Tag Archives: Cura

Initial prototypes and Designing


Last week, I was not able to create my 3D Printed bust but I was able to do so this week! A classmate took a scan of myself that I uploaded onto Meshmixer. The original scan had some creaks and empty spaces but Meshmixer did a great job editing the scan. I was able to close the STL file by simply selecting a function called Make Solid and Close Cracks. Afterwards, I exported the file and opened it in Cura. The file was to small to be seen so I then selected all and scaled the item up (10000). After making some other edits in Cura, I then began the 3d printing process. In total, by bust took 45 minutes to print and I am thrilled with the results!

Project: Hydroponic Vertical Garden

This weeks class was mainly devoted on creating the initial prototypes of our final project. My part in the project is to create a voronoi patterned bottle holder to fit a 2 liter as well as drip nozzles.  I spent most of the weekend researching this history of voronoi diagrams and the results of my findings can be found in my last blog.


I went to the FabLab in hopes of finding someone skilled in Meshmixer to help me with parts I found difficult, but the students there were more familiar with other softwares. Thus, I went to Youtube and found great tutorials! After familiarizing myself with Meshmixer, I really enjoyed working with the software and created a wonderful bottle cage that I initially felt apprehensive about.

Bottle Cage

I was able to print the drip nozzle and the bottle cage. The drip nozzle was printed in less than an hour. Whereas, the bottle cage holder took nearly 20 hours to print! Initially, our team 3Dream wanted to have 8 plants but after taking into consideration how long it takes to print one bottle cage holder, we will now print 4 of them and 4 drip nozzles.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog and see you next week!

Discovering the Beauty of Autodesk Fusion 360

This week we had Dan Banach from the Autodesk 360 company run a workshop introducing Fusion 360 software, the uses for it as well as walk us through creating our own models. We went through and made 2 different items, which I will discuss in detail later, while introducing many different functions and tools within Fusion 360. Dan had a slide discussing the various industries and companies that use Autodesk software, one I was surprised by was the movie industry and special effects. Many films use Autodesk software to design and create special effects. I am absolutely amazed by the capabilities this one software has and look forward to honing my skills in the coming months to be able to better design and create objects of value.

Fusion 360 Creations:

Our first item we designed was an ice scraper. In this workshop we walked through over 20 different tools within the software in order to create the exact look we wanted. One neat feature within Fusion 360 is that you can change the material of your creation. This then allows you to determine the specs, for example how much it weighs, which would then tell you how much it would cost in time and money to 3D print. I was also amazed by how many material options there were to model items in including metals, ceramics, paper, canvas, and even water.

In class we designed 2 items: an ice scraper and an iPhone charging stand. The phone charger I kept as the plastic PET material (since that is typical for 3D printing) thus why it is transparent, while the ice scraper I applied a “paint” layer to color it teal.

Ice scraper: http://a360.co/2snHF7x
Iphone charging stand: http://a360.co/2BpSWas

I thought the iPhone charging stand would be a useful item for my everyday life and was interested in seeing how the fusion file transferred into Cura to 3D print. I ended up printing this model and was excited to try it however, it is not very functional. The section that goes around the charger is too large to stay easily and when you put a phone on the shelf it is thrown off balance and falls to the floor. I was happy that I printed it because I got to see the iterative process, not everything comes out exactly as planned however you are easily able to go back to the drawing board and adjust the design for improvements. 3D printing is a series of trial and errors which makes it that much more exciting when you print something that works exactly as planned.

My Own Fusion Creation:

As for my own creation, I decided to make something to keep my electronic cords organized on my desk. I plug quite a few different cords into an outlet below my desk and have been getting annoyed that they fall off my desk and get tangled thus I’m constantly picking them up. This figure is a way to help keep the charging ends of cords on my desk. I incorporated a small shalf to keep it from sliding all over my desk however I still think it will need to be secured with a command strip. Hope this is of use to others! I’m excited to try printing this this week and will share updates on how it goes!



The most useful resource I resorted to throughout this small project is actually Autodesk’s Support & Learning page. They provide wonderful tutorials, explanations and examples of many different tools as well as products that you can use when creating your model. I found the tutorials quite helpful.


Getting hands on with 3D Printing

This week, we had students lead the class and had a very enthusiastic guest speaker, Jeff Ginger. Jeff shared his vision and aspirations for the FabLab that we have here on campus as well for 3D printing in general. Jeff brought 3D printers into public libraries in hopes of having the younger generations develop a maker mindset. He incorporated the popular video game, Minecraft to peak the interest of the youth and it definitely worked!

Last week, our small groups were left to develop a logo and team name. We came up with “3Dream”, because I believe that if you can dream it, you can print it. We created our first sketch to encompass a dream cloud  with our team name at the center.

With this basic sketch, the foundation of our design was laid and brought to life with Tinkercad which turned our idea into a CAD model. Tinkercad offers only four different font options and I wondered if it was possible to import a font just like you can import a design. After some research, I learned that you could do this by using sketchpad, selecting your font and start typing, export it, save it, and then download. Afterwards, go to an online converter, on there you will change the image to an SVG, and select your SVG image to convert. Once it has been converted, the file can be imported onto Tinkercad! And just like that, our design was created.

