In my "other" 3D print BLOG, I posted about some of the reasons hobbyists get involved with 3D printing. I like all the technical electronics and hardware. But its been 99% about design of what I create with additive manufacturing that keeps me active.
I am not into the "modding" activites of hardware updates just to change the look or add flashing color-change lights to my printers. I do make printer hardware inprovements when they are actual functional improvements. 'Nuff about the hardware mods.
There are many examples of my printed creations in both my 3D BLOGS. What I do experiment with is the CAD software that defines and outputs my idea in a 3D image called a Stereo Lithographic (xxxxx.stl) file. Several other graphic formats can also serve as the image file, and are created through the same process. All work much the same for the purpose of 3D printing. STL is the standard.
There are also other computer based 3D drawing software other than CAD. I have experimented with Z-Brush which is an excellent 3D graphic drawing system, tremendously complicated and with a steep learning curve. Superior to any CAD for producing organic 3D. Z-Brush is like sculping with clay on the computer screen.
I have also used my Vectric Aspire software for 3D prints, although it's strong point is with 3D carving with an overhead routing system.
My creative experimentation has mostly been with the software tools used to design what is deam-up into a form that can be sent to another software system called the slicer.
The designs are still intangible at ths point as there is another complete realm of software choices for the slicer. All 3D prints are built from cutting the 3D subject item into a (usually) a large number of thin layers (slices) that remain stacked. The printing process lays down or "prints" one layer upon the other in sequence to assemble the item.
No more details than that in this post. What I want to make clear that there are literally hundreds, if not a thousand, variables to understand and control between drawing and printing. Every design is a bit different and all these variables will need to be considered and adjusted to get a good print.
If 3D design/print were easy, there would be no enjoyment (fun for me) in doing this. Ha!
The lead photo is my most recent designs, I make a lot of plastic bowls, vases, and boxes. Probably too many. A lot of what I make I call "Junque" simply because it is plastic. The same thing, for example, would be far more valuable if it were say, cast silver or bronze. But that is another whole world of experience. Been there and can still do that. It just my comparision of material value, not a direct comparision.
I also desin and make speciality items on request for friends with particular needs. One of my ham radio buddies (callsign KW5CW) has many of my special makes of things that add to his radio activities.
Wife, Gloria keeps be busy with speciality items for her sewing and quilting buddies. Most small items are just freebies and given away.
Some folks will give me a donation to help cover costs. The plastic is usually about $10.00 a pound. There is a Kilogram or 2.2 pounds on a spool. I have probably used well over 250 spools. Never made an exact count. Don't want to...
Made this post as I have been a bit lax in showing off my current activities. I realize there are very few visitors to my blogs. That's OK! I don't try to compete for readers. :)
I have now two main FDM printers in use. Both can print with two filaments (extruders) at the same time. I like to experiment with colors and materials. Most what you see are 2 colors or blends of two colors.
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