Yet More Twisting Kochflake Vases

by BenitoSanduchi, published

Yet More Twisting Kochflake Vases by BenitoSanduchi Dec 8, 2012

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78289Views 15669Downloads Found in Decor


Pretty. Seasonal. Pretty seasonal.
The round base is arguably prettier, but the tri-base is more mathematically true to the fractal. Though I skipped the second iteration for some reason.
12/9 - Thanks for all the feedback. :) Added a couple pictures of these prints after I dyed them light blue. You can dye nylon any color with RIT dyes which is just awesome.
1/26/13 - Currently available for sale at the 3DEA/Openhouse Gallery in NYC along with several of my other designs (and more awesome objects by others)! If you want one, don't have a printer, and are in New York, now's your chance. The store will be open through February 17.


Print with zero infill and no top solids.

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Your site looks to be hacked...

Nice design btw, gonna try to print it soon!

Interesting, thanks. Not my site, rather a site for a show this design was featured in. I'll remove the link!

Just curios but how much would it effect the print if I decide to make it with 3+ walls? in theory it'll just make it slightly thicker with no infill right?

Yep. Use a thickness that's roughly a multiple of your extrusion width (nozzle diameter if you don't know the extrusion width).

I generally like to print with at least two walls for strength and to increase the likelihood that a vase will be water-tight. The exception is with materials like t-glase or nylon printed through a larger nozzle where one perimeter is sufficient. Translucent materials sometime look better with just one wall also.

Unfortunately this file when being opened in Cura seems to make the vase as a solid instead of a vessel....any thoughts?

Jul 28, 2015 - Modified Jul 28, 2015
BenitoSanduchi - in reply to bukow1cm

The model is solid. Nice thing about a solid model for vases is that you can pick your own wall thickness and don't have to worry about infill in the walls, theoretically.

Easiest way to print in Cura, turn on spiral vase mode in the expert settings. That will get you a single-walled vessel, but unfortunately some bug in Cura engine causes there to still be a spiral seam around the perimeter.

To get more than one perimeter pass, you have to just turn off top solid layers and turn infill to 0%, then set your wall thickness to however many passes you want. Unfortunately, Cura does this poorly these days and has a tendency to add top-bottom thickness to walls that aren't vertical. This takes forever and ruins the print quality.

In other words, Cura kinda sucks for vases in its current version. I suggest using Slic3r until Cura remembers how to print vases. The same settings apply in Slic3r, they're just in different places.

Good luck!

Tried to print it last night - somehow failed in the first 1/3 of it. If one layer is not perfectly aligned it seems to be damned... Already reduced speed. Surface looks very smooth.
Used Slic3r Beta with one layer, spiral mode. 0.1mm/3mm speed.
Any suggestions? Maybe slicing differently?

Hey, nice vase! It should be possible to make this even more "mathematically true": The bottom of the vase could be a triangle, and then a little further up it's a 6-pointed star, etc... so the higher up you go the more iterations of the Koch construction you do and the more little pointy bits poke out. If you do this right, you could make it fully crenellated (i.e. a true Koch snowflake) at the top, if your printer had high enough resolution. And you could still gradually rotate the cross-sections the way you do. I wonder how that would look?

You wouldn't want to do this in your modelling program though - that'd be best done by writing a little python script that spits out the gcode directly. Or, you know, mathematica or something.

Thank you. Actually, the "twisty smooth tri-base" version was going to do just that but I ended up with weird, unattractive geometry between the triangle and 6-point iterations. Somehow, skipping the 6-point step smoothed it out. You're right, though, a script would probably do a better job.

Any idea how to configure Skeinforge to fill only the bottom layers and not the top? I found a way to disable top and bottom layers, but not just the top. Really wish I had slic3r at work to use with my Replicator

I still don't know how to do this without manually deleting g-code. It's super easy in every other slicing program.

Agreed, thankfully gcode is pretty easy to read

It came out beautifully on my replicator. Thanks for the awesome design!