We were proud of our design but we were not satisfied, so we made some alterations. By exploring Thingiverse we came upon a  model of a low polygon cloud  that made our 2D design 3D! With this change, we were able to see the differences and difficulties by working with different dimensional designs. Once our design was completed and uploaded onto the Cura software, it took 4 hours to print and it came out great! I was surprised that it took so long to print since the inside is hallow but I assume that is was due to the certain material used.

I learned so much this week and I’m very much excited to continue to learn, practice, and create in the future classes.

First 3D Creation

FabLab Guest Lecture

This week our class focused on the extensive possibilities of 3D printing applications and various examples of products created with various machines in the FabLab on campus. We had guest speaker, Jeff Ginger, who is the director of the Champaign Urbana Community FabLab. He shared insights on the various capabilities of the FabLab and example products and projects that have been created within the lab. I was absolutely inspired hearing different stories of several entrepreneurs who launched their businesses with the help of the machinery and expertise of the FabLab. I have visited the FabLab a few times and made laptop stickers using the Silhouette machines and software however I’ve never used any other equipment. Each time I’ve gone in, I’ve always wanted to explore the other machines but was intimidated by them so I look forward to familiarizing myself with more FabLab machines this semester and expanding my “maker” mindset.

3D Printing Process

The next part of the class we got to dive in and play with the Tinkercad and Cura software while finalizing our logo designs and setting up the printers to create our team logos. Our design went through a few different iterations. We decided on the name 3Dream inside a cloud to represent the endless capabilities of 3D printing and the many dreams that can be achieved through this technology. Our first logo was a flat rendition, as shown below, although after loading it into Cura we decided it would be neat to make it into a 3D cloud shape. We found a useful model for a 3D cloud on thingiverse which we then tinkered with in tinkercad adding our logo and stars.

One of the most challenging parts for us was adjusting our logo to fit perfectly onto the 3D model of the cloud. We utilized a few different tools within tinkercad in order to rotate and adjust the logo to lay flat onto the surface since the surface was angled. Below I have included images of our design in the Cura software as well as the final product. I was very happy with the final product. It took about 4 hours to print.

3D Printing Resources

Looking further into different resources available for people new to 3D printing, I am amazed by what the internet has to offer. I have included a variety of different resources I will be using this semester.

Models Library: Cults3D: https://cults3d.com/

This platform is similar to that Thingiverse and Pinshape however more selective. There are professionals who ensure the uploaded models are of the best quality whereas Thingiverse allows anyone to upload their designs even if they have not been printed. Additionally, many of the curated models on Cults3D are created by professional designers.

3D Scanning: Trnio: http://www.trnio.com/team/
This is a free IOS App that allows you to convert photos from your phone into 3D models. I am hoping to try out this app to see how well it works.

3D News: http://3dprintingindustry.com/

This website shares news about the 3D Printing Industry such as hardware and software but also discusses related industries that are impacted by 3D Printing.

Learning 3D Printing Programs


Hi again! This past week our class had the pleasure of having Jeff Ginger join us. Jeff is the director of the Fab Lab that we have on campus. The Fab Lab is “an open and collaborative workshop space for computer-driven innovation, design and fabrication” (http://cucfablab.org/). Essentially, this establishment allows individuals of all ages to utilize making resources to bring their creative ideas to fruition. Our class will be visiting the Fab Lab sometime in the coming weeks, so I will have an entire post dedicated to the Fab Lab coming soon!

I am so grateful to have been able to learn how to use both Tinkercad and Cura this past week. Our class’s steps in 3D printing include first creating an object on Tinkercad and then bringing that file into Cura to get the proper 3D printer settings applied to the object. Diving into these programs allowed me to see what it really means to be able to design a 3D print (from either a template or the bottom-up). Creating is an activity that I genuinely find to be fun, challenging, and rewarding. So let me tell you a bit about each of these programs:



Tinkercad is an online site that allows us to create our own 3D models. This program really speaks to me as a creator because it truly allows me to create any print from the ground up. The user is allowed to put different shapes together, add text to designs, and even import designs from other sources. The interface is also extremely intuitive, and it almost feels like a game when creating the different designs.

One of my favorite features of this program is that we can access our designs from any computer due to the cloud platform that it is on. This is great because I was able to get my account set-up online while at home and play around with the software before logging on when in class. When I got to class, all I had to do was log into my account and then I was able to jump right back into my work. Here is a picture of an Illinois-shaped keychain that we were able to import into Tinkercad (from a template in Thingiverse). It was fun to add different text to the keychain and customize it to our liking.



Cura can appear to very intimidating when first launching the program. However, as the user starts to look deeper into each of the settings, it becomes a much more comfortable program. This is the program that we use to get the proper file needed for the 3D printers. I will have to dive into a deeper explanation of this program in a later post because as of right now, I only know the basics. Our instructors let us know which specific settings to select when printing our objects, but I still need to understand the program better and how each selection in the settings (see image below) affects the final print.

My team, Fast Forward, was also able to create our team logo. We designed it on Tinkercad, set the proper settings in Cura, and then printed it. Below you can see the final product.


Thank You

As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I cannot wait to continue learning more advanced features on Tinkercad, Cura, and other 3D printing softwares over the coming weeks, and I look forward to updating you along the way!


-Scott Provenzano