Sunday, 22 February 2015

3D Printing at The Edge

The 'Tinkerlab"
Several weeks ago I enrolled in an induction at The Edge, which would teach me how to use their 3D printers and subsequently allow me access to them in their workshop in the future. Sadly, although I was very interested, I was a little loathe to go, as we have been experiencing some serious rain in the aftermath of cyclone Marcia, and I kind of hoped it might be postponed! I was also enjoying my time in the studio... After phoning to confirm it was going ahead, I had my lovely chauffeur Matt deliver me to the door of this rather fabulous space, where I greatly enjoyed the 2 hours of being walked through the Tinkerlab software, and the use of the UP! mini 3d printers. With 7 others, I was walked through the process of designing a simple key-ring in the
The 'raft' being printed
software, by melding shapes together and creating holes, then the physical process of preparing the printers, and watching the magic happen! It really was a fascinating process, and I was quite excited when I saw my piece done, after approximately eight minutes printing time. I'm not sure if it's something I'll be getting into, but I really appreciated learning about this amazing process, and certainly see a lot of potential for it in many, many applications, So who knows!!
The printer first lays down a 'raft', a base of the ABS filament that your design sits on. Your piece is then printed on this, and when completed, the whole piece is kind of cracked/twisted of the print bed. The raft is then snapped off the finished design. The surface is quite rough, but this can be sanded back or treated with acetone.
The finished key-ring

So back to the studio - I have to say, I went along to the induction session with black and blue hands, due to spray painting leather and then painting it. Care factor - nil. There was a whole lot more of this today - really rather a pleasant and meditative process, although quite lengthy compared to air brushing the dye on. It's quite lovely, brushing on the buttery acrylic paint, layer over layer. I'm nearly running out, so placed an order with the Thread Studio for more loveliness.
Leather moulding on the loungeroom carpet...
We now have two large beasts looming over us in the loungeroom, as the height of the ceiling downstairs means I can't put it all together. Sorry, Matt! You built me a beautiful space, but sometimes it's just not enough!! (You should have seen his face last week when I had to move some leather moulding out to his shed...  not impressed!!) It has been a watershed week, as I have finally seen the WOW pieces in some semblance of their finished selves, and, after much chopping and changing, the final pieces are emerging. Good job too, with just over a month to go!! This is the first year I have worked on them full time, yet I have never felt so behind!! Perhaps due to a number of false starts, also for the first time...
Alright, that's enough, I have two bodysuits to make tomorrow, plus more leather painting, and some general weirdness to make,,,,

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