Since retiring a few years ago, I’ve become very interested in 3D printing.

But the 3D printing revolution had just begun and most of the 3D printing machines available were experimental or difficult to build kit.

But it didn’t take long for the industry to catch up by making 3D printers more affordable, easier to assemble and much more affordable than the earlier printers were.

 Four short years later, I’m now on my third 3D printer. All of the printers have been good but each newer one I purchased had better features, larger printing volume and were less expensive than the previous one.

Over the years I’ve printed hundred of different models and have taken on some very ambitious projects.

 If you would like to take a look at a few of them, check out the links below:

3d Printer Primer - if you aren’t  familiar with FDM (fused deposited material) printing, have a look at my blog about how it works here.

Toyota Motor Project - this was the first “large” project I took on. It is a scale model of a 4 cylinder Toyota motor. The model is powered by an electric motor to demonstrate the inner workings of the motor.

Click here to check out the Toyota Motor Project.

The Toyota motor model build was very successful, so much so that I decided to build a more exotic and complex model of a Mazda rotary engine.

Click here to have a look at the Mazda rotary engine model.

I’ve always been interested in dioramas and elaborate model train sets, so when I came across plans for a scale model of a  gas station, I  couldn’t resist. In the case of the gas station model, instead of building the model exactly like the plans, I customized the model by basing it on photographs I had taken of our neighborhood gas station, which is unique and more picturesque than the average gas station. Have a look at the Belmont 76 service station model  here.

 Currently, although I’m retired from my previous business, a colleague of mine and myself have a small LLC corporation in which we design and build merchandise for the astronomical community. Mainly, the devices we provide are for autonomous, un-attended observatories. We make use of 3D printers to create housings and enclosures for almost all of our equipment and have two 3D printers running 24/7 producing parts.

Here is a demonstration model we made for one of our devices which is used to open and close the roof of a “roll-off roof” type of observatory.

Shown below are a few other 3D printed models I made “just for fun”.

A 3D printed robot that solves a scrambled Rubik’s cube.

Click here for a demonstration.

A “Venus” ball. Twist the upper and lower hemispheres of the ball to reveal its contents.

A ‘Santorini’ style planter.

Service Station