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A Better Dragon

by illuminarti, published

A Better Dragon by illuminarti Jan 3, 2014

Description

I loved TheRat's original 'Dragon' Thing, but wanted to be able to really print it in high quality, while putting both Meshmixer's new support structures, and my UM2 printer through their respective paces.

Looking at others' successful prints, there were clearly some spots in the wings that were just too thin for Cura to even try to slice, and the back edges of the wings seemed raggedy. So I cleaned up the geometry in Netfabb, then imported it into Z-Brush and thickened the middle span of the wings, where other prints had failed, and also fixed some holes and tangles in the back edges of the wings. Back in Netfabb, I cut a couple of mm off the bottom of the feet to give a solid based to print on. The resulting model is uploaded here as 'Dragon-Z-flat.stl'.

I then went into MeshMixer, and added support columns. The meshmixer file is attached, and the resulting supported STL file also - 'Dragon-Z-flat-support.stl'.

More info about the print, including a timelapse video is available at extrudable.me/2014/01/02/the-guy-with-the-dragon-part-2/

Recent Comments

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Just woke up and its completed the top of the head. not all tree trunks successfully were built, so there are some interesting artefacts along the side of the dragon. I'm sure all this could be picked off so that is ok. the print should be done in a couple hours! excited
I'm glad you got it sliced! Good luck with the print!
Finished slicing at 21h. started the print and currently it looks like a big array of tiny tree trunks :) ill keep you updated and i will post a photo when i have finished/failed the print.

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Instructions

Its a tricky print, that really shows what a good 3D printer can do.

I printed it 12cm high, and if you use the supported STL file, that assumes that you'll be printing with 0.1mm layers, as I did. At 30mm/s, it was just under a 24 hour print.

The trailing edges of the wings are very thin - less than 0.5mm - but the supports hold them up quite well. The biggest risk is catching the tops of the supports as the print builds higher, and knocking the supports over, so I slowed down my travel moves to 150mm/s to reduce that risk. I also used a 3Doodler in a couple of spots to manually extrude some extra reinforcements in a couple of spots where I was worried the upper parts of the supports might get shaky, but that's not strictly necessary, especially if you slow the travel moves down even more

Finished slicing at 21h. started the print and currently it looks like a big array of tiny tree trunks :) ill keep you updated and i will post a photo when i have finished/failed the print.
I'm glad you got it sliced! Good luck with the print!
Just woke up and its completed the top of the head. not all tree trunks successfully were built, so there are some interesting artefacts along the side of the dragon. I'm sure all this could be picked off so that is ok. the print should be done in a couple hours! excited
This looks like an awesome model and i really really want to print it. Its a shame I can't. I have been waiting 15hours and still hasn't finished slicing. has anyone else experienced extremely long slice times?
Nice! You did an EXCELLENT job on cleaning up the dragon! I may have to try reprinting the it with your file to see how it turns out.
Thanks :) It didn't need too much work to clean it up, and having a good printer to print it on certainly helps.
Thanks, dgsharp. And I'm glad you find the blog useful. I can't claim much of the credit for the prints... mostly it's a little bit of experience, and a lot of a really good printer!!
Completely awesome. I just found your blog, very helpful. I am playing with the support structures in Meshmixer right now, excellent find! I had thought about trying to use the autogenerated supports in PreForm (the Form1's software) but it doesn't appear to be able to export those in a usable format. Very nice. I'm still not getting prints as good as yours but I'm learning, and they are very good overall.
Thanks, it was a 23.5 hour print.
Very, very impressive.
How long did this print take?
Yes! Faberdashery Glowbug Yellow. I updated the link to my blog, (and actually published the article), now. That talks a bit more about it, and has a video of it printing.
I think I will need to tighten my belts before attempting this. :) Is that glow in the dark?
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