I was able to get a desktop SLA printer (Micro3D) at the end of last year. Since then I have been spending as much time as I can trying to learn the limits or the printer and its materials. After a number of tests, I decided to actually build something, so obviously I landed on an owl! I knew I wanted it to be kinetic in some way, I ended up having its head on a ball joint, and its feet hinged. Building from a basic sketch and an idea in my head I started to model. After realizing I wouldn't want to try print this as one piece I went back in after the fact and cut apart the model, so I could glue it together later. I printed tests as I went to make sure that the sizes were accurate to what was being depicted on the computer. (These tests were all done with PLA plastic as it is slightly cheaper.)
Once I'd gone over everything I could think to check, I started printing in ABS at a higher quality. The print went well and I didn't have any issues doing an initial smoothing pass by sanding down the layer lines a bit (Although in doing this I got a better idea for the fill quality settings, because I broke off the ball joint and one of the connector pegs accidentally). I intended on smoothing the prints using acetone vapors, what I wasn't expecting was how quickly this begins to eat away at the plastic. Placing the prints in the container, they tipped and some fell against the wall, touching the acetone and each other. This caused them to fuse together almost instantly, or become squishy, and hard to move. After some time in the vapors the body had lost a little to much detail, the head had fallen over at some point and become stuckthe the side of the body, and the feet were so small they began to curl up.
Back to printing. I got new prints out, and sanded (Not breaking anything this time), and then set each part to sit in the vapor alone for much less time. The result was much better, I think I could have left them in there for a little bit longer, but knowing that I was going to be painting over him, I wasn't to worried about getting a glossy look right now. Once they had fully dried out, I sprayed them all with primer, painted over them with some craft store acrylic paints, and then finished them off with a spray fixative. I put the pieces in and glued them together, the pivot for the feet was a little to loose (I hadn't added enough detail to hold to rod in place), so I glued his feet in, and the hole in his body got sanded down a bit too much, so it doesn't cover enough of the ball to hold it. The head rotates and moves the way I was hoping for, but it also lifts right out.
I filmed the whole printing process and put it together in the video below. All in all I'm pretty dang happy with him, and I'm already working on the next project in my head.