Monday, January 9, 2012


A year ago I probably wouldn't have attempted to build something as twisty and complex as Bathsheba's Antichron model.  But someone sent me a reduced-size model of it, and I confidently devised a small set of peeling cuts that should have made it an easy build on the SD300.  Not so easy, as it turned out.

I got it mostly right.  I'd divided the model into four zones in each of the upper and lower sections, so the support material peeled away effortlessly at first.

But when I got near the middle section I found layers of support material permanently wrapped around sculptural features I'd misinterpreted.  If it had been properly planned, there should have been additional cuts to divide the support material but I hadn't instructed the SDMove software to make the proper cuts.

Was it necessary to discard the model just because I hadn't set up the build software properly?  Probably not, but I decided to free the model so from the rest of the material to get a better view of the trouble spots.

The support material was thicker than the walls of the model so I couldn't just remove them by brute force.  So I decided to separate the support layers and snip them one-at-a-time with a small knife.  This was tedious but it would free the model after cutting through dozens of layers on each side.  That would take a while so I put on an old Edward G. Robinson movie (Scarlet Street) while I worked...and it took most of the movie to free the two models I'd built.

Because I'd scaled down the model by 50% the walls were dangerously thin, about 1.4mm.  Somehow I managed to free the first model without any damage, but cracks appeared in the second model while I was cleaning it so I stopped several times and applied Weld-On to strengthen its weak spots.  When I finished cleaning the second model (below right) I dipped it in Weld-On 2004 to heal the cracks and give it a nice sheen.

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