Printing | 13 10 2015

Meet Mao and His 3D Printable Models

We have invited the best designers from our community to talk about themselves and their work. Today I am speaking to Mao Casella, known better as Mao.

I first met Mao in January 2015. I read about his 3D printing models at 3D Printing Industry and I invited him to sell at Coincidently, my colleague Cveta Partaleva had already spoken to him, so Mao had already agreed to use as a selling channel. Mao’s first uploads were American Sport Car (looks like Shelby), Messerschmitt Me 262, Italian Sport Car (looks like Ferrari), Italian 60s Car (Fiat) and Italian Scooter (Vespa) and since then he has uploaded more than 20 3D printable models of different transportation vehicles (cars, bikes, planes, ships, etc), the latest one was Hippies Van (VW). The beauty of Mao’s 3D printable designs is that they are assemblable, i.e. you 3D print the parts and assemble the model.

Tony, Hi Mao, thank you for accepting my invitation. Can you tell me something about you?
Mao: In the last years of last millennium I was working in an advertising agencies as art director. In 2000, tired of living in big cities, I decided to leave Milan and the fog and to travel around the world as a diving instructor: Mexico, Maldives, Jamaica and then I settled in Egypt, in Sharm el Sheikh. Of course, I brought along my laptop, to play with software I was in love with... Illustrator, Photoshop and Cinema4d.

Tony, When did you start creating 3D printable models?
Mao: Three years ago my child was born. I had plenty of car models that I was drawing for rendering purposes, and I decided to turn those exercises into toys for him. So I bought a 3D printer and started printing, but I quickly realized that most of the toys will be for me.

Tony, How do you create your models and what did it get you to this?
Mao: It all starts with the blueprints, in the net there is a huge choice, it's basically drawings of the subject from the front, the side, the top. With those drawings I start modeling with my 3D software point to point, following carefully the shape of my object. Once this is done I have the general shape of my model and I can go ahead with details or internal objects like engine, seats, cockpit, (that normally are not indicated in the blueprints) which I copy from pics that I have selected from web. Google is a strong help. Then I have to think about wall thickness, polygon intersections and boolean operations, which are the parameters that define an easy printable, manifold and watertight .stl. For repairing .stl (even if I try to make as little mistake as I can) I use netfabb, for slicing and generating the g-code, Cura an simplify 3D.

Tony, Which is your favorite 3D printable model?
Mao: All my models are like child’s to a father, I love them all.

Tony, Why do you believe in the feature of 3D printing and how do you think the market will develop? 
Mao: It still amazes me how easy is to turn out real things from my computer. I think that when the FDM 3D printers will work with shredded plastics or pellets, there will be the real 3D revolution, less waste of plastics around the world and a new concept of re-using materials and objects. 

To find out more about Mao visit his website or his Threeding’s Store.