All My 3D Prints of 2020

On the occasion of completing orbit #23 around the Sun, I purchased a 3D printer in June 2020. Everybody remotely close to me knows about it, because I just keep on talking about it. Quite frankly, it was one of the most exciting technical toys I have ever bought (for only 250 EUR!) and it made me discover an artsy side of myself. I already shared a selection of my 3D printing projects on this blog and want to use this post to collate an (almost) complete list of my 3D prints of 2020.

Each project is tagged with three labels indicating

  • the designer of the 3D model, which is either own, a friend, or someone on the internet;
  • the complexity of the work, grouped into easy, medium, and hard. This is from my perspective. For example a model from the internet might look complicated, but the mere process of downloading and printing it is simple. And lastly
  • the purpose of the project, which is either art, utility, or test.

In the six months of 3D printing I used about 3 kg of filament. There were incidents which required printer maintenance: Once the nozzle was clogged and another time the plastic piece that pushes a metal ring against the feeder motor gear broke apart. Both were comparably easy to fix and all in all the Ender 3 Pro did an amazing job. Let’s take a look at the individual prints now.

Castle Test Print

purpose test // complexity low // design own

The very first print. I did not want to go with any non-self-modeled object, so a simple castle needed to be created quickly. The photo was taken at 03:10 on June 20, 2020.
The castle later became my standard print for testing new filament or acrylic colors.

Berlin Wall Miniature

purpose art // complexity medium // design own // blog post

A miniature of the Berlin Wall. The first real project and the first time I painted since school (or at least it felt like that).

Printer Upgrades

purpose utility // complexity low // design internet

The photo shows three printer upgrades; the white parts. On the top there is a mount for the filament spool. Normally the spool is positioned above the printer, however, for placing the entire printer inside of my cupboard it needed to move to the side to decrease the overall height. The second is a filament guide which makes sure the filament does not touch the vertical metal spiral, which guides the print head up and down. Lastly, a feeder indicator is attached to the feeder stepper motor. It looks like a fan and makes it easier to see the filament flow rate during a print.

Solar System

purpose art // complexity high // design own // blog post

Except for the rings of Saturn, this project involved very little modeling. The painting was the more difficult though. On the photo you can see the eight planets from left to right: Mercury, Venus, Earth (that’s us on that small half-sphere!), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Solar System Lighting

purpose art // complexity high // design own

A lighting for the solar system. Each of the LEDs points at one of the planets. It never worked particularly well, but the design of the LED cases was very time-consuming because it required a lot of iterations until the LED light produced nice spotlights on the wall. One spotlight for each of the planets; the four small ones shared one LED.

Traffic Cone

purpose test // complexity low // design own

Just a little traffic cone. May alternatively be used to indicate the danger that comes from a cactus.

Windshield Wiper Attachment

purpose utility // complexity medium // design own

The first “useful” print. A replacement part (the white half-circle) for a VW Golf windshield wiper attachment. It required very careful caliper measurements of the exact sizes and had to nicely clip in, to stay in place.

Mini Pyramid

purpose art // complexity low // design own

A small and simple pyramid. Originally I had planned to print a larger pyramid with sepulcher inside, but ended up never doing it. The small test print still looked cool, when placed in proximity to the real pyramids of Giza near Cairo.

Tensegrity Table

purpose art // complexity medium // design internet

A tensegrity table is seemingly floating in the air.

Cactus Pot

purpose utility // complexity low // design own

A simple print to replace the larger pot (left) which the tensegrity table was unable to carry due to its weight.

Frisbee

purpose art // complexity medium // design friend

Frisbee prints in many different sizes. The model was created by Richard.
A real-size frisbee. It broke (for the first time) when it was thrown over the molecule man in Berlin.

Balcony Utility Mounts

purpose utility // complexity high // design own

Some mounts for two different types of glasses for the balcony. The holder is staying in place because of the friction between its plastic and the balcony metal bars. Getting the size and the clipping mechanism right required quite some back and forth.

Raspi Print Cam

purpose utility // complexity medium // design internet

A Raspberry Pi (bottom-right) and its camera (left-hand side) attached to the printer. The Raspberry Pi is used to control the printer via a web interface and the camera can be used to record mesmerizing time-lapses of long prints with little effort.

