The artists at 3Doodler, the extremely easy-to-use 3D pen, have produced an ingenious, out-of-this-world model of our solar system and shared project instructions so you can make your own model. The original model was created last spring for the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) design store window display in New York City’s SoHo (for non-New Yorkers they have a fantastic web store) and was so popular that the folks at 3Doodler decided to share their design more widely.
Your BOM will, of course, be headed by a 3Doodler, which you can order online. For $99 you get the 3D pen plus 25 strands of ABS and PLA filament. Add the following items and materials to your list in addition to your 3Doodler (note that there is wiggle room when it comes to forms for creating spheres of various sizes – these materials were what the 3Doodler team had on hand):
– A partially deflated soccer ball
– A conventional light bulb
– A soup/cereal bowl from IKEA (or another manufacturer, of course, but consider the shape here)
– A heat gun – a hair dryer or flat iron will also work
– PLA yarns in various colors (see photos on instruction page so you can plan ahead)
– Tape, paper and pencil
If you’ve ever worked with papier-mâché, you may find this project less challenging. 3Doodler artists tried different techniques to create their miniature solar system. The first technique, which they call “wrapping”, involves drawing with your 3Doodler, also known as “scribbling”, directly on the shape: the soccer ball, the inside of the bowl, which would be half a planet , And so on. “Think of spinning thread or a cocoon,” they advise. They also suggest lining your form with masking tape, to which the PLA seems to adhere better.
After doodling the entire form with colored PLA that approximates the actual appearance of each planet (if you like realism), you’ll use your heating implement to melt the material very slightly so that the individual filament strands fuse together. . giving the appearance of a more solid surface. If you use an iron, we assume that you will need to place some kind of cushioning material such as paper between the iron and the PLA and you should refrain from placing the iron directly on the plastic; close enough is good.
The artists used a second technique to create their spheres. Instead of using a shape like a bowl or a ball, they created a skeleton for some of the smaller planets with the 3Doodler, linking rings together until the object could “wrap around.”
When it came to creating Earth, the 3Doodler team became even more entrepreneurial. They drew an approximation of the land masses on theirlightbulb and then used it as a template to fill in, or doodle, with blue and green. They carefully removed the bulb material, heated it to melt the PLA, and voilà! a mini-Earth!
They suspended their tiny solar system with transparent string, where it hung in the window of MoMA’s design store, but you can also put your personal solar system to other uses. For example, decorate your Christmas tree with a galactic theme. Draw some stars, moons and comets and increase your set to infinity (and even beyond)!
What do you think? Do you want to 3Doodle your own solar system? Have you used your 3Doodler pen in a similar way or do you have any ideas how to make some planets better? Let us know! See the 3Doodler Solar System Model forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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