It all started with this image.
I had seen this internet meme before while killing time on 9gag. I liked it and the 8th grader I was tutoring at the time liked it a lot too. I had heard that there was a cat-themed art show at Counter Culture and that some of the proceeds of art sales went to Shadow Cats, a local Austin non-profit that helps elderly kittehs.
I had never done any 3D modeling before. After asking around at our local makerspace, ATXHS, I was directed to their blender class. I took one of their blender classes and realized that it would take a long time to get competent enough in the program to achieve my goal of a life-sized Space Cat hydro-dipped in a galaxy pattern.
By speaking with the teacher, I was directed to another student in the class: a 17 year old girl who attended with her father. I contracted with her to create the file in blender, which she did perfectly.
I used 3DHub to look for people who could 3D print this. After lots of back and forth about materials, finishing, size, and cost, I went with John Dolecek. I couldn’t get a hold of the girl, unfortunately, when he told me that I needed more polygons in the 3d file. A quick $5 on fiverr with a guy in Eastern Europe solved that issue quickly without me having to spend hours trying to figure that out on my own. Dolecek printed a 6 inch version and smoothed it over using acetone.
Next was the hydro-dipper L&S Hydrographics in Austin. I was interested to learn that a life-sized cat would actually be easier to hydro-dip, according to L&S. The film used is called ‘cosmic.’
I had this idea in early 2015 and omitted from this story are all the hours spent searching around on the internet for answers to 3D design, 3D printing, CNC milling, hydro-dipping, various software, and sites like 3D Hub, thingiverse, and fiverr. It’s been a long ride, but here’s the final product.
I’m hoping to create life-sized versions of Space Cat, all with a different galaxy pattern. This inaugural Space Cat is available for purchase.