We discovered that Microsoft has 3d printers in a lab for employees to use so we wanted to try it out. It’s been fun trying out new stuff and learning the ropes. 3d is still in its infancy and not everything is mature yet. We’ve been learning by just by experimenting and iterating.
For our first print we downloaded a gear cube design from Thingiverse. It was surprisingly easy to print the model, but it took a long time.
Here’s a 12 second video of the gear cube in action:
We graduated from printing other peoples’ stuff and wanted to start designing our own models. We decided to print parts to make a earthly and celestial mobile. It will have birds, sun, moon, stars, and planets. Not to scale, of course. Nor would the models be close to accurate either.
There are a lot of tools to do modeling, and I chose OpenSCAD. It’s free and open source. I think it works nicely–I highly recommend it!
Here are some of our iterations on making a cloud:
I wanted to make a cutesy bird. How do you make something cute? Big eyes! The rendering looked pretty good but the print didn’t come out as envisioned.
Looks more like a fish, huh? I made some tweaks, moving the eyes higher and further apart, and not so far out of the body:
One day the lab had some glow in the dark filament. I quickly designed a moon so we could make a glowing moon. Basically it’s a sphere with a bunch of different sized craters. This was surprisingly hard for me to program, since it’s been a looooong time since I’ve used trig.