My introduction to OpenSCAD through a quick, practical project
My friend Alex came to me with a project last week. His Logitech WingMan Rumble Pad gamepad was missing an analog stick and could I possibly print a replacement? (Answer: yes!)
It came up when talking with Andrew Plumb – if you’ve got something small and measurable to do, OpenSCAD is a great way to go. It lets you precisely script 3D primitives into position to make cool stuff. And of course it exports to STL format, perfect for your home 3D printer or your Personal Factory!
First I’ll show what the printing process on my MakerBot Cupcake was like, then I’ll walk through making a similar stick in OpenSCAD. Here’s gamepad as I received it: (more…)
This week we’re looking at a new 3d scanning web app that scans real objects and you can digitise them for 3d print output on your Personal Factory here at Ponoko!
my3dscanner.com launched recently and is rapidly becoming popular. It allows anyone who owns a digital camera that records EXIF data to 3D scan real life objects! (If you don’t know what EXIF data is, don’t worry – as long as you have a camera newer than 1998 it probabley does this.)
Beautiful Modeler is a tool for creating 3D models using multitouch input from the iPad. Its release was covered here in November, but today I’m going to show how you can try it for yourself.
I’m using Xcode 4.0.2 and iOS 4.3.2 (the most recent releases as of this writing), so your mileage may vary if you have different versions. For simplicity I’ll use direct links to all of the necessary downloads where possible, followed by links to their original sources.
It’s a long process, but I guarantee that using your iPad to manipulate 3D models is awesome. (more…)
How to start out with 3d printing
In the first of the Personal Factory 3d printing tutorial series we’re looking at popular software packages you can use to create your designs. Not all 3d software is created alike – some is intended for creating vast landscapes, others specialise in rendering and visualisation. We’re interested in software focused on both organic & primitive geometry modeling with support for stereo-lithography (.STL) files.
Thanks to years of 3d software development there are now many methods to build a 3d models, below are some of the means you may come across… (more…)
“One of the things we love about makerbot in contrast to commercial printers is that you have complete control over every aspect of the print technique. We think there is a lot of opportunity to develop new printing styles with makerbots, beyond traditional solid prints.
We wanted to experiment with the materiality of makerbot prints by working directly in gcode with processing, so we made this small library that provides some simple functions for generating gcode commands, and prints a gcode file.”
In the Instructable, Lewis walks you through 7 easy steps to go from a simple cube in SketchUp to a 3D printed, level-3 Menger sponge. (Shown below in Ponoko’s durable plastic.)
When asked what he likes about SketchUp, Lewis answered “I like that I can quickly jump in and get a 3D rendering of an idea out in a few minutes. For getting an idea across to someone, it often takes less time to make a model than it does to describe it verbally. You can quickly move on to the stage where you’re trying out several different variations, which is great because that’s the fun stuff.
I’ve tried a couple of other 3D programs and they’re pretty amazing, but for my purposes SketchUp is my go to program. Having a free version means I can share ideas with anyone else in the world. I can push a project as far as I want to, put up the file, and then see someone else take it even further. That’s awesome.”
This is huge for someone like myself who knows how to use the Adobe Suite but finds learning 3D software programs like AutoDesk, Rhino and Solidworks to be more than a little intimidating.
While I’ll still have to learn the basic concepts and thinking that goes into designing in 3D, knowing that my good friend Photoshop is always there is a big comfort.
Many of the Repoussé tutorials out there focus on creating 3D type – which can easily be translated to any object, but I came across a two part video that focuses on making a 3D shape without using type. Check out Part 1 below.