Incredibly beautiful. I didn't know my ultimaker could print like this. By far the best quality print that I have produced. Have printed 3 at 170% and made them into a lamp fitting. Was not sure how to create hole in the bottom so just melted my own. Do you have a recommendation for how to add a hole to the existing stl? Thanks for the great design!

Those look great! Tough thing about adding a hole is it would force you to add inner walls to the mesh. Right now, the slicing programs just think that they are making a big hollow object and they trace the perimeter without trying to infill it anywhere. Given that there are so many variables for nozzle sizes and extrusion widths, it seems to be the best way to get thin-walled vessels with FDM printers.
That said I think you could put a pattern on the bottom that would show you where to cut, sort of an indentation. Let me know the size (of the hole) and I could model it in for you if you want.

These are so cool! Would it be possible to do a similar item but use a maple leaf outline shape? Our Canadian friends might enjoy this.

It amazed me to watch my printer tracing this thing's perimeter, line after line.  Mesmerizing for some reason.  Thanks for posting these!

Any ideas on how to print this from MakerWare on a Replicator 2 so it comes out hollow?  I tried setting "infill" to 0 but I still get some fill and a "top" layer.

Hmmm, someone has to know.  I have no idea why you would still be getting infill.  
You can delete the top layers from the g-code file.  There should be three (or however many solid layers you are set at) "clumps" of code toward the bottom of the file that look significantly different from all the repeating perimeters before them.  Just delete them.  But don't delete the end-code that comes after them that turns off your heat and steppers. That's how I used to do it in Slic3r before they added a separate option for the top and bottom solid layers.  

You have to turn off fill in the RepG settings look in Program Files (x86)\MakerBot\conveyor\src\main\skeinforge\Replicator slicing defaults\profiles\extrusion\ABS\Fill.csv

Impressive! Very dynamic shapes.

this is definitely doable in blender. you would create a curve object in the shape of the koch snowflake. then you would create a path curve and set it's bevel object to the previously created curve object. then you can use ALT-S in edit mode on the path to change the shape of the vase. and CTRL-T to twist the vase. to make a printable object, convert the path object to a mesh and close the bottom, then apply a solidify modifier to it. hope that helps! if you need more detailed step by step, PM me :)

Yeah, I picked up C4D when I was a student still.  I think their educational version is free, and I know you can run a demo free for 30 days or so.  I love it.  It's the only 3D modeling/animation program I've used that I can honestly say is fun.  Most of the time.  
I would imagine Blender can loft spines but it's been a long time since I've used it.   

Very nice - I really need to come up with some free time and finish my script! 

Did you do these in OpenSCAD or something else?  I really like the smooth transition from the base shape to the snowflake shape...

Nah, I'm not smart enough for OpenSCAD.  :)  This is all Cinema 4D, lofted nurbs.

"Nah, I'm not smart enough for OpenSCAD."
Haha that sounds like a familiar feeling. 

Would be awesome to write a script that would loft these lamp-vases with any given 2D outline. Is that what you're doing SystemsGuy? I can't even imagine how to write the code to produce those smooth transitions at the bottom, much less actually do it.

Cool thing in C4D (and Maya, probably all mesh modelers) is that you can adjust the number of subdivisions in the resulting mesh.  You can make things really smooth or more facetted.  I wonder if that could be built into a script also?
I started playing around with lofts for 3D printing when I thought about changing a shape from a triangle to a circle and I made this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:19060http://www.thingiverse.com/thi....
It's the kind of thing that only an algorithm can do.  Trying to sculpt these kinds of shape transitions by hand would be next to impossible.    

Y.A.L.P.C (yet another low poly cup)

The subdivision control idea seems to make sense to me for scripting something like this.

Seeing all your lamps/vases has made me want to start playing with lofts too. Such beautiful shapes you're creating.

Oh and the Rit dye for Taulman nylon = so awesome.