Dodeca Chain Loop

by emmett, published

Dodeca Chain Loop by emmett Oct 6, 2012

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This chain of 40 interlocking rhombic dodecahedra forms a loop that covers nearly the whole Replicator build platform. It's not quite big enough to be a necklace, but it can work as a crown or other decoration. It's quite fun to play with.

The OpenSCAD file is parametric, so if you have a different size build platform, you can adjust the dimensions of the loop by changing the number of modules in the straight section and scaling the whole.


This design is a good torture test of skeining engines and printers alike. It has a flat bottom, less than 45 degree overhangs and all the bridges are straight, yet the small features make it a difficult print. Good luck trying Skeinforge; this was skeined with Slic3r, which worked, but it also demonstrated some bugs and features that are not quite up to snuff. If anyone can show me a skeiner that does a better job than Slic3r, I'll be duly impressed.

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I removed 4 of the links and scaled it down by 0.8 to get to anklet size. ABS juice was needed, but it was pretty awesome in glow-in-the-dark!

A bit off topic, but i was just wondering what the blue surface coating on your HBP is?

Very cool design by the way, but I think im still a bit too much of a print noob to get this one out properly.


 That's blue painter's tape. PLA sticks to it much better than kapton, and you don't need to heat the build platform (at least not for most things).

thanks for sharing looks cool...

This will be a fun challenge. Let's see how it does in PLA...

 Yeah, this one is PLA; lots of cooling air helps. The big problem is Slic3r likes making single-width bridges that don't quite connect to each side, so they just fall off.

Sliced and printed with Miracle-Grue, it came out great. Well, other than the filament having a break, so I only printed the bottom half. But the pieces all interlock nicely, and it's bendy.

Now to hack the OpenSCAD script to add enough length that it'll fit over someone's head!

 Cool, I'd like to see yours when you get it finished. Do you have a larger platform to work with, or are you going to try scaling it down further to get more curves? I'm going to have to try out Miracle-Grue; I've only just gotten Slic3r working.

My theory is that I could make the bending along a smaller radius and use the additional bending to fit more length into the standard build plate, so others can use it. The first step would be to do some testing to see how 'tight' a bend I can print this in and still separate the pieces. If I can get the bends tight enough, I think that I can add perhaps 50% to the length.

Since you asked about my build area, for ABS, it's a standard Replicator build plate. For PLA, I binder clip on a sheet of glass, which adds perhaps 2 inches to the X axis. My first print was PLA, which worked great, except that the pieces had enough threading between them (PLA is 'hairier' for me than ABS) that it took a bit of effort to get the pieces separated without breaking them.