My first 3D print was successful! This week we got to dive even deeper into 3D printing and actually make a model. Ryan gave a brief introduction about the printing/scanning process and its components such as file types and slicer programs.
First, we needed a scan of the object that we wanted to print using either the iSense for iPad scanner—which took a bit longer—or the handheld Sense scanner connected to the computer. I may not have had the magic touch using the Sense scanner, but the scan came out really well. After a bit of editing the model was ready for “tinkering.”
For my model, I just added a platform to etch my name in and tweaked the size and position of the bust.
I really enjoyed this week’s class because it was my first time ever interacting directly with a 3D printer and scanner. I see myself keeping the model so I could one day show my grandchildren — and who knows where we’ll be by then. As this type of technology is growing, it is also important to know how to use it and apply it so that when it does become a mainstream consumer product, we will already be familiarized with it.
What’s to Come Next
It’s clear that 3D printing is still in the beginning stages of development. There are about 2 billion PCs and only 200,000 3D printers as said by Aric Rindfleisch, the executive director of the Illinois MakerLab. We experienced some printer malfunction during class, such as the head getting clogged. Human error is very minimal as the printers are very user-friendly.
There are also online tutorials to help the newcomers 3D printing (i.e. me) that go through loading and unloading filament, leveling the build platform, and slicing the model after the initial scan. This is all new and exciting for me and I look forward to next week’s class!
I’ve posted a resource about the MakerBot printers used in class for added information or helpful tips. Check it out here.