Christine Whelan FEO, January 18, 2024, VOL. 5 ISSUE 10
3D Printing: “If you can think it, you can probably make it.”
I spotted Dustin Hamon at the Ridgeway Legion Market as a vendor along the north wall. I was market-hopping for Christmas gifts and saying hi to Santa at the Legion.
After buying a gift for my grandson from Dustin and enjoying our discussion — he welcomes the opportunity to explain his craft — I made a note to connect with him in the new year.
Hamon, who currently lives in Stevensville, shared a little with me about 3D printing once the holidays were behind us.
The path towards 3D printing started, for Dustin, in high school, taking different courses where he learned skills such as CAD design and working with milling machines.
“I’ve always been a sucker for technology. I say that because I like to see what’s coming out and what you can do. Back, at the beginning of COVID, I started going stir-crazy. So, I started learning to use a Cricut machine,” and what he could do with it.
According to craftsworld.com, a Cricut is a digital die-cutting machine that is able to cut many different materials to use in a plethora of craft projects. It can be used to cut materials such as paper, vinyl and with the correct cutting blades, some Cricut machines can also cut balsa wood, fabrics, leather, and cork.
Dustin used his to work with vinyl.
“I started making some things for local businesses. The COVID-19 Mandatory Mask signs were so ugly that I made a couple for local businesses here in Stevensville.”
He then moved on from the Cricut machine. “In the beginning of 2023, I started getting into 3D printing. I bought a starter printer that allows me to learn the basics and the fundamentals of how to properly level a machine.”
In December, he became a vendor at the Ridgeway Legion Christmas Market. “That was very interesting, being a part of that group, making those connections.”
Dustin commented that he is more drawn to educating others about 3D printing. If he makes a sale, bonus. But he noted, he likes it when someone walks away with a little more knowledge than they had walking up to him.
Right now, this is a part-time business for Hamon while he also holds down other employment.
“3D printing is a variety of things,” Dustin explained, “You can use a pen and fix things with it. That’s what I first noticed.
“The way I do 3D printing is no different than what can be learned from Manufacturing class in high school; everything runs on the XYZ axes.”
He explained, that with 3D printing, there are different types of filaments. “PLA, which is what I use, is mostly from recycled material so this type is more environmentally sensitive,” which he likes.
Polylactic acid, also known as PLA, is a renewable 3D printing material derived from corn starch or sugar cane. It is biodegradable in an industrial setting and offers several significant advantages over ABS, according to a blog post about 3D printing on the additive-X.com site.
“There are a wide variety of colours out there. The sky’s the limit. The best part about 3D printing is, if you can think it, you can probably make it.” Hamon added that the printer can only print so big, so the idea manifested can be created in different pieces.
“There are a lot of functional things that I’ve made. I’ve made a drawer for under a desk and controllers for gaming, for example.”
At the market, Dustin had 3D-printed swords, lightsabers, and Christmas ornaments for sale. Dragons and axolotls, while moving freely as if they had joints, are printed off in one piece. They were good sellers at the market.
“Right now, I’m working on some Valentine’s Day gifts.”
Hamon says anything that he’s printed he can reprint in any colour someone wants. “It’s not, what you see is what you get, I’m more than willing to fill custom orders.”
3D Printing Community
“There’s a whole community out there. I’m finding that it’s not as big here yet as it is in Europe, where there are large conventions every year. It’s slowly coming to Canada.
“There are a lot of talented designers out there. I utilize their designs and pay for the rights to sell the finished products.”
Looking Into the Future
Dustin hopes, that by the next fall market, he will have gotten into multi-coloured prints and will have them available. “This will require a different machine that I don’t have yet.”
He noted his plans included looking into printing prop items such as helmets, as well as other home decor items such as lamps. He’s hoping to expand his abilities, looking into woodworking in the future.
At the Ridgeway Legion Market, as a part of Dustin’s display, there was a promo stand including his contact information and a QR Code to scan, leading to Facebook. The text Hamon used is worth including here, to end his story.
Behold, dear seeker or artistry, for every model that meets your eyes, can be woven with hues of your choosing. Cast your gaze upon the ancient tomes of color, laid before you on the table, and bring forth the magic of your imagination.
If your quest is yet unfulfilled by the offerings herein, fear not, for I am at your service. Seek me out, and I shall endeavor to unveil the secrets you seek. Alternatively, seek me out beyond these pages, either through the mystic bonds of Facebook or the arcane art of email.
Facebook Page, Viking Print Lab. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Dustin Hamon