I spent most of September printing the same thing over and over again. I was printing little keepsake figurines for a geeky gather I attend annually called KoLumbus. (It’s based on the game Kingdom of Loathing at www.kingdomofloathing.com…)
This figure caused me much grief, and was actually the first thing I wanted to print after I got my 3D printer. These were actually for a May 2013 gathering, but since I didn’t have a printer until August, I had to keep waiting. (As of October, I still only have a loaner printer.) First of all, designing the figure was a challenge. I barely know how to work CAD software, and even though it was only a stick figure design, it was still hard to get it the way I wanted no matter how I tried. After fighting with the software for several months (without a printer), I finally came up with a decent design.
I attempted to print it as is, with supports, and as you can see from the resulting print (which I later canceled), this was going to be FAR too fragile to safely break the supports from. Plus, it produced a lot of waste.
My next idea was to break the model down into smaller pieces, and glue them together with a special glue I made from acetone and scrap ABS material. (Most people just use plain acetone, but I like the glue I made. It’s recycling some of the plastic I guess.)
Once printed as a kit, the support materials are removed and assembled piece by piece.
When they’re fully assembled, I sprayed a coat of white primer on them, and they were ready to be boxed and delivered to my friends. (The primer I’m using hides some defects while showing off others, but they look pretty good in person. It can be sanded and smoothed though, so I think I’d rather have primer.)