Digital Making Log: Week 2

I walked into this class without knowing anything about modeling, and after this week, I think I can safely say I know a little more than nothing: I’ve learned how to think in a maker mindset, something not easy to come by given my area of study (journalism).

We got to play around with, a very basic platform for modeling with preset shapes that can be scaled, cut, bent, etc. I ended up piecing together a nametag for my team (gold team), and using the “box hole” feature, I was able to angle the words without having a failed print.

Well, without having more than one failed print. Ha. Below is what I made.

Gold Team rules

This was just an exercise to get us exposed to modeling; the harder stuff comes later. And I can’t wait.

Just using some free time, I modelled a sci-fi space ship with the existing Tinkercad shapes. I had to use a wheel preset, so it doesn’t look all that cool.

space ship

Notice there aren’t really any engines, or any jagged details, like a torpedo bay. No discernible bridge. The eventual goal for me is to have the modeling skills to make fleets of ships that I’ve been working on with graph paper for my entire nerdy adolescent and college life. They’re a lot more complex.

Another component of week 2’s class was an introduction to 3d modelling sharing sites, most notably,

I found four really cool things that I could use in my life and I’ll list them for you now:

Settler of Catan replacement pieces

This is something very essential in my life, as I have lost a few wheat pieces to my set. One thing I might tweak with this before I print it, and presumably learn more about modeling, is beef up the terrain. Whoever made this took care to make what is normally a 2d landscape in normal Catan, to a 3d, much cooler landscape. However, it still took on the same look as the 2d pieces, down to the location of the wheat farms. Me, I might want to add a river, or a dinosaur. The possibilities are endless!

Tri-dimensional chess set

As a trekkie, I’ve spent a large part of my life wondering how the hell people in Star Trek play 3d chess. When I looked into buying a set two years ago, the cheapest one was $300. With this print, it would come out cheaper and look a lot sleeker, with custom colors even. The only thing I would change: I would probably put Vulcan ears on the pawns, just to be cute.

Batman shelf

I’ve been deprived of a night stand for two consecutive years of my college career. To one side of my bed, there’s a book shelf, to the other, there’s a wall. I’ve had to put my alarm on the other side of the room, and let me tell you, snoozing that in the wee cold hours of the morning is pretty brutal. Having this shelf on the wall slightly above my bed would make life quite easier, though I think I would have to increase the width to make my clock fit.

Saturn V rocket

The Saturn V rocket seems pretty essential to me, maybe not so essential to most other people. As someone who wants to make a hobby out of printing spaceships, I’d be remised if I didn’t include her in my collection. The only improvement I could make would be a launch pad.



Week 2

This week was all about sharing. But not just sharing the way you would split up a pizza between all of your friends. We explored the world of sharing ideas.

We first learned how to do a basic design on With this new knowledge we all went into design-mode to create the best nameplate for our assigned group. This was a chance to share ideas of how to take advantage of the 3D printers to make a unique design.

After finally agreeing on a design and color, we were then given a new task that was a chance to dive into the many different sharing websites. My group was assigned,, and to start off.

My favorite of these three sharing sites was by far for many reasons. The biggest factor was the design of the website. It looked exactly like and had some of the same features. is a place to buy 3D design downloads or pre-printed 3D objects. There is a huge range of products from toys and gadgets to jewelry and art. But any category you looked at had creative designs.

Here are a few of my favorites and how I would use or change them:


This simple butterfly pendant is an original work of art. It would normally be tedious to make by hand or to create a mold for such a small item, but 3D printing allows for such a intricate design to come to life.

I would most likely buy this design to be able to acquire all the different colors possible. It is simple enough to not be limited to just a black, plastic butterfly. I could potentially print enough to turn it into a decoration in my room or just have a different colored necklace for any outfit. The possibilities are endless.


These paper towel holders are an extremely practical design. They would add something to any kitchen and be a great conversation starter. It is quite simple in terms of the idea, but it would be so easy to produce with a 3D printer.

I will unfortunately not be purchasing this item anytime soon because the design is not available for download and the printed object price is too high for me.



This product is unusual and I would never even think to make this. However, imagine you were in charge of a birthday party for a little boy that loves dinosaurs, but you don’t want to buy the cheap cupcakes at the store with unpersonalized toppers. This is the best solution to make a homemade dessert decoration for that party.

Of course the dinosaur part is not important, but the concept of creating a personalized cake topper can lead to much more. Maybe your local bakery would be interested in having you design a variety of cake toppers to sell at their store.



This charging and amplifying dock has potential to be sold in Apple stores across the nation. I’m not sure why Apple hasn’t already started producing 3D printed docks. It’s genius!

Not only is it a great product that would be easy to market, but it’s cheap to produce. Right now it is free to download the design, so here’s your chance to create a useful product before Apple realizes what it’s missing

-Amanda Kowalski

Week 2 Reflections

This class explored the already existing world of 3D printing designs and how they can be applied and modified to better fit our own personal needs. My sharing assignment allowed me to explore one, specific design and wonder how it could be applied differently.

The chain mail bracelet design could be applied an expanded to modify other 3D printed jewelry designs in both plastic and metallic compounds. Looking at this design allowed me to better understand the way of thinking required for this class. Using this, I looked for other designs that I could modify and use in my own day to day life.

Alexa and Sinclair-10’s Musical Instrument Toys

One thing I love to do almost more than anything else is make music. This collection of printed instrument designs provide little ways to use a Makerbot to bring music into your home. The rubber band harp made me wonder if it was possible to use multiple materials to make a mbira, commonly referred to as a thumb piano.

Wall-Mounted Utensil Holder

In college, we all need to save space as much as we can. One great way to do that would be to be able to hang kitchen supplies on the wall. This utensil holder could be modified to hold kitchen tools. Because everyone has different kitchen supplies, each holder could be modified to hold the utensils that each person needs.

Mac power cord clip

As someone who travels with my laptop on a daily basis, sifting through a bundle of chords has always been a pain. A small, easy to make devise would be perfect for someone who travels. As a PC user, I would need to modify the design to better accommodate my own cable and power block. This modification would be simple to make, but important for everyone’s use.

Labyrinth Gift Box

This is a cute way to give your loved ones a gift that you didn’t put that much time into thinking of. However, this provides a memorable experience with a good reward at the end. You could design each tube to be different for each person receiving the gift. Also, one change could be to make the tube clear so that the person could see the gift inside as well as the labyrinth itself in case they got stuck.


— Noah Baird