Figures on Display
If you have come to the site wanting to know more about the selection of items on display from the XL Minifigs project. Below are the links to the projects that should give a little more information about the process.
The full XL Minifig was completed a few years ago however the parts used to make the model were cast from silicone moulds. As such the same parts are being used in the current 3D Scanned heads project, and for other future projects. Follow the included links to find out more about the process involved.
The selection of parts will remain on display until November 2016 at the Kardinia International College Learning Commons. I am also around to answer any questions about the projects or how to replicate them.
Another Portrait Commission
As part of two 50th birthdays that have taken place this year I was asked to design a print for both people. At first it was a simple undertaking, however between moving house and fitting out new rooms, I was severely lacking workspace and time to get into these. Luckily the recipients have been extremely understanding and patient with the progress, especially as I can't show them any progress without spoiling the end result.
Starting out my Career as an illustrator, only to end up as a 3d modeller, there is much time between the last that I've 'illustrated' something. Looking back on my work from 4 years ago when I dabbled in gifting prints to friends, or even my work as a comic artist for the local paper, I was much quicker at getting something out however with each new print the more detail I tend to add in. These latest prints have been very fun to do, I'm adding in more shadow and light to each image while still holding true to the minimalist flat shading. I do hope they are enjoyed and will post the final versions once completed.#prints
Filling and Sanding
With space created and a temporary spray booth set up the 3D Head project is back in full swing (It also helps to have a very tight deadline to get stuff done). Each of the casted objects has been trimmed & sanded to remove each part's flashing and allowing the individual parts to be glued together. As the polyurethane glue dries expands it creates a bubble filled hard mass, this does work as an advantage to help fill large gaps, however once sanded flat usually leaves behind lots of small holes.
After all objects have been glued and dried it is time to mix up some filler putty and close up any remaining divots & holes. Filler putty has a short work time and dries within a few hours, this can be increased by using less 'hardener' however if you don't use enough of it the putty won't catalyse and set hard. Working with such small objects only small amounts of putty are needed, however mixing up a small batch can be a challenge when adding the 0.2% hardener required. As such, a good tip is to prep multiple objects at once and line them all up to fill in succession.
Once the putty is dry each object is given a sand to smooth out the shape. The object is then sprayed with a 'spray putty' which is like spray paint but has a little more thickness to it and doesn't run as much. The end result of the spray putty is that it'll help smooth out tiny imperfections in the objects surface. The following day the paint is dried and with help to the matt finish and even colour makes it very easy to spot any missed holes & divots.
The entire process is repeated; mix up putty filler, sand, spray with spray putty, and sand until the object has the desired finish. This part of the process takes time as each layer requires drying/cleaning in between. In the past I've used an alternate method of spraying gloss spray paint layer after layer until a thick coat has been applied and all small imperfections are covered. However learning from past experiences the new method takes about 5 days with 40 objects while the previous method would take 7 days and then 2 weeks to allow the thick coats to dry properly. The trade-off is that sanding is more labour intensive.#3dhead
As winter hits its peak here in Victoria I've been spending some time finishing some commission work that is well overdue. This is the first time I've been able to use the new office space properly, and while it has got a few issues, it suits the purpose. For the rest of the infrastructure for the new house the servers have been set up and I'm able to back up my work, and test web development. The workshop is still full of moving boxes so there isn't going to be any 'making' updates for a while. But I have a deadline for the 3D printed heads, so by hook or by crook they will be finished in the next few months.#news #prints
It's been almost a year since my last post and quite a lot has happened. I've completed renovations on my old house, while building and new one. Over the Christmas 2015 break I sold my old place and moved into the new house. Unfortunately this has had a major impact on the projects for Kaabaa. Currently Everything workshop related is in storage, while as of this month I've only just gotten a study and PC set up. The area set aside for the workshop is a holding space for all the boxes that need unpacking. At the moment I'm putting together an Ikea walk-in-robe so we can start unpacking our clothes.
As for projects, the "XL minifig MK4" will be on hold for at least a year. The "3dhead" won't be re-visited until after August. Meanwhile I have 3 commissioned poster prints to get into and in my spare time I'm setting up a network systems monitor UI and server for the new house. The workshop isn't due to be fitted out until January 2016, which will help get Kaabaa back into full swing.#news
As winter turns to spring I have more concerning jobs to do around the house, with the major project of getting it ready for sale. Unfortunately this means packing up the workshop, cleaning out the garage, and putting all my projects on hold until being set up in the new house early next year. I do have some more print commissions for the holiday season, until then it'll be a little light on content as each room is packed away.#news #prints
With all elements in place the final step is to assemble the figure.
Each painted piece was finished off with a clear gloss coat and a car wax polish buff before being snapped and slotted together. The final coats of paint took about 3 weeks to fully cure but has held up well and not bubbled with the added clear coats.
