3D Printer – Printing new bases for the Arches

For the past two years there have been 10 arches on the display that ran directly in front of the long building. For 2023 we are going to rebuild all of those arches and create some arches on steroids. There are going to be 3 layers to each of the arches.

What that means is I am going to need to drill 30 sections of PVC pipe with holes for the pixels but I also need a way to be able to mount them and secure them to the ground.

To help me solve those problems (and to do some other fun stuff not show related) I purchased a 3D printer. For those that may not know what this is, it is a device that will take a 3 dimensional virtual model and add layer after layer after layer of hot plastics on top of each other to reproduce that 3d model in live form.

For the show that means that I was able to produce the jig that I can use on my drill press to get consistent holes drilled into the PVC pipe and as you can see it doing here it is printing the bases with the 3 holes that the drilled PVC will be able to be inserted into.

It is NOT a fast process. Each of the bases that I print take about 2 days. Certainly there are faster printers than this one but this will do for the budget that I had and once I set it up to run it can do its thing while I work on other stuff.

I printed this C9 bulb, the base and the pixel holder that is inside of it a couple weeks ago. It was a test to see if I could make the translucent filaments work to allow pixel light through. If I decide to add these to the show they will probably be path markers. There are 3 parts to the build… The globe, and the base which includes the post that the 6 pixel holder (part #3) fits into. Biggest concern I have is figuring out how I can keep them secured to the ground so the wind and people and dog feet don’t tip them over.

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