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Printing the temple statues

2021-06-06 by David

One of the unique features of the new Temple Outer Gate is the pair of deity statues either side of the gateway.

£ Both statues are quite large, standing about 80mm tall from base to top.


The first time I tried printing these statues I set Cura to use "tree-supports" to support the bottoms of their tunics and hands and elbows. Unfortunately I'd never used tree supports before and both statues failed about 2~3cm up. I obviously didn't have the settings quite right, and eventually some of the finer parts snapped off and got the rest of the print tangled up.


Failure! 😭


So, rather than tweak settings again and again until the statues printed properly, I decided to edit the statues to create a second set of pre-supported statues, which even the most clumsy of FDM printers (me included!) could print without too much difficulty. Both versions (supported and unsupported) are included in the download.

£ These are the pre-supported versions of the statues. You'll see that there are a number of 3mm-wide green posts added around the hem of the tunics, and a couple more holding up hands and elbows. These are the built in supports, and meant that I was able to print both statues without any other Cura-added supports at all!


Success! 😊

I printed the first statue at 0.2mm layer height, just to check it worked, and printed the other statue at 0.1mm layers. To be honest, there was not much difference between the finished statues (you can compare them below) - the main differences being the smoothing of shallow curved surfaces like tops of feet and heads.


I would also recommend slowing down your printer for these statues - I halved my normal 40mm/s speed (that I usually use for all terrain), down to 20mm/s. The infill was still only 5%.


£ Once you've got your models printed, you can burn off any wispy strands with a quick pass of a lighter, and then you'll need to carefully remove the built-in print supports.


Here's how I did that...


You could simply snip them off with cutters, but I find that sometimes the thickness of the cutters will force the two sides apart and crack the model along the layer lines. Since these were pretty delicate pieces, I decided to first saw through each of the print supports with a fine-toothed saw blade, as shown in the photo above. In addition to separating both sides, it gives you a spare 1mm of movement, which helps later when you're snipping off supports.

£ Next, gently grasp the end of a print support between the ends of your cutters, and rotate the cutters around the support post (as shown by the red arrow in the picture above). Just spin the cutters back and forth in a semi-circle, while squeezing gently on the handles.


After a few passes, the cutters should grind/cut through the support, and you can remove it without damaging the model.

£ The last picture to show you today is this photo of the two statues. The one on the left was printed at 0.1mm layers, and the one on the right at 0.2mm layers. If you look very closely, you can see the layer lines on the top of the feet, on the statue on the right. The rock was also a bit rougher.


Next blog I'll be showing off the assembly of the gate building itself, so watch this space!


Tags: samurai  assembly  printing 


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