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Rarity Pony 3d print by Athey Rarity Pony 3d print by Athey
When I first got the makerbot, I promised my daughter, Kaya, that I would use it to make her some toys. I then proceeded to use the next two months to make a zillion little things and test objects for myself while I figured out how to use the machine.

To make up for not having fulfilled my promise of toys, I printed a 3D Model of Rarity from My Little Ponys, created by the oh-so-talented :iconkp-shadowsquirrel:

I took the obj that *KP-ShadowSquirrel made available, and put it into zbrush to use Dynamesh to take all of the various pieces and combine them into a single solid water-tight mesh, Then I threw a claypolish over the whole thing, decimated it, popped it back into Maya to check the scale before slicing it with skienforge and ReplicatorG.

I printed it with raft support, which wasn't nearly as hard to remove as I had feared it would be.

Kaya has already taken it and painted it all sorts of colors. lol.

obj files of pony from here:

The specific one I printed here is this one:
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MerrillsLeather Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
holy cow man... So i just got my makerGear M2 like 2 days ago... and i feel that there is so much that i DONT know... ive printed a poke ball... your info of the process you went through made me feel like i am going to explode... is there a dumb guy tutorial or for dummies book that you can recommend. because i would love to do something like this... although with something a little different than MLP... any help would be appreciated. i thought i jumped into the deep end of the pool just buying this thing...... but it looks like i jumped into the ocean surrounded by sharks and im bleeding... thanks again for the inspiration... 
Athey Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Hmm... Well, I don't know much about the MakerGear M2 - did it come with (or provide a download for) any proprietary software for exporting?  I'm assuming it did, as they pretty much all seem to.

Are you familiar at all with  If not, go there.  You can download a zillion different models that people have made and put up for free, for 3d printers.  You can download the .stl files and then run them through whatever export software your bot's manufacturer recommends.

STL is 'Stereolithography' which is the format that all 3d printing and CNC machines use/take in, before they're exported to whatever specific format your printer reads.  Makerbot machines read .x3g files - not sure if your bot would read the same thing, or if MakerGear uses something else.

Again - since I don't know whatever software you have to use, I don't know if they'd change any of the terminology, but here's some you might need to know - 

Raft - A layer of criss-crossed filament laid out on the bottom of the platform - think of it like a 'Raft' that your print sits on.  I personally, never use raft.  It hasn't come up very often as something I really need.
Supports - Automatically generated material printed beneath any over-hanging surfaces of your print, so that whenever it needs to start printing something that wouldn't have anything under it, normally, there's something under it to 'support' the actual print.  Supports are printed in such a way that they can be peeled off pretty easily with some needle-nose pliers, and a little sanding.

Your bot can print with both PLA and ABS, the two primary types of plastic used by FDM 3d Printers.  The differences are:

ABS - Needs a higher temperature to melt, so it prints at a higher temperature.  It also needs a heated build platform or else it won't stick to the platform.  (It'll either curl up, or just slide right off.)  Despite this, I think ABS is a far superior substance.  It's harder to use, but you'll get better results.
ABS can be melted with Acetone, which is a fully water-soluble chemical, so it evaporates and can be washed away.  

If you're having trouble with curling on the platform, first make sure it's leveled (and do the leveling while the platform and nozzle are heated - they expand when heated up, so if you level to a cooled platform, it won't be accurate once things are heated up).  If you're sure everything is leveled really well, and it's still curling, dab a paper towel in acetone and wipe down the platform.  The prints will stick to it like nobodies business after that, but you'll also have a harder time getting them off the platform.

There's also a trick you can do with ABS and acetone that can change a print from the matte layered thing you normally find, to a very smooth and shiney print like this - 
3D Printed Fluttershy Vapor Treated by Athey
It involves getting a large glass jar with a lid, that is still small enough that it can sit on your heated platform.  After the print is done, put a small bit of acetone in the bottom of the jar (like half a centimeter - just enough to cover the bottom.)  Find a way to elevate the print so it's not actually sitting in the acetone.  A small platform - I've seen some people make the platform out of aluminium foil or cardstock).  Heat the build platform up to 100 degrees Celsius - which is the temp that acetone vaporizes at.  Have the jar on the platform - get it up to temp - place the print in the jar and let it sit for like, 5 minutes.  Then take the jar off the platform and remove the lid so the vapor can escape.  Wait a few minutes before touching the print.  If you touch it too soon, you'll just leave smudgy indents on it.  It will take several minutes after you remove it for the full effect to finish.  But after it's set, it'll be smooth and shinny.

The acetone is literally melting the outer surface of the print, and then it solidifies while cooling into the nice smooth effect you see i the picture.


