Archive for February 2013

Vuono Vednesdays: Print Job

It's late. Three in the morning. I have a cup of Joe next to me in my faithful "World's Greatest Dad" mug. Ironic, because I'm a horrible father. I reach over and take a long, slow sip from the mug.

I'm chatting with a dude in Australia about surfing while I aimlessly doodle in GIMP. A woman tries to sell me a workout video on the TV, her loop restarting every 30 minutes. I take another sip from my trusty mug.

"Totally brah, you should come down here sometime and shred some gnar waves, Vegemite sandwich, kangaroos" Jack from Sydney tells me.
"LOL! xoxoxox! Jack you're so silly, I can't afford to make the trip all the way over there!" ...I'm pretending to be a girl. I reach over to grab my mug, wait-- shit, fuck! I knock it over, and hear a familiar shattering sound. I look down, my carpet has a diarrhea-brown stain on it, and my mug sits in several pieces.

Time to design a new mug.

My files were all jacked and shit because I wasn't set up in the right PPI, but I think it works anyway. Here's the mug design I came up with:

And here's the mug they sent me:

Yeah, that's hot chocolate with whipped cream. Delicious. 

The print quality isn't the greatest, you can see each individual pass from their printer on the mug, and it printed a few shades darker for the faces. But I still like the mug overall. I should probably read more into the printing guidelines, but I'm likely never going to do that.

Overall, Cafepress gets two stars and a rainbow. 

Shapeways, on the other hand, scored very differently. Shapeways is a website that allows you to submit models that are then 3D printed and mailed to you. If you want to make big things, it gets expensive very quickly, but it's a very cool site that allows people to have their ideas printed without shelling out for one of the few consumer 3D printers available.

What is really cool about Shapeways is that they have a lot of apps that allow you to easily create models, for all of us non-Snakemen who can't use Blender.

What I decided to use was the 2D to 3D app, which takes a black and white image and creates it into a somewhat three dimensional object. It really just adds depth to the image, so if you had a circle as the image you submit, it creates a model of that circle as if it were cut out from a piece of paper thats a quarter inch thick. Here's my submission and the finished product for comparison.

This is what I submitted.
This is the model that got created.
And here's the physical object.
I think it's pretty nifty overall. It'd be really cool if I could do any digital modeling, but just for little one-offs like this it's still fun. Shapeways also keeps itself accessible for someone like me by having all the available apps to easily create models.

I also had the little BGL design printed in steel.

You can see the print lines where the printer actually prints out the steel. I think it looks cool. The whole point of this extremely simple design was to create a necklace. And so, I did:

Shapeways overall is a fun site to both explore user-submitted creations, and to fool around with your own work. Hopefully a more Riosian labs member will create something worth printing, but in the meantime we'll find plenty of things to use the site for.

Shapeways scores a giraffe with a side of pinto beans.

Mike Vuono is a crazy person who hates trying to balance insane narrative fiction with documenting the creative process for projects. He likes long beaches on the walk and watching the same TV shows over and over.