When you HAve a 3d printer Christmas is a pretty fun time.

I’ve been using my wanhao and my m3d in overtime for the last couples of months. I made a commitment to myself to basically attempt to 3d print the most gifts possible during christmas time.

It was cool because I could try and figure out what people liked and give them something in that category. For the most part all of the prints came out at acceptable levels. The one that I had the most problems was a vase for succulents and it was mostly because I forgot to check to mark for non solid top I left and when I came back it had printed filled.

Okay so without further ado the pictures from all the items.

Too many darth vader rings


Thor’s hammer.


Can you say Batman?


Dendritas succulent pot


Did I mention Genius Link Key Chains


This where particularly hard those hooks are hard to add.


Mr. Kylo Ren


One of my pendants for my wife I printed in gold from Shapeways.


I also printed Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber and a skull but I forgot to take picture so I have no copies of it.

Creating A Random Walk pendant In OPen Scad


In the procedural world the random walk is probably the easiest algorithm. Basically start in a given position roll a dice and move in any direction. We are going to use this to create a stylish looking pendant to keep this simple we will only use the cardinal points. We will be using openscad and at the end we will add a loop so we can place it in a chain.

In order to do this we need to understand what is a recursive function and how do they work. Recursion is when a function can be decomposed into itself. For example the easiest recursive function that I can think of is counting.   The Count(5) = Count(4) +1 if we take this is into a form using a variable count( a ) =  count( a – 1 ) + 1 then we have a base case that on 0 we return 0 in openscad that looks like this:

function count(a) = a == 0 ? 0: count(a-1);
//we can call that function like


Now that we are pro’s at recursion. Lets take a look an see what else we need to understand to get this done. Well the next step is to understand how to do randoms in openscad. Is pretty simple you use the function rands the first para is the lower bound, the second one the top bound and the third one the amount that we need.

//amount of steps in our function
cantidad = 100;
direction = rands(0,4,cantidad);

Cool so if we look at our algorithm we just know need to basically create a recursive function to tell us if we should draw or not for each step based on the number of the step.

They look like this for my example:

function calcx(vector , pos) = pos == -1?0:vector[pos]>3?calcx(vector,pos-1)+1:vector>2?calcx(vector,pos-1)-1:calcx(vector,pos-1);

function calcy(vector, pos) = pos == -1?0:
    vector[pos] <1? calcy(vector,pos-1)+1:vector[pos] <2?calcy(vector,pos-1)-1:calcy(vector,pos-1);

Then we just need to call each step so it gets drawn the code is just a loop.

for  (i = [0:cantidad-1])

To add the loop to add the chain all we do is add 4 blocks and make a hole in it using difference at the start. You can get the entire code from my thingiverse page.



You can also order some of them from my Shapeways shop

If you have any questions or something is not clear please let me know I love answering questions and trying to make the articles better.

K9 (Dr Who) Cosplay MAsk PRoject

A few months ago a friend of mine mentioned that she wanted some headgear for a cosplay costume. I’m not a doctor who fan, so I had no idea what was involved when she said K9, but thought that maybe we could 3d print it. Got home pretty excited about having a new project and went to google to see what it was.

So it was the headpiece for this:


Interesting!!  I decided that it did not had that many curves so it was probably something that I could do in openscad. Called my wife had her measure the dimensions of my head.  So I could use them has a base and started hitting it.  After about an hour or two I was here.


I send that image to my friend and we talked about a few revisions that it could have. For example airflow is pretty constricted in here. So we decided to add some vents and that I was going to go ahead and get the ears modeled.  The vents became a bit tricky because substracting a lot of geometry became heavy for openscad. So I had to make them bigger till it was within the boundaries of what I could render. The final design was the following:



So here we were it was modeled and it looked the way we wanted it to be. With that said there was no way that we could fit this into the print bed. So I measured my print volume and placed into openscad to make distinct stl’s. Ended up with Basically 10 stls 8 for the parts surrounding the head and 2 for the nose. Some of the sides where interesting to print because they consumed the entire bed of the printer. I printed at lowest resolution due to the size of the printe with that said still ended with at least  one 28 hour print.

Nose top printing


Parts stacked


Testing the volume limits of my printer – printing the sides


So yeah it was an experience to print it. I basically finished an entire roll of hatchbox most of it was at 60% infill since it was going to be worn I wanted for it to be solid. So after about 130 hours of printing and one z end stopper that broke halfway thru it I was done printing.


So got some loctite extra strength and started the gluing process. Once we got to this point we started checking to see if the face actually fits inside of the mask. We realized something, the measure we got was not accounting for ears. So we decided that we would not make it completely closed and use a strap in the back and bend the sides to fit(A bit of a spoiler that plan worked).


So here it is all glued together.


I delivered it in this state and let them do the finishing touches since I had ran out of time and they needed it for the Providence comic con. Here is the final piece(Aparently the ears fell during the con).


So things ended up pretty well with that said learned a few lessons:

1. Make sure to measure ears or use a model of a head when modeling head gear.

2. Try to slice parts to maximize volume. I think some better alignment on the bed would had help with printing the nose on one piece.

