3D Modeling is Sweet — Part 2

Looking forward to Part 3 — molding the chocolate!

This white filament and serif logo combo is giving me Olay soap vibes haha

The latest installment of my 3D modeling saga features a 3D print of my chocolate bar design from Part 1. My ultimate goal is make a silicone mold of my chocolate bar design to then make actual, edible, delicious, and awesome chocolate bars from! This process is teaching me a lot in the way of patience…I just want to get to the eating the chocolate bar part!

Tl;dr — video below!

Printing out a true-to-size chocolate bar to make a mold from took a lot longer than I thought. When I printed out a small chocolate truffle-sized object two weeks ago, it only took about 15 minutes for the first small one and 45 minutes for a slightly bigger one. My first chocolate bar print was set to take 2 hours and 51 minutes! Unfortunately, the print failed about 40 minutes before completion — that was a pain I haven’t felt much in my life but would describe it as similar to a hard drive crashing the night before a paper is due. I was so close and yet so far. I believe I accidentally disconnected the USB too early from my laptop when saving my GCODE file and it ended up corrupting it. I wish I had known that before starting the print.

Actually, I am truly grateful for the failed print because it taught me to not only surrender control over my printing projects and keep my stress levels low, but it also allowed me to redesign my bar to a second version that I liked more than the first version.

I am designing a chocolate brand in another class and would like to combine my 3D printing objects with the visual design work in that class. I took a preliminary logo idea from my brand class and converted it into a SVG file to be “embossed” into my chocolate bar. It was my first time working with a SVG file outside of a website project.

My second version for the chocolate bar took approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes…it was a late night (take a look at the Bob Ross Chrome Extension I made while waiting for my bar to print!) I am enjoying seeing my ideas become physical realities via 3D printing, however, the time it takes to print, and the need to be present while printing to troubleshoot, is a real barrier to my desire to print more objects. I think I am more interested in creating a beautiful mold that I can reuse over an over again as well as exploring other fabrication methods such as laser cutting and CNC milling.

Seeing projects come together from multiple classes is a cool experience but I know that I could have pushed myself a little more in what I designed/created. I’ve mentioned in previous posts my difficulties with 3D modeling software which I find to be one limitation to creating more complex shapes. I also would like to explore creating objects that require screws or fasteners of some kind to test that out. Or maybe even printing something that I could use in and of itself as opposed to printing my bar that is really just a stop-gap in a bigger molding process. Because printing can be time consuming on both the design and printing sides of a project, I want to be thoughtful about what my next print will be before firing up the Ultimaker again.

One final exciting part about this project has been sharing photos of my printing with my family back home. They have never seen a 3D printer before or seen objects created with one so they are just as into my projects as I am. I’m even getting personalized chocolate bar requests from them :) This inspires me to share this technology with younger kids one day so that they have greater access and awareness of cool technologies out there in the word. It’s hard to become or attain something you haven’t seen or experienced before so I would like to be a part of bringing access to cool tech like 3D printing to under-resourced schools and families one day.