I'm starting to get a little ambitious with my 3D printing now that the new Print-O-Matic settings make the printer do beautiful things.
One thing I've kept wanting to try is create large objects by printing it in parts. I haven't really used my printer yet for large prints since in the past I had not been confident in it enough to waste the time and effort if the print was going to fail. But like I've said, I'm starting to get ambitious.
Anyway, off to Google 3D Warehouse again, and I found the perfect item, the Chrysler Building.
Loaded into Google SketchUp, and exported into STL. Then I loaded that into Pleasant3D to scale it down so the base would fit on my platform, as least in terms of the X and Y. Hit save, and the STL is reset with the correct dimensions.
By the way, I can't fully express much I use Pleasant3D. It's an amazing tool for visualizing an STL or GCODE file. Unfortunately it's only available for Intel Macs.
After that was done, I loaded it up into Netfabb to use it's slicing feature. I probably should learn how to do this in Blender 3D properly, but Netfabb makes it so easy. Literally drag a scroll bar, hit Cut, then Export. The size of my model ended being about 320mm tall, and knowing my MakerBot can print about 105mm max, I decided to go safe and cut it into 4 pieces, each one about 80mm tall.
After that was done, I had to import into Blender 3D to fix the object. It's always good to clean up meshes by deleting duplicates. In this case, I also had to close non-manifold edges. What this means is that the original model was made hollow with a Zero width shell. Once I sliced it, I ended up with hollow "tubes" also with Zero width shells. After closing the tops and bottoms of the model, it is now considered solid, and will print properly.
Next step is to use ReplicatorG to slice and generate the GCODE files. Again, I love using Pleasant3D to give myself a sanity check to make sure the bot will move in an expected manner.
Anyway, here are the results:
Here's the bottom two parts stacked together:
And the top two halfs:
All stacked together:
At the end, there are many things I could have tweaked to make it even better. I had some raft trouble on the first part, and the corner is a bit smudged. Also, I had some shrinkage problems on the 3 part.
However, I am extremely impressed with the way the spire printed. I had set my Skeinforge settings to 9 secs Cool per layer by slowing down. I didn't know the Makerbot was able to do this, but kudos to the stepper motors. It was creaking along at a snail's pace with the spire at the top (image 9 seconds for about 4mm of travel per layer). Here's a closeup of the top spire.
In the end, I think it was definitely worth it to dream large, and just do it, and see what happens.
These STL files are freely available for download at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10042