Hope this was worth reading.

Oh yeah before I forget you can find the files in thingiverse at:

Some more 3d printing adventures

I have been working on a costume for halloween for a friend is the biggest print that i have done today. So far it’s been about 36 hours of printing. In the end is supposed to be K9 from Doctor Who. Once Halloween Passes I plan on uploading it into Thingiverse so others can get the files.


I modeled the piece in openscad. Some pictures of what I got so far.



It was going good then i decided to print today a Marvin to activate my 3dhub and got probably the worst print quality I have gotten since I got my Wanhao printer.




The bed seems calibrated so I’m guessing that my extruder might be clogged. I have never cleaned it yet so that might be an interesting experience to go thru.

I’m trying to write a bit more in here. I also got a printm3d about a month ago and want to review it and show some of what i gotten out of it.


Unboxing And First Impressions Wanhao duplicator i3

A few months ago I decided to jump on the bandwagon and get the duplicator I3. My old printr bot has been dead for more than 6 months and I wanted to get into the 3d printing game again (Note my printr bot was from the originals – so old).

I received my unit this past Thursday. It came in great condition and was packaged with care and handled well by FedEx.  Alright, so I opened it up let’s see what was on the box.


We have a base plate , a tower, and the power supply/computer unit. In terms of parts, it was a pretty easy setup. The memory card, which was included, had the instructions which was pretty straightforward. Essentially, screw 4 screws between the base and the tower and add the handle to the spool. After that, all I had to do was plug in the electric switches.

Following the instructions in the memory card, I first leveled the base which took about 10 minutes – I was ready to print. Start to ready in basically 40 minutes. The card already had a sample file called OK.gcode so I selected it without knowing what was in it.


So here we go. The first print took about 2:00 hours the noise level was quieter than my old printer but the base did squeak a bit whenever it moved but nothing unmanageable. It had no problems and completed the print. The model that had been prepackaged was the following.



The quality was excellent, honestly better than what I had gotten with my previous printer. The model came in a raft that auto detached the moment I peeled it off. So far so good; the entire experience had gone smoothly. The only thing that felt a bit off was that some of the English in the instructions needed a bit more proofreading.

I went to my box and installed Cura, it’s also in the memory card. I followed the instructions and decided to print the ultimaker robot model on the fast, normal, and high quality settings without making any changes. My results are shown below (They are all white – the grey color is from me not setting my camera flash correctly):






High Quality


This was the first part of the experience that needed some improvements. The problem was basically that the filament was not the standard size (I had to use a caliper) that Cura is set for. This was also true with the nozzle. Additionally, the temperature of 220 is a bit high for the material (PLA) included in the box. They should provide these instructions on the box to make the unboxing experience smoother. In the Cura for Wanhao instruction file, it mentions that there are profiles available but the provided link did not work.

Taking this into consideration I created my own profile and reprinted the model.
Custom profile

It looked pretty good. I was happy with the model.

At this point I also had an army of robots Smile


So far I had not printed a model of my own so I fired openscad and created a stl for a rook that I had designed. I used the same profile and did a print and it ended up like this:


It has some warping on both of the 2mm details but all the other edges are pretty high fidelity. I sent an email to Wanhao so I could get the settings they used for the hand model and hope to get the answer soon.

Last but not least, I set octoprint but was getting delays while printing and decided to go back to using the sd card print method. I think the delay occurred because my rasberry pi is super old and it’s probably a bit bugged. Going to get one of the new ones next month to try again.

So far I think this is a leap ahead in terms of being a beginner printer. The only problem that needs attention is a bit more details on a profile to get started with for Cura.

A picture of the printer working:


Link to the printer in amazon 

Getting started with OpenScad

Last year I did the whole series in blender modeling and creating small movies this year I’m getting back to my jewelry roots and going to start printing item using: https://www.shapeways.com
In terms of software I decided to use openscad since its similar to coding
Install super simple
Save a file and press F6 and you will have your first rendered item

Decided to get started and for my first project I’m not really doing a sponge holder but a ScotchBrite sponge holder.

I started creating the shape little by little after measuring and creating the pieces the code ended like the one below I have commented all lines for anyone that wants to understand.

//My code after the second iteration

wallThickness = 10;



//Squared holder for cleaning scrubs


//first wall

translate([114.3,-35,0]) cube([wallThickness,146,50]);

//second wall

translate([-wallThickness,-35,0]) cube([wallThickness,146,50]);

//Third wall

translate([0,-35,0]) cube([124,wallThickness,50]);

//Last Wall

translate([0,96+(wallThickness/2),0]) cube([124,wallThickness,50]);


On my original upload shapeways told me that my file the cheapest to print it would be $600 dollars which surprised me a bit and I realized it was because I had set my wall to 25 milimeters which were pretty thick and using a lot of material. I changed the thicknes to 10 milimeters befor trying again

The upload was incredibly straightforward just clicked in export to stl and head towards printing. 

Once i did those changes the prices changed to about $45 dollars so i decided still not to print since i had a budget of $35. On my next post i will talk about my second test.