There are an enormous array of materials available to anyone who wishes to create 3D objects, but Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi wanted a material that is both digitally ready and more than a little ethereal, so he 3D prints with light.
By day, Kalsi is a Project Architect at Santec (Burt Hill) and a graduate of the School of Architecture at CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India. He’s also a 3D printing enthusiast.
The layer-by-layer process of 3D printing is ideal for tracing out 3D objects by applying filament, but Kalsi uses a set of colored LED lights and his camera to put a new twist, as it were, on the process.
We first encountered his work back in June of last year when his technique was in the early stages of development, and Kalsi has quite literally “ramped” up the process since then.
“I upgraded the project to do light painting in full color,” Kalsi says. “I attached a 5mm RGB LED to micro platform of my 3DR delta using a proper attachment. The RGB LED is attached to pins 4,5,6 on the Ramps board. Also this time I wanted the camera to start and stop automatically as it is painful holding the shutter release button for a full four minutes.”
Once the camera was automated, Kalsi says then needed to produce Gcode for the multiple angles of the face model, and with a total of ten different angles to work with, he built a rotating .GIF file of the scan. A custom script in Grasshopper 3D he wrote is capable of taking any 3D model and converting it to the Gcode which controls the path the LED follows and turns the light source on and off.
His NIKON D3100 camera was set for a long exposure to take photographs, but according to Kalsi, a still image of the result wasn’t enough to satisfy his desire to see the final image. He also wanted to make image of the painting in real time via video.
“Getting this done is a entire project in itself,” Kalsi says. “I used a plugin for the free video editing app Kdenlive.”
Once you see the project (check out the video below), you’ll be amazed at the result, and implementing the RGB LED to add color into the process was a brilliant addition to the original technique. Well played, Mr. Kalsi, well played…
Can you see applications for 3D printers other than their intended purpose such as this one from Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi? Let us know in the 3D Printing With Light forum thread on 3DPB.com.