Design Tutorials

Laser Cutting from a 3D File

Laser Cutting from a 3D File 640 480 mathgrrl

To make files for laser cutting, you need two-dimensional information. You could download a picture from the internet, draw something yourself, or create an image in a program like Illustrator or Inkscape. In this post we’ll walk through the process of creating a 2D-laser-cuttable SVG file from a 3D-printable STL file using the free online in-browser modeling program Tinkercad.

Designing with Weighted Random Parameters in OpenSCAD

Designing with Weighted Random Parameters in OpenSCAD 1000 756 mathgrrl

Starting from just one random number you can use code to generate snowflakes, clocks, and even entire worlds. Use our simple randomizer as a starting point for adding some controlled randomness to just about any OpenSCAD design…

Design Tour: Tinkercad, Fusion 360, OpenSCAD, and Customizer

Design Tour: Tinkercad, Fusion 360, OpenSCAD, and Customizer 414 312 mathgrrl

In this article we’ll walk through how to create a simple penny trap model four ways: in Tinkercad, Fusion 360, OpenSCAD, and the Thingiverse Customizer…

Just in Time: Clocks!

Just in Time: Clocks! 640 480 mathgrrl

You can create a unique, custom generated 3D-printed clock face with just a little bit of design knowledge and an inexpensive battery-powered clock kit…

Saddle Surface with Mathematica and Tinkercad

Saddle Surface with Mathematica and Tinkercad 540 406 mathgrrl

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

3D Printing in South Africa

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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 

Creating Celtic Knots with Fusion 360

Creating Celtic Knots with Fusion 360 640 480 mathgrrl

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… // Shapeways Magazine

Targeted Thickening with Meshmixer

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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

Multicolor 3D Printing, from Tinkercad to XYZ

Multicolor 3D Printing, from Tinkercad to XYZ 640 480 mathgrrl

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

Family Design Roundup

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This Tutorial Tuesday we’ll highlight some of this year’s 3D design tutorials that even the youngest (or oldest!) of your loved ones can use to make custom and personalized 3D prints in just a few minutes. Choose one of the tutorial introductions below and get started creating in no time with Tinkercad, Hero Forge, Cura Lithopanes, the Snowflake Machine, Morphi, BlocksCAD, or 3D Slash… // Column at Shapeways