Balloon Ornament

In 3D Printing, Crafts on November 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I’ve been slowly working on designing and printing a steam punk themed chess set for my little sisters birthday.  While doing some research I ran across an French lithograph from 1785 that I really liked.  It depicts a hot air balloon with a canoe style basket/hull and a some sails.


I really liked it, but couldn’t find a use for it in the chess set.  Regardless of that I still decided to design a model based on this litho and see about printing it.  Last night it finally dawned on me (yes i said something dawned on me in the middle of the night) what I could use this model for… a Christmas ornament!  I sat down and cleaned up the model for printing.  I decided that I would print one off before adding an attachment for the hook.  The slicing program predicted a print time of 12 hours and I wanted to have it finished before going to work today.  Adding the attachment would put that print time just out of reach before I had to leave.  It looks like one side of the balloon has lifted off the print platform and warped a little bit but otherwise the print looks pretty good.  I’ve got about an hour left on it.  I plan on painting this model so it shouldn’t hurt things too much if I have to fill in a small gap between the two sides where the print lifted.  I should be able to patch it up such that you won’t notice once it’s been painted.  This is just the prototype of the model anyway.  I will probably printing it with a brim to combat this problem on future prints.  Here is the model:


I’ll get a photo of the model posted tomorrow morning so you can see how it turned out.  I am thinking I will paint it similar to the original French lithograph except that I will paint 2013 some where on the ornament.  Possible on the sail or the balloon.  Maybe I’ll make it small and put it on the pennant flying from the back.  I’ll get it painted and then decide where to add the year.  I am going to send these out as Christmas gifts to my family this year.  Money is a bit tight so expensive gifts are out but I want them to know that I am thinking of them.   Hopefully I can do a new ornament every year and make a bit of a tradition out of it.  We shall see.



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