Benzene, done that.

I’ve always liked the anecdote about Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz and his fevered daydream about the chemical structure of benzene, and apparently I’m not alone.

Regardless of how much truth there is to Kekulé’s story, I try to sneak the word “ouroboros” into conversation as often as possible. It’s a lot easier for me now that I can say, “Hey, check out the ouroboros I designed.”

You can see some rectangular bits of sprue protruding from the base of the model in the photo above; they exist to keep the model from toppling if the extruder tip nicks the top layer of the print. The sprue isn’t in the final model.

I have a dual-extruder replicator. The unused nozzle in this single-color print kept bumping into the right prong of the snake’s body as the extruder traversed the X-axis. This tells me my nozzles are out of calibration by a micron or two.

I solved this problem by rotating the snake 45° around the Z-axis so the prong tips moved out of X alignment, which is a handy cantrip to have in one’s grimoire.

This is a fairly fast print so I was able to go through lots of iterations to get it right:

This model is future-proofed, at least for a while. There’s some detail in the eyes and mouth that is going to have to wait for the next generation of extruder technology to be fully realized. You’ll also note some slight nickeling in the curve of the body, but I designed it to be smoothed easily so we can squeeze another few years out of it.

The tail and mouth are connected by a couple of polygons– this is the one artistic change I really didn’t want to make but I just couldn’t get the model to print reliably when they were separated.

I’ve got the serpent broken out as a separate model, so maybe if I get the time she’ll be transincarnated as cobra.

1.75mm ABS Green
10% infill
Feedrate: 25
Layer Height: .2
HBP Temp: 116°

One thought on “Benzene, done that.

  1. Fabien Benetou

    I also like ouroboros a lot so… I did print myself one to make the concept more tangible 😉

    Of course, it is a process so I didn’t bother to make it perfect, you have ugly bit chunks rather than nice snake scales for example but… it is an invitation to do better. I broke one and working on the next iteration then I hope to have a whole series of those.

    Here is the file and the result 🙂


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