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Reptile Snake Skin Pattern 3D Print

How do you get a reptile snake skin appearance in a 3D print? We stumbled onto a cool method!

I was printing a combat robot chassis and stumbled upon this happy accident of a snake / reptile skin effect. To get durability in a bot for the “plastic ant” class, with its 1lb weight limit, and requirement that chassis and weapons must be 3D printed using only PLA, ABS or PETg, I used Chroma Strand Labs INOVA-1800 translucent green 3D printer filament, mainly because it looks cool- Watch for translucent green in Chroma Strand Labs’ value priced INOVA-2008 PETg soon!

3d print of a combat robot chassis in translucent green INOVA-1800 filament and cubic infill.
3d print of a combat robot chassis in translucent green INOVA-1800 filament and cubic infill. I didn’t start out to have it look like a snake- the pupils in the engraved eyes were originally round, but when I saw another print of the wheel skirts and noticed the reptile pattern, I hopped back in Fusion 360 and quickly changed them to snake eyes!

The LulzBot Mini made a beautiful print, and the build volume was “just right” for a plastic ant. A good rule of thumb- If you need a LulzBot TAZ‘s build volume, your ant is going to be too heavy (ask me how I know..).

 

Angle view to show infill pattern
Angle view to show infill pattern

I created the model in Autodesk Fusion 360 (free for maker / student / non-commercial use!!) which has been an easy to use yet staggeringly powerful 3D modeling tool for quickly iterating through designs. The cloud sync makes it a snap to move between computers!

Side view- check out those nice unsupported overhangs!
Side view- check out those nice unsupported overhangs!

The key to is the infill pattern. I was experimenting with different infill patterns in the new CURA 2 LulzBot Edition Alpha and chose cubic for it’s strength. By happy accident, the combination of the translucent green INOVA-1800 and cubic infill yielded this cool pattern!  Pictured don’t really do it justice as the surface is shiny, and the pattern shifts as it catches the light.

 

Rear view. The engraved text came out pretty well!
Rear view. The engraved text came out pretty well!

We have free shipping on Chroma Strand Labs filement, buy some INOVA-1800 today and show us what kind of reptile prints you come up with!

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Bored frog.. or maybe he is just contemplating life!

Look at this cute little guy!! The files from Thingiverse say this frog is bored, or is he perhaps just contemplating his filament or which 3D printer he came from?!  Okay, I’m probably over thinking it.  It is made out of Inova 1800 filament.

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