Printing Motorized Spheres on a Formlabs Form1: Experiments In Progress #3DThursday #3DPrinting


Here is some interesting feedback from artist and tech writer Brian Evans re: some experiments he is making with a FormLabs Form1 SLA printer:

Working on a prototype for a new project, or at least a remake of an older project anyway. This 10cm diameter sphere will be one of maybe seven if I’m lucky for an upcoming exhibition in Santa Monica in November. It is printed in photopolymer resin on a FormLabs Form1 desktop SLA machine. The quality is good but not great… layers are still visible, lines are not that crisp, theres a slight yellow hue to the plastic, where the supports attached there are little bumps, theres a little de-lamination in the print on the seam, and so on.

The two hemispheres are held together with three very strong neodymium magnets. (One of the magnet holders on the top in the back was filled with resin and had to be drilled out – breaking in the process.) Because “complexity is free”, each of the seven spheres will be customized with a different pattern of ley lines on each one. The board is a custom Arduino setup with an H-bridge for controlling the micro metal gearmotor and a charging circuit for the lithium battery. The arm attached to the motor swings around a lead weight acquired from the wife’s lead type collection to create the movement of the sphere.

The ball is overall pretty cool, and definitely not possible to manufacture on my other more traditional FDM machines, but I’m not terribly happy with it either. The print quality issues, combined with the print time (16 hours total) and the cleanup involved after the print is done with the cost involved ($260 for 2 liters of resin at discount) on top of everything just has me rethinking it a little…

Read more.


Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.