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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Day 208 - 26mm Level 3's and the Sketch A Menger Cross-Section Competition™

I love to root for the underdog: David vs Goliath, Buffy vs the entire Hellmouth, the Baudelaire twins against Count Olaf and his evil theatre troupe. Today the role of the underdog will be played by the affordable consumer-level MakerBot Replicator 2 ($2,200), going head-to-head with the wickedly expensive Dimension Elite ($24,000 + $3K/year service contract) at the JMU Engineering Department. Of course, since Stratysys acquired MakerBot last year, this is a friendly fight indeed. :)

Battle time! We used owens' Customizable Menger Sponge design on Thingiverse to print a 26mm Level 3 Menger cube, pictured on the left below. John Wild in Engineering was kind enough to use the Dimension Elite to print a 26mm Level 3 Menger cube for us last summer, pictured on the right. The Dimension Elite prints with a dissolvable support material, so they didn't have much trouble removing the supports from this tiny model. Our model on the left didn't need any supports at all since it was printed on its corner(!), so the holes are actually clearer on our Replicator 2 model. It looks great!

Settings: A 26-mm Level 3 model prints up in just under 90 minutes with no raft or support with MakerWare .2mm/standard on a MakerBot Replicator 2. You can even get a decent print using the .3mm/low resolution! The model prints on its corner, supported by a very clever custom stand designed by owens on Thingiverse.

Thingiverse link: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:71021

We love these so much, we are printing them whenever we have the chance. If we make enough of them we could stick them together build a Level 4!

Three of these six small Menger cubes will be prizes in the the Sketch A Menger Cross-Section Competition™ that was held at this week's G4G11 Conference in Atlanta over Twitter, by Matt Parker from the mathS department at Queen Mary, University of London. (Be sure to also check out Matt Parker's online shop mathsgear.co.uk and website standupmaths.com.) 

Matt is @standupmaths on Twitter, and he asked his army of followers to try their luck at sketching Menger cube slices. There were an amazing number of very good submissions, with things I never could have drawn by hand without looking at the actual model! We chose three winners and I've added a runner-up:

Jose Barrera (@JBarreraGT) took first place with three really amazing sketches:

Dawn R (@Boneist on Twitter) took 2nd place with this unique choice of slice:

Sadie Robertson (@Saddle098 on Twitter) took some time off from working out circuits to win Honorable Mention:

And Alex Hunsley (@quaplek on Twitter) had a late entry with some of the most beautiful paper I have ever seen:

Thank you Matt Parker and everyone who submitted entries to the slice-drawing competition! Perhaps we can have more competitions in the future...

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