You may or may not be familiar with the web series Con Man. It’s the work of entertainers Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion, and the project is notable for, among other things, having raised more than $3 million to cover the cost of the production on Indiegogo.
Joel Telling, who’s known as The 3D Printing Nerd, makes use of his YouTube channel to talk about 3D printing, and he’s also familiar with the Con Man phenomenon.
“On a whim one evening before Comic Con, I decided to 3D print the logo for the Con Man series,” Telling says. “The print got a lot of attention. The SFX Supervisor of the show saw it and tweeted at me. Plus, I got in touch with the PR person for the show, and she brought the print backstage at San Diego Comic Con Hall H to get the entire cast to sign it. She was able to get it back to me, and I in turn donated it to Operation Smile through The Nerd Machine.”
Telling’s print was designed in Illustrator and Photoshop. He began by cutting the logo from a promo image and then created a 6-color trace in Illustrator. From there, he copied the vector objects in Illustrator and pasted them into Photoshop 3D layers. He says each layer represented a color, and he then combined all the layers in Photoshop and exported the result to an .stl file.
“I brought the STL into Simplify3D, and assigned an individual process to each 2mm layer section, and I exported each process as it’s own gCode,” Telling says. “I printed a bed of white first, then gray, then yellow, red, and finally black.”
The object was printed on a gCreate gMax 1.5 XT printer.
The resulting signed logo was auctioned over the course of 10 days, and Telling says he was pleased when it brought $630 for Operation Smile. Operation Smile is a charitable organization which helps children suffering from cleft lip or cleft palate receive surgical care.
Telling printed the impressive five-color logo using a single-extruder printer, and he attributes the process to a unique feature in Simplify3D which allowed him to create a five-color print as he knew each layer of color would be 2mm. Telling says he adjusted the “Start printing at height” and “Stop printing at height” settings so that each 2mm section printed independently and he changed filament colors in the pause between layer settings.
The logo was printed in PLA at 215°C and 15% infill to create the finished product.
“The thing to remember is that a manual filament change will be needed for each color. You can’t just set it and forget it; you have to mind your printer and be aware of when you need to insert the next color,” Telling says.
If you want to review the details of how Telling made the logo print, you can learn how to create a multi-color print on his YouTube channel.
Telling says the overwhelmingly positive reaction he got from the cast of Con Man led to a request from Alan Tudyk himself for more prints, and web celeb Wil Wheaton also asked for a copy of the file to try on his personal 3D printer.
Will you use Joel Telling’s technique and Simplify3D to create your own versions of logos or prints? Let us know in the 3D Printed Con Man Logo forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some videos below of the 3D printing process and Con Man.