This is a joint work by Edmund Harriss (gelada) and Laura Taalman (mathgrrl), made at the #0things Hackathon at Construct3d 2018, run by the unstoppable DesignMakeTeach. We were inspired by British constructivist artist Mary Martin, whose artwork "Inversions", now in the Tate Gallery in London, is based on the mathematical idea of permutations... // Hacktastic

This is the fourth post in our series about machine knitting and our goal of using a Silhouette Cameo 3 craft cutter to create custom punch cards for vintage knitting machines. In this post we'll discuss how to design the patterns for the cards and then get those designs into the Silhouette Studio software. We'll start with a simple solution to the problem, using the easy-to-use online design program Stitch Fiddle... // Hacktastic

Sometimes a digital 3D design looks great in software, but just can’t make it in reality. Here in the real world, models with very skinny wires or delicate parts might break after printing, or worse, not be able to 3D print at all. In this post, we’ll examine how auto-checks, human checks, and prototyping can help you design models that print successfully and are sturdy enough to handle repeated use... // Column at Shapeways

Does the world need yet another filament sampler model? Probably not. But we made one anyway. Along the way we tested out Thingiverse's new "Send to Fusion 360" feature for adding fillets and revisited our "Blender Bake" method for enabling OpenSCAD to add text to an existing STL file in a way that can be used in the Thingiverse Customizer. Our elegant tombstone design... // Hacktastic

What do you do when your 3D model is broken? I mean really broken, like “can’t even upload it” broken, or “half of my triangles are disappearing” broken? In this post we’ll talk about what to do when your usual mesh-repairing strategies fail and you need to bring out the big guns. So we can follow exactly what’s going wrong, we’ll create a bad mesh by modifying an existing 3D model... // Column at Shapeways

In this post we'll use 3D printing to solve the micro-problem of keeping an ultra-fine point Sharpie marker aligned in a Silhouette craft cutter. This is a tiny part of our long saga of learning how to create punch cards for a Brother KH-881 knitting machine. To keep the Sharpie aligned in the cutter we used a commercial maker holder and a 3D-printed spacer made with OpenSCAD... // Hacktastic

There's a new shape in town! In a new article "Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia" in the journal Nature, a group of scientists just introduced a new shape that they have dubbed a "Scutoid". To make a 3D model of this new shape, we created a simple polyloft module in OpenSCAD that lofts from one polygon to another... // Hacktastic

I brought nearly 1000 research papers and over 200 books with me to Peru this spring. Not in heavy stacks and stapled packets, but on a SONY Digital Paper, a large-format e-reader that is basically the size of a thick piece of standard 8.5 x 11 paper. The Paper is the first electronic device I've used that is suitable for reading technical mathematics research papers... // Hacktastic

A saddle surface is one of the few things I think is really worth 3D printing for Calculus students. There’s something important able to feel the two competing curvatures with your actual hands, instead of just looking at a picture. Since I always like to use the simplest design tools possible, this is a model that I export from Mathematica and then process in the much easier to use design software Tinkercad... // Hacktastic

This month I had the opportunity to speak about mathematics and 3D printing in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Kimberley as part of the U.S. Embassy Speaker's Program. For this visit I made a special 3D-printed keychain to give away at events, which highlights the nine provinces of South Africa. By running a loop through the landlocked country of Lesotho, you can make a keychain... // Hacktastic 

We're finally getting back to our Brother KH-881 punch card knitting machine project... and it's time to make some punch cards! The KH-881 reads 24-stitch repeat punch cards, and uses the punched holes to determine where stitches are slipped, tucked, or knit in a differerent color, depending on the settings on the machine. Some punch cards come standard with the machine, but you can also hand-punch custom cards... // Hacktastic

This fall's liberal arts math course at James Madison University used 3D printing and design as the basis for exploring fractals, infinity, and other mathematical curiosities. The students learned Tinkercad, OpenSCAD, and other 3D design tools to construct mathematical objects from scratch, investigated the mathematics of those objects, and presented their work in blog posts and showcases... // Ultimaker Education

Today we put our XYZ da Vinci Color printer to the test! For the last six months I've worn a 3D-printed Triple Wrap Bracelet all day and all night, and it's great. Mine was printed on a super-fancy HP Jet Fusion printer at Shapeways, and a slightly thicker model would be a pretty nasty torture test for any desktop 3D printer. Plus, we're going to use Meshmixer add some color... // Hacktastic

Settlers of Catan + Cities and Knights + Expansion Pack + House Rules = Complicated. To help mitigate the chaos we keep our settlements, cities, roads, and knights in tidy 3D printed hex-boxes. The boxes have snap-fit lids with a slot to help with opening. We 3D printed boxes to hold our standard Catan pieces, extra Catan pieces, 3D Catan numbers, and some extra bits and pieces for our House Rules... // Hacktastic

Just before the new year we bought a punchcard knitting machine from the 1980's from eBay. It's a Brother KH-881, one of the last Brother models before electronics were added to the machine. Step 1 of our plan: Figure out how to use a punchcard knitting machine! This is the first in a series of posts to catalog this journey and maybe make it slightly easier for anyone else that wants to walk the same road... // Hacktastic

I'm totally in love with dissolvable supports for complex models, but... the dissolvable PVA material is (a) expensive, (b) increases my print times, and (c) takes a long time to dissolve. In this post we'll discuss a tip about how to make all three of those things better! In a nutshell, we'll be setting Cura so that only the interface between the model and the supports uses the dissolvable PLA... // Hacktastic

Today we’ll do a step-by-step walkthrough tutorial on designing 3D Celtic knots from scratch with Fusion 360. Our technique will be to make a grid of dots, then connect the dots with splines, then shift those splines up or down at the crossing points. This gives us a thin curve that traces out the desired knot, and we’ll be able to sweep a circle around that curve to make a round 3D tube... // Column at Shapeways

On this episode of My Favorite Theorem, cohosts Evelyn J. Lamb and Kevin Knudson talk with Laura Taalman, a math professor at James Madison University, to raise a glass to a lavishly impractical theorem about knots: a 1998 theorem of Haas and Lagarias that gives unreasonably huge bounds on the length of trivializing sequences of Reidemeister moves... // My Favorite Theorem podcast

Why would you want to thicken just part of a model? One reason is that sometimes a 3D model might get rejected from Shapeways during the pre-production process due to weak geometry or thin connections; this happened to us recently with a polyhedral Snub Cube design. In this post we’ll walk you through one way to thicken targeted areas of a 3D model using Meshmixer. // Column at Shapeways

Today's post is about something that is flat-out easy and in addition somehow actually works. Specifically, we have some good news: You can create color 3D designs in Tinkercad and import them directly into the XYZ da Vinci Color 3D printer for printing! I know, that sounds obvious, but in general color printing is hard and even getting the right kinds of files exported can be a tricky business... // Hacktastic