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RoboGeek sent in this great set of photos of Spectrum Z510 3D printer objects he made.

First, I love Make! I saw your Christmas wish (a Spectrum Z510 3D printer) and smiled. I had the job/privilege to work with one of these at a previous job. I am an AutoCad and MicroStation drafter and the company used it to rapid prototype parts for bath accessories. I named or Z510 “Gwyneth” because, like Ms. Paltrow, the results of her work were visually stunning, but she’s kind of high maintenance. :-D I don’t suppose I have to tell you about the costs of the materials, but I will say that I felt, after using and cleaning one for 2 years, that there was some room for design improvements in the areas of maintenance and overall robustness of the device. Please don’t get me wrong – if I win the lottery tomorrow, I’m buying one of these right away!

Whenever we had to reset the system or replace the print heads, we would run a test file through. My boss at the time, a science fiction fan like me and a general all around cool guy, let me run some .stl files of my own as tests.

One of the objects is a “metatron” by Bathsheba Grossman. The red polyhedral sphere is the work of George Hart (http://www.georgehart.com/rp/rp.html) and is actually 7(!) nesting spheres, I assigned a different color to each one. I hope one day to print that one out of plastic. When you take an object out of the “build tray”, you place it in a dust cabinet and blow off ant excess powder with a needle tipped airbrush. Then you CAREFULLY “infiltrate” it with cyanoacrylate. I did this by dipping one of those little red coffee stirrers you find in office kitchenettes, and applying it one drop at a time. Having a touch of OCD helps this procedure. ;-) We used Loctite 408, as it was less expensive than buying replacements from ZCorp. MicroMark sells little paint/glue brushes that are small plastic handles with fuzzy flocking on one end. The Serenity is from a poly mesh sent to me by Sean Kennedy, aka Treybor in the 3d computer modeling community. I don’t recall where I got the Hawk Mark IX mesh from. The Z510 can print from vrml models. None of these are painted; the Z510 prints in color. Good joke: the software comes with a jpg of the IniTech (Office Space) logo! Note the logo on the command cabin of the Hawk Mark IX. The Lego gears I designed in AutoCad 2002. The yellow one is a replica of a 40-tooth Lego Technic gear, the largest they make. The others are 56 & 96-tooth, I designed for use as parts in an all-Lego clock.

3In Serenity-Hawk-1In Serenity

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Zoom-in-able photos here – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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