingiverse, and cults (just to name a few). All in all in my opinion, the Ender 3 Pro is an fun tool, once you get the settings and the bed calibration right and I am looking forward to learning more about creating my own designs in the near future.
Still Want to Learn more about 3D printing?
Check out these other sites:
*Featured 3D printed items attribution and licensing information*
I do need to state that these items were made for my own personal use and are not for sale by me. I have included the links and license information however it was available – These particular projects were Shared in either picture or video format above as examples to show the basic 3D printing process, a range of ideas, different filaments, or just because I think they are awesome. (I have not and will not receive any compensation).
- book box casket http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1062885 by humistrefa is licensed under the Creative Commons – Attribution – Non-Commercial license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
- Studio Ghibli Nesting Doll http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2702974 by squa1kb0x is licensed under the Creative Commons – Attribution – Share Alike license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
- Tornado https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4017092 by ThePrintingGoesEverOn December 02, 2019 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
- 300mm Hulk http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1911466 by koch2k is licensed under the Creative Commons – Attribution license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
- Filament Spool Clip 1,75mm by vladaz320 December 12, 2015 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1194027 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
- Filament Spool Clip by GreaseMonkey88 September 24, 2018 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3117991 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
- More Realistic Ball-Joint Articulated Octopus https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2690622 by LeijaOP is licensed under the Creative Commons – Attribution – Share Alike license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0
- The Fifth Element Stones (Elemental Stones) by Imirnman September 12, 2015 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1012118 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ *These prints were painted with several layers of textured spray paint in order to achieve the look in the final image.*
- Cute Octo 4 SD Card Holder by alpokemon January 28, 2018 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2773528 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
- Remix of Schrödinger’s Cat -This thing was created by Thingiverse user drabisko, and is licensed under cc. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4320802
- Bugz by muzz64 (www.thingiverse.com/thing:1904654) is licensed under the Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
- Flexi Rex with stronger links – https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2738211This thing was created by Thingiverse user DrLex, and is licensed under cc-sa.
- Moai Tissue dispenser by Crooked_Noozle https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2941948 is licensed under the Creative Commons – Attribution license.
- Octopus Tablet / Phone Stand by notcolinforreal September 29, 2013 https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:158069 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ *This print was painted using several layers of acrylic paint in order to achieve the look in the final image*
- Devilman Hand by RenatoT March 27, 2015https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:744549 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ *This print was painted with several layers of spray paint before a base was added to create the final version in the image*