Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Exploring 3D Printing and Design

There is so much going on in the world of 3D printing and it is exciting to be dipping one's toe into it. For a several years now I have been teaching basic SketchUp to middle school students and a few 4th grade classes (via the Seeking Shelter Design Challenge) . This year I will be exploring Tinkercad with students. Below is the first design that I have created in Tinkercad and uploaded to Thingaverse. This coming summer I hope to have a 3D printer to use with middle school students in the Alum Rock Art & Design Thinking Camp.

Recently I learned of a company called Sugar Lab and it amazingly prints .stl files as sugar art creations. I hope to be exploring their services in a future project! Below is a design test I created of an abstracted cherry blossom flower that could be 3D printed in sugar.
 Shapeways Creator has interesting tools and options for 3D printing (to their services). I wish it enabled export of .stl files. Maybe it does and I just have not found the function yet. Here is a design I created with Sugar Lab in mind for output.

Finally, Sculptris is a great tool for organic 3D designing. I am just beginning to explore it. Below is a wasp I am making in Sculptris. It looks like I will need to download Blender to convert the object files of Sculptris to stl files. I would like to create components in Sculptris and import them as stl files into Tinkercad to complete the forms.  The very bottom image is a Sculptris design created by my nine year old when I walked away from my computer for five minutes!

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