The Tale of Roger the Seahorse

Once upon a time, there was a lonely spool of plastic. It didn’t have a name, much less a purpose. It sat there in the dark storage room for a whole month, until one magical day, it was brought out.

This lonely spool of plastic was taken out of its packaging and finally saw the world for the first time. Now, one could say that would be impossible, as plastic does not have eyes- but keep in mind, this spool of plastic was special.

The spool of plastic was carried by two hands to a table. It felt itself being attached to something cold and metal, then suddenly realized that it was heating up. The spool of plastic started panicking, as it had never been exposed to heat ever before in its life. It started to feel itself melt, stretching out into long, thin strings and coiling up on the ground below, directed by some external force. 

So how does this relate to a seahorse? Well, to know, you’ve first got to meet my new friend Roger.

photo 1

Okay, maybe friends.

photo 2

Meet Roger the First, Roger the Second, and Roger the Third.

Who is Roger the First? Roger the First is my first (see what I did there?) attempt at 3D printing. Roger the First was being created quite nicely until the printer suddenly stopped, saying there was some error in the SD card and to try again. So I did, reloading everything and setting everything so it would print Roger the Second nicely.

But unfortunately, Roger the Second met a similar fate to Roger the First.

Turns out that it was some issue with the printer and not Roger’s code, so I tried it out on a different printer and voila! Roger the Third and the final.

I’ve heard so much stuff about how cool 3D printing is and all, but I’ve never really realized how awesome it is until now. I mean, the fact that you can take models from the computer and print them exactly how they’re designed is just incredible to me. 2D printing is pretty cool in itself, but then when you really think about the mechanics and the way 3D printers work it’s just amazing.

Watching 3D printers while they’re working is also really fun. The way it works is that the plastic from a spool is fed through a tube into the head of the printer which melts it and puts it out in the spot designated by computer-generated coordinates. The plastic dries and hardens while the head keeps moving around and laying out plastic in all the areas specified by the model. Here, just check out this video:

The thing that’s being printed  in the video is actually a case for my phone. It’s not finished yet, since I have to basically clean out the “structure” that held it up while it was being printed. Once it’s all set, I plan on painting it and makin’ it all pretty… I’ll post a picture when that’s done 😀

Roger the Third will also be painted in the near future, and maybe even glued to the awesome new 3D-ptinted phone case I’m working on. It was a lot of fun learning how to do all this stuff, if you get a chance to try it out for yourself, I would highly recommend that you take it!

Seahorse (see what I did there) you later!

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