Thing 006: MakerBot Astronaut

February 6th, 2012

a white plastic astronaut figure

This MakerBot Astronaut passes the play test: when you pick it up, you want to make it walk around on the nearest head, claiming said head for Earth in a comical astronaut voice.

My longest and most complex build yet. At the default size it’s four inches tall, and prints in five pieces, in the following times:

  • head: 11 minutes
  • helmet: 21 minutes
  • arms: 24 minutes
  • legs: 25 minutes
  • body: 44 minutes

Total: right around two hours. Then, giddy with the power of blue painter’s tape, I printed another, all on one raft.

To my surprise, this took slightly longer: 2 hours 10 minutes, I believe because of the overhead in moving between pieces on the same layer, and because the support settings are all or nothing: I needed support for the helmet, but I got it for every piece on the raft, spending unnecessary time and plastic.

So the moral is: if you’re doing a lot of pieces, or a multi-piece object, slice the objects separately and combine the G-code in a text editor if you can; it’s faster. And there’s another benefit to splitting the builds: if something goes wrong, you don’t have to re-build the whole thing.

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