While tested in the past, the transfers also worked well with an added clear coat and wax. The added clear coat over the transfers helps hide the seam and means the surface is consistent, as transfer paper has a matt finish
While the final figure has worked well I wish I had spent more time when figuring out the moulds for the parts, they require allot of clean up and I've put seam lines in bizarre places. Also through this process I realised I didn't need to be so careful about getting the parts in and out of the silicone, meaning I could have done many of the parts in one piece without needing to glue the castings. Using the same moulds my next project is the 3D printed heads.The next figures are more stylised using custom heads and will be finished in a gloss white.#xlminifig #news
it has been a while since my last update and it will be another while before my next as I complete jobs from a busy start to the year. I've just completed a pair of prints for some friends which will be wrapped up and posted by the weekend.#prints
It has been a while since the last post, with good reason. However the latest modelling project has had to be put on hold. Currently I have some print posters commissioned which have a very near deadline and in between those and actual work crunch time it leaves me no room to work on anything else for the time being.
It'll be another few weeks before I have the results to show so I only have a teaser for the moment. I also hope to get the 3D head project finished very soon after, and write more detailed articles about 3D printing for the classroom.#news #prints
While I'm still away I don't have any images of the XL Minifig piece that was given as a Christmas gift. In my spare time I have been modelling another version this time for myself.
With this project I always knew I was going to make multiple versions/types so I moulded the common body parts with the idea to 3D print the unique pieces for each character. The first completed model was of a friend of mine who is an avid skier. The next one is more my taste and is simply a lego Ironman figure. For which the helmet will be printed as a unique one off.
The completed figures are about 20cm tall and fit regular Lego parts that are scaled up 11 times (The figures are the same size as the digital clock Minifigs). While I did start out with a low poly mesh from thingyverse and LeoCAD the details and proportions didn't match the actual Lego Minifigs. the biggest error was that the hands were completely different from an official Minifig with the thickness curves and angle completely off. I also spent some time adding bevels and adjusting proportions to each part of the figure as well as cutting the model up to be able to cast it more easily.
Like the Minifig body the Ironman helmet was taken originally from an exsisting file but again needed details added and adjusting to make it suitable for a high-resolution print. While the initial mesh was close to the store product the parts misaligned and tolerances were too tight for a physical fit on a scaled Minifig head.#news #xlminifig
With all moulds complete and the XL Minifig project wrapped up for the moment I've spent my time casting five versions of the same Lego Minifig body for the 3D printed Heads. Each cast has around two and a half minutes pour time before it thickens and it becomes difficult to extract air bubbles. During this time I pour a little resin into the mould and tilt it slightly to remove air then pour in a little more and repeat the process. Once the mould is full I give it a squeeze to 'burp' out any remaining air and rotate/tilt it gently as it thickens. The results vary and each piece has small air bubbles in different spots that become trapped, some of which will be patched up, others will be ignored as they won't be seen.
The bodies are all cast and are ready for the next stage which will be trimming off the cast flashing and then a little sanding them to a smooth finish. Several parts need to be glued and again sanded before the entire model is primed and painted.#news #3dhead
As Christmas time approaches I'm in full swing, spending my spare time priming 3d prints while molding masters for casting. 3d prints have a terribly rough surface finish and for best result I cover them in around 4 coats of car spray putty. This thickens when dry and gives a good matt surface for sanding.#news #3dhead
My next project is on its way, however I won't be posting any major updates on it as it'll become a Christmas gift for someone.
With only a few weeks to go and a huge list of printing, priming, moulding, casting, and painting I'm hoping not to run out of time. Post Christmas I'll have plenty more to share until then I don't want to give anything away.#news #xlminifig
What started out as a quick test for clip joints and small scale has turned into a very elaborate and fun project. The Caffeinator and Prince Chai have now both been completed. With a mix of 80's super-villain and power rangers costume, posed and painted they make an interesting talking point on my desk.
With some more free time I've started a new project. Initially designed to test snapping/moving joints and to also confirm how small details can be before they are lost on a 3D printed model. The character has taken some design changes along the way failed in some areas and has had some spectacular results in others.
Follow along as I wrap up the finishing touches and post the journey from designing CAD design to producing a prototype print and adding finishing touches to it to make a figurine.
The source files for the Arcade cabinet Phone Holder are now available for download. Follow this link to read about the project download the working files and instructions on how to create your own phone holder.#news
After seeing Tested.com's plans for making a arcade coffee table I got some inspiration and started googling arcade cabinets to see what other creations people have tried. I came across some small model railway kits and also some desktop functional mods that show arcade in a more portable format. I was looking for something I could have on my desk at work that would serve to be more practical than a static model but not be a complete machine. I came up with the idea of making a stand up arcade shell that houses a charging phone as the screen. Simple!
I don't have any major functional plans for the model it'll just look nice on my desk. Eventually I'll try to add a 8 bit-eske screen saver to the phone while it charges but it is just a way to check the phone when a message pops up, while keeping it charged and connected to the work PC. Plus did I mention it'll look cool?
The project will be open source and I'll have a link to the files I used once I get a mock-up done for myself and I know it all fits together. Follow my process at Kaabaa and any troubles I encounter along the way.#news #phoneholder
As a graphic designer and video games artist I have put together a few dynamic themes for Playstation 3. Although the system has since been superseded I've included them on this site as a legacy. Click here to view the Kaabaa PS3 themes and to download them for yourself.#ps3themes #news
Welcome to the new site. Helping you out with maker projects and showcasing a range of designer figures and custom toys Kaabaa is about sharing a creative passion with the world. We hope to keep you up to date as projects are started and completed, with details on construction and problem solving. I mix of tutorials and examples for you to try yourself as well as once-off and limited edition figures for sale.
More news as it happens, so check back soon, or you can subscribe.