The Buddha at Kamakura

The Buddha at Kamakura

And whoso will, from Pride released,
Contemning neither creed nor priest,
May feel the Soul of all the East
About him at Kamakura.

Kipling’s poem on the Buddha at Kamakura has long fascinated me, since the days I encountered it among the chapter titles of his wonderful book, Kim.

I found a 3D scan of the Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu) on the Scan The World project of, so it was inevitable that I print it on the Prusa using some new clear filament by Wanhao I’d gotten.

I modeled the base and other pieces to attach the lights and wiring, etc in Fusion360. The text was modeled on a separate piece that would insert into the base since it needed to be printed lying down, and I wanted to use 2 different filaments to make the text stand out against the light.

Once all the printing was done - some pieces printed twice because of trials - I played around with acrylic paints, photo inks, etc to get the right colour and light effect on the pieces.

The last thing I did was wire it up, run the wire through the slots and notches meant to keep it in place, and glue the LED modules in place.

All of this was - I need hardly say - not as linear and straightforward as I make it out to be. The paint was applied, removed, peeled off, and generally ruined multiple times, before I figured the correct approach and a second figure was printed.

The wiring and LED positions also had to be redone once since the light wasn’t right for various reasons, or the wire was too stiff in the narrow confines, and some dimensions had to be rethought.

But finally, over a few days, it came together. The text is still not the clearest, though it has had the most number of trials, but the whole looks rather good, all in all, and I’m taking my learnings on the light and ink effects on clear prints.