02 December 2012

Conversations With Designers

Some folks have written lately and I thought I would post some of the conversation.

“F” wrote:
Message: Hi, I just found you page and your corresponding thingiverse page. I had a similar idea when I ordered my 3d printer and I´m expeting it next month. As for designs I´m confident i´ll be able to develop some nice shapes and with the help of some ladyfriends this is gonna be a lot of fun. One thing though when I saw the pics of you models on the page here they look very rough. I dont know what the layerheight of those models were and pics of 3d printed object usually overestimate the visibility of the layerthickness but have ever thought about acetone dipping to make it smooth and shiny? Another idea I had was to dip the printed dildo into something like liquid latex or DIY plastic dip. You have the expertise in sex toys would you say it liquid latex is durable enough to give it a complete cover? OR can you imagine some other finishing materials?
Hey F, 

Welcome to the project!  I've tried a couple of things to get the surface roughness under control.  I've tried brushing on acetone with mixed results, I didn’t have a good way to dip the finished item, but that seems like a good idea.  I've tried sanding and a heat gun as well.  Nothing has worked super well so far.  Control and quality was an issue with everything I did.

Liquid latex is a great idea.  A small percentage of people have an allergy to it, but that number is really small. Almost all condoms sold in the US are latex.  I'm not sure what Plastidip is made out of, so I'm a little concerned about it.  I've also thought about a silicone coating which would be great.  ABS is a great, body-compatible material, but you are right, we need to get the surface finish right.

As for the print quality, I use a Makerbot replicator and I print in ABS.  (PLA is water soluble, so that is a no-go).  I photograph the finished prints as realistically as possible.  Photoshopping parts at this stage in the technology would be wrong.  I don't want to give anyone a false impression.  3D printed parts with the current technology are often rough and imperfect.  Also, I believe that the printers will improve significantly and we'll be able to celebrate it if we stick to the truth.  

Thanks again for joining the project.  I think we are pioneering something cool and useful.

“M” wrote:
Message: Do you have an accurate STL model of the bullet vibrator you use in your designs. If so please e-mail it to me and I'll see if I can incorporate it into a couple models I have.

Reply: To fit the bullet, I make a hole that is a cylinder of 18 x 60mm.  It fits right into that.  If you need me to create an STL of that cylinder, I can (and I probably should) but I usually just whip up a new cylinder.  

Thanks again for writing.  I look forward to seeing any designs you submit.

Also, here is a teaser photo of my latest design:

MakerLove in the news

Pow! Two news stories in one day today. First, VentureBeat.com wrote about us in this piece. Then, 3Dprinter.net wrote about us as well, here. I am thrilled that other technologists can see the value of the work we are doing. Look, I understand that this isn’t the greatest project in the world, but I do believe it is useful and forward thinking. Also, I should note that it has been a long, long time (ever?) since someone has said anything nice about a guy who designs and sells plastic dicks for a living.