He is Groot!

He is Groot!

When my 3D printer isn’t printing…I start feeling a little antsy.

After getting the printer for Christmas from my lovely, generous, and extremely intelligent wife, I spent the first few days/weeks figuring out how to make the thing work. Each day brought several hundred revelations. A 3D printer It’s not like a modern inkjet or laser printer that you take out of the box, perhaps install a driver and it just works. Nope…3D printing is the wild west, baby! It’s a veritable rabbit hole that once you go down it, it’s hard to find the bottom. Heck…I don’t want find the bottom! I’m having too much fun. But I digress…

When the printer isn’t printing, I start feeling antsy. I don’t feel like I’m learning. So, on just such an occasion this week, when my 3D printer was sitting idle. I started to look for something that would challenge me and her.

He is Groot! with quarter for scale
Here is a photo of Groot next to a quarter. Groot is watching my quarter so nobody takes it. It turns out that a quarter is a remarkable way of showing scale as well, so now you know how big this Groot is, and you also have no desire to take my quarter. Win, Win.

I found this model of Groot on Thingiverse. The amount of detail that the model provides is fantastic. I could see that it’s would deserve nothing sort of the finest detail my 3D printer could deliver.

“Normal quality” 3D printing is, by most standards, considered to be 200 micron. In other words, each layer is a mir 0.2 mm thick. A millimeter is a very small unit of measure, right? now imagine cutting that millimeter into 5 parts. that is ‘normal’ quality 3D printing. And it looks pretty good!

100 micron is considered “high quality” 3D printing. At 100 micron, the individual layers of 3D printer nearly become indistinguishable. A human hair is about 100 microns thick.

So I wanted to push the limits of my 3D printer. I set her to print at 50 microns; Each layer is half the width of human hair, 20 layers per millimeter! I wasn’t sure how Groot would turn out. But I sure wasn’t disappointed.

And how long did this print take? Well, lets just say I didn’t feel antsy for 22 hours.

Join me another day when I embark on painting Groot. Until then…

Make. Life. Ultra Fine.

He is Groot! being printed.
Groot, while he was being printed.

Welcome to the “Art of Making It” Website

First posts are probably the hardest to write. Where do you start? At the beginning of course! But where does the beginning really begin? That’s the hard part…

It all started back in 1969 when my mother and father…wait…that is obviously a little too far back. Okay, fast forward a few years.

I’ve always loved making stuff. When I was a child and was given a coloring book, I was more interested in making more coloring books than in coloring in it. At the time, I had a hectograph, (Full disclosure…it was technically my brother’s hectograph) and I would take a page from my coloring book and make 10 or 20 copies.

I loved to dream up things to make, such as pretend robotic arms from rolled up cardboard, candy machines from shoe boxes, hacky sacks from scrap leather, Toobees out of empty soda cans. There seemed to be no end to what my imagination could dream up.

But sadly, back in the ’70s I lacked several things we take for granted today: Google, Amazon, UPS, micro-controllers and 3D printing to name a few. If I was a kid today, those dreams would be inventions!

Fortunately the day has come when we have the entire world at our finger tips. There is no limit for our imaginations. What’s limiting us now, ironically, is that we have too much. Our time is occupied by too many ideas. Our attention is cajoled, prodded or enticed in every direction. There are just too many avenues to explore.

Now I don’t mean to sound like a toothless old timer sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch, but back then, summer break was a time for exploring and invention. I watched way too much TV, but that just made my imagination sore. I remember watching Battle of the Planets and dreaming I could build the space ship from that show. Yes, I realized that it wouldn’t fly, but I wanted to play inside such an amazing craft.

Where am I going with this train of thought? Did I mention trains? Yes I did…I like trains. What’s so great about model trains? Is it because the train goes around the track again and again and again? I don’t think so…that part is somewhat boring, at least it is to me after about the second or third time around. I am much more interested in world building. And when I was a kid, model trains gave me the chance to create a tiny universe.

Speaking of world building, what about Dungeons and Dragons? I played that too. Is there any better way to use an imagination than to explore ruins and caves, fight ogers and trolls or make deadly decisions that wouldn’t actually hurt you?

Yes, the world was an open book back then. And it still is. Now anything one wants to learn has most likely been uploaded to YouTube. And with all this information available, where does that leave us? With endless possibilities and too many decisions.

So this blog is my way of deciding what to explore. It’s a place for me to go deep on a creative subject and geek-out at all the permutations of the maker movement. But this website is also going to be personal. Making it through life is an art. And I’m going to explore a few of the aspects of living that I feel would be helpful to you, my reader.

I’m here to share my journey on this road of creative discovery. This website is about where the rubber of my imagination meets the road of life. It’s about where I choose to put down stakes and jump a claim on the endless universe of making. My slogan is Make. Life. _________. (Fill in the blank with an appropriate adjective).