Martin Conrad spends hours 3-D modelling toys based off of pop culture and his own imagination. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad spends hours 3-D modelling toys based off of pop culture and his own imagination. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Interlakes couple creates 3-D models, toys

Using 3-D software and a printer has become something of a passion for Martin Conrad

Creating models and toys with 3-D software and a printer has become something of a passion for Martin Conrad.

The eye can’t help but be drawn to the booth he and his wife Yuko tend to at the Loon Bay Craft Market. On their table is a colourful mob of plastic figurines depicting everything from the menacing Darth Vader to classic model cars.

Conrad said they had a good response, especially among children who return year after year. “They have a small museum at home already on the shelf and we’re very proud about that,” he said.

His foray into 3-D modelling and printing began when he noticed his son was playing too many video games. The two decided to do something else with the computer and learned 3-D modelling, using DOS together. They started making car models for games.

After his son left home, Conrad decided to expand into 3-D printing. He thought it’d be cool to hold the things he’d designed in his hands. He got his first 3-D printer seven years ago and has been hooked ever since.

“I love it. I think it’s very exciting,” Conrad said. “I do lots of miniatures that I sell all over the world.”

3-D printing is the process of making a solid object from a digital file. Using the file as a blueprint, a machine will lay down material such as metal, plastic, resin or carbon fibres and create the object the user desires.

The bread and butter of Conrad’s business, ctrlp3d, are his HO scale-size miniature cars and motorcycles, which are typically 3.5 mm to one foot in size. He’s designed 300 different models based on vintage cars, mostly from the ‘30s to ‘60s.

READ MORE: Farmer’s Market shifts to South Cariboo Rec Centre

Each car goes for $15 and is sold by Shapeways 3D printing service, with $5 going into Conrad’s pocket. It’s convenient for him, he said, as they do all the work of shipping and selling his designs.

“People with train sets, they buy them and paint them up really funky.”

In addition to his model toys and cars, Conrad also designs metal jewelry that’s 3-D printed. This involves pouring molten nickel or other metals into a lost wax casting, done by Shapeways. Yuko, who modestly remarked she’s just the girl who puts price tags on the work, wholeheartedly supports her husband’s work. The couple has lived on Hansen Lake in the Interlakes for the past 18 years.

“I think it’s really good for him. As we get older, you know, we can still do something and that makes the days go by faster and more exciting.”

Conrad said he’s faster designing models now than when he started but it still takes him about a week working five hours a day. He doesn’t like spending more time on the computer than that but has to be precise for the models to work.

He loves coming to the market in the summers so he can bring all his “fun stuff.” These pieces are inspired by movies, cool pictures on the internet and his own creativity. Watching people appreciate and buy his work is his “food for making more,” Conrad said.

“That is my inspiration. It makes me very happy. It makes me feel like a good singer who gets lots of applause, it feels good.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House

 

Martin Conrad spends hours 3-D modelling toys based off of pop culture and his own imagination. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad spends hours 3-D modelling toys based off of pop culture and his own imagination. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad also 3-D models jewellery that is cast in nickel by Shapeways: 3D Printing Service. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad also 3-D models jewellery that is cast in nickel by Shapeways: 3D Printing Service. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

A 3-D print of a dragon roaring atop a rock created by Martin Conrad. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

A 3-D print of a dragon roaring atop a rock created by Martin Conrad. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

An eastern dragon statuette designed by Martin Conrad. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

An eastern dragon statuette designed by Martin Conrad. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad has designed over 300 different models of tiny cars like these for modellers to use in train sets and other mock ups. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad has designed over 300 different models of tiny cars like these for modellers to use in train sets and other mock ups. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Models of Star Wars characters like Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Din Djarin are especially popular amongst young people, Martin Conrad said. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Models of Star Wars characters like Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Din Djarin are especially popular amongst young people, Martin Conrad said. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad spends hours 3-D modelling toys based off of pop culture and his own imagination. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Martin Conrad spends hours 3-D modelling toys based off of pop culture and his own imagination. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Just Posted

Free Press Archives
From the Free Press Archives

In 2003, a drive-by pornography display on Highway 97 left the RCMP shaking their heads.

Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye, with youngest son, Erik, encourages young people in 100 Mile House to volunteer for things they are passionate about. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye, with her youngest son, Erik, encourages young people in 100 Mile House to volunteer for things they are passionate about. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Sharing time and skills for a brighter future

Avid volunteer reflects on many reasons to contribute time to the community

An RCMP cruiser. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Boat and trailer stolen in 2017 found in 100 Mile House

Police received complaint from potential buyer

The BC Conservation Officer Service is investigating a dead fox found in a foothold trap. (File photo)
Conservation officers investigate dead fox in foothold trap

Residents reminded the traps are not allowed after March 31

An RCMP cruiser. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Off-duty officer intervenes following road rage incident

Two men involved in verbal altercation outside Mile 108 Elementary

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read