JoeEngineer Goes 3D

by Nic Rady

Recently, I wrote about transforming JoeEngineer from a 2D image into a 3D solid model using SOLIDWORKS with Bringing 2D into the Next Dimension.  Although I can create some very nice rendering using PhotoView 360, I wanted something a bit more tangible and set out to print Joe on a variety of our Stratasys 3D printers to create a life-sized head.

Joe’s Hair – Stratasys 250mc

Joe’s hair was not only the hardest to design, but it was also the most time consuming to print and post process. Important pieces to the hair process puzzle included:

  1. Selecting Material Durability & Color – the ABS material is strong and comes in jet black color.
  2. Part Orientation – printed the hair on its side in our Stratasys Fortus 250mc using an ABS plus thermoplastic material. The 250mc has a build area of 10x10x12 cubic inches, well more than needed for the hair.
  3. Amount of Support – the ABS uses a soluble support material. Not having to manually break the support off of these spikes, avoids the chance of messing up the actual part.
  4. Final Look – Printing the hair on its side  not only makes the points in Joe’s hair very sharp and distinct, but also give the texture of hair. The final product came out better than I could have imagined!


Joe’s Head – Stratasys Fortus 450mc

Just as much thought went into material and part orientation for printing Joe’s head. The final orientation for printing was tilted forward 45 degrees to minimize the number of places that support attached to the head and for a clean look all around.

Because of the orientation, the head exceeded the build size of the 250mc so I decided to print on a new Stratasys Fortus 450mc that has a build area of 16x14x16 cubic inches.  Opting to use the new ASA material that is UV resistant, Joe doesn’t need to worry about sunscreen and has the nicest aesthetic finish of all nine materials available.

Sclera – Objet 30 Pro

To give a lifelike look and feel to Joe, I went all out and include the  Objet 30 Pro powered by PolyJet technology for the sclera. With a high resolution of 16 microns, and using the VeroWhitePlus material, created a part with a glossy look that resembled the whites of a human eye! Joe’s head was coming together.

Pupils – Connex 3

At this point, Joe was almost finished, but he was missing two very critical parts that give him his iconic look: his green eyes and taped glasses. In order to successfully print these, I needed a printer that could print the eyes with the same glossy sheen of the sclera, and print with the GoEngineer-green.

Our Object 260 Connex 3 worked great for this task. This printer allows for a fine resolution and allows you to mix a total of three materials (and colors) together for unique material and color combinations. With the right combination of materials, the pupil and iris printed together and the glasses got the distinct green tape on the bridge.


Happily Coming Together

With all the pieces finally printed, presenting JoeEngineer in 3D!



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