The Geek Biker

Rambles of a geek that rides a bike

3D Print Me Something

I love the idea of 3D printers. You know, those printers that can print stuff, but not on paper. It prints physical objects in plastic. I like the idea so much, that I want one. But there is one problem, what do I print?

The concept of a 3D printer is simple, it heats up plastic and lays it down as a pattern, one layer on top of the other. Until it forms something 3D.

See the image below of the Cubify 3D Printer in action:

How cool is that!
But what do you print?
When you look at the videos, tutorials and even the Kickstarter projects about 3D printing, they keep telling you that the possibilities are endless! And I guess that it is true within the constraints of the printer size. But what do I use it for?

So there are a few options I thought of.
1. Download 3D CAD images and print them. So now the possibilities a limited to what is available on the internet.
2. Design my own 3D drawings and print them. I have successfully created a circle with a diameter of 20mm and a height of 5 mm. I guess that is where most of the time and frustration will go into, trying to create something that represents something else and print it.
3. Use Autodesk 123D Catch to capture real life objects and convert it to 3D models to print.

Seeing that I’ve got a limited attention span might rule out number 2. So how about number 3?
I spent one evening trying the iPAD app, but it failed. A few times. So I thought I’d build a 3D picture taking structure using an old camera tripod, a go pro and the Go Pro’s extras. So I now have a tripod that allows a gopro to rotate around the center of the tripod. I just need to extend it with a platform and then try it again. It’s a crude job, but I think it might do the job.
Lastly I think I might need to watch anther tutorial or two to see if I’m missing something.

Only once I get this right, I’ll pursue an actual printer. Maybe the Cube or an UP PLUS 3D Printer.
Cube:

UP Plus 3D Printer:

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