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Thread: Best Way to Re-Create an Amphorphous Blob

  1. #1
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Best Way to Re-Create an Amphorphous Blob

    I need to design a part of this shape in Solidworks.


    I drew it in Canvas, so it it dimensioned and can be output in various other formats. But I need it in Solidworks to go with other features.

    [edit: PRECISE accuracy is not important...nothing attaches to the edges]

    What would be the best way to implement this?

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 04-03-2020 at 03:14 PM.

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    To answer my own question, it looks like import as DXF seems to work....

    Ron Wanttaja

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    I guess "vote Republican" wasn't the answer you were looking for...

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Import worked fine. Biggest problem is that it's too long for the 3D printer, and I had to split it into two pieces.

    Fun little quarantine project....learning a lot about Solidworks.


    Ron Wanttaja

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    SOLIDWORKS Support Volunteer Jeffrey Meyer's Avatar
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    Looks great Problem is I have absolutely no idea what it is or what it does . One way or the other I'm sure it'll take an honorable place in the upcoming International Amorphous Blob Competition that has been, due to the COVID-19 problem, restricted to 3 participants.
    Nice oak table.

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    vondeliusc's Avatar
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    Ron-
    Came out very nice. What is it and what printer and what filament-very clean print.
    -Christian

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Meyer View Post
    Looks great Problem is I have absolutely no idea what it is or what it does . One way or the other I'm sure it'll take an honorable place in the upcoming International Amorphous Blob Competition that has been, due to the COVID-19 problem, restricted to 3 participants.
    Upper receiver for a WWI Lewis Gun Mark III (non-firing, of course). You aren't the ONLY one bored by COVID-19 restrictions. You can see the amorphous bit on this photo of an actual gun. The ammunition drum goes atop it.


    The photo is of a Mark I Infantry Lewis; the Mark III was the final aircraft version. Curiously, more were made in WWII than in the first World War (albeit many were made from leftover parts).

    For me, as ever, the fun part is the research. Learned a heck of a lot about the Lewis Gun; gave a presentation on it to my EAA Chapter. George Lucas even had Storm Troopers carrying them in the "Star Wars" movies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Meyer View Post
    Nice oak table.
    Thanks! It's my computer desk; I built it from scratch, about 15 years ago. Lots of drawers, nooks, and crannies for storing things, and built-in 120 VAC power, USB network, and Ethernet. Ends up in the background on a lot of my photos of small parts and whatnot.

    Quote Originally Posted by vondeliusc View Post
    Ron-
    Came out very nice. What is it and what printer and what filament-very clean print.
    -Christian
    Dremel 3D20 printer, PLA filament, sliced using the Dremel Digilab tool set to high quality (0.1 mm resolution). The printer was surprise Christmas gift from my wife in 2018; had never considered getting one (she apparently found it for about half the current price). Pretty easy to use, and compact enough that could fit it into my cluttered home office. Solidworks directly outputs the .3mf files the Dremel slicer uses... save from SW, open Digilab, load the file, then position it on the build platform. I don't have the printer connected to the network; it has the capability to read from a flash card, and I just sneakernet the files over.

    Use it to build a replica of a WWII reflecting gunsight, an adjustable register control for an odd-sized heat duct in my house, a replica Air Force survival knife (to be used in designing a holder for the aircraft), and an enclosure for an impedance matcher to use an aircraft headset on my panel-mounted Icom.

    Biggest issue has been support for overhanging elements of parts. Imagine printing a bolt with the head up...the underside of the head is hanging in space, and the printer has to exude the hot plastic onto the build surface. So the Digilab slicer will add light supports if desired.

    However, these can be difficult to strip away afterwards. The ability to remove them is oddly variable. Printed one part, and they just cleanly broke away. Printed a very slightly modified version, and I'm scraping it with a chisel and filing it to eliminate the last bit of the supports.

    The other factor is the time element when printing. The printer isn't fast! The "Amorphous blob" took, all told, about sixteen hours. Kind of a pain when it ran out of filament ~8 hours into it. I had it running overnight, and came in the next morning to see the object half-done with the printer still printing in the air an inch above it (there's no sensor that shuts it off when the filament's out).

    Ron Wanttaja

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    "
    Best Way to Re-Create an Amphorphous Blob ?"

    In my case it's super easy - take a retired geezer, close all the casinos, and then quarantine him with nothing to do but watch TV, surf the interwebs and eat. Voila! blob central!
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post
    "
    Best Way to Re-Create an Amphorphous Blob ?"

    In my case it's super easy - take a retired geezer, close all the casinos, and then quarantine him with nothing to do but watch TV, surf the interwebs and eat. Voila! blob central!
    Cheetos are cheaper than a 3D printer.

    But Solidworks is still free. :-)

    Ron Wanttaja

  10. #10
    SOLIDWORKS Support Volunteer Jeffrey Meyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Upper receiver for a WWI Lewis Gun Mark III (non-firing, of course). You aren't the ONLY one bored by COVID-19 restrictions. You can see the amorphous bit on this photo of an actual gun. The ammunition drum goes atop it.
    Of course, I should have known - I see these things lying around in the street every day on the way to the super market.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Biggest issue has been support for overhanging elements of parts. Imagine printing a bolt with the head up...the underside of the head is hanging in space, and the printer has to exude the hot plastic onto the build surface. So the Digilab slicer will add light supports if desired.

    However, these can be difficult to strip away afterwards. The ability to remove them is oddly variable. Printed one part, and they just cleanly broke away. Printed a very slightly modified version, and I'm scraping it with a chisel and filing it to eliminate the last bit of the supports.

    The other factor is the time element when printing. The printer isn't fast! The "Amorphous blob" took, all told, about sixteen hours. Kind of a pain when it ran out of filament ~8 hours into it. I had it running overnight, and came in the next morning to see the object half-done with the printer still printing in the air an inch above it (there's no sensor that shuts it off when the filament's out).
    My son bought one of these kits (link below) - great fun to assemble at home. It has two great advantages - 1. You can print with two different filaments simultaneously (solves the problem of support removal by printing the supports with water soluble PVA), and 2. It has sensors that detect when there is no more filament, so it stops printing until you reload. Cost ex factory (Prague) about $750. IMHO one of the best 3D printers in the world.
    https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/3d-print...IaAtBbEALw_wcB

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