Introduction: Spherical Sand Sculpture Tool
Before going on holiday this year, I was a little tired of having to use buckets to create sand castles.
I wanted to create something unique and different.
So after looking around I found this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ2ttWG_lcI and thought why not give it a go?
Using Tinkercad I designed and printed my own sand sculpture tool. Result! On the beach I made some awesome creations and it is the perfect tool for creating unique sand sculpture builds!
This design is also super easy to adjust to create different sized sand spheres!
You will need...
- 3D printer (optional)
- A beach/sand pit (if you have printed your design)
Step 1: Ball Size
First: Open up Tinkercad and start a new project.
Create a hollow sphere the size your sand model is going to be (Note: I recommend at least 120mm +). Make sure you adjust the number of steps to the maximum, as this will ensure that your creation is smooth for the best outcome.
Step 2: Creating the Outer Shell
For this step you now want to align a solid sphere which is a minimum of 5mm larger in diameter than your original sphere size.
The 5mm+ difference is the shell of your sand sculptor. This needs to be reasonably thick, as it will have pressure applied to it when eventually shaping the sand.
Step 3: Handle for Grip
Next create a 30 x 30 x 30mm paraboloid to use as the handle of your sphere creator. I found these sizes were perfect for grip and control.
Step 4: Merging Together
Now, you need to sink the spheres below the work plane leaving roughly a quarter of them on the surface.
Once the spheres have been lowered, centre the handle on top of the spheres as shown in the picture.
This now looks almost complete. However, you need to get rid of all the excess sphere before you can group it all together.
Step 5: Finishing Up
To remove the excess Sphere you now need to create a hollow box. Position the box to cover all of the sphere below the work plane.
Lastly, before Exporting your finished project you need to group it all together.
Now click Export and save it in your preferred 3D print format. I used .STL
Step 6: Converting Your Tinkercad Design Ready for Printing
Before you can print your Sand sculptor you need to convert the .STL in a slicer program. I used Ultimaker CURA and found that I could print the design without supports. I used PETG to print to be extra strong and flexible but I think PLA would be just as good.
Step 7: 3D Printing and Finishing
Although I had a very successful first print, there was an issue due to there being a rough under side. I thought this might spoil the look of my sand spheres. To fix this I applied some of my Dad's decorators caulk filler on the underside and smoothed it with a wet finger. This did a fantastic job.
You may find other 3D printers may have a different print quality and that you can skip this step.
Step 8: Using the Tool
To use the tool you'll need:
A Beach!!! (or a Sandpit will do).
Simply create a large pile of sand firm enough to hold together add some water if it's too fine.
Then starting at the top let your sphere sculptor carve its natural path down the sand. Repeat and end up with a perfect sand ball!
See my video of my first attempt.
Step 9: Ideas!
There are plenty of great things to make with the sphere sculptor, you can make lots of different diameters by adjusting the size of the spheres in Tinkercad.
Above are some ideas that I created on my trip to the beach this summer.
Participated in the
Tinkercad Student Design Contest