Archive for the '3D Printing' Category

Iterative design for 3D printing

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Imagine you want to design a two part box (base and lid) to hold a deck of cards.
One approach would be to design the box, add any 3D decorations (label, texturing, etc.), then print everything and hope it all fits. If you know your printer and material well enough (e.g. tolerances, shrinkage), then this can […]

Why should children learn 3D printing?

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Children should learn 3D printing so they can learn to think and design in 3D. 3D design and printing is being used in more and more industries all the time: architecture, medicine, and manufacturing, to name a few. Children that grow up learning to think in 3D will have a huge advantage in business over […]

3D printing is one tool

Monday, June 20th, 2016

3D printing is only one tool in making. Saying “I only do 3D printing” is like a carpenter saying “I only use a saw”. We use 3D printing for a variety of purposes:

Calibrating settings (e.g. layers, infill, print speed, overhangs, rafts, etc.)
Test prints (checking sizes and fit, overall look, supports)
Internal parts
Parts to be combined with […]

Finishing 3D Prints

Friday, June 17th, 2016

I’m building a BB-8. My BB-8 is a mixture of Styrofoam, metal, and 3D printed parts.
Here are a couple of the 3D printed parts:

These pieces printed pretty much the way they’re sitting. On my printer, this left ridges going around parallel to the circles. I finished these pieces by sanding. So much sanding. I spent […]

3d printing a Star Wars comlink

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

I printed out a Star Wars comlink. It came in three pieces: a microphone, a grip, and an endcap. With the initial print, neither the microphone nor the endcap fit the grip. The inside diameters were too small. This may be an artifact of either the printer or the slicing software.
I used netfabb to resize […]

Unboxing a Mod-t 3D printer from New Matter

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

I received a Mod-t 3D printer from New Matter (after a year and a half of waiting, of course it arrived the week I was away on vacation).
The packaging is impressive.

The box itself has instructions for how to unbox the printer:

The instructions were simple to follow and resulted in this:

To set up the printer, you […]

Software for 3D design

Monday, October 12th, 2015

There are different types of software you can use to design 3D models for printing.
CAD software
CAD software is good for building useful objects. It is based on building with solid 3D shapes and 3D holes (which are the same as the solid shapes).

Tinkercad is a nice online CAD program. You can actually send the 3D […]

3D Printing Minecraft and World of Warcraft models

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Commercial Services
There are commercial services which will take your Minecraft world, extract your model, and 3D print it.

Printcraft is a Minecraft server which lets you build models and create an STL from them, which you can then download.
WhiteClouds is a commercial service where you upload your Minecraft world and select the coordinates for the model […]

How to finish PLA 3D prints

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

For all finishing techniques, please be careful and follow the appropriate safety precautions.
Acetone doesn’t work to smooth PLA. However, several people are experimenting with vapor smoothing using different materials (such as MEK substitute) and different techniques.
Sanding works, but it takes longer than for ABS. Basically, start with rougher sandpaper and work to finer, working over […]

Physical Tools for 3D printing

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

In addition to a 3D printer, there are some other useful tools for your 3D printing workshop:

Calipers measure physical items so you can use the dimensions to design objects to 3D print. You can also use them to measure items which you print to adjust their size.
A sharp craft knife can be used to trim […]