Printing full-size models

At the end of last week, we decided to print a full-size version of the crown. This was a challenge on its own, because the crown barely fits in the print area. After rendering the support structures, some of the material appeared outside the boundaries. Because this material would only have an effect on the bottom of the support, we tried to send it to the printer anyway. Luckily, the software was able to send it to the printer even with some parts sticking out and the printer had no problems starting the print.

After 28 hours of printing, the result turned out perfectly, a beautiful see-through model of the crown was hanging in the printer.

A full-size model of the crown, printed in clear resin

We were very happy with the successful print, since this print was not only meant to show at the science fair, but also to test if the full-size crown could be printed with the more expensive cast-able resin.

Removing the clear print from the support

Due to the transparency of the print, small details are hard to see and because some digital and manual modeling still has to be done, we painted the crown in the red and yellow of the original cast-iron crown.

Painting the clear full-size model

After finishing the digital modeling, we wanted to start a cast-able resin print on Thursday. Unfortunately, the program we normally used to make the models hollow, Netfabb, was not up to the task. After waiting for a long time and trying different methods, we decided to use Windows 3D Builder. This worked a lot quicker, but left some unwanted artifacts in the middle

Luckily, this did not matter for us, since the inside is not used in the casting, so we went on with the process. When we finally imported the model in Preform, the program used for preparing Form2 prints, and made it generate the print file, it got stuck at some point. Maybe due to the size or due to the artifacts, the program just could not prepare the print.

Removing detail from the inside of the model. Most detailed is on the left side and the least detail on the right side

On friday we tried to reduce the file size by removing detail on the inside of the model and removed the artifact by hand. After another long loading time, we tried to generate the print file again, and after a little less than an hour, we were able to upload it to the printer!

Now the printer is still busy printing and it will take 1 day and 7 hours to complete. Hopefully we got a cast-able resin print afterwards that we can use to make a silicon mould from and cast the wax models from.