I needed a pencil holder for my new desk/work area, I kept leaving pencils and pens strewn about the work surface. They took up space and made it look messy. But instead of going out and buying a pencil holder I decided to make one using the Ender 3 3D printer. I figured it was the perfect opportunity to make something practical and fun with the 3D printer. Also I liked the idea of making something that fit my personality and love for comic books. I am brand new to 3D printing and learning as I go so I wanted to document my process with the idea in mind that it may help someone else who also getting started with 3D printing. Successes are important when learning a new tool so I hope this helps anyone who is just getting in to 3D printing.
*If you don't have a 3D printer and would still like to make this there are several companies that will print this for you and mail it to you.
One of the great things about 3D printing is the vast amounts of 3D models that so many talented people have created and upload for those folks like myself with zero 3D modeling experience to use.
I headed over to www.thingiverse.com and found the perfect pencil holder, a Deadpool pencil holder modeled by https://www.thingiverse.com/ptibulle/about I click on the download button and saved the folder to my desktop.
Then I opened up the folder and copied the .STL file on to my desktop. I did this because the Cura "slicing" software does not recognize non .STL file extensions so the a folder would not show up when you try to open a file from its menu. It has to "see" the .STL file.
Next I opened up Cura and opened the Deadpool file. I changed the view to "layer view" just to give myself and idea of what it was going to look like. Next I clicked on the "Prepare" button which creates the G-code for the 3D printer. Once the code was prepared it tells you how long the print will take in this case it was going to take about 16 hours to print.
I had two previous failed attempts at printing the pencil holder. But they were both due to my lack of knowledge when it comes to 3D printing. I did a little research and found that I need to print the piece on a "raft" this would provide something for the tall narrow support pieces to stick too. Initially I tried printing without the raft,but the support pieces (the support pieces are the light blue sections of the model) kept breaking at about 4 hours in to the print. Once I added the raft the piece printed just fine.
With all my settings complete I save the G-code to a sd card.
Next I take the sd card and insert in to the 3D printer and select the print file from the menu screen. The printer warms up the bed and the print nozzle and begins printing.
Then you just wait for the Ender 3 to do its thing.
After the print is finished I removed the piece. The raft did a great job of holding up the support pieces.
Next I removed the support pieces with a small pair of pliers and just broke off what ever I could. I also used a razor to clean up any of the support piece residue.
I used some 320 grit sand paper to clean up the residue left by the support pieces and I also cleaned up some of the model. I didn't want a completely smooth surface, I liked the way the 3D printed texture looked so it was just a light sand on a couple of key spots. After sanding I wiped off the entire print with some Windex and a cotton rag.
Now it was time to mask off for paint. I used blue painters tape and masked off the black sections. The model has very nice contours which can be seen through the tape. I simply followed those lines with my razor. I repeated the same process for the rest of the other black sections.
Next I applied 3 coats of red spray paint. The first coat was very light and the 2nd and 3rd were a little heavier.
After the paint dried I removed the masking tape which left really crisp and clean lines. I was worried that the paint might bleed through but it didn't.
I needed a small amount of white paint for the eyes so I sprayed some paint in to the top of a spray paint can. I use this same trick when ever I need to do a small touch and respraying won't work. The nice thing about this technique is that you can use a brush to touchups any small areas that need it.
This didn't go quite as well as I would have hoped I should have used a smaller brush. I ended up with some paint bleeding in to the inside corner of the eyes. To fix that I used a fine tipped black paint marker and touched up those areas. With all the touch ups complete I let the piece air dry for a few hours before putting it to good use in my work area.
Overall I am really happy with the end result. It boggles my mind what these machines can do, I look forward to learning and printing more. I hope you all will find this Instructable helpful. Thanks for reading.
Build Video with voice over: