Adventures in space and time

CTRL-Z – Vishal Haarlem

These are the Sculptures by Stijn van der Linden as shown at the CTRL-Z exposition at the Vishal in Haarlem, the Netherlands:

Guess what I’m building?

Shopping List:
2 x 2pcs Diameter 16mm(h6) *600mm long – Carbon Steel W16 (Exeter UK, eBay)
2 x 8pcs LM16UU 16mm Linear Ball Bearing Bush Bushing (Hong Kong, eBay)
1 x Aluminium Sheet 4mm x 500mm x 500mm (Redruth, UK, eBay)
4 x 600mm Stainless steel threaded rod M10 (Tilburg, NL, Hornbach)
4 x Stainless steel M10 Nut (Tilburg, NL, Hornbach)
4 x Stainless steel M10 Lock Nut (Tilburg, NL, Hornbach)
8 x 10T5-21 6.35mm Bore Timing Belt Pulley (Mount Annan NSW, AU, eBay)
10m x T5 10mm Wide Open Timing Belt (Mount Annan NSW, AU, eBay)
1 x 4 Axis TB6560 Driver Controller Board 1/16Microstep, 12-30V, 3A (CN, eBay)
4 x 57BYGH56-401A Single-Shaft Stepper Motors 1.26Nm 2.8A (CN, eBay)
1 x 24V 15A DC power supply (CN, eBay)
1 x PLA 4043D 3mm filament on Spool, 2,3kg, Blue-Translucent (Munchengladbach, DE)
8 x Bearing 608 ZZ (tbd)
24 x Bearing 624 ZZ (tbd)

Add some FDM printed ABS parts.

T.B.C 😉


A double cage pendant with moving parts.


Virtox, Michiel Cornelissen and Shapeways at Dutch Design Week 2010

This year I had the opportunity to help out Shapeways at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.
One of the biggest Design events in the Netherlands! I was really excited about it, as I had the chance to show a lot of my work in the real world 🙂
Wow! it was a truly awesome experience!
The Shapeways Stand was very, very popular, and it has been a mad nine days!
As I’m currently still recovering from it all, it seems like a good time to write down my learning experiences for others.

Adapted and moved to guest blogpost @ shapeways

Me and Shapeways featured on national news!

You know those days when someone asks you for a televison interview for national news?
Me neither, but it happened 😉

Check it out: (in Dutch)

Still don’t know what hit me, but it was a very cool experience !

Thanks Bart, Denise, Marleen, Britta en Hans for the opportunity and support!


Stijn 🙂

Video of pp3dp Up! 3d prints

Hi all,

Here is a quick video montage of some of models made with a pp3dp Up!


Still very happy 😀



Personal Portable 3D Printer “Up!” – Short review

Hi everyone,

It was bound to happen one day, but way sooner than I had expected 🙂
Many thanks to Whystler for the tips on Ponoko!
And I was lucky enough to get the huge discount they offered.
So, I got myself an Up! From a Chinese company, dedicated to the pp3dp (personal portable 3d printer).
See their site at, sometimes a bit creaking under all the attention.
Please have patience, it’s small company with a big mission, but so far doing very well!

Here a short review of the machine and it’s features:

Plug & Play
The printer is a smaller “rep-rap” type printer. looks and feels very sturdy, and uses linear bearing slider thingamajigs.
The build volume is 140mmx140mmx135mm with a 0.2(5)mm resolution.
It eats 1.73mm ABS filament and produces anything one can imagine :

First run
The very first run, two magnet clips, a fractal and my logo:

First run
First run – printing

First run 2
First run – *peep* your print is ready.

First run 3
The cleanded lot

Quaternion Julia Taffee
Quaternion Julia : Taffee

Second run:
Whirlwindy vases
Whirlwindy vase @ standard settings

No supports
Look ma: no hands err.. supports!


Then I got carried away :
Printing Shelllight
Printing one of my favorites

Lots of supprts
OMG need to tweak the support settings, it build a city! 😉


The last one, was way too thin, I was a bit too optimistic.
The supports also definitely need some tweaking there, getting it all out was hell, and I managed crack it several times.
All in all, still learning, but getting the hang of it.
The first thing to go is my minimalist (shapeways) approach for this!
No more hollow objects!

It is awkward to watch this little machine works it’s magic though.
It does it so meticulously, you almost feel sorry for the miles of abs it has to lay down 😉
Oh well, long live automation 🙂



Some of these models are available at:

3D printed personalized code rings, from failure to perfection.

Wow, little did I know what I was getting myself into, when I had this simple yet tingling idea last year :
Personally encoded rings using Braille, created using 3d printing.

Enthousiastic start
After gaining plenty of experience with the services at Shapeways, I was eager to try more the new 3d printed polished stainless steel (SS for short, brr, I’ll just call it : PSS)

The material seemed like the ultimate match for the code ring concept. Especially with the co-creation options offered. I got working on the first samples and really dived into it, on my first test run I went all out : Braille, Morse, binary, gray code. As I had no idea what to expect fr0m the PSS, I made them in all sorts and detail levels.

Under pressure
Meanwhile, I made a the idea and a few of the models public; ouch, should not have done that 😉
Almost instantly people contacted me and told me how much they loved the idea. Including Shapeways, who were so inspired they set up a whole Braille gallery ! And everyone kept asking : when are they ready.. show us pictures.. make me one..
OMG the pressure !

Expectation management
I was still waiting for the first batch to arrive myself. Due to all the attention, my expectations had run sky-high. And then it arrived.. Man was I disappointed.. Instead of the uber shiny rings of perfection I had envisioned by now, I got a bunch of metal scraps.. Well.. that’s not really true, but I was really bummed with the mismatch of expectation vs reality 😉

And with all the high hopes around, I was kinda ashamed to show the results..

Batch #1

Code ring Batch #1

This was one of the earlier steel batches, so the process was still highly experimental. The biggest problem was immediate : they hadn’t dared to polish them properly. In hind-sight, not a big surprise, the details (0.25 – 0.5 mm) turned out to be only a little larger than the rough printing resolution of the process, any decent polishing would destroy the surface detail. It’s not supposed to, but with the ring beings so tiny (diameter 18-22 mm, 3 mm wide and only 1.5 mm thick) I couldn’t blame them.
Not all was bad, the Morse through-hole rings came out wonderful 🙂

If at first you don’t succeed..
But I desired more perfection, so while my attention was drawn to other projects, I put this one in the fridge for a while.
Then beginning this year I figured the process had evolved enough to give it another go, but to be safe I tried a batch of 5mm wide 1.5 mm thick rings.

Batch #2 picture will come here 😉

I still was not entirely convinced on the braille ring, but the Morse rings turned out very well.
In the case of surface detail versions, polishing could still be a lot better.

More attention
The through hole version were ready for launch ! It was also a runner up in the co-creator contest !
Happy with at least the viable Morse rings, I put the rest in the fridge again.

Wax on, Wax off
Shapeways had been secretly experimenting (gotta love them) with high res wax materials! And they used the original braille ring as a test sample 🙂
And what made it even better : they send me one of the samples 😀

Braille ring, Wax vs Steel
Code ring Wax
Finally, the ring as it’s supposed to be ! The green wax material captures the true detail of the ring design.

Thank you Shapeways, it was a very nice surprise !

What now ?
Too bad, the material is not wearable, being wax and all. But it would be suited for lost-wax casting. Although I guess the fine detail might be too much. And unfortunately, I have no budget for testing lost-wax yet. But I will guard the wax ring closely until I do ! My precious !

And I was almost finished typing the blog here (took me only 1 month ahum) but then they really did it :


Silver Braille
Picture by Shapeways.

This is done with silver SLS, WOW !
The amount of details is amazing and I love that you can still see the hints of the printing process!

No news on cost yet, but I hope it will be available and affordable soon 🙂



Evolutionary twin-shell pendants in Antique bronze

All four stages of Evolution : Ando, Eno, Eve and Adam

The evolutionary shells, I finally got a complete set 8)

Let me introduce you:

Adam, male, looking sharp

Adam in Matte Bronze

Adam is wearing the latest in Bronze Matte material and is available here:

I want Adam!

Next on the catwalk:

Eve, female, lovely curved

Eve in Glossy Bronze

Eve is elegantly showing of the new Bronze Glossy material and is available here:

I want Eve!

Then evolution continues with:

Ando, male or female but a bit two-faced

Ando in Matte Bronze

Ando decided to go with Matte Bronze and is available here:

I want Ando!


And last, or should I say first:

Eno, the origin of it all, unblemished

Eno in Glossy Bronze

Eno feels at its best in Glossy Bronze and is available here:

I want Eno!


Probably not the last we will see of this elegant family.
Breeding like rabbits, it probably won’t be too long until some amazing new offspring will arrive. And who knows what they will wear?

Thank you for reading ! 🙂


Stijn / Virtox

My 3D Printer has arrived ! (well.. parts.. sort of..)

So yeah, not really, but let me start at the beginning !

About a year ago, I finally found a satisfactory method to create the things I normally carry around in my head (surrealistic shapes, sculptures, projects and what not) : 3d-printing.
And ever since, I’ve been pondering and researching a DIY 3d-printing concept. Not the usual Makerbot or Reprap stuff (Wonderful projects though! I do hope to get a kit for a Mendel one day, when money flows in instead of out..) But I wish to build one which uses support material, as this allows near-impossible object to be produced.

But a DIY one ? Where to start ?..

Well, luckily I spent a big part of my life taking apart every piece of electronics I could get my hands on, and I figured, using an existing 2d-printer for parts, was a good way to start.
Actually, having cannibalized many ink-jet printers over the years, I think of them more as goody-bags full of usable parts than functional machines 😛 But in this case it’s even better, it’s also a fluid spouting machine.. add some plaster, and we are building already !

I don’t expect to get very fine detail, but that’s ok, because the goals is to go for slightly bigger objects. Say, with a max build volume of cubic A4 (29*21*21 cm^3) . That should suffice for a first attempt?

The search for a usable candidate.

Right, so which printer to use ? What materials ? Would Ink and Plaster really be enough ? Google told me other people on the net did similar projects, but those provide few details and most seem to use what was lying around when they started. And most materials were indeed plaster/sugar and ink. So, it’s do-able ! Yeah 🙂

Explosive ink-diarrhea or “How I fell in love with Epson S21”

But as it happened, I did not have any printers or parts left. And since used ink-jet printers are commonly a case of explosive ink-diarrhea, I started searching for a cheap new one.

That did not take very long, my first sort by price on a price-watch site, led me to the “Epson S21” for only €30,- It has four seperate ink-tanks and a decent resolution.

And more importantly, all chips are hackable (cartridge and ink-waste-pad), there’s also plenty of cheap clone cartridges available, there are even several complete CISS kits (continuous ink supply system).

User experience seemed to be reasonable, but at the time I could find no clear pictures of the inside. Nor any info of other people hacking it. But at a lousy €30,- (did I mention that this included delivery…) I decided, I could not go wrong on this purchase. So.. I ordered it.

It arrived, I tested it and went straight on to dismantle it 😉

I quickly removed all plastic that did not serve any purpose, so I could examine the printer more closely in action. And in the process I think I fell in love with the engineering department at Epson. It’s so wonderfully modular and simple !

The X-axis-print-head assembly looks like a complete usable part, and the Y-axis seems hackable enough.

Very satisfied with this excellent find, I dumped the parts back in the box and started to make some room in the shed before I continued. Because this project will need some permanent space, and it’s bound to get messy, ink.. plaster.. oh yeah >:-)

Springtime, what a joy !

Spring is here, life demands attention, but please check back soon for updates !

Cheers !