3D Printable Paul is designed for the hobbyist user and is optimised for printing on a desktop printer. Feel free, however, to print a life size version if you have a big enough machine.
Overhanging parts, or anything that extends greater than 45 degrees will require support material to be generated. Most 3D printing software will generate the required supports and the algorithms that create those supports are constantly improving. If you watch the time-lapse of the print we’ve done you can see the supports that are built to hold Paul’s hands; these are a good example of overhangs.
SHE SHELLS SEE SHELLS:
Each printer software will allow you to adjust the machine to optimise your print. One factor of printing in 3D is the number of shells that the user chooses to generate. The more shells generated, typically the stronger the part is but the less detail and versa vice. So if you want the buttons on Paul’s jacket to show up better, limit the number of shells to about 2. If you want to make it a 'Super Paul', increase the shells accordingly.
THE BLACK AVENGER OF THE SPANISH MAIN:
One way that 3D Printing works is to build a raft out of the material your machine uses and then print your part on top of that. Unlike Tom Sawyer and his adventures on the Mississippi, a raft is something to be avoided. This design benefits from having its own stand and provided your machine has a very flat and level build plate you will have little trouble printing a copy of Paul for yourself. (In the future designing and printing parts while avoiding the need for rafts will ensure trouble-free printing.)
- ON THE LEVEL:
The last and most important trick in getting the best out of your desktop printer is to make sure the surface you are printing on is level. With many types of desktop printers there are three screws underneath the build platform that allow you to adjust the level. The printers themselves have a method for calibrating the build platform level, but maybe the best way of making sure is to adjust while it’s printing. A good leveling file is this one:
It’s the Bed_Levelling_2.stl file that ensures that your next build comes out brilliantly.