Holland Harbor "Big Red" Great Lakes Lighthouse

So, this is one of my most elaborate creations yet. It’s unofficially “Big Red”…officially. Holland Harbor Lighthouse in Macatawa, MI. A favorite vacation spot in my family for 60+ years.

I learned a lot.
There’s a few bits I added later. Some minor detail glued on. As well as another railing around the light cupola. It was very tiny and a PITA to glue/solvent.

The real deal…for reference…

  1. This stuff is really hard to paint because of the striation effect. You can really only paint one direction. I should have done like a cloisonné kinda thing. Although, it doesn’t help that I’m a terrible painter with shaky hands. Next time, I’ll print inserts. (or leave holes for lights!)
  2. Some detail in the design needs to be exaggerated in the print. There’s shingles that you can barely sorta make out in places. Same with the ‘siding’ texture I tried to add. Some horizontal “lines”/“channels” didn’t show up. You can see the vertical ones real well, but the horizontal ones. In the drawing they’re the same dimension. Not so much in the print.
  3. Now that I’ve learned how well this thing will bridge gaps, I could do the railings and the stairs a lot easier in fewer parts to glue.
  4. I need to add memory to my computer if I want to create designs with high levels of lots of detail.
  5. 3d printing is the most awesome tool for an ‘artist/creator’ who hasn’t put 10,000 hours in on the physical/mechanical elements of art…like carving, sculpting, machining. I’m good with a computer. That’s my mechanical contribution. The machine does the heavy lifting of physical creation. That’s the point…isn’t it?

Awesome, my office is only a few miles form there, but rarely get out that close to the shore! Nice Print

It looks pretty good.
Could I ask what material you printed in and
what software did you use to design this?


I just used PLA. It’s cheap and I wanted to make this pretty big. It’s around 12 inches tall…quite a bit scaled up from the ~50cm design.
I used 123d Design. I find it quite quick to get positive results for a noob. Just not overly complex. I used Blender for some tweaks on the detail.

Lucky. I would love to live there…in the summer.
First off, I love the smell of vinegar…so that works. The farmer’s market is second only to the ones I experienced while living in Iowa. Blue Moon ice cream is almost impossible to get outside of that region. One of my favorite restaurants ever was there…but now only does catering, I think. It was called Til Midnight, I think. And I’m a huge fan of unsalted water.