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Firefly Serenity Extra Large Snap-Fit Model

by jwolee, published

Firefly Serenity Extra Large Snap-Fit Model by jwolee May 3, 2013

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I wanted to make an extra large model, and decided to use pins to connect the pieces together instead of using glue.

Total size is about 13" x 9".

I can get about 115mm in the X axis and 120mm in the Z axis with my TOM, and this model was scaled up to the max my machine will support.

I cut the model up with NetFabb, then used Blender3D to create sockets for the pins.


I print in PLA, and had no issues with printing without a raft. However, if you're printing in ABS or you tend to get curling, you may want to consider printing a raft as well. especially on this models that go all the way up to the edge of the bed.

All parts printed with 1 shell and 5% infill, except for the pins.

Part1: Full Supports
Part 2a: External Supports
Part 2b: External Supports
Part 3a: No Supports
Part 3b: No Supports
Part 4: External Supports
Pins: 1 Shell, 50% infill

Part 1 was a bit difficult to clean all the supports, but have a thin file helped greatly.

Don't push the pins in too hard -- I accidentally pushed one all the way through inside the model. If it doesn't fit, either scale the pins down slightly, or try to enlarge the holes a bit with a file or blade.

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It is terrible to see this taken down because a company thought this was taking revenue from them. As if.

i've actually done this in a very high poly model, it's just take some time to slice up, will be ready for download soon. I am printing it out before uploading to ensure it's ok, it measures 3 feet long.

Earth magnets to hold it together works great

I'm currently in the process of printing this. It's coming out pretty nice and I'm planning on trying to paint it when it's done. My print quality was much higher on one piece so it doesn't snap together perfectly but it's still really great. No warping in the verse can stop me

In case you guys are wondering....I've stopped using rafts on a lot of things and gone to wonderful, beautiful Aquanet. I use the "All Weather" version that is fragrance free. While the bed is hot, shoot the bed with a coat and fire up the printer. Whatever you print will stick nice and hard and not curl up. And I do mean stick! My bed is covered by Kapton and the Kapton does not come up with a use a spatula to remove the print. Just awesome.....

I've been doing the same. Easiest way to remove well-stuck large prints is to put the bed in the freezer for a few minutes - the plastic and glass cool at different rates, and the part pops right off on its own. I learned this the hard way after a very large part (~11" x 8") wouldn't let go and I cracked my bed trying to pry it loose. Now every print visits the freezer!

You can also just turn a can of air upside down and shoot the part with a bit of it. It comes out super cold this way and causes a quick but brief contraction of the plastic and the part usually pops right off.

Very nice! I'll be printing this!

So did you just not want to use glue? Why pins and not something more solid permanent like you would use if you were building a plastic model ?

I wanted something that didn't require any extra hardware. Everything here is printed from the printer. I have no idea what glue plastic models typically use. I'm sure a lot of people don't either. This model design is solely sufficient on just the printer.

Awesome work! Pins are a great idea, though if you ever do want to use glue, typical model superglue (the kind you find in hobby shops that sell miniatures) will work equally well with ABS or PLA, as will standard acrylic model paints. There is some major appeal to making something that's finished right off the plate, of course.