Chainmail Holiday Wreath
by Pomeroyb, published
This is a holiday wreath, complete with holly leaves and berries, made out of chainmail. I've always loved the idea of printing chainmail, but having to generate support material for anything more than a single sheet is lame.
This is the first model in my attempt to breathe new life into chainmail printing. By building supports in the model, and using copious amounts of bridging, it's possible to print this simple chain ring.
I've included my source files (Solidworks 2010), so feel free to poke around and try to improve this model! I tried to keep things organized and mated correctly, but a lot of the parts are simply fixed in place, rather than properly mated. Ah, well!
This design is being entered in the Proto Paradigm Winter Wonderland Contest. Thank goodness they extended the deadline!
The first step in printing this piece is to calibrate your bridging. The links are rather large, and, if your bridges droop too much, the links will fuse together. It will still be the coolest wreath on the block, but it will be a rigid ring, rather than a ring of chain links.
If you're confident in bridging, go ahead and download "Supported Wreath.stl". Do not generate support material! As the name suggests, there are supports already placed within the file. You can see what are and what are not supports in the thumbnail image. Anything colored red is support, and safe to remove.
Slice the file (This took ~10 minutes in Slic3r), and print! It's was a 7 hour print for me, going at about 350 mm/s. I had to print in boring old blue, but fusing dark green, light green, and red filament would make for a very cool multi-colored wreath.
Once you're done printing, gently remove the supports. I used an X-acto knife and saw, but wire snips would work even better. The vertical links are VERY fragile, so be careful.
Some final thoughts, and potential improvements:
-Make the supports smaller and easier to break off, so cutting isn't required.
-Make the links a bit thicker. Horizontal links are strong, but vertical links are way too fragile.
(Note: The size of the model was slightly too big for my printer (Prusa Mendel). I scaled it down to 85% of its original size, and I would suggest not going any lower than that.)