Friday, November 6, 2015

Creating My Own Design For The 3D Printer

by Alex Landrigan

First Attempt
On Monday, I took a shot at SketchUp, the 3D printer design software. I had absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing. After much trial and error and attempting to follow the complex start up instructions, I finally began to get the hang of it! I tried to make an ‘A’ for Alex. However, it is much more complicated than it sounds. You cannot just type in ‘A’ or easily draw a block letter. The diagonals of the letter made it even more complicated. I got very frustrated and wanted to quit. But I didn’t. I was so excited when I finally designed it, only to find out that I was not actually done. Ethan then informed me that I needed to create the dimensions and raise the heights of each line to create the actual 3D part of the print. I figured it out and exported it. After 17 minutes of printing, it was done. It was done, but it was not great and that is putting it nicely. It was a bit abstract to say the least. But, it is mine and I finally did it!

Second Attempt
A few days later I decided to give it another try. I again tried making an ‘A’, only this time, it came out so much nicer! After trial and error from Monday, I knew that in order to gain proper perspective to ensure my ‘A’ was symmetrical, I needed to shift the view of the screen so it was “bird’s eye view”. This allowed me to make a virtually perfect ‘A’. I am very proud of the progress I have made in just a few days. The other really cool thing is we just got new black filament. Filament is the plastic that gets melted to create the design. Before we only had white so it is a nice change.  

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