Hendrix College embraces creative collaboration, through technology, with a dedicated Makerspace and two MakerBot 3D printers. In the presentation below, David J, Hinson discusses the thinking behind their Makerspace, and how Hendrix is integrating new technology into a liberal arts curriculum.
If you’re wondering why the market isn’t being flooded with cheap knock-off objects scanned by consumer grade scanners, it’s because the current state-of-the-art in consumer grade scanners isn’t very state-of-the-art.
Nice looking objects can be made. But technique and patience are required, and expectations need to be adjusted accordingly.
I hope to be doing a more in depth review of first-hand experiences and lessons learned from different experiments in scanning real world objects in the coming days and weeks.
Welp… this little project is about 2/3 of the way finished in the “make” phase.
Any lessons learned?
Well, for starters, since there are large surfaces on the top and bottom, I would recommend using as much infill as you can stomach. I used a pretty sparse infill (the hexagonal “honeycomb” internal structures that strengthen the outer shell of a printed 3D object), and while this means that my build time was shorter, I’m less than thrilled with the quality of the top surface, because the sparse infill made it harder for the filament to span between the honeycombs (side note: gravity sucks). That said, for a first pass, all I can say is nicht schlecht.
The other finding of note is that tolerances are tight. As in, I had to hammer the pieces into place. I like this, but if you were designing a puzzle, for instance, you’d want to decrease the sizing of your interior pieces by – say – 1%-2%. But, I want this thing to stay together 4-evah, so I hammered away. Again, I’m very happy with the results so far.
We plan on printing the remaining black pieces and outside ring tomorrow.
Many, many thanks to Hendrix Student Travis Howk for his expertise and time in helping create this project.
Check back tomorrow!
But for now, enjoy some more work in progress snaps (below).
Since we put our MakerBot Replicator 2 in our Oathout Technology Center, I’ve been itching to do a 3D project that I could repurpose for a number of different campus scenarios – teaching, design considerations, fit-n-finish, etc.
The project I decided upon was to take our Technology Services logo (seen below) in 2D, sketch it up, and make it into a 3D object thingy (wall hanging, coaster, knick knack, whatevs).
Admittedly, I’m not the “go to” Photoshop / Design guy. I know enough to be able to do enough – given enough monkeys banging on keyboards and the lifetime of the universe to do it in.
That said, I ain’t skeered. So I jumped in.
I downloaded a copy of Sketch Up Pro, because I knew that that was what my colleagues on campus were using to design stuff. So far, so good.
Next, I knew at some point that I would be needing to convert my Sketch Up file from .skp format to .stl, for use in our printer. So, I googled around, and found this plug in and installed it into Sketch Up. Ok… what next?
I then opened a new project in Sketch Up. I won’t go into all the boring details – but in short order, I:
- Imported an image of the Technology Services Logo
- I traced all of the major sections of the logo
- I colored my sections to match the color scheme of my original logo
- I pulled the 2D design “up” to have height (about a half inch), and thus, 3D.
- I sized the nick-nack to be about six inches across – about as big as our 3D printer build plate would allow.
I then sat back and admired my work:
Hold on, Hoss – you can’t go printing that as it is. Our printer will only print one color at a time (“Nice monochromatic puck you have there, Sport”). How can we make this work, Tim Gunn?
Ok. I obviously need to decompose like colored sections, into separate files, so I can build those all at once.
And so, I copied each section into its own separate sketchup space (below).
We are almost there. But before going on, a short aside.
I built my original design in one file originally, to insure that my final build would have a tight fit-n-finish (i.e., all the pieces would fit together without falling apart). That’s the theory, anyways.
Ok. Moving on.
Now that I have three sets of pieces, I need to go into each file, and export the design from its native skp format to stl format, that I will later import into our MakerWare design package, in order to ready our design(s) to be printed. This is where that extension I mentioned above will be used.
I should note that when saving, you should save in mm (millimeters) not inches – otherwise, your design will look tee-tiny.
Elapsed time to design and get ready to build: three hours. Without using Sketch Up before. So, really. You can do this.
Once you save all of your files to STL, you’re ready to layout your design in your printer software (in our case, MakerWare – your mileage may vary), and see how long this sucker will take to print.
I’ll update our build process later. Watch this space!
Hendrix College embraces creative collaboration through technology with a dedicated Makerspace and two MakerBot 3D printers.
Over the break, a number of new technologies have been introduced into the Oathout Technology Center: a MakerBot 3D printer, a MakerBot scanner, and a DropCam HD streaming internet camera.
We’ll be saying much more in the coming days about these new 3D printing tools, and what they can mean for instructional technology possibilities at Hendrix…
Hendrix College is using new printing technology that many predict will change the way the world operates.