WHOLE NEW YEAR – WHOLE NEW WORLD OF 3D PRINTING!

Exactly as the title says – a whole new world of 3D printing has opened up to me with the arrival of my new resin printer!

I have updated the WHAT IS 3D PRINTING page to give a simplified explanation of how resin based 3D printing works – but briefly, a resin printer has a reservoir of liquid polymer into which a vertically moving build plate dips – a UV light shines through the (clear) base of the reservoir and the light exposure hardens the resin in the selected area, building up the model one dip (or layer) at a time.  

However you don’t need to know how it works to see the wonderful new things I can produce with it! I feel like a kid in a candy store not knowing which to pick next! 

After printing the test/calibration file supplied with the printer (and being blown away with the model it produced!) I started with some experiments based files produced for my old filament spool printer (explanation on WHAT IS 3D PRINTING) and compared the differences. With my old printer, no matter how good the print, there was always a great deal of ‘clean up’ time as filament printers are very prone to showing the lines of layers that build them up – I was staggered to see that this was not the case with the resin printer and I could virtually paint the model straight off the printer!

Delighted with my progress I then worked on files which were difficult to print using my old system, and then moved on to things I had only dreamed of printing but thought would be impossible!

Pictured above: You can see the build plate with a complete macaw birdcage on the build plate (upside down!) which has been dipped in the reservoir of resin below, building up the print (and supports) layer by layer. The picture which looks like a weird chess piece is the test print which comes installed on the printer ready to print – its hard to see but the crispness of the detail is staggering, including the double helix running down the centre of the hollow shape! But most amazing of all are the wine glasses I have been printing this week – not bad for a first go!

The pictures below show the production sequence for a bird column on the resin printer…

– on the build plate over the reservoir with support strucure, supports removed and (after washing) the resin is cured ready to paint.

Pictured below are just a few of my first prints, test prints and new products – more will follow later and I will be adding more on the  JUST FINISHED page, and the NEWS BLOG soon!

Pictured above: New cook doll with lovely face hands and feet! Chess tables with printed chess sets and wine glasses, bird columns and new macaw birdcage – even the macaw and swing it sits on is resin printed! The washstand sets are individually hand painted to match each bedroom. The wine glasses were an early print just to see if I could make them – and I can! I have even successfully printed broken eggshells – more on that later!

EXPANDING THE RANGE!

Although I have been busy since the start of the year its been really productive…

I have been going flat out since January making stock and commissions, and this process of making new things for orders and making more of my own parts for my stock has enabled me to expand my range of products, many of which had their debut at the recent Miniatura Fair (and sold out there too!)

This gardener’s potting bench has to be my favourite showcase of new pieces – all of the plant pots, seed trays, crates and watering cans are printed. I’ll add some pictures of the pieces in progress on the printer soon, as this sold within minutes of the show openeing and I now need to make more!

Its the baskets and crates of bread and pies that really add the wow factor to this Bakery truck – a combination of 3D prints and Fimo! (This truck sold at the show, but I have another in to dress – and it will be in the website shop soon.)

Its great to have the Torcheres back in stock in both colour options, and its even better to have the new cherub columns to add to the range – although not electric they look fantastic in the same room as the torcheres and chandeliers. The Cherub columns were developed from an order for statues to go on the roof of an orangery, but I thought they would make great indoor ornaments with the right paint job! The figures are different from the left and right of the torcheres – being front facing so can be used singly and are sold as singles not pairs.

I’ll take some pictures as I am printing the next batch so they can be seen in the raw – and I can then discuss further the process these new pieces go through to end up as stock.
   One of the other consequences of being so busy is that I now have TWO 3D printers producing parts and models – which means I have twice as much to process – no wonder I am busy LOL

ANYTHING IS POSSIBlE!

I think I am now in a good place with my 3D printing…

My recent successes have buoyed me up into thinking ‘yes I can print anything I want’ (tempting fate to put a spanner in the works I know!)
  But be that as it may I wanted to share a couple of my most recent triumphs. Not only is the 3D printer producing exclusive accessories and ornaments for my dressed furniture, but its now is helping me to create whole new products from scratch…

   The first came when I found a stash of macaws and cockatoos I used to put in birdcages. The birdcages I used to buy are not available and the substitutes are just not as nice. Then I remembered that years ago I used to do birds on a column, and resolved to have a go at a new version.
   I started off with a rough sketch of what I wanted then mulled over how it would work on the printer – I couldn’t print it with the top on as the printer couldn’t cope with the overhang.

