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Idle daydreaming about 3d printing Answered

I love the idea of 3d printing, and would love to make it a hobby at home.  I can afford the machinery, I have the space, but I don't have the time to gain the required expertise.

I have a laser cutter, but most of what I make is effectively two dimensional - design takes a while, but not an age.  For more complex shapes, there are online generators for boxes and gears, which I can use as starting points to my finished objects.

What I would *like* to see is a combination of existing technologies - image and motion-sensing devices with virtual and augmented reality - to allow a kind of digital sculpting.

My hands would be monitored by cameras (say, a Kinect), and in my Google Cardboard I'd be watching a "solid" object being sculpted.

Like 2d drawing software, there would be a library of shape-drawing tools - discs, cuboids, spheres, rods and planes - as well as the ability to manipulate a lump of virtual clay, or draw surfaces and edges in space and have the software fill them in.

I would then be able to save those sculptures and 3d print them, or slice them up, or reduce them to to surfaces to laser cut.

Since I'm dreaming, I'd like to be able to take hold of a curved surface in my model, and flatten it out to be cut, with the computer automatically drawing in one of a selection of living-hinge cuts to make it possible to curve the surface in the real world.

Just putting the idea out there.  Maybe somebody with the skills will pick it up and head over to Kickstarter...



4 years ago

The idea is not too bad but the "transformation" requires a massive learning curve.
Modelling in 3 dimensions is not easy as it sounds and anyone that just started drawing something in Sketchup will know what I mean.

The guys that created the Holus on Kickstarter are still looking to implement more into the project.
As it already provides a "3d" like fake hologram all you need is a suitable driver / library combination for your favourite design software.
Win 10 does all different anyway, so I guess gesture control will come soon if not already included (no clue).
Means you could already use a 3D (fake though) display with basic motion control and only need to tell you design program to accept the motion controller instead of the mouse.
For the printer or laser cutter you can use a script ;)


Reply 4 years ago

I don't think modelling in 3D sounds easy at all.


4 years ago

Isn't that what the HP Sprout is supposed to do? Maybe they don't have the app yet.


Reply 4 years ago

lt scans (not as well or as easily as I would have expected from a dedicated, built in feature), but i haven't seen any apps that allow for modelling like this yet.