Endless 3D printing, or The most expensive stove knob ever... worth it

Very Cool! Looks like something that might end up in St. Mary’s Cathedral (the new one not the old).
What will the final material be, Stainless? Will the Top and Bottom be of different materials? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Thanks. I love St. Mary’s Cathedral on Gough st, one of my favorite buildings in the world, locally we call it the “Maytag” because it looks like a washing machine agitator.

This piece will be going into Grace Cathedral, which is also a beautiful space. Final will be a frame of painted steel, the bottom will be an open center hoop, and the top will be plexiglass, I think, I’m still working out.


The tension and balance create an “ethereal” feel, just lovely. It would be great to get a heads up when it’s finally installed. I’m up in Marin and will come see it. Thanks for sharing.

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Getting into the holiday spirit here, I got it in my mind to print a spiral (helical?) sphere ornament. I was partially inspired by @jimhami42 in this post. At the end of the day I had some trouble merging the shapes into an outer shell with this method, still exploring that. I tried several other ways and a few different extensions for generating this with mixed success but ended up with a method that is almost all native tools. I did have to do a bit of tedious clean up of some odd internal face “artifacts” left over from the outer shell process. It was a bit maddening at times chasing down the solid errors but I got there in the end. Clearly, there is room to improve my process.

This is where I need @Box to show up with one of his brilliant little GIFs whipping one out in 10 seconds. Seriously, I would love to learn a bit by seeing other peoples methods for this shape, but the final sphere you make has to be “shiney:wink:.

Anyway, now I’m refining the shape and playing with variations. Here is an extra thick double spiral version printed today. Happy Holidays!


Looks good, don’t have the 10 seconds just now and am on my phone anyway so I’ll see what I can whip up later.

One tip, have you tried not making it shiny, just print it as it is without trying to do outershell. Most printers will happily print the multiple solid components and the fact they intersect is incidental.

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Yes I did try printing a multiple solid version. My slicer / printer combo (cura,ender3pro) put voids into the path intersections. It’s like the two paths cancel each-other and there is nothing printed in the intersection space, so the print falls apart. Could be a slicer setting, I’ll look into it, it would certainly be much easier.

Look for an Unsolid model option in the print settings.

This is normal print, you can see the voids at the joints.

And this is with Unsolid ticked.


This is my first thought on the subject, I have cut the ends off just because they come to a point at the poles which causes the shape to not be a solid.
I have used extensions.



Nothing on TV tonight so had to fiddle the decorations. Started in 2020. Then decided I needed 2019 for the render, save as back to 19, fiddle all the bits…looks good
hmmm one single bauble… it’s a bit …simple… can I add more

Add a few, an array? Nope, needs physics! Some random clashing. Save as again to 2018…


Yay! Christmas balls for everyone!! Thanks @Box, your GIF did not disappoint. I had been using basically the same method for a similar version with joint push pull (but I was not using fixit 101 for clean up which is an awesome tip). I think your advice to ignore the ends and stitch them back together after also saves a lot of headache.
What really happened to give me so much trouble was that I couldn’t help getting tempted to do things the hard way and I had gotten fixated on finding a reliable way of making this shape employing follow-me pathways so that I could test out various spiral columns with different cross sections (circle, polygons, stars). Building a line path that follows smoothly while flipping the cross section 180 and ending square on both ends puzzled me for a bit but I think I have a working version now.

The real game changer here was the tip about printing unsolids. I dove back into my slicer options and have now located the mesh controls to union overlapping volumes and patch mesh holes. Sooooooo much easier it feels like cheating. It’s still darn good modeling practice trying to keep these organic shapes manifold, but it’s great to know I can be lazy if I want to.

I think this one came out particularly nice.


I’ve never printed one like that, as I have never had any green filament. I have a least one of those in every other colour you can imagine.

I can see what you mean about wanting to do the follow me path and yes it can be tricky.
It certainly works well for subd though.

I’m glad you found the unsolid setting, opens up so many design possibilities.


SubD does a super job on that, I’m going to try that too. For the moment, now that I have a path setup that works I am having fun experimenting with profile shapes.


Try making that a solid!!

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Now that I can union overlapping volumes… I don’t have to. :grinning:

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D’oh I should have kept my mouth shut.

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Note to self, when doing a quick print remember to check what’s left on the spool.

it’s very blobby because it is very thin and printed too fast.


Sometimes I find simple practical solutions to be some of the most rewarding, even when the modeling is not so demanding. A new reading lamp pedestal socket designed to attach using the existing bunk bed hardware. Bolt spacing turned out to be a very odd 132.5mm on center, only Ikea knows why.


ain’t that the truth. :crazy_face:

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I really caught the bauble obsession this year. Designing and printing them has made for a lot of fun and learning with just a dash of hair tearing frustration. Mostly it’s given me something to do in the in-between moments to keep me moving and out of trouble, a big thanks to all who contributed thoughts and ideas. Once I got started I could not stop, I ended up making something like 40 of them, and eventually got into glitter coating them in custom mixed colors. I think I’ve got all that out my system for now, but the results are sparkling on our home tree spreading glittery 3D SketchUp joy.

I wanted to share some of that joy with all of you, my extended SketchUp family. I wish you all a very Happy Holidays.


As obsessions go, this one was pretty creative and harmless. :slight_smile:

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