  So I would print it in two parts and designed a cup and spigot so that the pieces would sit nicely together and to offer more support to the top when glued together.
  The macaw (or Cockatoo) would be sitting on a thick wire half circle (sometimes you have to realise that not everything needs to be printed!) so I also added two locating holes to the top to securely hold the ends.
   You can’t see them on the image of the file on my computer because its printing top down, and the holes only go part way through to make a neater finish on the underside. (How clever is that!)

The base and top are then printed from the file (to securely hold them they are printed with a raft which pulls off after printing).
   All it takes is a light sand to remove any printing burrs then its ready for painting.
   My current stock ones are painted to look like mahogany, although I already have commissions for both black and ivory versions.
And there you have it, a brand new product for the Dee-Daw range courtesy of the 3D printer!
The other thing that the printer has been doing really well recently is filling the supply gap with even better versions of things I had to previously buy.
   My current favourites are the baskets, crates and cast iron casseroles I have created for my kitchen ranges.

I have created a range of useful pieces in different sizes and shapes based on the same basic files which I now use on virtually all my kitchen pieces.   
You can see on the picture below, the crate under the sink, basket on the base of the narrow dresser, baskets, crates and casserole on the Queen Mary dresser base – and my favourite basket – on the worktop packed with fresh veg (which I also make)

Keep checking in here to find out more about my latest makes.

PRAISE WHERE PRAISE IS DUE!

The title of this post is a reminder to me not to take my 3D printer for granted in these difficult times!

I desperately needed a roosting chicken to put in the back of this custom car - which I took great delight in printing and painting to match the one my mum keeps in the garden!
Not only do I create and paint the clock and urns on this Adam fireplace, but I also make the fire basket and brass effect flue cover. (Cream version available in the website shop £59)
Thes two commision walnut kitchen dressers are packed with pink and brown transferware china but all is not what it seems, all the jugs, pots and storage jars are 3D printed
Three of my most recent stock dolls - Victor, Bessie and Emma £69 each in the shop

I quite often (in the past!) have waxed lyrical about how much I hate my 3D printer and its temperamental ways, however, looking back over the last year (and I’m probably tempting fate here)  either my printer is behaving itself, or I am finally getting to grips with it and I now know what I’m doing!
    I probably should do – I’ve had the thing for years!  and over that time the printer has become worth its weight in gold – enabling me to now produce about 90% of my own design accessories and ornaments as well as creating my own doll range and full pieces of furniture and other structural items for pieces – making my stock unique and me no longer reliant on outside suppliers – a definite win-win situation!
   The printer really began to change my business  when I started producing my own accessories and ornaments. It enabled me to have the the accessories I wanted for my pieces – not having to make do with customising what was commercially available.

   The biggest step forward was having the confidence and experience to create my own range of dolls when both of the doll ranges I used to use were discontinued by the manufacturer.  I was forced by lack of supply (again!) to design and make my own characters – which has turned out to be something I now really love doing!
   The doll range is continuously evolving and I now combine my 3D printed parts with padded wire at the elbow joints for a range of poseability in my standing dolls – and I now have a sitting doll with 3D printed bent legs with wire joints at the hips and elbows for maximum flexibility in a sitting pose.
  
This experience of being forced to tackle supply problems has had the benefit of me starting to discover even more of the printers potential for miniature production…

I recently had to create a teenage bell boy character for a commission piece and it was a simple matter to take an existing doll file and re-scale it to produce a perfectly proportioned teenager from an adult file. Its quite often difficult to find dolls of this type they are either adult or children – but not in-between!

   This scaling facility also means that when I tackle one of my forthcoming commissions – dolls to fit in a 1:16 scale Jaguar XJS sports car – it shouldn’t be the nightmare it could have been!

   I am also finding that I am using the printer much more to print furniture and large structural parts for pieces. So far I have produced some very ornate tables and regularly print over mantles for fireplaces. As shortages of the style and quality of furniture I like to dress increase I can see this becoming a much bigger part of my printing repertoire in the year ahead, and I have to confess I am looking forward to it – So watch this space!

NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION!

I first came across this saying years ago, and it has stuck with me because its so true!

