I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you have at least a passing interest in 3D printing. I’m also willing to bet that you’d like to get better at it. But what kind of programs and information are out there to help you brush up your skills? Stick with me and I’ll not only set the scene for why it may be important for you to begin investigating a personal formal, informal, or combined learning program, I’ll also give you a leg up on the type of programs and content that's out there to help you.
Sending us an email about robots and 3D printing is a pretty good idea if you want to catch our attention. No wonder our ears perked up when Robert Steiner wrote that he gave the Robodude a 3D print treatment.
Robert doesn’t just 3D print stuff, he takes it a step (or two) further and paints the items to make them look more realistic. Here’s a video of Robert explaining his work process, fascinating insight into the world of scale model making. More pics further down.
With the release of Portal 2 all the gaming fans have gone a bit turret crazy. And for a very good reason - they’re deadly, yet perfectly adorable. Want to own one? We have the models - Portal turret for Solidworks and same turret for AutoCAD. Sign up, download, 3D print.
Before I dig into the finer points of 3D printing this mechanical creature on 3 very wiry legs, let’s have some fun. Fortunately there’s tons of interesting stuff around the Portal’s turret in the internet. I’ll kick off with the official Portal 2 trailer. I wish more companies had such a creative approach to ads.
Our preferred on-demand 3D print service i.materialise launched a new service today - Sketch to 3D - and we’re happy to have a helping hand in it by being the CAD service provider for this new service.
3D printing has become more accessible, more cost-efficient and in general more popular but a lot of people who dream of making stuff to their own design lack the skills of creating the necessary 3D print model. With the new Sketch to 3D service they can upload their idea (be it a hand drawn and scanned sketch, a simple drawing they did on their computer, or even a photograph of an object), describe the details like material, dimensions, color, detailing and 48 working hours later i.materialise sends them a link to a finished print-ready 3D model. All they then need to do is to hit the "Print" button.
As i.materialise so nicely puts it in their blog post (they also have some great examples of 3D printed things, check it out):
The democratization of manufacuring has now reached you. Now you have no excuse, you can now 3D print whatever you want to.
So, how does GrabCAD partner with i.materialise on this? All these sketch-to-model orders arrive in our system, we review them and post to our engineers who get the job done. Simple as that. With over 2500 engineers in our community we always have someone ready to pick up the job and boom! another satisfied customer.
Print-ready pencil holder, prepared by one of GrabCAD's engineers.
3D printing has been receiving a lot of attention recently and for a good reason - it's great for speeding up prototyping, the prices have come down enough to become reasonable even for a hobby builder and new web-based services like i.materialise, Shapeways, CloudFab and others have made ordering prints simple and accessible.
Biggest hurdle in 3D printing, especially for hobby builders, is getting a print-ready 3D model of their idea. Print preparation is specific enough, you need to pay attention to sharp edges, details that might be too small for the printer, tolerances and think about making your model empty inside to save on print cost. It helps when someone with experience and knowledge of these things creates the printable 3D model.
GrabCAD is offering a new 3D model for 3D printing service to answer that need on the market. We take your sketch, drawing, or even an existing 3D model and make sure you get back printable model. You simply take it to your printer (or upload to one one of the online 3D printing companies), define material, surface style, color etc and that's it.