How can I use 3-D printer to duplicate driftwood pieces?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by amorphosmios, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    I had turned away from typical mold making that would inevitably destroy the original. Now with 3-D, wondered if I could scan the driftwood object and recreate to look like wood, as in resin cast pieces that look almost identical to wood.

    Thanks for any help! I have been waiting a long time to find a better way!
     
  2. mygadgetlife
    mygadgetlife Well-Known Member
    You could start by checking out Autodesk's 123D Catch

    This probably would involve a lot of work cleaning up the model to make it suitable for 3D printing, possibly refining the model in something like Blender which is another layer of complexity altogether.

    Good luck!

    Steven
     
  3. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    I'll check it out...thanx for the tips!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  4. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    How big of a piece of driftwood is it?
    A modest side piece of driftwood is huge (expensive) for 3d printing.

    How smooth is the surface?
    Soft woods tend turn into driftwood with very pronounced wood grain. Those would probably work pretty well.
    Harder woods tend to be very smooth.. those might not work so well due to the inherent stepping in the process.
    You may not be happy with the finish (or you may have to do some post-processing sanding)
     
  5. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    I have all sizes, the smallest being about 4 inches by 1/2 inch, and relatively smooth. How expensive/time consuming would that be? Is there a table to gauge expense and time?

    And do you know if there are any breakthroughs on the horizon or methodology in the works that might address the larger piece issue, if not in this medium, perhaps another? (I just got thru watching PBS show on making things lighter, smarter, cleaner and am really excited by the possibilities out there)

    Even if i could eliminate the problem destruction of my original , scan the dimensions and create a mold that way....(scratchin head smiley face)
     
  6. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    If you are creating a piece to make a mold, you could make the piece hollow to reduce the material used, hence saving money. Another option would be slicing or making your model wireframe. This would require you to add material to your print but would give you a skeleton to build from.
     
  7. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member

    Ok..I'm an absolute new to this, so are you saying I could scan the original, and then tweek the dimensions internally to create a hollow form? By doing that could I inlay the wire frame aspect in the design to support the shell?

    Do you know any other modelers who are doing this with wood peices, or a tutorial specific to this question?

    Is it out of the question to do large pieces, even with a hollow form? The one I most want to do is probably 3'x8" with lots of voids thruout the structure.
     
  8. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Ok..I'm an absolute new to this, so are you saying I could scan the original, and then tweek the dimensions internally to create a hollow form? By doing that could I inlay the wire frame aspect in the design to support the shell?

    Yes, there are a few different programs you can use to take a 3D scan (123D catch for instance saves an OBJ file) and create a hollow model. You do need an escape hole for hollow models, you can see the rules for that in the material guidelines. You can use the wireframe or sliced model as a support shell if you want, but the wall thickness rules for models should be sufficient support.

    Do you know any other modelers who are doing this with wood peices, or a tutorial specific to this question?

    I do not, but if you're looking for someone to help you with the models, the modeler for hire section, and the modeler needed sections are good places to start.

    Is it out of the question to do large pieces, even with a hollow form? The one I most want to do is probably 3'x8" with lots of voids thruout the structure.

    The largest available bounding box is for WSF at 650x350x550mm. Which diagonally is 3-1/4'. So it is possible. But being that large will be pricey.
     
  9. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    About how pricey is pricey?
     
  10. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    A solid 3' x 8" x 8" beam would cost just under $53,000. If I hollow it to 4mm thick it would be just under $4,300
     
  11. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    Wow..better than ice water!! Any chance costs will come down up the road? Any other techniques I'm not aware of?
     
  12. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Prices will go down as supply catches up with demand. A less expensive method would be to use 123D make as intended. And either have the pieces cut for you, or as I did cut them out yourself. I used hot glue as filler on my cardboard.
     
  13. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    Do you think I should look for a class in this or does 123 D provide graspable to the mere mortal tutorial or other. Do you think I can do this if I get the hang of it for a moderate amount. I have been thwarted by most mediums up til now, and really jonesin to make something work. Have some gorgeous peices of wood...truly amazing. Literally one of a kind.....til i figger somethin out...

    Thank you for all your help..I really appreciate it!
     
  14. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Have you thought of making your molds from gelatin? The benefit would be that you could dissolve away any gelatin that became trapped in the crevices by simply soaking in water. Once dry, it would be as though it had been untouched. Also, gelatin is kind of stretchy so you could pull it off the original without having to cut it out.

    You would then make a master duplicate in something like polyester or polyurethane or low melting temperature wax using the gelatin mold and then make a silicone production mold from that.

    You can scan and 3D print a mold or a master duplicate to make molds from, but 3D printing, unless you have your own machines, is currently too expensive for large items, as Mike pointed out. If you do go with the 3D printing route, I would recommend using Sculptris, since it's more adept at handling organic type shapes. Also too, a really detailed scan is going to have millions of polygons, so you'll want software that can handle the data.





     
  15. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    NO..I have never even heard of that possibility. Sounds like it could really work tho. Is there any place I could get a step by step of what you are talking about?

    I'm kind of a visual learner.
     
  16. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    No, I don't have further info on this as I've never used the method. I simply know that it can be used to make molds and that it is also soluble in water. :)
     
  17. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
  18. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Yeah I'm visual learner myself!

    I was thinking later on it and remembered a recipe that included glycerin, which would most likely work better than plain gelatin, here's something similar to what I remembered. Each of those ingredients should be water soluble.

    As I'm writing this I remember a YouTube video too, let me see if I can find that. Oh well I can't find it cuz it was years ago, but take a look at some of the vids in this search.

    Oh! Another method I just remembered too is, there is another material similar to gelatin called agar agar. Here's a video showing how it can be used. The drawback is, it's not as readily soluble in water, but it is soluble in boiling water. See this page for information about the solubility of agar agar.
     
  19. amorphosmios
    amorphosmios New Member
    Wonder if the glycerin is sort of a releasing agent for another substance?? I know it is very slick...I think boiling water would harm the original...but thanks for the ideas. That PBS show on all those fantastic products being created that defy the laws of physics had me wondering why these problems with molds haven't been resolved. But maybe they have and I haven't been looking in the right place. I am really enjoying this community! You guys act like you really want to see a person find solutions. Thanx for hanging in there with me!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  20. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    What kind of molds were you making? How were they destroying the original? Have you tried silcon molds?