PLA - has a much lower melting point.  It can often actually require a fan point at the print while it's printing, just to make sure that it fully solidifies before the next layer is laid down, because it melts at a much lower temp.  Also because of this, you don't use the heated build platform when printing with PLA.  It actually needs the platform to be cool.  If the platform is hot when using PLA, it'll stay really soft and kind of gooey, and curl up like crazy after only a couple layers.

PLA is more likely to goo up your nozzles too.  I'm a personal advocate of avoiding PLA like the plague, but that's me.  You might like PLA.  Apparently a lot of people consider PLA a much easier material to work with - and it doesn't require the heated build platform, or nearly as high a temperature, so I'd guess it's probably 'safer' in that regard.
theangrypencil Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey come by this site - we are working really hard trying to obtain startup funding for this 3D printing company. Thanks!
timber533 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
how much did you spend on your 3D printer?
Reganor Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Please email me at
rensole2k4 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
looks good dude!
I'm about to buy a replicator 2 from makerbot, would you say it's been worth it's money ?
Athey Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It certainly has been for me, but I know two guys who probably don't get quite as much value out of their Makerbots. It's really about your own drive to use it.
rensole2k4 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
and the 1kg spool of PLA how long does that like... go for ?
Because 1kg does not sound like a lot of stuff but Seeing you are the first person I know and can ask about this stuff haha.
Athey Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
In my case, it's ABS, but I've got a Replicator 1, not a Replicator 2 (which only uses PLA - the 1 can use both and is intended more for ABS). Doesn't matter much because as I understand it, they both last the same amount of time and they cost the same.

Back when i was only printing random little things for myself, and a few big projects, the 2 spools that my makerbot came with lasted me nearly 2 months. You can get spools off of amazon for $29, which work just fine in my experience. The only complication I've gotten from ordering spools off of amazon instead of is that the spools they come on are different sizes and I've had to print myself adapters for holding the spools on the back of the bot.
rensole2k4 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow thanks man!
Seriously this info helps a lot haha :D

By the way, would you happen to know if you have like 2 big pieces (which are both printed from the makerbot, how to glue those together ?
Because I know it's doable but I thought maybe you would know haha
Athey Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yup - it's called Bondo. I did it here: [link]
carbonnanotube Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
Bondo <3
Lazy Engineer's best friend XD
rensole2k4 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ah sweet :D I'm used to using bondo so that'll be no prob :D
How did you reinforce the back of it ? fiberglass ? or something else ?
Athey Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
nope - just bondo. Didn't have to reinforce anything. The two pieces there are pretty damn solid, I just layered on bondo until all the gaps were filled and then spent forever sanding the damn thing before painting it.
Enalon Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How resilient is the rest of the model? It looks so delicate... but then, it is Rarity. ;)
Athey Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's surprisingly strong. I was afraid it would be weak and that the hair, especially, would snap off, but it feels very sturdy and nothing shows any indications of breaking. My daughter plays with it, as she would any of her other toys and there's been no signs to warrant fear of it breaking.
MegaBunneh Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
i want a 3d printer now
ZelenJackArt Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
how do you figure out where the stuff needs to come off near her face?
Athey Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The raft support peels off fairly easily. It's done in single-layer strips with big gaps between them - they're just close enough to provide the necessary support for the main print when it gets to the proper layer to start printing. The object itself is done much stronger and thicker, etc. so the thin raft support just comes right off of it. It leaves behind little strips and bits that I have to file or sand off, but it's minimal, really.
ZelenJackArt Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
wow, I thought it would be way harder
Aannaeyalia Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Student
OMG I WANT A MAKERBOT!!!! hehe seeing you make some great stuff makes me want one so much.
MrMoldavia Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
Wow! She really came out well. Your kid is going to be amazed. I would have been really psyched to have a Maker bot when I was that age. My Transformers would never have had missing/broken parts. :)
Syntaxcapt Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
Looks great!
coregazer Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The underside of that looks pretty rough in the first few images. How did you get rid of the excess *stuff*, and did you have to resculpt the underside of it, or did it just come off? :P
Athey Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The 'stuff' is call raft support. The machine has to create those layers in order to support the material that would otherwise be floating in space with nothing beneath it. It's done in thin layers with gaps between them, and without any of the layer thickness that gives the rest of the model it's toughness. Fortunately, most of it just pulls right off with fingers or pliers. It leaves little jagged bits though, and those usually have to be filed and sanded down. I usually use a dremel tool to clean up the messy bits, but this model was a bit small for me to get into the spaces with the dremel, so I just used little hand files.
coregazer Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow... learn something new every day I guess :P. Sweet. I'll be sure to buy a dremel tool and a some hand files if I ever decide to invest in a 3D printer then :P
J-Carver Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
I want my own 3D printer.
CycloneNinja Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Firepoppy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thats so cool!
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