Saturday, August 16, 2014

Three-D Printed Sake Mug!

It's here! It's here!

About six weeks ago, I designed a mug using Blender.  Well, okay -- the end result is a sake cup.  Anyway, I wanted to make something for my and Mark's tenth anniversary.

First I used Inkscape to make a shape that I could virtually spin into a mug.  I knew from past experience that when I tried to make objects in Blender with medium-complex topology that I got a lot of weird edges and orphan vertices and mesh faces.  Also, it's sometimes hard to know how thick everything is in Blender and easier to start out with a known proportion in Inkscape.

Once I had a shape I thought I could work with, I went into Blender.

I used Blender's spin function as a kind of lathe to make a mug and then I used some Boolean Nots to cut oval wholes in the side.  (I'm cutting out the parts where I goofed up and made things that didn't work.)

Then I went to the Shapeways web site and uploaded the build... and I discovered that ceramic materials are, um, kind of expensive (but not as expensive as bronze, steel or gold).  Ceramics are the only food-grade material they offer.

Then I waited.  And waited. And waited.

 When Shapeways told me the build was ready, I tracked the shipment.

When I got the package, it felt kind of light.

But I was excited!  There was a lot of packaging.  I was glad that the ceramic mug was so well protected.

There were about three layers of bubble wrap.  Getting smaller; the reality of how big six centemeters is began to sink in.  

And TADA!  The finished product in white.  This one's for Mark.  I'm getting a black one, which --although identical -- was harder to print and has been delayed.

I'm psyched that this came out so robustly, and yeah, it holds a tablespoon of liquid.  I'd envisioned sipping hot cocoa or maybe sake (if I drank sake) from it, but I'm pretty sure we're the proud owners of a very artistic medicine cup.
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