Friday, September 14, 2012

Dragonfly Prototype Has Arrived

Well, the prototype arrived, and it looks good. It just doesn't function. No fault of shapeways of course. This was round one, and there were bound to be design flaws with so many moving parts. I had high hopes, but it's not terribly surprising that it didn't work on the first print. Here's a few photos of the results.

Upon opening the box, I didn't see the problems that I had hoped to see. I saw a different set of problems. It was the set of problems that I pushed to the back of my mind and hoped I would not see.

It's form is currently at 100%, It's function is currently at 0%
So, if we do the math, that makes it about 50% complete.

In an older post, I mentioned that art can be a lot of experimentation. This was my first attempt at making my vision reality. It didn't work. So, now it's time to see what does work, what doesn't, and refine the design.

I'll try to hold onto my original vision as long as I can. But, that doesn't always work out. One of the hardest lessons I had to learn in art school was how to know when you're done. By that, I mean knowing the difference between what you want it to be, and what it want's to be. You can try and try and try to make it fit your vision and get it "just right". But, sometimes you have to let the art just be what it is. If it's 98% what you wanted it to be. Then it's a success. That last 2% will drive you mad if you let it. I still find this the hardest lesson. I have left so many things (mostly paintings) unfinished because I couldn't get them "just right" in my eyes..

Over the next few weeks. I'll be refining the design and keep posting my progress.
Starting with an evaluation of the failures.

I will note though, that the material is surprisingly strong for it's size and weight.
It's feather light, and in some places it's not  much thicker than a piece of card stock. But, it's pretty tough. I've handled it quite a bit, and none of the little pieces have broken.
It's a lot like handling a hamster or other tiny creature for the first time.
You feel like you're going to crush it's tiny body in your big clumsy hands. But, it's always comes out just fine.

Thanks for Reading!


  1. Too bad it's not working... but it came out beautifully! That's already one aspect done and done :). And the mechanism looks almost ridiculously detailed, seeing it in print like that. Just... wow.

    The whole 'knowing when to stop' sounds pretty familiar, to me it is currently one of my biggest problems. Indeed, the last teenie tiny details can and will drive me crazy if I don't watch out.

    Good luck with adapting the mechanism!

  2. Thanks, I don't know when I will have time to finish all the changes that need to be made. But, I'll keep posting as I make progress.