Cupcake Alexander the Great

by techknight, published

Cupcake Alexander the Great by techknight Nov 27, 2012



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I've sliced Cosmo Wenman's Portrait of Alexander the Great into smaller pieces for the MakerBot Cupcake.

I know that's sort of insane, but I'm seriously underemployed and my Cupcake MK4 w/HBP is all I've got. :)

Two sets of files are available: One for stock Cupcakes (39 parts, untested), and one for tall Cupcakes like mine (27 parts). (Zydac's Z-axis upgrade at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4716 is very easy and highly recommended.)

Big thanks to Cosmo Wenmen for creating this 3D scan.
I've always loved making large, multi-part prints (thundercats sword, bathtub u-boat, etc), but his two recent life-size sculptures inspired me to think bigger. When I can afford more plastic I'll attempt some life-size 3D scans of my own!


||| Production Notes |||
Sliced and printed using ReplicatorG 37 + Skeinforge 35 with raft & exterior support enabled, no shells, 10% infill, .4mm layer height, reduced raft footprint.

The parts were split in Netfabb Studio by eyeballing some larger cuts, then cutting them down into mostly ~60mm x ~60mm x < 200mm sections.

Many of the cuts are a bit conservative, but the overall shape is kind of an odd one to slice into practical chunks. A few parts use way more support than they would if optimized a bit, but the whole thing uses a lot of plastic no matter what.

After that, I arranged the files in RepG for best print orientation, then resaved them all as binary STLs back in Netfabb.

||| Downloads |||
alex_stl_tall.zip and alex_stl_stock.zip
Contain the full set of STL files for each version, tall Cupcakes (27 parts) or stock Cupcakes (39 parts).

alex_gcode_tall.zip and alex_gcode_stock.zip
Contain gcode for each set of STL files. Save time if you're using a Cupcake MK4 and heated build platform.

Contains my Skeinforge 35 profile for this project if you'd like to use it.

A spreadsheet that sorts the parts by group and lists each one's printing time. Has two worksheets: one for tall Cupcakes, and one for stock Cupcakes.

A series of photos that show each group of parts during assembly.

||| Printing |||

  • Print parts in groups according to the spreadsheet.

  • Place groups of parts together in separate labelled containers. I used Ziploc freezer bags.

||| Cleaning |||

  • Carefully remove rafts and support material from each part. Some parts have very thin sections, and all of them have 10% only infill, so try to be gentle.

  • Stringy bits left by non-stepper extruders can be plucked manually, or "shaved" off by quickly running a craft knife over an area several times.

  • Remove stubborn raft bits and do touchups with sandpaper as necessary.

||| Assembly |||

  • Work with groups of parts according to the spreadsheet, starting from alex_top_front_head_front. Refer to the assembly photos if you're not sure how parts fit together.

  • Bond parts together using Gorilla Super Glue or your favourite adhesive. (I normally fuse ABS parts together with Plastruct Bondene, but I'm not satisfied with how it performs on low-infill objects.)

  • Use scrap plastic to fill gaps where more glue surface area is desired.

||| Finishing |||

  • Use Aves Apoxie Sculpt modelling compound to correct join flaws, warping, and to fill in surface areas that came out messy.

  • Coat the rest of the outward-facing surface with the modelling compound. It took me just over three hours to do it, so consider mixing batches of the compound in stages. (It has a working time of 2-3 hours.)

  • Use your own techniques for painting. Applying one coat of acrylic paint shortly after the modelling compound worked well for me.

||| Links |||
Gorilla Super Glue:

Aves Apoxie Sculpt Super White: http://www.avesstudio.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=28&category_id=7&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=7

Aboveground Value Series bronze acrylic paint #54425: https://www.abovegroundartsupplies.com/sagro/storefront/store.php?mode=showproductdetail&product=37869

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Excellent for the cupcake!

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Nice job!  I even like the patchwork version before you did the finishing.  :)

I know it's good when my only reaction is "woah"

 That's Site 3 coLaboratory in the background. :) http://site3.cahttp://site3.ca