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Junque Plastic

My Plastic Junque Collection

My Plastic Junque Collection

My creative efforts (making tangible art and thingies) are expanding through the world of three-dimensional printing. It’s a new-age process of additive manufacturing. If you don’t yet know what that is, you have been under your rock too long… Ha! Excuse me while I holster my plastic gun…

Three-dimensional printing at my budget level is mostly Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) which means hot plastic is extruded through a tiny nozzle and drawn (deposited) as a line, one thin layer at a time on top of the last layer. I also do DLP (Digital Light Processing) which prints a full solid layer rather than a line in a vat of UV sensitive polymer resin. A very messy process that yields very thin (25-35 micron) layers and extremely fine details.

That’s all I need to say about the additive manufacturing process details in this post. Suffice to say. I can produce almost any PLASTIC item I can draw in three-dimensional CAD (Computer Assisted Design) that can fit my available printing area in my machines.

My point is, I make PLASTIC things.

I am having a great time with three-dimensional printing. It is technical and demanding and not easy-peasy. However, I realize what I usually make is… well.. PLASTIC.

I will continue to design and create PLASTIC items. Though many of the items I originally printed, I now call plastic Junque. It’s a fancy spelling of JUNK. Meaning it has very little long-term sustainability or value. Throw-away plastic is… Uh-oh… Junque.

I feel guilty about my plastic Junque collection. So, I primarily use a material called Polylactic Acid (PLA) that is plastic produced from natural material (corn) that eventually bio-degrades naturally (like wood).

But the DLP resin process is not so eco-friendly. It certainly doesn’t use natural bio-materials.

I use DLP printing for creating small master jewelry models that will vaporize and burn up in my silver investment casting process. Not much Junque produced. It’s only an intermediate step in producing quality silver jewelry. The resin material is expensive. So, my volume of DLP printing is very low.

My plan is to use plastic, additive manufacturing where the things made, have long term use and enduring value.

Master models for my casting work is first on my list. I can create detailed casting models impossible to make using subtractive manufacturing such as wax carving by hand, or CNC milling. My silver items last almost forever. The plastic gets vaporized.

Plastic FDM printed items remain on the “Make List” list. I design quality items with more mass and better surface finish using as low as 100 micron layer printing. That layer height takes two to three longer printing than my original production efforts… but the results show. I have intentionally moved beyond producing cheap looking plastic Junque. <grin>

I feel comfortable with plastic and love making nice things. I am selective about the intended use and the quality appearance. No more Junque collecting!  <<Big GRIN>>



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