3D Printing Spotlight On: Chelsey Kearney, 3D Model Finisher, Chaos Core Tech


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Chelsey Kearney’s husband Garrett, a Pinshape Ambassador who recently judged the Cosplay Design Contest, runs the fun, and informative, 3D design, modeling, and 3D printing Chaos Core Tech YouTube channel, which has over 7,000 subscribers. Every week, Garrett creates a new model, usually of a TV show, movie, or video game character, and 3D prints it. Then Chelsey puts on her finishing cap and, in Garrett’s very accurate words, “paints them to make them look amazing.”

Just from talking with Chelsey, and doing a little Twitter stalking, it’s easy to tell that she’s a pretty artistic and inventive person, and we share a common love for silly Snapchat filters and our dogs. In addition to finishing all of Garrett’s 3D prints for Chaos Core Tech, she has also completed a few simple models of her own, and expressed a wish to try 3D printing herself. I learned that Chelsey has honed some of her impressive 3D model painting skills from decorating cakes at Ktown Cakes & More, which she co-owns. I was very pleased to be able to interview Chelsey Kearney for 3DPrint.com’s 3D Printing: Spotlight on Women series to get more insights into the design and finishing aspect of the 3D printing world.

How did you and your husband get interested in 3D printing, finishing, and modeling?

“Initially, Garrett (my husband) got interested in 3D printing to make electronics enclosures. Once he got into it, he realized he liked the art side of it more. His first model he made was a Flux Capacitor from Back to the Future, he asked if i could paint it for him, so I did! Then it kind of just started from there and every model he ended up printing, he said would look much nicer if it was painted….so that is where I became to be a big part of his YouTube channel in general. I have always loved art and drawing and artsy things for as long as I can remember. Through high school I was so involved with orchestra and choir that I sadly never had enough space in my schedule to take art classes, so I took the Basic Art class in high school, and ended up taking the basic art class in college as well…so I am definitely not by any means very well taught in anything art, it is just something i have always had a passion for. And anyone who knows me knows that I am an extreme perfectionist with most everything and strive to make things look ‘like the real thing’ when I am finishing them.”

Do you and your husband come up with the ideas for the models together?

“Sometimes! He definitely has specific things he wants to do, that sometimes I am not the most interested in, and I’m sure there are a few ideas I have thrown out there that he hasn’t been the most excited about! But a lot of the time we will get an idea for a model and then kind of bounce more ideas off each other….our list of ‘Models to make’ is VERY VERY long!”

What’s it like working together with your spouse? Do you have separate work spaces, or work at different times, or both work together in the same space?

“We are literally best friends, I would enjoy nothing more than getting to work with him all day everyday (Darn ‘Real Jobs’). But Garrett mainly works on his stuff at night when I fall asleep from around 11 pm to 3-4 am, he is definitely a night owl! I work on things just whenever I have time, I work MondaySaturday anywhere from 8-14 hour days sometimes. So I will try to squeeze in a little sanding whenever I have a few minutes! Then I normally spend all of Sunday getting the model painted so that he can have his model videos up on Wednesdays. Its a lot more work to sand and paint those models than people think!!!”

I see that you also decorate cakes – have you always been a painter?

“Yeah, I do! For about the past 7 years I have been working with my aunt and decorating cakes. We now for the past 5 years, run our own cake shop downtown where we live. There is a lot of creativity and art that goes into decorating some of the cakes that I have created in the past years, and I would say, that is the enjoyable part of my job. I haven’t ever really painted that much to be honest, until the start of his YouTube channel. I mainly was always just someone who sketched and doodled and did other crafty kind of things. So I just do the best I can for painting on his models.”

Does Chaos Core Tech ever sell its models, or complete made-to-order models for customers? If not, do you see that happening in the future?

“We do not ever sell our models, partially due to them not being ‘original characters’ and partially due to the amount of money I would have to charge for the time I put into finishing and painting alone. I don’t think that it is something we are ever planning on doing, but who knows!”

What kind of objects do you like to model? What software do you use and what do you like about it?

“I have only modeled 3 things so far, a penguin, a snowman, and SuperMeat Boy. I used ZBrush Core for all of those models, and I guess what I like about that program the most is that it is almost like working with virtual clay! Add a little here, remove a little there…but to me it is still a very different thing than I have ever done, so it is taking me a lot of time to learn the program and how to use it. We actually just upgraded to the full ZBrush program, and it seems even more intimidating!!! Hopefully it will click for me soon, and I can do more and more modelling!”

What kind of 3D printer are you hoping to get?

“Oh man…well honestly I really want to get my hands on a Prusa MK2S, or a ZYYX, or…my ultimates?…a Form2 or the new G3D T-1000! Resin printing, or printing with these other 2 printers would help the details of our models come out so much better and cleaner. And better prints means less sanding, so….#SavetheFingers.”

I think if we all work together, we can get #SavetheFingers to trend on Twitter…so let’s get to it!

Chelsey recently received an early birthday gift from her husband Garrett: he sent a Scribbler 3D pen to her at work, and she’s been busy doodling ever since. Their love and support of one another is really touching to see, and it’s nice that they enjoy working together as well.

She also had a few words that she wants to pass on to the 3D printing community as well:

“I do want to include how much we both appreciate everyone in the 3D printing community, everyone is always so encouraging, and helpful. A truly fantastic group of people that we are both so glad to know.  And thank you to everyone for always having such nice things to say about my finishing and painting jobs, everyone’s nice comments makes all the very hard work worth it!”

Discuss in the Chelsey Kearney forum at 3DPB.com.

If you are interested in sharing your story, or know a woman we should get in touch with for this new series, please reach out any time. Send us an email or connect on Twitter. We’re looking forward to sharing more stories about women in 3D printing. Find all the features in this series here.

[Images: Chelsey Kearney]


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