Carla Character from LEO the Maker Prince

by leothemakerprince, published

Carla Character from LEO the Maker Prince by leothemakerprince Dec 22, 2013


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Bre Pettis

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From the book LEO the Maker Prince:
Carla had wanted to become an artist when she grew up. She became an accountant instead. Then Carla's calm life of numbers and "sense" was upended. She met LEO, the Maker Prince. And through LEO's magic, 3D printing, Carla finally became the artist she'd long ago wished to be.


Note - these files were updated on 2/7/15 to make them easier to print!

  1. Print the black parts "digital_carla_blackParts..." (hair and shoes, eyes and eyeglasses) using black or a dark filament.
  2. Print the white parts "digital_carla_whiteParts..." using white or a light filament. (The latest version of this file has been printed successfully on a Makerbot with no supports.)
  3. Print the dress "digital_carla_dress..." using a color. (In the book illustrations, Carla's dress is orange! But you can add it to the black parts if you want to stick to 2 colors.)
  4. Plug the shoes into the legs.
  5. Plug the legs and shoes into the dress.
  6. Plug the head and arms into the dress.
  7. Plug the hair into the head and the eyes into the eye sockets.
  8. Carefully place the eyeglasses onto the head. Look for small slots in the hair where the glasses can rest.

NOTE: All the parts except for the hair should be able to be printed with no supports.

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Any chance of getting the shoes as a separate file? I've had some issues with them and don't want to reprint hair just to get shoes.

Yes, definitely. Thanks for asking!

Hi! I'm so happy to hear your kind word about the project and I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with the glasses.They are the most fragile part of the print for sure. I appreciate the feedback as I'm always trying to improve these files and in particular make them more robust. For the moment I can post a file of the glasses in different positions as that might help. If any other readers/printers have ideas please bring them on!

Thanks for the new upload. I will try that out. After I wrote my comment about the glasses, I proceeded to print the rest of Carla, and had similar problems getting a clean print in other areas, or being able to get supports off. Would you mind sharing the settings that you used? Thanks!

So sorry for the huge delay. I used an Afinia for many of these prints so the settings don't reflect that on other printers. I did use supports: 2 shells, 5mm area 4 lines space.

Hello! Thank you so much for creating and posting these files. These characters are adorable, and the book was a great idea. I just started printing Carla, and so far her glasses are not working out for me. They are not coming out nearly as clean as the images I'm seeing posted here. Is everyone doing a lot of clean up? I'm using a MakerBot Replicator 2, 100% infill, 2 shells, standard temp and speed. Thanks for your suggestions!

I am working on a collection / herding game using these characters. Any chance of getting a Cat character designed? I would prefer if you did the design since it would be consistent in appearance with the genre you have created with these two characters. I also do not know enough about design yet to be able to do it myself. I saw the hamster and figured a cat and mouse would be the next logical characters. We just got a tech hub in the Toronto reference library and am using this idea / things as a first project. As soon as I can consistently print these characters I am going to create several sheep (10 - 12) and a few Carla's (5 or 6) and hopefully a couple of cats! Play surface, Rule design and play testing is already in progress. Once the rules and play surface have been tested I will release them OS.

Oh! The game sounds super cool! I'd love to see what you do with it. And yes, I can design a LEO-themed cat. It may take me a while. What is your timeline?

I just printed two on my Replicator II, and they turned out terrific - with one exception. I used rafts and supports, which generally worked well. They snapped off nicely and cleaned up fairly easily. But I'm having real trouble getting the eyes to fit. Since they lie on their sides in the grouping, they end up with a fair amount of extra printed clutter that I'm having trouble cleaning to make fit.

I'm thinking of simply designing a couple of eyes, and printing them separately, but I think there may be a simple work-around. If they were printed separately, and in the standing up orientation, it would be easy to print them with only rafts, which should clean up easily. I tried to do this myself, but the software won't let me 'ungroup' the model to allow me to reorient and only print the eyes.

By the way, it might also be better to print the eye-glasses that way, with the flat face of the frames sitting on the platform. That way, they wouldn't need supports, and the raft would probably break off pretty cleanly. The glasses are difficult to clean up.

I'm delighted at the overall results. I think my granddaughters will be delighted with the "Carlas" - nice way to accompany the book. As soon as I get the eyes resolved I'll post a picture of them on the site.

OK I revised the blackparts file. the eyes grow great now, and the glasses, too, as long as they come off the raft cleanly. The eyes are a little tricky in that they need to be rotated to the right position to fit in correctly. I can look into giving them a notch so they are oriented in one specific way. Thanks again for the feedback, and I can't wait to see what you make!

Thanks ever so much. I'm printing now - will share the completed results soon.

One question, which maybe just shows my lack of knowledge with the software. In Makerware, your models show up as a group and the individual parts cannot be selected. Ideally I would just have printed the eyes and glasses and deleted the parts that I have already printed. Or, if I wanted to print Carla's dress in a different color, I would only select that part and delete the rest of the grouping. Can this be done with the existing files?

Oh! I forgot I had exported the dress separately so that people could grow it in a different color if they wished. I've just re-uploaded. I also uploaded the eyes and glasses for the time being as a separate file if you want to try them. (Though I may remove them to avoid confusion.)

Makerware is just software for printing, but in most 3D modeling programs–the ones where you actually create the shapes– you can import the file and just delete the parts you don't want. You may be able to find free or low cost modeling software to use, but you would have to manipulate the files outside of Makerware and then make sure to export as an .stl file. Autodesk has some wonderful new free online tools, though I haven't tried them: http://www.123dapp.com/designhttp://www.123dapp.com/design and Blender is free but I think more complex: http://www.blender.org/http://www.blender.org/

I like to use Rhino or Solidworks for my files, but these are more professional packages.

One final comment/suggestion. The separate print file for the eyes and glasses is very helpful. In this orientation the both parts print clearly with a raft, which is easily removed.

It's also nice to be able to easily print the glasses separately, since I have found them to be quite fragile. I've broken a couple already. The joint between the glass frame and arms could be improved with a little tweaking of the model - either by adding some reinforcement at the joint, or by making the joint more flexible.

I put some beefier glasses up there, though I think I could still use some more reinforcement on the hinge part.

Ah, yes! The glasses are quite fragile little things. Your suggestions make a lot of sense.

Awesome! I appreciate all of the effort you are putting into this - I know your followers will be delighted!

I'm just starting to get into 3D software - been using Open SCAD to get into basic programming, but obviously need something more advanced. I had planned on taking a look at Blender next, and appreciate your suggestion regarding 123DApp. So much to learn! I'm having fun!

Hi ThomF, you are awesome! Thanks for the helpful suggestions! I will change that file and try your suggestions, and then repost to share with everyone.

Hi there! Are you growing these parts with support material? Since they are curved parts they don't rest flat and require support. Is there a piece in particular that's causing the most trouble?

The white body parts don't work as parts are hanging in the air. Any suggestions?