Sunday, August 23, 2015

Speak Friend And Enter

 There has been a much-deserved to-do of late about these Frankenstein-style knife switches. They're lovely and I've run one off for one of our rooms, but between several other decorative switch plates we've already got and a limited number of suitably placed standard-switch switches in the house, I can't find a lot of places to put them. For example, in the dining room, we've got a rocker switch rather than a standard one. So what to do? Well, make my own, obviously.

The large open area necessary for the rocker switch suggested a spot suitable for an arch or doorway sort of motif which, being who I am, led to an obvious conclusion. I combined somebody else's slide-rocker switch plate design with an image which I ran through the same extruding process I use for cookie cutters and got this:

The Doors of Durin plate wasn't too difficult to design. The image is readily available and the process is, for me, well defined by now. There were some adjustments to make to the design, shoving the crown and anvil up a bit and removing some free-standing bits of the design out of the way because they take up room where the switch is supposed to be. The design is also complex enough that it strained the capabilities of my hardware. I could make a change and then come back five minutes later to see it take effect.

The print was more difficult. The plate is about as large an area as my printer can handle, so the usual tricks to prevent curling don't work well. I switched from a brim (no room around the edges) to a raft which sorta worked, but the raft curled enough to make it difficult to smush it into the underside of the plate, so it was difficult to remove in spots. Also, I somehow turned off retraction, so I had a lot of stringing to clean up. Still, seems to have worked OK.

Oh, and there was one other bit of post-processing I just had to do. It glows in starlight, right? Well...

Thank you, glow-in-the-dark paint.

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