Sean Huxter is an avid “Afiniac” who uses his H479 and H480 3D printers to create impressive toys and collector accessories, innovative household improvement pieces, and thoughtful gifts.
The 3D Printing Revolution
Huxter had always dreamed of purchasing a 3D printer. “I wanted a machine like this before I even knew it existed,” he laughs. “I’ve been dreaming about it since I was about 7 years old!” Huxter got his first 3D printer—the Afinia H479—in June of 2013. “I wanted a printer so much that I gathered a bunch of collector toys I had laying around and sold them to raise money for one,” he recalls.
“I had done a lot of research to figure out which 3D printer to invest in, and all the signs seemed to point to the Afinia brand. MAKE Magazine had rated it “Best Overall” and all of the reviews I read seemed to support that, so I contacted them for a test print. I got a standard print and a customized print from them and said, ‘yep, this is the one.’”
Ever since the Afinia 3D printer arrived at his house, Huxter has been putting it to good use. “I started printing immediately, and the printers are almost always running,” says Huxter.
A Few of His Favorite Things
When asked which were his favorite prints on the Afinia 3D printers thus far, Huxter paused. “So… which of my children is my favorite?” he asked, only semi-jokingly. As Huxter listed off some of his “favorite” creations, it was clear that it was extremely difficult for him to choose some prints over others. “I love my GI Joe jet pack… everyone enjoys seeing it. But I have three Thunderbird models (one of which is 18” tall and fully articulated) which I’m really proud of. The arms life up for capturing objects in space.” Huxter adds, “but most recently I 3D printed a large Iron Giant head, and that one’s really cool, too.” After discussing a few more of the creations he’s printed, he reaffirms, “It’s just too hard to choose.”
Huxter was much quicker to answer what his favorite thing about 3D printing in general is: “Being able to visualize something cool and make it real.” Without hesitation, he adds, “Being a guy who adores industrial design, I always wanted to be able to turn out objects without having to sculpt, mold, and carve. I’ve always been good at 3D modeling, so when those the two universes collided, it was the perfect storm for me. I could turn a model into something real: toys, home improvements… anything.”
3D Printing for the Win
Although Huxter had to sell collectibles to purchase his first 3D printer, it was that printer that helped him to get a second one–for free. “One organization had a competition to design something useful. I designed a handle that helps you carry numerous grocery bags at one time without hurting your hands. As one of the winners, I received an Afinia H480 3D printer.”
Even though Huxter is seemingly most well known for his 3D printed toys and collectible accessories, he admits he’s printed numerous innovations to improve little things around the house. “I’ve created handles to snap on to a wire basket, an ironing board bracket that holds the board to the door, and a refrigerator rack holder, to name just a few things.”
3D Printing Projects Galore
Huxter is constantly working on new projects. “I try not to do more than 3 at a time, but often I’m doing 5-8 at a time,” he admits. “It’s not possible for me to finish one before moving on, because I’ll frequently go back to previous project and make adjustments.”
Over the Christmas holiday, Huxter created his Retro Ray Gun and five new Werblz. “The complexity of the model determines how long it takes me to create it,” explains Huxter. “Often, I’m done in a few days. With the Retro Ray Gun, I sketched it a few times and used that image as background in my modeling program. I had the basic shapes of the gun done in less than a day, and then took a little more time figuring out how to put it together without the need for glue, and another week or so for printing and testing.”
“Werblz are one of the simplest, because the body doesn’t change much. I can just cut away or add to the body, and have a new Werblz in a few hours.”
Why He’s an Afiniac
“The employees at Afinia are always good to me. They are helpful and really easy to contact,” explains Huxter. “Then there are the outstanding printers. They’re great. I’ve experienced very few issues with my H479 and H480, and when I experience something I can typically fix it myself. If not, it’s a simple process to ship it to them for them to fix it”.
It isn’t just the reliable people and functionality of the printers that has impressed Huxter… and his friends. “Even people who have seen a lot of printers are surprised by quality of my prints that come off the Afinia 3D printers.”
Due to the popularity of Huxter’s designs, and the ability of the Afinia 3D printers to produce such high-quality prints, Huxter plans on setting up an Etsy store for people to purchase his designs.
Stay tuned for an update on Huxter’s Etsy store, as well as a recap of his recent Maker Faire appearance.