Designing a project to send to a 3d printer requires a different approach to a project that requires laser cutting, but is not to difficult as long as you remember few points
  • 3D printing has limitations on size  cannot be too big or have parts that too small with no support.
  • Projects with large overhangs and sharp corners can cause problems.
  • Support material and raft can be difficult to remove and needs to have some thought in the design process.
  • Parts that fit together like the lid, do need some clearance.
  • Projects needs to exported as a STL file
  • On Prodesktop you cannot import a STL file
If you look carefully at the box you can see some of these problems as this design has pushed the printer to the limit in some respects. First  the lid is very thin so was very difficult to remove from the raft in one piece. You can see some damage.
Also the slot where the lid fits had support material that had to be removed, this also was very difficult as it was trapped in the slot.
much of this could be avoided if the lid was a little thicker, and the slot a little bigger

If you haven't seen project one, take a look as it covers where to get the Prodesktop, how to activate the software,  how to navigate the screen, what you will need and the mouse functions.

Digital Manufacturing - project one Key tag

Digital Manufacturing - project two desk name plate

Digital Manufacturing - project four laser cut box

Digital Manufacturing - project five printed toy car

As computer tutorials don't translate to text very well, for this series of  instructables most of the info is in the photos. So click on the first photo and use the arrows to go to the next photo. The boxes in the photos show the location of the icons and have have text in them when you hover the mouse on them.

Step 1: Designing for the 3D Printer

This project is based on the wooden pencil box and I took the measurements from the box and scaled it down, to create a miniature version. You can take this approach or you can draw your project full size, you just have to make sure that it will fit on the printer before you start, or you will end up having to scale it down anyway.

Before we start it is important to create workplanes correctly...   select face/ workplane/ new sketch/ give your sketch an name/ draw
if you can remember that you will find this easy.

As always with this  series of instructables click on the photo to start
<p>Mine is getting printed as we speak</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Fixer, Finder, Fabricator.
More by liquidhandwash:Automatic Chicken Feeder Digital notice board for schools Off grid LPG (propane) powered Battery Charger 
Add instructable to: