Dimensional Print Studio


2020 Show and Tell

IMG 24743D Printed Table DecorationsThis is my latest design/build project. First for the new 2020 year and new decade. 

The CAD used is Fusion 360. Not bragging-up F360, but it got the job done. Since I am using a free “Startup” version, I can’t complain too much. It does have quite a few weaknesses and this project crashed several times while refining the lofting. I like the F360 workflow and the price (free). So, it’s not a perfect CAD, but (again) gets the job done.

Enough about the CAD. This is about the project.

My printer is a 2 color Geeetech A20M. Single nozzle color blender type extruder. This allows me to blend two filament colors while printing. A free software application called (Duh?) Colormixer is available from Geeetech. I can control the mix between 2 (or 3 if I had them) colors as the filaments flow through the single extruder. (Single nozzle extruders only!)

I used Simplify 3D for the slicing. The project STL is sliced as if using a single color, then the gcode file is passed through the Colormixer app where the color variations are added to the gcode. The end results are what is seen here.

I enjoy the color control and as shown, adds a lot of pizazz to a 3D printed item. The two colors are dark green and a dark (fire engine) red. Christmas colors. The blending moves from solid (100%) of green to solid (100%) of the red. The between color is a fabulous brown shade.

The small bowls (candle holders) are 50% reduction of the large (original size) bowl. Remember, a 50% 3D reduction decreases volume by eight (8).

The candles were designed (F360) to fit the small bowls and hold the tea lights. The white candles are printed on my “MamaCetus” Tiertime Cetus mini printer. The color candle on (of course) the A20M.

IMG 2462 IMG 2476
Two version of the small holder Muliti color candle version
IMG 2463  
Large base on A20M.  Starting at solid green.  


DSC09292I just finished building a working prototype laser hand gun (pistol) using 3D printing. The laser is one of those laser pointer sticks used for slide show and teasing cats. It IS a real laser and I built a pistol shaped holder with a trigger to energize the laser beam. The only damage it is likely to do is to someone’s vision if they looked into the emitter when it is turned on.

Also, the fact that it now looks like a gun could get the user killed if they pointed the device at armed law enforcement and energized the beam. It’s almost harmless and makes no gunshot noise, but if I was a cop and saw what looks like a pistol with a red targeting beam coming from it, I might shoot first and ask questions later.

SO, this LASER device is not a TOY and needs to be deployed in a disciplined matter. It could get someone holding it killed.

My plan is to use it to persuade some nesting doves to stay away from my porch. Every year they try roosting, drop their bird crap all over tables and furniture and everything else on the porch, as well as dropping hundreds of nest building sticks.

I think nesting season is over this year but will try the red laser if they try again. It’s a war between me and the two lovey dovies.

Back to the laser pistol. The first prototype worked as intended. It was ugly and square and very hard on the hands to hold because of the square corners and 90-degree edges. I was interested in getting the trigger to function and not the appearance of the case.

The laser pointer has a small push button in an awkward location towards the LED end of the case, so I built a basic version one prototype just to test and find a way a trigger action could be utilized to energize the laser beam. That problem was solved after testing several variations in the first prototype. Version two includes the final trigger design and rounding the sharp corners on the body, making it more comfortable to hold and use.

There is a slight and satisfying audible “click” when the laser is switched when squeezing the trigger pull. Accidental activation is not dangerous unless one has their eyeball peering directly into the end of the laser at very close range. (Again! This is NOT a child’s toy!)

LG2 v1That’s version two in the pictures.

The bands around the front and the handle are to hold the case together. There are no metal parts like metal screws used. All parts are 3D printed PLA plastic. The only metal is the laser pointer.

It’s not designed to be an X-ray non-detectable stealth gun. Someone is going to think about that with all the media negative hyper-propaganda about 3D printed plastic guns. The appearance is that of a 3D printed gun, so it is best treated as if it were lethal. Read again the second and third paragraphs above.

I am considering NOT putting the .stl files openly on the internet. There seems to me to be too much liability with shoot-first cops and child’s play even if it is a low powered device. I watched my pre-teen granddaughter “role-playing” with it. She was totally safe, and maturing from child-hood, but I could see where it might go with a similar group of peers of any age, showing off and passing it around without proper instruction and self-discipline.

LG2 v4Use is far from my control, but I am aware of the risk potential. My case design is safe, and I am not providing a source for the laser device.

WOW! So much concern over human stupidity and ignorance.

I enjoyed the project and working out the simple design. I loved using FUSION 360 for the CAD and printing the prototypes on the Anycubic Kossel (delta) printer.

All parts are 3-layer shells. The trigger and switch are 40% fill and the case halves are 20% fill. All layers are 0.20 MM. The material is PLA plus. ABS would work well if printed with NO warps. No supports are required.

The design and trigger configuration are 100% original. This project typifies the sense of accomplishment creating a product from initial idea to functional operation. Truly making something, starting from nothing, start to finish.

Lovin’ what I can do when I try.

The HandNot every three dimensional printed item has to be all plastic. A frighting idea! This project is called the Cancan.

The metal can in the picture was used just by itself for storing the variety of desk items shown. After looking at it (the side ribs are interesting) and using it for a few years, the idea came...  it needs to be a 3D printed item. The inspiration was to incorporate the metal can into the printed design. The idea was to "get out of the box" from thinking only in plastic. 

The can was measured and the design drawn in Fusion360. F-360 is not good for adding text on a cylinder so that was done with MS 3D Builder. The color is a bit ugly, a pinkish "flesh" color. I wanted to use it up, and this was a good project to do that. I saved some material by not making the bottom solid. Cutouts in the sides could have been an interesting feature too, showing the ribs on the can. 

Version two has been drawn and has some large raised "rivit heads" embossed around near the top to help grip the cancan, It's not likely to get printed as I don't realy need, or have space for, version two.

This is a "show and tell" about trying new ways to usee 3D printing.

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DSC09207 DSC09208
DSC09209  cancan v2

QSPendant v2
This expands on the design used for the quilter’s coaster. The square in a square in a square.

The design is drawn in FUSION360.

Most quilt makers use Imperial measurement (inch) so I decided the pendant would be a one-inch square (25.4 MM). The drawing was made using the metric scaling as 3D printing is always done in metric.

The bars in the design are 2 MM wide and the pendant is 3 MM thick

The pendant will be cast in Sterling silver. A first example was 3D printed using “MamaCetus”, a Cetus (brand) FDM printer so a prototype could be examined. The loop for the jump ring was a bit too small, so a simple correction was made in the drawing and a second example shown here in green PLA, was printed.

That’s what is nice about having a quickly made example to examine in-hand.

The intention is to resin print a group of six pendants using the DLP  Wanhoa D7 printer. Good castable prints have been made on this printer. The nice feature of a DLP printer is it can print six copies in the same time span as printing one. Print time on the D7 should be just over five hours.

This is a test of the printer as well as a silver casting project. The reason for this writeup appearing here in the DPS website. the silver casting process is located here: https://dimensionalart.org/art/index.php/lost-wax/10-lost-wax/66-quilter-s-pendant

Plan “B” is to machine carve the pendants from wax using a 3 axis CNC micro mill. The project goal is to cast silver pendants, not struggle with casting a 3D printed master in an intermediate step. 3D printing is in theory, an excellent way to produce 3D master models for casting. Especially in volume as is shown here.

The issue is not entirely with the printing, but in achieving successful mold burn-out of the resin masters in the casting process.

Results of the Print Session


The first print session was a disaster. Three of the six pendants broke free of the supports. My fault, poor support design. Two of the remaining three were misshapen and ready to fall off. One was usable. This called for a new layout and support design and a reprint.


DSC08753This triple layout printed very well and all were good for casting use. The Fun-To-Do Castable resin and the printing times are right on in the Wanhao D7. Print time in both examples was 5 hours. The number of Items has no effect on print time, only the print height and number of layers.

DSC08760Here is the final product. The 3D print (itself) is not always the final product. The 3D prints used here have been totally vaporized, gone forever. The silver could be around forever...


quiltsq coaster v2I have been 3D printing for several years and currently have four printers. Three are FDM (filament style) printers and the forth is a DLP (UV light/resin) style. I'll be describing more about these machines as I publish more articles.

I employed all three of my FDM printers for this project. To produce this much product in a couple of days was a lot of printing. There are 50 coasters in the pictures, but I printed a few more than that in the last two years.

The smaller, star coasters are not my design. They are similar to the Dallas Cowboys emblem, the reason I printed them. The snowflake coaster is also not my design, but was the inspiration for my design shown here to the right.

My wife Gloria is a "Quilter". If you know one, or like me, are married to one, you know they can have an intense group-society relationship over all things quilted. They gather together and go on Quilt Shop Tours and stage several day "retreats" where they get it (quilts) all put together. It forms a a basic fabric of their society. They have a great time and it leaves then all laughing in stitches. (Had to say that...)

Enough about quilting, but it formed the idea about this project. My wife likes to give away "treats" in the form of some of the things I make. Especially some of my plastic Junque. She asked me to make some more of the Star Coasters, so she could hand them out at her next retreat. Dutifully, I started printing. Then I got the idea that since it is a quilting retreat, the coasters should have a quilting theme.

I cast around a bit, fishing for a design. Trying to think of a simple design for a quilters' coaster. Then I got the strike! It's a basic pattern all quilters know... a square in a square in a square. Gloria recognized it immediately and exclaimed, "They will WANT  that one!"

Uh-Oh... Now I have to make a bunch!  I designed it in Fusion 360 and the #1 prototype was a bit too fat (thick). Easy fix and I soon had the production version ready for the print run. The outside diameter is 100MM as many folks like to use large oversized cooler mugs these days. A small coaster doesn't cut it. The Star coasters are smaller...

So, all three FDM printers were started and production commenced. Gloria claimed the light blue for herself, but the rest are up for grabs. Please note: Most of the production is setting on... a table quilt.

Here is a link to the quilt_sq_coaster.stl.

 DSC08706  DSC08709
Here are most of the print run. This is the "square in a square in a square" quilt design.
 DSC08711  DSC08712
The little ceverons on the side are perhaps additional squares in a quilt. (and provide support) This is Gloria's favorite color. It's a keeper for her.
 DSC08713  DSC08714
 Additional Star coasters.  This snowflake was a winter season design, not a part of this run.
 DSC08719  Cowboy Star
 The last quilt square on the printer.  Computer graphic of the star coaster,

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