Tiny, illuminated sculptures

I designed these sculptures using a 3D modeling program (currently, Gravity Sketch running on an Oculus Quest VR headset), and printed them with a 3D printer (Elegoo Mars using white, water-washable resin). There are multiple copies of the one design I’ve done so far.

To see my other artwork, please visit the art gallery page.

I also write fiction, about which there’s lots more information on this site.

On my blog I’ll answer any question you might choose to ask, though the answers aren’t guaranteed to be correct or useful.

Technical details

To create thin sheets in Gravity Sketch, create flat sheets using the surface tool, then convert the surfaces into Sub-D objects. This lets you adjust their thickness. I’ve found I need to model things much larger than actual size, because the thickness measurement isn’t sufficiently precise otherwise.

In your design, if you plan to use a resin printer, bear in mind how the resin will run out when the model is upside down. You can wash out excess resin that gets trapped in the model, but it’s messy and wasteful.

Save the object to LandingPad.

Login to Landing Pad on a PC and export the model. Import into TinkerCad or other modeling software to do any adjustments. Gravity Sketch is good for drawing freeform shapes but things are often not at the scale I thought they were. TinkerCad is also easiest for integrating with other, standard components, like the base that sits on the tealight, and trimming bits that stick out where you don’t want them.

Export the result and import into a slicer program — I use Chitubox since that works with Elegoo equipment.

From there, you can add any necessary supports for printing, tweak the angle and position in the printing area, and go print.

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1 comment

    • Ems on 1 October 2023 at 6:33 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you for the illuminated sculpture. Originally snatched from a free art cabinet in Winterville because it looked cute, I discovered just how much depth and meaning there was to this piece once I found out you were an avid supporter of the Oxford comma. Keep fighting the good fight.

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