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Mathematica is a software program from Wolfram Research. Similar to something like processing, you can quickly see visual outcomes from typed commands. This program is mostly used for computation and creating graphs in the fields of math, science and engineering, but it can also be used as a graphic design and modeling tool. Unfortunately, it's slightly pricey, but if you already have a copy, using Mathematica for 3D models is certainly a way to get more bang for your buck!

Thanks to Mathematica's Export function, you can create geometric and complex 3D graphics and save them as .STLs for printing. With a little editing in Tinkercad and gentle finishing, resin prints from the Autodesk Ember can beautifully reflect light and color thanks to intricate polygons!

Let's get started. For this process, you'll need:

  • Mathematica
  • A Log-in to TinkerCad
  • Meshmixer
  • SLA 3D printer of your choice. I used the Autodesk Ember, which printed quite nicely due to great machine resolution!

Step 1: Render in Mathematica

Open up your version of Mathematica and create a new notebook. We'll be using a simple script* that creates series of cuboids that are rotated around a core axis. By switching up degrees of rotation, we can get unique outcomes. To make things simple, I have included my notebook in the attachments. Download and open this to both play with models and understand the script.

When you're ready to download, Mathematica has an Export function that you can access from below your graphic in the GUI, or type in as a command (Export[filepath,"STL"]);

Useful tips for navigating in Mathematica:

  • Down arrow key - new cell
  • New subsection - command 5
  • Double Click a cell bracket to expand or contract it.
  • Free-form input // shift + enter will submit
  • capital letters on all command names [] for all command arguments {} for lists and ranges

Useful reference on 3D primitives

*This script is taken from a textbook, but unfortunately I have lost the reference link. I will upload it once it emerges!

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