Help, Printing a wireframe, will it hold itself ?

Discussion in 'My Work In Progress' started by josemi, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. josemi
    josemi New Member
    Greetings everyone,
    I want to print a statue of a human face , but the dimensions are big, around 24 inches high , by 14, by 9 .. So making it all as a wall and hollow its very expensive for me with a 2 mm wide walls in White strong and flexible material.
    So i was wondering since i have never printed anything before to print only the wireframe ,,, at 1.5 mm in diameter ,, And then , to use that wireframe as a structure so i can build myself by hand the walls in real epoxy resin or as paper mache to have a "solid wall" build around that 3d printed structure..
    The thing is I dont know being the material flexible if its too flexible for it to hold the structure by itself ?
    I am attaching 2 pictures, one of the wireframe cut in half, but the idea is to print both sides,
    the other of the complete face ..
    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    many thanks and sorry for my bad english.

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  2. josemi
    josemi New Member
    second picture
  3. josemi
    josemi New Member
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  4. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    That blog entry is a counter example, SW made a huge exception broking its own rules, when they reject previously printed models for being 0.02 mm short.

    The rules say minimum thickness must be 1/166 of biggest dimension, so with 24 inches, it would mean 3.68mm. From tests, 2mm is rather stiff in short distances, 3.7mm even more. As it would be a wire and the material is light, it should support itself, but maybe not be strong enough to support heavy loads without some deformation. It would depend in the coating you use, if it shrinks while drying, etc. Adding more wires in the hair zone, so all wires are shorter like in the face, should help.

    You can also split into multiple smaller parts, if you need a thinner & cheaper model than the single part one. This would get you, with some luck, more tickets to be in better precission print batches (small items), but not so important if you will cover everything. And remember it would make the result more flexible. If you can spend some money in tests and shipping, print some small wires of different thickness.

    Other options would be getting it machined from a solid block, or building it it from a "grid" of laser cut slices (like this cardboard helmet). An internal structure, printed at the same time than the wire shell(s) or cut from something else, would be good idea if you go ahead with printing.
  5. josemi
    josemi New Member
    Thanks a lot Stannum, that was really helpful will for sure explore the ideas you mentioned about building a support for the sturcture as well.
    I have actually machinned 3d parts in the past, but that was for a very big one, talller than me:


    But since now I am trying to make smaller things (24 inches tall etc ) I want to incorporate 3d printing, but seeing these technical issues and cost maybe i need to go even smaller .
    Thanks again .