Balcony Compass

purpose utility // complexity low // design own

Around 10 minutes worth of modeling time plus another 10 minutes for the print. The compass is now installed on my balcony indicating where North is.

Grand Piano

purpose art // complexity high // design own // blog post

Yet another miniature. While the painting was fairly easy here, the modeling took a considerable amount of time. The final result is definitely worth it though.

Bike Stand

purpose utility // complexity low // design internet

Holds the bike nicely in place.

Zalon Door Handle

purpose utility // complexity medium // design own

Our door handle broke in the office, rendering the roof-top terrace inaccessible. This quick replacement served well.

Print Leftovers

purpose ? // complexity low // design own

While using the first kilogram of filament (one spool) I kept all print leftovers in a box. It amounted to a total of 125 grams!

Aua Aua Logo

purpose art // complexity low // design friend

A print of Stuttgart’s rising hip hop band’s logo – AUA AUA.

In-Place Box

purpose test // complexity low // design internet

This spring-loaded box is printed as a single piece. It has a spring that pushes the lid up. An amazing design.

Book Stand

purpose utility // complexity low // design internet

A book stand for a book shelf.

Watering Can

purpose utility // complexity low // design internet

A small watering can (~150 ml). It leaked a little bit at first, which I was able to fix by applying waterproofing spray on the inside.

Chain Mail

purpose test // complexity medium // design own

A small one to begin with…
… and a large chain mail in a fixed frame. The modeling was pretty challenging and I find it still surprising that such prints are possible at all.

Piano Ambient Light

purpose art // complexity high // design own

An ambient light for the piano. The biggest print so far in terms of print volume. An LED bar is placed underneath a half-open case.
Front-view directly onto the LED strip which has 144 RGB LEDs.

Human Skull

purpose art // complexity low // design internet

A fairly accurate model of the human skull.
The four pieces that the skull is composed of: Upper part, main skull, mandible, and an attachment piece for connecting upper part and main skull.

Hollow Body Testing

purpose test // complexity low // design own

Four super light hollow bodies. I was experimenting with how thin I can make the outer print layers.

Christmas Ornaments

purpose art // complexity medium // design internet

A reindeer sleigh above the door.
A gyroscopic ornament. Paining the color gradient was fun.

Censored

purpose art // complexity low // design friend

No caption available.

Violin Bow Mount

purpose utility // complexity medium // design own

Everything was perfect about my violin’s case, except for the bow mounts which hold the bows in place (at the top).
The mounts that were preinstalled were too big for my bows. The photo shows the 3d-printed replacement.

Cookie Cutters

purpose utility // complexity low // design internet

A violin cookie cutter for the Christmas time.

Klein Bottle

purpose art // complexity low // design internet

A small Klein Bottle and its left half (reveals the cross section).

Tealight Holder

purpose art // complexity low // design internet

A tealight holder.
It casts nice shadows in the dark.

Fighter Jet

purpose art // complexity medium // design internet

Three fighter jets with camouflage painting.
One of the jets in flight.

Falcon 9

purpose art // complexity medium // design internet

Despite being a model from the internet, the printing and assembly was not straightforward. The total printing time was >80 hours!
The final Falcon 9 (painted and assembled by Tanja). It consists of reusable first stage, second stage, and a satellite.

Wine Bottle Holder

purpose utility // complexity low // design internet

Holds a wine bottle floating in the air.

Childhood Plane

purpose art // complexity medium // design own

When I was five years old, in 2002, I drew this “fighter jet”. My dad still has it framed on his wall. On the right-hand side is a 3D model of it that I created when I had just started learning to use Blender (around 2011).
The real-world, 3D replication of the cute fighter jet. A Christmas gift to mount next to the painting on the wall.

Violin Bow Tensioner

purpose utility // complexity low // design own

A very tiny print that fits onto the violin bow. It makes it easier to put tension onto the bow strings (by turning the metal piece it wraps).
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Zürich-based Software Engineer with Google and Founder of Denk Development. Opinions are my own. I am interested in data science, software engineering, 3d-printing, arts, music, microcontrollers, and sports.
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