One piece of a six part ball was created in Fusion 360 and exported as an STL file. Ultimaker Pioneers were then challenged to modify the STL file—sculpt it, add to it, subtract from it, personalize it in some way, embed a circuit inside, etc.
The STL file, the Fusion 360 file, and a spool 2.85mm filament were sent to Pioneers interested in participating in the project. After modifying the STL file, printing it, and sending either the file or the model to Ultimaker in New York, magnets were added so that pieces could be connected together.
Here are links to the original STL files:
Each participant was also asked to document their process.
For a full tutorial on Mark's process, see his Pioneer Ball Project:Basic Modifications to a STL file using openSCAD
Here is some openSCAD code that Mark used to modify his pieces:
After working on the Pioneer Ball project, Mark became infatuated with the sphere made of tiny balls that he made as part of the project—how changing the step size on the loop that generated the small balls had a great effect on the symmetry of the large sphere. Mark read up on how to use openSCAD to animate models and then saved the frames as PNG files that he could make into a video. Now he can use the step size as the time variable and then make these movies to visualize the patterns.
"I put our school logo into Selva 3D to extrude it into an stl file. Imported both your template and that new stl file into Tinkercad, and converted the logo stl to a hole! On the underside, I measured out holes sized for a coin cell battery holder, LED, and small switch. I should have made them all a bit larger! After printing, I put a small piece of packing foam into the hole under the "pine cone" part of the logo to better diffuse the light from the LED."
"To modify the face of the ball, I used Morphi. The piece of the ball we were given reminded me of a turtle shell. I had the idea to embed right circular cones and flattened ellipses into the piece to create a pseudo-prehistoric spiky turtle shell, reminiscent of the exterior of an Ankylosaurus. Morphi made it very easy to do. Be sure to wear gloves when playing catch with a Pioneer Ball made out of these sphere faces!"
Steven Martin modified his piece with Autodesk Inventor (see tutorial).
"Since I am coming for Canada, I figured the Maple leaf and the Northern Lights was a good motif. I modified the ball piece by first bringing a png of a maple leaf into Fusion360 and making a large extrusion of it. I merged it with the ball piece and then made a slightly smaller version of the leaf and used that to hollow out the bigger leaf in the ball. Lastly, I modified the bottom to make a little door. I made a big rectangle and then a slightly smaller one to make a slide-on area for the door. I used these to hollow out the space. I used the big rectangle as a separate piece to print and then slide into the negative space created earlier.
The led device inside is a common learn to solder project made by Solarbotics in Canada. It has two blue and one green to "simulate" the Northern Lights. It has some preprogrammed led displays in it. The slow fade is my favorite.
You can press the button to change the led programs. I added some plastic wrap for more interesting light diffusion."
Geoffrey Frankl demonstrates how to make his model hairy (see tutorial).
To emboss this patten on the STL file I followed the same process as outlined in Creating Embossed Cups tutorial.