Any way to print on a curved surface currently?

Have the SM2 … have someone interested in printing logos on some footballs (American Football) … Is there any way I could do this currently (WITHOUT deflating the ball) or do I need to wait for a rotary attachment to be released? Thanks!

Create the gcode by hand :see_no_evil:
The Snapmaker could do it, but I fear none of the software that is available can do the code you need yet.

Have no idea where I’d even start with creating the g-code by hand lol. :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks for the suggestion though.

I’m not sure what you would be “printing” on the surface?
Do you mean engraving with the laser?

In that case you could have a look at this topic: Laser engraving on cylinder e.g.water bottle

However, an American football ball isn’t exactly a cylinder, so it might be a little bit more tricky

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It’s also not a cylinder shape either. It’s curved in both directions.
Which means even when the rotary attachment comes out it won’t help you.
You might be able to manipulate the art in photoshop (or whatever you’d use) but it would take some trial and error.
In the end I think the outer areas would be defocused and weaker.

You could take the air out of the ball. Suck it flat and laser away.

I am assuming you mean laser engraving rather than 3D printing or CNC milling.

If the image is relatively small, and destined for the flattest area, it could work. If you don’t want to test it on a football, you could 3D print something the same shape and size as the part of the football you want to engrave, and give it some trial runs. If you’re printing inflated, you’ll probably want to 3D print a jig so the ball doesn’t roll. In that case, a positive and negative shape should be easy to make at the same time.

If the image is large, this would suck, but you could slice the image up into different height layers. Focus/adjust the layer for the height, and print that height layer. Readjust the height/focus for the next layer, then print the next layer. In this case though, deflating the ball is probably a lot easier. As @Thick8 said, you’ll probably want to suck it flat rather than just deflating it.

Is it possible to do this with a bed mesh correction? Some software (there are add-ons to octoprint for it) let’s you modify the bed mesh for 3d printing. If you made a bed mesh that matched the contour of the ball and used that as your laser engraving surface it should work well enough, right? Not sure if you can use a bed mesh with the laser engraver. But it’s an idea. And if it works then you could engrave on all sorts of uneven surfaces.