Finally realized that trying to cut or zip the channels open is just overly complicated, and that (although it seems a little less magical) I should just print in two pieces and glue together. There are multiple benefits:
- It looks better. Being able to control the edges of channel where it intersects the outside of the of the cube gives a very clean look, probably better than I’ll ever get trying to open it with mechanical means.
- Channel walls come out very smooth. This is mostly the result of the way the slicer processes the model when it’s when it’s a monolithic piece.
- Easier to model. There are a lot more considerations when trying to make internal structures in an enclosed piece.
- Easier to paint, especially on the inside curves. Although, I do have to take a different approach than primer/sand/spray, which was giving some really nice results.
It’s not done yet, though. As you can see in the picture of it being printed, I did not use supports, and that caused the channels on the top of the arcs to be distorted just enough that the bearings fall out. Reprinting with supports now, and that should add dimensional stability (along with my emotional stability). 🙂