Posted July 12, 2018.
I am always looking for fun and easy 3D prints, and this is my new favorite: Articulated slug!
The articulated slug is designed by “8ran” and can be downloaded here for free (I didn’t design it, I just downloaded it). I can confirm that it is very easy to print. I sliced it on the default settings in Ultimaker Cura, emailed the gcode file it to my mom, who is literally on the opposite side of the planet (if “slice” and “gcode” sounds like Greek to you, check out my section about 3D printing). My mom is 73 years old, has never used a 3D printer until I bought one for her last week, and she printed it successfully on the very first attempt!
I haven’t taught my mom how to use the slicer software yet, so for now, I just email her the gcode file and she loads it on to the memory card for the printer. And to make sure it works, I print the design on my own printer first. I bought her a Creality Ender 3, which is a super-cheap, US $ 200 printer that you can read about here.
The slug prints in one piece, with the captive joints. There is no assembly required. It is articulated as it comes off the bed. It took me 39 minutes to print, but the exact time will depend on your printer settings. At US $ 30 per kg for PLA filament, this little fellow will cost ~$ 0.21 to print.
So, if you are new to 3D printing, or just love cute little animals in general, the articulated slug is highly recommended. It feels amazing when it wraps around your finger, and I could spend way too much time playing with it. I should probably not have one on my desk at work, I may be playing with it instead of working. The same designer has also created other articulated bugs and a butterfly.
P.S. If you like this design as much as I do, considering tipping the designer (blue button, about halfway down the page to the left). You have to have a PayPal account, and you can choose to tip from US $3 to $21. No more, no less.
Cover photo: The slugs are crawling over an apple bowl that is of my own design. When I find a moment to spare, I will post the design here for download. I have one in my office at the University of Auckland that is quite a bit larger (the larger a LulzBot TAZ 5 can print), and it is the most commented item in my office!