3D printing: un3Dprinted

Four years ago, I knew nothing about 3D printing. In my spare time I did some 3D drawing in SketchUp, mainly Amsterdam canal houses. I liked it to build 3D models of canal houses on Google Earth. It was not easy but I learned a lot about 3D by just doing it. Opqrstu3D knew 3D printers existed, but was not interested: too expensive and I had really no idea what to do with this machines.

Today, I am almost four years addicted to 3D printing. Life is never what you think it will be! On the Dutch Design Week 2013 there was a challenge: 3D-draw a light that can be 3D printed. I like challenges, had noting to loose, checked the internet for tutorials and started drawing. My light was one of the few printable models. Five lights were exposed at the DDW2013 and mine won the Dutch3Design Award 2013. With the award came a Leapfrog 3D printer. I was amazed and even more amazed when the machine arrived: it looked very cool, but I had no idea about how this robot would fit in my life. I never 3D printed before and knew noting about this machine and how to operate it.

It took about nine months before I controlled my Leapfrog; it was blood, sweat and even tears, but also very rewarding. Printing a photo at home, is nice, but 3D printing your own product and holding it in your hands is very special. And after every print, there’s always the question: “What shall I design and print next?” 3D printing became a life changer,  a 24/7 addiction

During the first two years, I designed and printed the usual stuff: cups and cups and vases and different vases. Very boring and certainly not a life changer. But life is never what you expect it will be, and one day my 3D printer went totally out of control and printed crap only. I tried and tried, but could not control the robot anymore, it printed crap vases and crap cups. No smooth perimeters, just bubbly surfaces. I tried changing all kind of settings  without results, I was very frustrated. Leapfrog Creatr weights 35 kilo, so I could not throw it out of my window, instead I told (Slic3r) the machine to print zero perimeters or infill only. A very stupid decision, but not that stupid after all. It was my first infill only 3D print and the moment an addiction started and my life changed. Infill only 3D printing creates an unique un3Dprinted look and feel and the possibilities are endless.

Today, I print incredible light shades and unseen jewelry. In regular 3D printing you want real smooth surfaces, in infill only 3D printing, you fiddle with patterns and densities to create unexpected products. The same model can and will appear in many different looks and feels. The possibilities are endless, the ‘torture’ never stops and I like it.
Four years ago, I was just a normal guy. Today, I am a designer and manufacturer of light systems and jewelry

Enjoy this pictures as an illustration of my experience in 3D printing. Wanna see more? Visit my Instagram account: @prdcz

print time

One of the major problems in 3D printing is the amount of time it takes to print perfect things: higher print speeds cause unwanted irregularities. So, when opqrstu3D designs things, I always try the keep them as small as possible. Sometimes this is not an option. Six months ago, I designed and printed GGJK, a wonderful light. A very small LED driver from China allowed me to design a minimal basecamp for this light. This way opqrstu3D reduced print time substantially. But an unforeseen problem arrived on the scene; the basecamp was too small to guarantee stability. GGJK could stand up, but that was it. To build a really functional GGJK, it’s basecamp needed some adaptation. Opqrstu3D talked with Gerard, 12VoltLightDesign, Schoone about this problem and he advised to design a slanting base: the base of the basecamp is big, but it gets smaller layer by layer. I tried and printed a new and very steep basecamp. Without support! Printing this thing plus lid took almost 7 hours at perimeter print speed: 20 mm/sec, layer height 0.3 mm. I am not happy with the increase in print time, but very happy with the new design, because on this basecamp GGJK gained the highly required stability.

GGJK © opqrstu 2016
GGJK © opqrstu 2016

3D print vlog

As a blogger, I use writing and pictures to present my adventures in 3D printing. Today it’s time for something else: The first opqrstu3D vlog. I am not very happy with the quality of the movie, but it presents an additional look at 3D designing & printing your lights. Enjoy.