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