Articulating Plesiosaur Print and Maker Interview

Completed printed plesiosaur

The South African Maker community is full of incredibly talented people and being of the mindset that “local is lekker” we love to feature members of the community on various platforms. In this post we will be interviewing a self-taught 3D designer who recently created the awesome Articulating Plesiosaur model.

So what is a Plesiosaur?

Plesiosaurs are extinct marine reptiles that roamed the waters of earth approximately 203 (Triassic Period) – 66 (Cretaceous Period) million years ago. They are commonly shown as having long necks, small heads, large flippers, and a short tail. The flippers propelled them through the water, albeit relatively slowly, allowing them catch prey which consisted mainly of small sea creatures.

Fun Fact: Despite Plesiosaurs often being referred to as a dinosaur, they are not taxonomically classified as dinosaurs.

Printing The Plesiosaur

2 versions of the articulating plesiosaur being 3D printed
(Left: SunLu Rainbow PLA on CR-20 Pro, Right: CCTREE Silky Olympic Gold PLA on BIQU B1)

We printed the Plesiosaur in a variety of filaments and on different printers. Due to the spikes along the top of the model it did take some fine tuning in the slicer to get the best result. We followed the recommendations of Farm-Boy-3D on Cults3D.

Purchase the Articulating Plesiosaur model
Slicer: Cura & PrusaSlicer
Printers: BIQU B1 & CR-20 Pro
Filament: eSun Silky Blue PLA, CCTREE Silky Olympic Gold PLA, and SunLu Rainbow PLA
Layer Height: 0.12mm
Top Layers: 4-5
Speed: 40mm/s

After we discovered the awesome Articulating Plesiosaur model, we had to give it a try so we purchased the model and got printing. We got in contact with Johan van der Merwe, also known as Farm-Boy-3D, to see if they were willing to answer some questions.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Johan van der Merwe, I am 19 years old and live on a farm in Gauteng. I was homeschooled from Grade 1 all the way to Grade 12, which I passed in 2020 and received my Bachelors pass, I am currently not studying anything at the moment. My hobbies now include 3D Printing, RC trucks, and woodworking. Another point of interest to me is the sport of ice hockey, I am actually a junior SA Ice Hockey player and have made the senior SA team twice but due to Covid related issues I could not participate in the tournaments.

Q: What got you into 3D Design and 3D Printing?

About 6 years ago, I got my first printer. It was a modest second hand, built in a garage printer. To me this was the best thing ever, because I saw one on a video when I was little, and the 3D Printing bug bit me. But up until then they were too expensive, until we found this one. So, I started to play around with it, printing things I got off the internet, spending evenings when it broke and started building my knowledge regarding the machine. But it just wasn’t as fulfilling for me, I couldn’t bring my own imagination to life by printing other people’s designs. That is when I started learning how to use Fusion 360 and is also when I truly fell in love with this area of expertise.

Q: What was it like learning to use the design software?

I had to rely on myself to learn the ins and outs of the program, which meant countless hours on YouTube and the internet when I got stuck or wanted to do something new. Fusion was the main software I have used for the last couple of years, but soon as my skills improved I was looking for something new, as Fusions modeling capabilities where limited. I then started to work with Blender, this was somewhere at the end of last year. Which once again opened a door to countless new opportunities to improve as a 3D designer. The Plesiosaur that I designed was my first real attempt at creating an articulating, print in place model. I was inspired by all the articulating dragons that where currently being designed, but I wanted to make it my own. I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs and thus, the articulating plesiosaur was born. It wasn’t without its challenges, it was a long 2 weeks of designing, test prints, redesigns and reprints.

Q: How do you feel now that you have completed a model such as this?

 I am very pleased with the outcome, and I appreciate all the positive feedback I have gotten from the 3D Printing community. I have had some requests for a certain similar styled model, which I am currently working on, and hoping to release in the future.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Johan for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the best with your future designs and look forward to seeing what you create. If you want to purchase your own Articulating Plesiosaur, then be sure to check Johan’s Cult3D page. Be sure to check out their Facebook Page for updates.

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