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Cellular Kaleidoscope

3D model description

This is my submission to the #POLYMAKERCHALLENGE design competition!

I was watching videos from the new Youtube channel Journey to the Microcosmos (see link below) when inspiration struck: I had an idea to make a functional kaleidoscope that was entirely 3D printed, inspired by the organic forms of microscopic organisms.
After several rounds of experimentation, I am proud to share my final result. Introducing the Cellular Kaleidoscope.

To see more documentation of my process and more of my work, please check out my Instagram @coolthingsbyjacob.
Thank you very much for checking out my work and I hope you enjoy!

Journey to the Microcosmos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbnbBWJtwsf0jLGUwX5Q3g

3D printing settings

Just a heads up, you will need pretty specific kinds of filaments to print this model. I used a silk black PLA for the mirrors and a light blue translucent PLA for the lenses. I cannot guarantee that other colors or kinds of filaments will achieve the same effects as those photographed, though I am excited to hear from you the results of future experimentation!

The Kaleidoscope Tunnel is the body of the Kaleidoscope. Make sure to orient it with the peep-hole touching the build plate. It took me about 6 hours to print with a 12% infill. Use whatever kind of filament you'd like for this part. I chose a silk green and am stoked with the outcome.

The Mirrors need to be printed on a glass print bed, so the mirrors in the kaleidoscope have a glass smooth finish. In the slicer make sure to print these parts with the smaller flat face against the glass-smooth print bed. I used a black silk PLA for these parts and they turned out surprisingly reflective. I also used a brim to be sure they wouldn't warp. If they are too tight to slide into the kaleidoscope, you can sand down the edges, but not the faces that reflect into the kaleidoscope.

The Inner and Outer lens can be printed together with a light translucent PLA. Make sure to orient both so they print with their flat face against the build plate. I used a brim to be sure they didn't warp.

Then there's lots of fun bead shapes! Feel free to print out as many as you'd like in whatever colors you want. You can also put in little trimmings of filament or whatever else you'd like. I used small brims for these pieces just to be on the safe side.

For assembly:
First, slide the mirrors into the kaleidoscope body. Then, place whatever beads you'd like into the inner lens piece. Snap the outer lens over the inner lens. Then, snap both lenses into the bottom of the kaleidoscope.

  • 3D model format: STL

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CC BY

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