A buddy of mine mention he was trying to buy some Magicite stones for display but could not find them anywhere. I have to admit I had no idea what they were at the time, but when I discover a photo of them online, I thought this has great potential to be a 3D printed piece. It would take several design and ideas before arriving at the final piece.
Green felt fabric
3D printer and PLA filament
4 inch LED light from the local auto store($15)
This came out to be a great gift and I learned something in the process. Cost is minimal if you do not count the cost of the 3D printer initially.
Step 1: How Do You Suspend One Color in Another With 3D Printing: Plan A
My original idea was to use a dual head printer that would allow for me to print one color inside of another. Turns out this not possible with the printers I have access too. I was able this to determine this by looking at the preview and observing the colors and layers. My printer does not distinguish where the pieces overlap. The red sphere in the center could not be done on this dual head 3D printer. On to Plan B.
Step 2: How Do You Suspend One Color in Another With 3D Printing: Plan B
My second idea was to leave a hollowed out shell of a cylinder. The printer would not be able to build layers over the sphere it was placed to high, so I would have to stop the printer 3/4 of the way done. Place the red sphere inside the hollowed out cylinder and drop it down. This would have allowed for the sphere to rattled back and forth. Not really what I wanted either. That lead me to the idea of what if I left a hole on the bottom and used something to force the sphere up. On to Plan C
Step 3: How Do You Suspend One Color in Another With 3D Printing: Plan C
I decide I would hollow the cylinder hole out from the bottom. I the domed the top of it so the sphere would fit perfectly into place. I printed a prototype to see if the plan would work. It did so I went to full scale model design. I decided to use a led strip that is 4 inches long to light this project up an support the red sphere in the center. Little conversion from inches to cm. I coiled the LED strip to make a circle. The 4 inch LED strip was the circumference that led me to the diameter which told me how big to make my sphere. The red sphere has a diameter 3.2 cm and the LED strip has thickness of 1cm for a combined height of 4.2 cm. I set the height of the green gem at 4.5 cm. I left a 1 mm shell on the top and then had 2 mm of wiggle room. Solved my rattling problem.
The LED light would shine out from the center and leave an eclipse effect on the red sphere in the center. Finally I left a small notch to run some wire out.
Step 4: What Color to Print?
I debated what color to print several times. Originally I planned to use a transparent green. Once I went to the green LED I decided to use a clear plastic to really reinvent the design. The clear plastic really shows a nice hexagon pattern in the print adds another dimension. I was afraid the green would be to dark to see the red sphere. I also decide to add some green felt to cover of the bottom and hide the wires. The green helps give a color to the clear plastic when not lit up. Little glue to hold the fabric in place and the project is finished.
Step 5: Final Result
I still do not know exactly what this is in terms of the game but it came together very well. Learned a little about 3D design in the process.