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  • Carolyn Cave

The Goldilocks Factor

Not long ago my husband bought a 3D printer. It can print three-dimensional things from plastic. It can laser-cut shapes out of thin pieces of material. It can carve shapes out of chunks of material with its CNC cutter. Fun. For him.


But we need some real applications for this machine. Real world applications. Bead world applications.


I've seen peyote stitch spheres made from 20 triangles. They usually appear at Christmas since they make wonderful ornaments for your tree. I decided to make one but with a spring-like floral theme.


The thing is these beaded spheres don't hold up on their own. They need something inside to keep them from imploding. I often use a ping pong ball inside my beaded spheres but this time the ping pong ball was going to be too big. Other large beads have and use for inserts were going to be too small.


Riding into the story comes my Knight in shining armour offering his 3D printing services to the Beading Maiden in distress. He can make a sphere that will fit into my peyote stitching!


He programs the machine and it starts making noises and spitting out little bits of plastic. After an hour or so the plastic starts to take shape. Spherical shape.



After a few more hours it is nearly finished.


Let's try the finished bead for fit.



Looks like this one is too big.


Oh well. The next day my Knight resizes the sphere in the printer program. There is more spinning and whirring and spitting of plastic. Three hours later and the plastic bead is ready. This time....


... the Goldilocks factor.




It's just right.

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