Musings and Experiments on the Art and Science of 3D Printing


This post has a long name to attract attention! I've been quiet for a few months - as I usually am during the last quarter of the year - because that is my crunch time for my EclecticAngler business. But I still do a lot of 3D printing research and printing during this time.

Earlier in the year I was selected as one of three alpha and beta testers for the Mosaic Palette 2 and have done a lot of testing, tuning and printing with it. After the beta period, Mosaic gave me a production Palette 2 to enjoy. And enjoy I have! This is my third Palette - I started with the original Palette, then the Palette+.  This new P2 is a COMPLETELY redesigned mechanism with an integrated scroll wheel and filament buffer and the amazing Splice Core - the heart of the splicing mechanism. And Mosaic has created a new Cloud service called CANVAS that integrates with their IoT (internet of things) device called Hub. CANVAS includes a slicer - notably, my favorite KISSlicer - and completely revolutionizes the Palette workflow.

I'll blog more about the Palette 2, CANVAS and Hub and how to achieve remarkable multi-material and multi-color results from them in the coming months. For now, let's just say I am literally blown away with what the Mosaic team accomplished. I'm well over 7000 splices with myP2 now without a single splice failure. That deserves repeating - over 7000 successful splices without a single failure!

Next up, my friends over at SnoLabs have been developing and bringing some remarkable filaments to the 3D printing community. Although they've just started, SnoLabs has made great progress bringing unique, beautiful, functional - and equally as important - affordable, high quality filaments to market. In addition to my now-favorite go-to filament for structural parts, Carbon Fiber - Polycarbonate+ - and including the amazing Sublime Green PLA+. Disclaimer - I do get a small royalty for each spool of Sublime Green to support my work and I greatly appreciate it. That said, what can I say, it is Sublime Green - my favorite color. Thank you SnoLabs!

I wanted to find a difficult project to show off the Palette 2 with its ability to splice different materials and Sublime Green PLA+. After a little googling, I came across a model I've known about for some time but never had the tools to attempt - Gyro_the_Dodo_by_Virtox. This model is a set of five nested dodecahedrons that independently rotate - all printed as a single print. Complex and persnickety, this model requires a well tuned extruder and printer and a soluble support structure. I choose E3D's Scaffold filament for the support.

A few quick tests to tune the splices on the Palette 2 ("cover off, 2-0-2") and I was ready to proceed. I sliced the model in CANVAS using my basic profile of 3 perimeters, 0.2mm layer height, 0.4mm extrusion width and .6mm top and bottom shells - other parameters are printer-specific. CANVAS automatically talks to your Hub and transfers the necessary g-code and palette-specific files to it. The Hub is Octoprint under the covers with special CANVAS and Palette plug-ins. Once the file has transferred, you print it from Octoprint exactly like you would print any g-code - except that Palette 2 will walk you through initializing and starting the print (more on this in a future video).

In the case of this Gyro_the_Dodo, Palette reports 473 splices required. My Palette 2 and printer are well-tuned and I've been playing the "how low can you go" on the transition tower size. This print was created with a remarkable 100mm transition length and 20% transition (I wish CANVAS would let me go below 20%, I think I could easily handle 15%!).

Without further adieu, here is the print in process, completed, physical support removed and the rest disked away by soaking in water...

About 60 splices into the print. The contrast go the Sublime Green PLA+
and Scaffold makes it easy to see what's going on.
About 175 splices in. Things are looking interesting at this point!
300 splices in, it's coming together - literally!
Here is the complete print - 473 splices, 34 hours and 13 minutes, 41.79 meters
of Sublime Green PLA+ and 45.48 of sacrificial Scaffold.
Here I've stripped away as much of the Scaffold as possible without risking damaging the part. From here, I soaked the part in one gallon of water for 30 minutes to soften up the Scaffold. I then ran the part under a stream of room temperature water - which washed away most of the surface support and allowed the nested dodecahedrons to pivot.
And here is the final product after soaking overnight, rinsing and drying.
I also printed a stand in SnoLabs CF PLA (black) to display it on.

No Comment to " Palette 2, SnoLabs Sublime Green PLA, E3D Scaffold filament and Gyro_the_Dodo_by_Virtox "