Customizable blimp for embossing or dualstrusion

by gpvillamil, published

Customizable blimp for embossing or dualstrusion by gpvillamil Dec 18, 2012

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It's an advertising blimp!

The OpenSCAD file is included, so you can customize it with your own message. You can export for dualstrusion, with the windows and letters in a different color from the hull, or embossed, if you only have a single extruder.


The included STL files have the blimp with the Makerbot name on the sides. (The photos are of a printed blimp with my son's name on it.)

If you want the embossed version, print the files blimp_mb_e_front and blimp_mb_e_back, and stick them together. If you want the dualstrusion version, merge the blimp_mb_d_hull_front and blimp_mb_d_deco_front together, and print them. Do the same with the corresponding files for the back.

You might be able to print the embossed version with zero infill, but the dualstrusion version I think needs some infill, to support the letters which are quite deeply recessed.

To customize the blimp, you will need a font from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13677. I'm currently using Orbitron_Bold, which is awesome. You can use whatever font you like, just make sure to change the include statement, and then the two uses of the font in the module thetext, immediately below.

Open the OpenSCAD file personal blimp v1, and at the very beginning, you'll see a constant name that you can set to your text. Just below it, in module thetext, you will see two commented lines where you can set the Z offset for the text on each side. Press F5 to refresh to see how your model will look.

When everything is to your liking, go to the very end of the SCAD file, and you'll see a bunch of calls to different modules, all commented out. You should comment out the module in the section labelled "plain ship", and then uncomment the appropriate sections and render them using F6, and then export to STL.

For a dualstrusion ship, you'll need to separately render the hull front & back, and the deco front & back.

For an embossed ship, you'll need to render the hull front and back only, from the embossed section.

If you don't want a message on the side, you can just print the front and back half in the plain ship section, but who wants that?

For extra credit, it's the module thetext that is combined with the hull to either dualstrude or emboss, anything you put in there will work, so you can extrude a DXF logo, add shapes, etc.

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FYI - OpenSCAD was crashing when rendering for STL until I found that the "fan" module was the culprit.

Yes - it is aligned right next to a cylinder to fill it in as solid, and it sometimes blows up. I tweaked it back and forth until it worked, but I guess it will behave differently on other systems.

I was able to render the rear half of an embossed blimp however OpenSCAD crashes whenever I try to render the front half. Do you remember what you tweaked in the fan module to get it to work?

We need for sure more airships in the thingiverse :)