Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Random Projects Ahoy: 3D Printed Totoro-TARDIS

So I had access to a 3D printer this summer, and I had all kinds of ideas for it. However, after a failed experiment in which I attempted to print a bead for a bracelet I often wear (far too round a design), I realized I would have to think through anything I wanted to print. My friends insisted that I should print a TARDIS, and that I should print Totoro, so I did both (click images for biggen-ed versions):

The concept is that Totoro is dressed as the TARDIS for Halloween. I found several models to use as sources on Thingiverse, and proceeded to chop them up and recombine them in Tinkercad. The result looked pretty cool, but then I realized that the "hat" part would be difficult to 3D print (since the printer puts layers down from the bottom up, unsupported floating sections in a design won't turn out well). So I redesigned it to make the hat removable, including ear-holes big enough to fit on Totoro's head:

I considered this something of a masterpiece. The real test, though, is "will it print?" So we heated up the ole makerbot. Unfortunately, we only had red plastic to work with, and it isn't the highest resolution printer around, but it did its duty:

And the result, after tearing off a bunch of excess plastic:

Unfortunately, the light on top of the TARDIS broke off (and the pics aren't great, I admit). I might also paint the whole thing a little if I find time, but it more or less worked, so I'm satisfied.

3D printers have a long way to go before they bring about any kind of revolution, but it was really cool to see one in action and get a better sense for the technology. If you happen to have one and want to print this design, send me an email (bsuchenski at gmail) and I'll send you the file.

-Silent Ellipsis