Guest Contributor Todd Yenche
Oct. 3, 2017
My name is Todd Yenche and I live in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. I work for IBM performing data security and compliance. I started 3D printing about four years ago. One of my friends was showing off a 3D printer he built and I thought it looked like a fun project. I purchased a SeeMeCNC Rostock Max v1 kit and slowly built it. One of the main reasons I wanted to get into 3D printing was for Halloween.
My house is notorious for over decorating. In the past I would carve, the tombstones from foam. These are not ordinary tombstones - they are four layers of foam with lighting on the inside so the words can light up. The problem I ran into is the foam was easily damaged from being outside and wouldn't last through the seasons. My solution: 3D printing the tombstones.
As with many projects, 3D printing my first tombstone was a learning experience. Its failure was mainly with design issues. I did not add enough infill and left to much room for the lighting and not enough for body rigidity. It slowly sagged from its own weight.
This year's tombstone is more of a solid piece using MatterHackers PLA at a 10% infill. It was designed using fusion 360 and split into managable print pieces using netfabb. It took 68 cuts to get the tombstone to a managable size.
When fully assembled it stands 42 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Small pockets were left hollow for the lighting with conduits to feed the wiring through from pocket to pocket . Two holes were also printed at the base where rebar can be pushed into the ground to hold it firmly in the lawn.
One of the beauty of using the printer for the tombstone is all the choices of fonts available on the internet. These fonts can be laid down with exact precision which can make the wording really show nicely.
This year I have also changed the ligting on the inside so it uses pixel controlled lighting capable of doing just about any color per pixel. The tombstone is designed so the words will light up with lighting also put into the moon so it reflects downwards towards the wolf.
To carry with the Halloween theme I have also printed up some skull tap handles. Yes we give beer to our neighbors on Halloween night. Six tap handles are converted to a nice smiling skull which allows deliciousness to be served to the adults as the kids scamper about on a sugar high.
Want to be our next Hacker of the Month? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us about your 3D printed creation - you could be featured in our next newsletter. Hacker of the Month wins 3 free spools of PRO Series PLA or ABS filament to further their pursuit of 3D printing greatness.
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