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 Post subject: Blue Helicopter solvent sealing
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA
A long time Adam (PuzzleMaster42) was having trouble getting some parts 3D printed and asked me to print them at the TechShop for him. Sadly, that didn't go so well and after many delays they printed them in dark blue instead of the requested white. That was corrected and the subsequently printed white parts found their way to Adam (and later to Frank Tiex, I believe...).

This left me with some expensive parts (an entire solid print of a Helicopter). The TechShop, having made the mistake, didn't charge me twice but thought they might keep them as examples of what their printer can do. But it wasn't my design to allow for others to view, and the thought of having a very rare puzzle sit around in parts not be built or played with was... painful.

I expressed this and so they offered them to me. Free. This didn't seem right (it cost them, even though it was their mistake) so I offered to build them a Neon in exchange (you can see it at the end of this post).

So now I had some parts, but they were of a puzzle I didn't design or purchase. It was only proper that ask Adam for permission to make them into a puzzle. In exchange for a Neon (see the yellow Radiation puzzle in the above link) he gave me permission to build them into a puzzle a did a lot of the initial prep (a ton of sanding).

They were sent back to me in this state, and I've had them over a year sitting around. I bought some IPSWeld months ago but finally got around to trying my hand at solvent sealing FDM parts.

I had heard that solvent fumes are nasty and so working with lots of ventilation was a good thing. For me this meant in the back yard. Solvent painting the parts took practice but after some time I was getting pretty smooth parts.

What was dissapointing was instead of a nice glossy surface it looked like I had sprayed it with silicone:
Image

A bit of phone tag with Adam later I found out about the concept of "blush", which is exactly what this cloudiness is. Adam indicated humidity might have something to do with it and I think perhaps rapid evaporation might also be a cause. It had rained not so long before I was working, and there was a bit of a breeze. Good for carrying away fumes, but apparently not so great for a nice surface.

A day later (to give them time to firm up) I tried again but inside this time at my current casting location (my bathrooom with the window open). The results, aside from a bit more fumes, were very nice. Absolutely no blush, and an amazing glossy dark blue finish:
[Finished parts with a black Alumilite pillowed 2x2x2 piece for color and surface comparison]
Image
[Built]
Image
[half turn]
Image
[Jumble!]
Image

Now I have to sticker it, but I don't want to cover up that beautiful blue plastic! I am considering stickers that are hollow, with just a mm or two band. I also have to decide if I use light blue on the dark blue puzzle or black on the dark blue. More pictures to follow when I do the stickers.

Enjoy (I did),

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:31 am
Location: Greece, Australia, Thailand, India, Singapore.
Thanks for sharing that story. :-)

And did I tell you that my favourite color is blue?
(If you do not remember my address, I can sent it to you again!)

:mrgreen:


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:25 pm 
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Looks nice!

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:36 pm 
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Location: In Rubik's World!
Now you should polish it. :wink:

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Last edited by Hugo Mak on Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:24 am
I agree that blue is beautiful!!


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:42 pm
That puzzle looks really cool, Nice job Dave, I would do black instead of lightblue, as I think it would look a bit better, and a band sticker might open up an entirely new adventure in sticker mods =D, Good job

(Thanks PuzzleMaster42 for the designs for Heli Cube =)


-Tyler


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:04 pm
Location: Lindenhurst, NY
awesome
maybe u can sticker it one color so you just solve the jumble
i feel like normal colors will make it look bad

it seems sticky, like paint thats not finished drying

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
greeneye wrote:
maybe u can sticker it one color so you just solve the jumble
Jumbling is interesting but it isn't that hard to get it back to a cube, probably no more difficult than for a Square-1.
greeneye wrote:
it seems sticky, like paint thats not finished drying
Yeah, the solvented pieces really have a nice "liquid" look to them, the surface is so smooth and shiny. With a bit of silicone the parts are *really* slick, and so movement is quite nice even though I didn't smooth all the interior surfaces as much as I could have.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Location: Somwhere in Norway.
Please Mr. Meffert, can you start producing this?

All in favour for Meffert to give the world the helicopter cube say I.

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:13 pm 
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TheTwistyStore is already going to make it I believe

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:47 am
Location: near Utrecht, Netherlands
Nice work! The parts look amazing.

I hear the professional solventing method is as follows:
- cool parts down
- expose parts to solvent vapours (DANGER!)
- repeat if necessary
- sandblast

When I solvented the 3x4x5 I got quite a lot of blushing. I was working in my kitchen, it was mid summer so it probably was quite humid and warm.
I wonder how the professional method could be done at home and what else can be done to improve solventing results.

greeneye wrote:
maybe u can sticker it one color so you just solve the jumble
H think that would be quite boring. *Scrambling* the shape is hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:16 pm 
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Nice job, Dave. I'd seen those pieces a couple of times, it's great to see the completed puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:29 pm 
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All stickered, you can find pictures over in the Blue Thunder thread in New Puzzles.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Helicopter solvent sealing
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
Taylor wrote:
Did you dunk the FDM pieces or paint on the solvent?
Both.

I started out with a dunk, then took it out and painted it for a while to let it soften the surface and smooth out some of the gaps.
But you have to be careful of drips, so I then did selective painting of all the surfaces to smooth it out.

I poured a bit of solvent into a small cup (to minimize evaporation, just large enough to fit the corner piece) and painted from that. I held the pieces with needle nose pliers, which wasn't ideal. Later I drilled small holes in the feet and screwed in #0-80 screws and held those with the pliers. More work than Drewseph's method of jamming an Xacto knife into the part, but that seems like it is just asking for a bad cut.

After my first attempt all the pieces were blushed, so I then painted solvent on them again the next day. I didn't do any dunking that time, just painting.

Dave

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