Time to level up and convert our desktop 3D printer models into designs optimized for printing on industrial-level printers. Shapeways is basically a personal remote factory where you upload designs and then have them 3D printed in various materials and mailed to you. That's easy except for one catch: designing for industrial-level 3D printing is not the same thing as designing for desktop 3D printing... // Hacktastic

This walthrough of unboxing and setting up an Ultimaker 2Go was written by 11-year-old Calvin Riley, with only minimal editing and help from his mom, mathgrrl. But what this post is really about is that when you are 3D printing something, errors happen. A lot. Sometimes those errors are from your design, and sometimes they are from the filament or something you forgot when printing... // Hacktastic

I think I may have been waiting my whole life to write that title. For the littlebits bitWars Challenge we teamed up with Minecraft adventurers rileypb and cgreyninja to re-create the Trash Compactor Scene from Star Wars. Redstone and pistons were activated by a cloudBit that allowed real-world interaction, and we also included an automatic silverfish generator and a villager to play Chewie... // Hacktastic

Our new Snowflake Machine uses random numbers, mathematical algorithms, computer code, and SCIENCE to create well over a billion unique and beautiful snowflakes, with an algorithm that approximates the way that snowflakes grow in real life, with branches and plates determined by a random seed. Choose that seed, and then set style parameters to determine fullness and fuzziness... // Hacktastic

You're good enough, smart enough, and you deserve a damn trophy. Even if it's only a trophy that you give yourself for making it through the day, or a meta-award for designing and 3D printing a trophy. (Or maybe a trophy for picking yourself up off the floor after getting the boot in a massive layoff at Makerbot...) We'll use a python Blender add-on to embed an STL in the Thingiverse Customizer... // Hacktastic

Move over low-poly, it's time to go low-voxel! In this post we use phooky's classic Stanford bunny model to test out a fun, easy method of producing low-voxel designs: take a Thingiverse model, use Tinkercad to convert it to a "blockified" .schematic file, then use Minecraft to play around and repair, and finally use Printcraft to export the new "blockified" file for 3D printing... // Hacktastic

If you love pentagons then 2015 was a pretty good year for you, because a new pentagon was discovered! To be more precise, mathematicians Mann, McLoud, Von Derau found a previously unknown convex pentagon that can tessellate the plane. With our new Pentomizer you can use pentagonal tessellations to make pictures, patterns, puzzles, textures, wallpaper, desk ornaments, and cookie cutters... // Hacktastic

This collection of bowls and pen holders were all generated from the same simple OpenSCAD code by changing a few numerical parameters. The main purpose of this design is to serve as an accessible introduction to designing with OpenSCAD. Designing with code is easier than you think; if you have six minutes to spare then you can learn this! Okay, maybe seven minutes. But it's not hard... // Hacktastic

It's only Week 2 of the mathgrrl vs atartanian Thingiverse battle and it is already starting to sink in how difficult it is going to be to come up with something new and awesome every week. My entry is a Five-Cent Hammer that gets its heft from five embedded US pennies. It's small enough to fit into your pocket or print quickly in an emergency, and it will only cost you a nickel... // Hacktastic

Absurdly, now that I'm actually working at MakerBot I seem to have stopped posting models to Thingiverse... until now. Thanks to 3D-printing hero atartanian, I'm now in a knock-down, drag-out, winner-take-all, print-a-thing-every-week battle. My entry for Week 1 is a Fidget Star, half of a Yoshimoto Cube; a Stellated Rhombic Dodecahedron with exactly half of the volume of the cube... // Hacktastic

Celebrate! First, yesterday the new version of OpenSCAD was released! Second, Saturday will be Super Pi Day: March 14, 2015. To celebrate both of these things simultaneously, today's model is a pi-flavored illusion cup that was made using some of the new features in OpenSCAD. Most people will think the cup is taller than it is around, but in fact it is shorter than its circumference. And we can prove it... // Hacktastic

This new Mesh Collector is a repository for information about the topology and geometry of triangulated meshes. It's a work in progress that I hope to add to over time, as I learn more about these things. This is the Schönhardt polyhedron, which is the simplest example of a non-tetrahedralizable polyhedron, meaning that it cannot be subdivided into tetrahedra that share its vertices... // Hacktastic

Another "Wisdom Collector" is up and running, this time about the 3D modeling and animation software Maya. I had a hard time figuring out how to get started with Maya until I got permission to sit in on a couple of classes on the subject and actually watch the instructor use the software. Even just figuring out where all the menus and buttons are is a monumental task!... // Hacktastic

I want to learn to use the JavaScript library three.js to get WebGL to render 3D animations. The trouble is, I don't know anything about JavaScript, three.js, or WebGL. Are you in the same boat? If so, then we might as well paddle together. I managed to make a spinny graphic after many days of scrutinizing code that I actually old-school printed out and read on the subway every day... // Hacktastic

This is the second in a series of posts that walk through the 3D design construction of some Polyhedral Light String Ornaments. In this step we'll scale that Snub Cube to "ornament size." Along the way we'll have a chance to learn about Tinkercad's importing, scaling, and the Ruler and Align tools. Tinkercad is one of the simplest ways to make or modify 3D models... // Hacktastic

It's time for another design walkthrough. This time we'll be making polyhedral covers for LED string-lights. Since I'm just a hack at 3D design, for me the answer always involves using a chain of software programs, each of which I know how just enough about to get by, in this case Mathematica, TopMod, and Tinkercad. Each ornament is a hollowed-out instellated Archimedean solid or dual... // Hacktastic

Do you ever get 3D prints that look stringy or lumpy? This week we were seeing a lot of weird-looking prints from one of our Replicator 2's, so we decided it was time for some holiday hardware maintenance. And wow, did it ever make a difference. After tightening a saggy X-axis belt we're back as good as new. Tightening the belt isn't difficult but it isn't much fun either... // Hacktastic

Last winter we made 3D-printed snowflakes by converting images to bitmap with Inkscape, and then extruding in Tinkercad. You can read about that on the old MakerHome blog, Days 70 and 71, or download the models from Thingiverse. The reason we made 3D snowflake models that way last year is because that was all we knew how to do. I'm somewhat wiser now, and one whole year older... // Hacktastic

Last summer we designed a series of customizable bracelets with trigonometric shapes. Today we have more general code for even crazier bracelets, including ones with oval shapes, gaps to make wrap-style instead of bangle-style, flares, low-poly sampling, and crazier trigonometric combinations. The crazy thing is that every one of the bracelets shown above was created with the same code... // Hacktastic

I swear that this blog is not going to be only about Menger sponges. However this One Last Post About Menger Sponges is about Menger sponges. Lots of them, in fact. And we're going to put our 3D-printing boots back on! Today's models are collection of Menger sponges with different Levels and slices, designed to print effectively on various types of printers... // Hacktastic