Mario Kart Trophy Revisited

2015-04-05 Mario KartIf you follow this blog you may remember my big Christmas project to create a Mario Kart trophy for my family using 3D printing. In the madness that is Christmas I forgot to take photos of the final outcome with all the characters unwrapped and in place, so on a recent visit home I got the chance to snap a few images and see who had taken the top spot. Turns out my mum has taken the “it’s my house so I’ll put Mushroom wherever I want” approach (her character), so the rankings aren’t at all accurate, but a fresh round of Karting with the whole family quickly fixed that. Although I’m sure Mushroom is back on top even as I write this! Great to see the trophy in prime position and adds an extra level of competitive drive for each race.

A few people have asked me if I’ll be creating any other Mario Kart trophies, or at least creating some options for the central figure – fantastic idea, but unfortunately I don’t have the time right now. I’m happy to throw the challenge out there for you to create your own additions and share them as remixes on Thingiverse; that would be really amazing! All you need to do is download the Leaf piece from Thinigiverse and create a character roughly the same size, with the same plug piece at the bottom to glue into the timber.

To check out my full process of creating this trophy visit this page, and to download all files to 3D print your own for FREE just visit me on Thingiverse.

– Posted by James Novak

COMPLETE: Mario Kart Trophy, Download Free

2014-12-12 Mario KartDone and dusted! The Mario Kart Trophy I’ve been working on for a few weeks (follow the full story here) is finally finished, and I’m really happy with the outcome. Araldite proved to be perfect for gluing all the pieces together. Now to wrap it and prepare for a Xmas of racing (I’m pretty average).

And because I really like to share my work and see people enjoy 3D printing, you can download all the parts you need for FREE on Thingiverse. Just follow this link. If you do make one, I’d love to hear your feedback. Until then, happy karting!

– Posted by James Novak

Finish Line in Sight

2014-12-10 Spray PaintJust an update on the Mario Kart Trophy progress – today all the 3D printed pieces have been spray painted in a chrome colour, and assembly has begun. As expected the paint really highlights the layers and any flaws in each part, but without spending a ridiculous amount of hours using acetone, or the more traditional fillers and sanding, this can’t be avoided. And there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the fact that this is a one-of-a-kind 3D printed product! Plenty more araldite to go, but the finish line is in sight.

– Posted by James Novak

25 x 3D Prints to Mario Kart Glory!

2014-12-06 Mario KartIt’s taken some time but I now have all the pieces for the Mario Kart Trophy 3D printed or cut from timber (follow the full story here). Bit of a marathon with 25 separate pieces!

You’ll notice the prints are in 2 different colours (ignoring the leaf which has been spray painted with a primer) but this is just to use up the material I had available – it’s all going to be painted in the coming days in a silver or gold. Then it’s just a matter of assembling with screws and glue.

I’ve considered using acetone to smooth off all the surfaces and remove the visible layers typical of 3D printed parts, however I personally don’t mind the layered look – it celebrates the process that was used to make it, like part-lines or ejector marks on an injection moulded part. The only piece I’m going to finish by hand is the leaf since I had to use acetone to clean up some messy surfaces (see the results here), and there is now a mix of layered and polished surfaces which is a bit ugly.

Looking forward to seeing the final result very soon!

– Posted by James Novak

Acetone Cleanup Really Works

141203 Leaf AcetoneI’ve written a few times now about my experiments using acetone to smooth rough surfaces (see this post about my first test of brushing acetone directly onto a surface).

This 3D print is the leaf for the center of my Mario Kart Trophy. The side pictured is the bottom side of the print, i.e. the side the support raft was fixed to. As you can see in the first photo it’s quite rough, particularly around the perimeter where the raft stopped and the overhang resulted in some loose layers. I really thought I’d have to print this again, thinking no amount of sand paper or anything else could smooth these surfaces as the loose hairy strands would simply fall off, leaving big gaps in the surface.

Enter acetone, hero of the day! Within about 1-2 minutes of brushing acetone directly onto the problem areas, the layers have dissolved and smoothed themselves out into an almost perfect surface. By using a stiff bristled brush you can actually feel the surface go tacky, and control the outcome. I’ve used acetone across this whole back side to fix up a lot of the problems – it’s really like a magic wand or blur tool in Photoshop! A must have for any 3D printers’ kit.

– Posted by James Novak

Hit and Miss

2014-11-26 Mario Kart PrintsToday I began some of the 3D prints modeled for the Mario Kart Trophy (follow the full story here). Seems like most of the Up! Plus 2 printers are out of order after a massive year at uni, so it took some work to cobble together bits and pieces that would work properly.

As shown in the first image, the large base piece is continually lifting (and therefore failing) – seems the plate is off level and causing the plastic to not stick into the perforations in one corner. Auto leveling is obviously not working to compensate either. Also I’ve realised I made a bit of a rookie error with the design of this part – rather than being a large solid, I should just shell most of the internal material out and reduce this large solid base to more of a ring shape. Firstly this would reduce material (yay environment!), but also remove the large mass which shrinks and enhances this lifting effect. Experience shows that large flat solids tend to do this more often than not, so my bad! I’ll adjust the model before trying again.

But the vine prints to be stuck on the timber ring worked perfectly. I’ve left a few more pieces on the machines, so hopefully they’re humming away ready to collect next time I’m at uni. Surely that’s not too much to ask? 😉

– Posted by James Novak

Trophy – Timber Pieces

2014-11-24 Mario KartJust a quick update on the Mario Kart Trophy I started CAD modelling yesterday – I’ve laminated some 12mm particle board together to form a 24mm thick piece, and cut the ring and base pieces to size with a very dodgy jigsaw. The first coat of a ‘Golden Oak’ stain and varnish is on (just what I had lying around) which makes me think I might paint the 3D printed pieces silver rather than my original idea of gold for better contrast to the timber. 3D prints to begin this week.

– Posted by James Novak

Tis the Season to be Racing

141123 Mario KartIt’s that holly jolly time of year again, and this time I’m skipping the crowds! Although my own 3D printer is yet to arrive (I jumped on the early discount of the Solidoodle Press, before realising they hadn’t actually made them yet! But shipping is due any week now!), I’m keen to make something one-of-a-kind for my family this year.

Some families play football, others compete by cooking or simply buying the best presents. If the picture hasn’t already given it away, Mario Kart is the ultimate competitive game in my family; even my technology challenged mum learned to pick up a Wii remote and take us on a few years ago! So it’s high time we had something to play for other than bragging rights.

I’ve purchased some small toys of each character (we all play with a unique character) and am currently modelling a trophy which will combine 3D printed pieces and some timber. The toys can then be placed in the ranked stands after a marathon session, serving as a reminder of who is supreme… until the next race. I’ll start 3D printing the pieces this week (probably about  15-20) so stay tuned.

– Posted by James Novak