Friday, July 11, 2014

Lego Gold Idol

A coworker of mine when they saw my Golden Idol asked that I make a Lego version for his kid. I thought it would be easy enough, forgetting that its never easy.

The modeling part with smoothly enough. Find a presumably compatible Lego brick model and a little boolean jiggery pokery and the model is done. But then I printed it and tested it out and it was too small. Mathematically it was fine, but either because of ABS shrinkage or instrument calibration issues the actual print was off. So I whipped out the ol' digital calipers and calculated that scaling it up by 111% would fix it. Then I tried printing it with the cheap gray filament that I want to get rid of and the result was crap. Then I printed it with the good stuff and it was much better. Little acetone vaping, little gold spray paint and now Lego Indiana Jones has a golden idol as big as he does.

But this brings up a question that bothers me quite a lot. If I upload this model to pinshape or shapeways and someone orders a print of it, will that print need to be scaled up by 111% as well? It was one thing for me to discover this when printing at home. It's entirely another to pay someone $20 for a custom lego brick and then discover it. Which means it's my responsibility to pay the printing fees to find out. But why would I do that? I have mine. And will printing it in different materials affect the fit? So I'm stuck not doing anything that needs precision like this.

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