One of our makerspace members learned how to 3D print this week. This is her very first 3D printed project that she made with help from a few more experienced makers.
As part of a Parisian-themed bike team this year for a relay (named "Vin et Vello"), she decided to make her teammates fun little gifts as mementos of the race.
The gifts took a few hours total but were very fun and easy to make! The pieces were 3D printed and then painted the French colours using nail polish.
Step 1: 3D Print Eiffel Towers
Choose your favourite Eiffel Tower pattern (or create it yourself) to print and adjust the settings that work best.
Here, we found the Eiffel Tower on thingyverse.com and printed it with "full" fill and normal speed.
The print took 50 minutes and cost $0.56 in materials. The 4 pieces printed are each 6cm tall.
Step 2: Remove Supports and Clean Up Print
Removing the supports was a little bit tricky since the prints were smaller (6cm). Long thin tweezers were helpful for removing the supports in the upper regions of the tower.
If there are lose bits of plastic or stings on the piece, try cleaning it up using a lighter. Hold it an inch or two away to avoid burn marks from the flame.
Step 3: Paint Towers With Coloured Nail Polish
You could be done here, or you could choose to paint the towers.
Here we chose to paint the Eiffel Towers using nail polish in colours from the French flag.
Step 4: Optional Acetone Finish
You could also coat the pieces in acetone which smooths the print and makes it shiny.
The photo of a sample 3d printed chess piece with the acetone wash shows how shiny the acetone can be and the finish it creates.