3D printing has always fascinated me since I was in high school I decided to test out the 3D printer my university is piloting this semester. I am going to walk you through the steps I took to design and print my projects for my final.
Step 1: Choose a Project to Print
One of the very first things you must do when you decide you want to print from a 3D printer is to find out what type of files your printer will accept. The printer at my school takes .STL, .Makerbot, and .thing. That begins to limit what websites you can use to make the code that the printer will read. Once you have found the file types you can use, its time to start looking at websites.
Step 2: Step 2: Finding the Project You Want
For this project I used the Thing verse website, it has a lot of cool ideas and literally anything you would want to print will most likely be there. I had sort of an idea of what I wanted to print but I didn't really know what I really wanted to print. There are a lot of really cool ideas and project to print: everything from phone cases and cool christmas ornaments to car parts. I decided to use this cool snowflake creator they have up on the site and a phone case that are both customizable and will look the way I design it to be.
Step 3: Step 3: Creating Your Object and Creating Your .stl File
Once you have decided on the object you would like to print it's time to design and customize the item on the website. The first thing you must do is create an account on Thingiverse, its free and super easy to create. On Thingiverse a lot of the projects are customizable in one way or another, I wanted a project that would be unique and one that I would be able to play with for a while before I came up with a final project for printing. I chose the Snowflakenator which allows you to create a snow flake and play around with how long the branches are or the shape and look of the base snowflake. It was really cool to play around with the customizer and change the snowflake and start all over again when I didn't like what I had created. I decided to also choose another item to print, mostly because my school is piloting the 3D printing program this year and I wanted to see how a phone case would print out. For my second Item I decided to customize a phone case for my iPhone 5. This project was also just a customizable project, you get to decided the design you want to have on the back of the case and how sturdy and thick the case would be. Once I started playing around with the customizer I finally found a design I liked and I finalized both of my projects and allowed the customizer to finalize and turn my projects into the .stl file.
Step 4: Step 4: Downloading Your .stl
Once your item is ready and updated you will get a notification from your account. You can click on your account tab and click the my collection tab to see the items you have created. Once you click on the item it will have a button that will allow you to download the file to your computer.
Step 5: Step 5: Sending Your Project to the Printer
So at my university we just email our projects to the printer and they print it off for us. In order to make sure our project comes out correctly make sure that you put the right dimensions before you send it off, you don't want a phone case that doesn't fit your phone or a snowflake that will break once you touch it. Once you send your job to the printer the next step is to watch it print off. Because its finals week and this project was part of my final, I didn't have time to go and see my projects print and they were also ready sooner than anticipated.
Step 6: Step 6: Pick Up and Inspection
Since I was not able to go and watch my project print I went to go and pick it up. My university printed my projects in a bright green plastic, so just keep in mind that if you want a specific color or look make sure the place you are printing at knows yo want a certain color. Inspect your project upon receiving it, especially if you paid for your print job.
Step 7: ENJOY!!!
Now that you have picked up and looked at your project it's time to enjoy and take your project home!! Enjoy and thank you for checking out my Intractable!!!