24/06/21 As mentioned on the 3D Hotspot page, I have been hit with shortages of best quality and unusual shaped furniture to complete commissions with, and so have been working on developing my own library of pieces I can print.

The first to come to fruition was a dressing table to go in a house for Queen Marie Antoinette and had to be as over the top as possible to fit into the surroundings. I created a file for the base of the table, which was printed on its back with supports in place for the fragile legs, then printed separately three frames and combined them together to make the triple mirror. The stool is a smaller version of the dressing table leg section with a padded silk top.

NOTE: The best laid plans…..I had planned to show a step by step series of pictures of the dressing table creation, and took loads of photos along the way, but unfortunately forgot to check the memory card was in the camera and got nothing for my pains!

The finished dressing table, mirror and stool was painted in colours to match the room it was going in.
The dresser was finished with loads of accessories and and two double candle holders .
The dressing table on the printer - the material between the legs are printed supports.
The legs are easier to view with the supports removed, then the hard work starts of cleaning up, painting and gilding!

23/06/21    NEW SHOP STOCK – AVAILABLE NOW

Following on from my last blog post, I have made some suitcases as shop stock – £39 for a set of six, added pictures to my new LARGE picture frames £29 each,  and been experimenting with colours on the ornaments on my one -off Corinthian buffet in pink and white with decorative panels £89

The next 3d Printed pieces I’ll be working on will be torcheres for stock and dolls for commissions and stock – all of which are printed – just need to do the fancy bit!

BACK ON TRACK!

A quick update on some of the interesting and unusual things I have been making!

Its been a while since I updated my 3D blog as its been a bit of a nightmare over the last few months. The printer has been doing my head in, its a complicated thing to run and if everything isn’t just so, it doesn’t work. And recently its been a bit more than doesn’t work – it actually took up smoking at one point – and nearly drove me to drink!
   However I have persevered and I seem to be back on track with some good results recently – of course that’s jinxed it now and my next blog will be how it exploded in my face! – But in the spirit of optimism let take a quick look at the ‘ups’ of my recent rollercoaster ride…

Meet Heidi and Gloria – two recent commissions- one to sit in a hotel lobby and one not to! I have been experimenting with my Eve doll base (14 separate pieces so that I can make a seamless doll in any pose) refining her hands and trying a new head, and have been really pleased with the results. I have another in the pipeline – and she is on the printer as I write this – so more on her later.

The Torcheres that I was working on in my last blog post have proved popular and there is now a waiting list for them, as well as versions without lights and with flower arrangements. See the previous article to see work in progress pictures

One of the fabulous things about having a 3D printer is that if I need something I can make it myself – the luggage below being a ‘case’ in point! I had nearly finished a suite of pieces to go in a hotel reception (based on my Featherstone Hall Hotel) and had made some luggage trolleys and I thought they looked a bit empty – so I printed myself about a dozen pieces of luggage in different shapes and sizes and painted them – complete with brass effect locks. I love them so much I will be making more for my shop stock as I think these will be useful little additions to scenes – even if just sitting on top of a wardrobe. I quite like the idea of a maid doll outside a house with a couple of cases and a bit of paper in her hand coming to start her new job! (will be saving that idea for later now!)

The cases were painted with satin enamel paint, and I was tempted to add paper luggage lables – but didn’t – although I am thinking about supplying a sheet with any I sell in my shop so you can apply your own.

I hope to have sets in the shop soon in various colours and finishes.

Left: This is how the luggage comes off the 3D printer, and they are then cleaned up, sanded, given a coat of primer and then colour and finished with some gold painted details for clasps and handles.
   Below: I am still experimenting with large picture/mirror frames which I hope to add to my shop at some point – but I will not be selling empty frames.

I suppose the biggest thing I have in development at the moment is furniture! Its getting very difficult to source ‘fancy’ furniture (which I usually enhance with 3D printed elements) so I have been looking at creating some pieces myself.

Left: my first two 3D printed furniture pieces. They look a little rough because they are hot off the printer and have not been fully cleaned up. The taller one will become a dressing table with triple mirror and the other will make a great buffet or desk.

…And finally I have also been working on some new urns, which would look great on both the dinner table or buffet or in a garden on a plinth!

Join the waiting list Please leave your valid email address below, and I will let you know when this item is back in stock.