I decided to make a version of the sword from the 80's cartoon. As an exercise for using sketchup and for a present for a friend's birthday. Just in time for the impending "event" (T-cats reboot), this Friday.
I spent a lot of time on the model. I started with a few models from 3dwarehouse. None were very good for printing, or scaled well for actually holding. All of them relied on textures for details that wouldn't show up after printing.
Initially the model came out too small. Then it didn't fit the hand well. Once it was sized and shaped correctly I had to work out how it could be chopped up to fit my build envelope. The latest version has location holes to help line up parts and glue together. It seems that the blade has benefited greatly from the interior channel. Even without the filament the blade is stronger.
I'm working on another version with an insert for the eye and an insertion slot for the blade. So that the whole sword can be printed by colors: grip, blade, eye, jewel.
Finished sword is about 45 inches (1145mm) from pommel to tip.
Oh and time for print @ 30mm/s min layer time of 20 secs:
6x blade pieces 5 hours
blade tip 1.75 hours (cool min layer makes it take a long time)
eye holder 2.5 hours
2x grip pieces 2.75 hours
pommel pieces 2 hours
total about 14 hours
Please let me know if there are any issues.
Added an update eye holder piece, with an insertion hole for the blade, the blade can be printed (in an optional extra color) and sanded/cleaned/finished then inserted into the holder. The insertion point's clearance hasn't been tested, but should be close. Might need sanding cleaning for the blade to fit.
Also the new holder has inserts for the eye and cat emblem, which can be printed in two colors using the whole pause and swap method when it first starts printing the upper portion. This is also not printed yet but should be good. I'll print these and repport back later today.
So for this, obviously instead of eye-holder.stl you'd use eye-holderV2 and the inserts. One of each or two of the same one.
Switching to work in progress.
Found a small geometry problem in the eye holder as well as the fact that the thin ring (around the eye/cat image) was too thin to print nicely so changes to the inserts as well. Apologies if this print is too tall, I looked up the build envelope for a stock cupcake and fixed the model to stay under the published height of 130mm but if you have trouble with that use the V3 eye holder and the new shorter blade pieces.
Removed the original eye holder to reduce confusion. Any combined print can be exported from the sketchup.
Added the center channel for using threaded rod or double ended threaded studs. The hole is a 3mm and can be drilled out to a larger dim if need be. I've left the other registration holes for those that prefer to use that.
Also reversed the extrusion on the cat-insert to get around skeinforge's refusal to fill thin features. Prints much nicer. If you've already printed one, this one is a big improvement (see photo).
Print the parts out, clean and glue or weld together with acetone. There are channels for 3mm filament locators if you choose to use them.
Also from my various prints, I determined that the blade pieces are stronger with the filament channel running up through it. Whether you put the filament in it or not. It forces the blade to be printed with a more solid column running up it which tends to make it stronger. You might also want to print the blade at a higher infill than usual.
I used Skeinforge's multiply for the cross pieces, blade pieces, and grip pieces. It slices a lot faster than making a printing plate.
If you want a blade that isn't going to snap along a layer I recommend the following:
1: Tweak your setup to make interior holes the correct dimension (and/or drilling the holes out).
2: Run a piece of filament or preferably 1/8th inch steel rod from hardware store through the channel of the blade pieces.
3: When the pieces are all glued (with acetone or acetone/ABS mixture) gently sand the joints being sure to lay the blade on a long supportive surface.
4: Lightly paint the entire blade with acetone to weld the layers into one unit.
5: Sand and finish (paint or color).
6: Fight Ancient Spirits of Evil.