Earlier this month, we blogged about an exciting lithophane project printed through our platform. Today, we have the pleasure of bringing you another great art project, this time from a Netherlands-based sculptor called Jos Hamann.
Jos is a trained computer programmer with a passion for sculpture. His work has been showcased in parks and other public places across the Netherlands. After suffering from a stroke in December 2012, he was no longer able to operate heavy material and machines to build his creations. This led him to explore 3D printing as a means to stay active in the field.
Recently, Jos contacted Fab Lab Breda’s Hub to 3D print a Solanyl-based copy of a sculpture he had previously built from natural stone. “Drawing, writing and painting have never been my thing,” says Jos. “That’s why I’ve always preferred to work in 3D. The available software for 3D design offers endless possibilities, not only for sculptures, but also for animations - something I’ve previously explored in my kinetic artwork. These days, I’m focusing on scanning a selection of my ceramics pieces to experiment with 3D printing.”
Printing in Solanyl
Jos’ print “The Secundant”
For Jos, the look and feel of the material was very important and so was achieving a natural color. Therefore, he decided to order his print in Solanyl, a biopolymer based on potato skins. Since this is a relatively unexplored material, we got in touch with Fab Lab Breda’s Charlotte Jansen to get some insights on the print process.
On the whole, we learned that successful solanyl printing is mostly a matter of keeping the right speed and temperature. The material works with FDM printers but is highly sensitive to humidity and may be prone to sizzling depending on how old your filament sample is. Charlotte: “Solanyl takes longer to cool down because it takes the polymer chains more time to connect. Therefore, it is important to print at a lower speed. A speed of 30-50 mm will do, depending on the model size. Another setting that needs some attention is the temperature, this should be around 185 degrees Celsius. Finally, you shouldn’t be surprised if your workplace starts smelling like baked potatoes - that’s all part of the fun!”
The filament used by Fab Lab Breda is the result of a student project and is technically not available for sale. However, if you’re interested in experimenting with it, you can contact Charlotte to put in a request. Tried printing in solanyl before? Share your best practices with us on Facebook.
Print with bronze powder finishing and solanyl print