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


This weekend opqrstu3D designed & printed ‘DoubleThrill’… It looks very UN3DPRINTED. I am doing experiments in ‘infill only’ 3dprinting for two years and this is the print that says it all: ‘DoubleThrill’ really looks like it’s made of lace-like fabric. It’s not as thin as lace, but 0.9 mm comes close. It was a five and a half hour print job and took 12 meters white 3D4makers PETg. It’s printed at 0.3 mm layer height, 600 layers high. Bed Temp: 65 ºC, Extrusion Temp: 230 ºC. It’s almost unbelievable: infill printed at 0.9 mm thickness.
Only by going extreme opqrstu3D arrived at this point and created an awesome light:

DoubleThrill © opqrstu 2017


3D printing allows you to design and manufacture your own lighting: create your own atmosphere by saving money and energy. An example: yesterday at noon opqrstu3D wanted to have a light based on a Lotus Flower. I opened SketchUp, started thinking and drawing …. Two hours later I was satisfied and decided to print the first prototype …. 2h:56m:28s later the robot finished it’s print job in red 3D4makers PET-G:

Lotus © opqrstu 2017

So, there was an idea and five hours later there is a product: 3Dprinting rules. Combined with other materialised ideas, this is what’s happening in the opqrstu studio today:

Lighting © opqrstu 2017

GARY: 3D printed 12 Volt Light

Opqrstu3D cooperates with Gerard Schoone to design, print and assemble new possibilities in 12 Volt light systems. Gerard is a very creative pioneer in 12 Volt. When he has an idea, he sends me a sketch and I work it out in SketchUp. A year ago, he wanted
a cone shaped shade. I designed and printed it, but there was a small problem: it’s a seven hours (infill only) print job and Gerard needed at least five cones.
Opqrstu3D printed a prototype, but has not enough spare time to do the complete job.

Two weeks ago, we finally found someone who could: Jasper Wille from 3D4makers.
He prints with an Ultimaker and can mount a big nozzle to reduce print time. Last week, Jasper printed 10 cones (print time pro cone 3 hours) and finally Gerard could build his light. It is a simple but great design. One cone builds many different lights. Meet Gary:

Gary © Gerard Schoone 2017 (height 100 cm)

instagram 3D

Three years ago, opqrstu3D started 3D printing. Today, I am still using my good old Leapfrog Creatr 2013. And, I still add posts about our 3D print experience. This blog started out of frustration. Today, it’s more or less an opqrstu3D showcase; a pict says it all. That’s were Instagram does it’s thing. In no time, picts go all around the world, only hashtags needed. Opqrstu3D likes this. Follow us at Instagram. More picts, less words.

see you on instagram
see you on instagram

3D electricity II

In my last post, I promised new lights. Today opqrstu3D presents a new 12 volt light system for three LEDs. Printing a new hiding place for the constant voltage LED driver took some time, because I wanted it to be as small as possible. The first print was okay, but too big. I used it to power Three Bells

Next challenge, was to connect the driver to three separate ceiling lights. Here’s some problem solving needed. A small hiding place creates not enough space to distribute three hanging lights; they get far to close to each other. I needed three separate connections. Or, I had to design & print three isles, and that’s what I did. The biggest isle contains the driver, two satellite isles create enough space to connect three lights to one driver, hanging from the ceiling. Finally, opqrstu3D assembled these parts with wires, connectors, screws and some good luck. It was quite a job. This light system contains 16 printed parts, 3 pieces of loudspeaker wire, 10 connectors and 6 small copper screws. The pict says it all:

opqrstu light design © opqrstu 2016
opqrstu light design © opqrstu 2016


Introducing a first prototyped hiding place for the constant voltage LED driver. Opqrstu3D designed it a bit large to ensure it would fit for sure and it did. Next, it’s time to redesign it as small as possible. That’s why you need a prototype; it shows all ‘wrongs’. I can see and measure new and smaller dimensions and apply them to the next prototype: a perfect hiding for the LED driver. Without 3D printing this prototyping would not be possible without thousands of Euro’s! Meet a siamese triplet and it’s hidden LED driver: ThreeBells.

ThreeBells © opqrstu 2016
ThreeBells © opqrstu 2016