How to 3D print your very own custom illusion pattern

With the wonders of 3D printing, there’s nothing that cannot be done in this day and age. Today we will show you a unique pattern that can only be achieved through 3D printing. This pattern is actually made by varying the direction of the lines on the first layer of the 3D print so that it reflects the light to make it appear like it’s 3D rather than a flat surface.

Products needed for this DIY project:
Vector program of your choice
3D printer

Let’s get started with our DIY project!

Step 1:
The first step of this DIY project is to visualize what kind of design you want to 3D print. You could use your surroundings to get inspired. Today we’ve decided to go with the design that you can see in the image below but you could use any design you like for your

Step 2:
Once you’ve finalized your design, you’ll need to make it in a vector program like Illustrator and save it as an SVG file. This process could be a little complicated so if you’re a beginner we have some tips you should keep in mind that could help you with your DIY project:

- Pixels in your SVG file will correspond to millimeters in your slicer. So set your stroke width to your nozzle diameter which in most cases is 0.4 millimeters so you need to set it to 0.4 pixels in your vector program. This will ensure that your line width is correct.
- Lines should be a nozzle width apart so that they just touch each other lightly to fill the whole area.

- While doing this, make sure that you’re not making any individual separate lines but one single long line so that no errors are committed during the importing process which may spoil the design.

Step 3:
Once you’re happy with your design save your SVG file and bring out the 3D base model you want to attach your design on. Slice the model as you normally would in CURA and set the G code aside for later.

Step 4:
Go to the SVG toolpath reader plug-in from the SVG marketplace and install it. Once the plug-in has been installed, import your SVG file by simply clicking and dragging it. You can hit play to see how your design is going to pan out and if you see any errors you could go back and correct them. One more thing you want to make sure is that your design covers the full base of your 3D model by overlapping the screenshots of the two components. For this, it is advised that your 3D print is a little bigger than you require.

Step 5:
When you’re completely satisfied with your work till now, save your G-code. After this is done, we’re going to move on to the most interesting part of this DIY project. We’re going to splice the two G-codes together. For this, we will simply have to replace the first layer on the code of the slice model with our code for the design you just made. It may sound very complicated but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how the splicing of the two G-codes is done:
You will first need to open both your G-code files in any text editor of your choice like Notepad.

When you open the code, you’ll see a lot of complicated terms you may not understand if you’re a beginner but that’s okay. All you need to do is search “layer 1” in the model code and select and remove everything between “Layer 1” and “Layer 0” to delete the first layer.

Once this is done, you need to open the G-code of the design you just made and copy the corresponding part and paste it in the initial g code between “Layer 1” and “Layer 0” which replaces the first layer with your unique design.

Step 6:
All that’s left for you to do is to 3D print it! Once the 3D printing is done, remove your newly created design from the build plate and cut off the excess of the design that is going out of the boundary of your 3D base model using a pair of sharp scissors.

Your very own custom illusion pattern is now complete! 3D printing is truly a great invention. This effect cannot be achieved using any different means like paint or glitter, it can only be achieved through the miracle of 3D printing.  Show it off to your friends and family and enjoy your latest creation!

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