More 3-D printing, with some image history…

From the time she was around six years old, my daughter was obsessed with drawing hearts. A first she struggled to get one that looked, to her satisfaction, like a Valentine heart. She fretted that they weren’t perfect. She would bring her drawings of hearts to me and say, “How’s this one?” I’d reply that her hearts were really improving and encourage her to keep drawing them, saying, “Eventually, after you draw a thousand hearts, you will become really, really expert at them.” For a year, or more, she drew hearts every time she took pencil or pen in hand. Here’s a “Tree of Hearts” she drew during this time.

HelensTreeOfHeartsMD

Thousands of hearts later, she sat down one evening after Christmas in 2009 to write a thank you note to her grandmother. As she began to decorate the envelope. Very quickly, without hesitation, she drew this heart:

GmimiEnvelopeMed

When I saw it, I yelled, “Stop! I frightened her with my loud voice and excitement. “Don’t add anything else—it’s a wonderful, interesting heart.” We scanned it, and and after my partner, Andrea, had sent the heart image off for a copyright registration we decided it would be fun to print this heart onto some T-shirts and baseball caps.

HelenHeartShirtBoth

We decided the colors for the shirts and hats would be hot pink on brown and red on black.

However, just before we had the chance to send in our order for shirts and caps, we learned of the awful earthquake that hit Haiti, Tuesday, January 12, 2010. There was much talk on the TV and among everyone at our children’s school about how we could help the Haitians. So, Helen had the idea to sell her heart shirts and caps to somehow help with the Haiti relief effort. [For this purpose we ordered many more shirts and caps than we originally intended to buy. Of course, the more you buy, the cheaper they are per piece.] The shirts and caps arrived just before Valentine’s Day. Each day for several days, we parked our car in the parking lot, closest to the exit from our school, and sold shirts and hats to the passersby. We also advertised them on Facebook, and sold to other friends and relatives for this cause. When all was said and done, $850.00 was raised and contributed to Doctor’s Without Borders, earmarked for Haiti relief.

Fast forward to this month—Andrea had a “milestone” birthday this year on the 9th. Helen and I decided to send the “Helen’s Heart” image to Shapeways and have it 3-D printed in sterling silver for her other mother’s birthday gift. And here is how it turned out:

SSHelensHeart

Andrea loved this gift, and now we need to select a sterling silver chain upon which to hang it.

Just for fun, we also had a few hearts printed in bright red plastic!

RedHelensHearts

I would make a few changes to the design, were we to print it again. Overall, though, I think it turned out nicely.

More 3-D printing projects are in the pipeline, but it will be early June before I can report on them. ;)

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

4 Responses

  1. These are beautiful. What a fantastic tool for realising shapes. And the plastic ones, while clearly not having the gleaming loveliness of the silver, are pretty damned funky. Love that hot red!

    • Anita Mills says:

      Clive, I think your nickname should be “Red!” These forays into 3-D printing have been very exciting for me. On the one hand, they really appeal to my techno-geek personality—on the other, this process has presented me with a way to create fairly “one off” designs without having to go through the process of carving waxes and then doing the lost wax casting process for metals. And, of course, for the plastics, there is no other, easy way, at all, to come to a more or less finished piece. Thanks for stopping by to comment! xo AM

  2. Donna Giles says:

    I’m a proud owner of one of those T-shirts! Thanks for the whole story, and what a wonderful gift for Andrea. Good job, Helen! And you, too, Anita.

    • Anita Mills says:

      Hello, Donna! Thank you for reading my post. You are a faithful reader here!! Helen and I had fun getting this surprise for Andrea. Miss YOU! Wish we could see you sometime soon. xoxo AM

Leave a Reply


*