teaching machines

Bezier Turtles


For Christmas, my children received a Printrbot Play. We didn’t have time to get it set up on Christmas Day, as we were traveling to see family. On the road, however, my seven-year-old son and I modeled a turtle in Blender. We took a picture of this turtle eraser to guide our work:


In Blender, we placed this image as a background and traced a Bezier curve around it. My son and I had a serious discussion about tangent lines and continuity. By the end, he was telling me which control points needed to be free and which needed to be continuous.

We extruded the curve and added some bumps on the shell.


Back home, we printed three of these turtles:



Two of them were printed with glow-in-the-dark filament:



This was my first real experience printing with PLA. All my previous printing has been done with ABS, which requires a heated bed to delay cooling of the bottom layers. Heating the bed is really slow. PLA turtles are much faster than ABS ones.


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