My journey to create models of these amazing animals started over four years ago, and the first models were hand sculpted and hand painted in Ceramic material. This proved to be time consuming, and realistic details were difficult to achieve.
The second stage of development was to try to make the models in hand blown glass. This was initially successful and with a little artistic license the models were beautiful, but very brittle. Consistent quality was also difficult to produce.
I then tried sculpting individual models in modelling clay, and hand painting them, with a view to scanning the prototype for 3D printing. Sadly my own personal skills were lacking, and I dropped the idea in favour of computer modelling.
The models you see on sale are representations created in a computer from lots of sample photos of each individual subject. When the computer model is approved and tested for printability, the prototype is printed in full color and checked in comparison to the original photos.
The only print medium currently available with Shapeways in full color (at the moment) is called Sandstone, it can have varying degrees of texture depending on the subject and coating. More information is available in the Shapeways materials section.
Sandstone can also only be printed in thicknesses over 2mm, so any delicate parts of the model need to be thick enough to withstand the printing process. Because of this, and the need to try to achieve realistic looking models, some are much larger than they would be in real life.
Most models are also available in different single color plastic print. They are intended for home painting and to allow customers to copy from photos they may have taken. These can all be printed in a smaller scale if desired, and are easily painted.
Nudibranchs are some of the most colourful creatures on earth. In the course of their evolution they have lost their shells, while developing alternative defense mechanisms. Some species evolved an external anatomy with textures and colors that mimick their surroundings to avoid predators.
After creating a small catalogue of nudis, I then decided to ‘branch out’ (pardon the pun) - and offer models of other colourful sea creatures such as the Blue Ringed Octopus – and that is how AMAZING SEA CREATURES came to be.
Welcome to my world – and i hope you enjoy your model.