March 16, 2017

3D Printing, Here I come!


I have been wanting to get into 3D printing for a couple of years now.  Back when I first heard about a Kickstarter project called Zeus 3D Printer which featured a built-in 3D Scanner, I was mesmerized.  My lack of knowledge in 3D Modeling has made the Zeus all-in-one 3D Printer concept intriguing.

A few days ago, I was browsing through one of the forums I frequent and saw someone 3D-printed a neat little coin-tray for his truck, it fits so perfectly and organized his truck like a champ, that’s when I decided to give this 3D printing business some serious thought.  The idea that you can create something and make it happen right at home is highly desirable to me.

I did a little research and looked into Tinkercad which is powered by AutoDesk, the maker of AutoCad and Fusion, etc. Tinkercad is a free, web-based 3D modeling application with an easy-to-learn(use) tutorial.  Within a few clicks, I designed my first 3D model.  I knew I was hooked.  Thanks to PC Magazine, I picked out a highly rated 3D Printer, the Lulzbot Mini that fits my liking to get things started.

The journey thus far has been fun, rewarding and challenging.  I am learning from my mistakes; I picked up a lot about designing and engineering which is far from  my day-to-day job.  I realized the necessity to create versions and documenting my change along the way is crucial to keep up with my constant fiddle with the various designs.  Attached are my design of the coin holder from sketch to reality.  If anyone reading this has thought about getting into 3D printing, I would say it can be a little intimidating but with patience and some research, you can definitely do it.

I still have so much to learn but the mere thought of its infinite creativity is just so exciting.  I believe this is definitely one of 4 major technological pillars that will impact (improve) the way we function. I will be spending some time in the future postings on these four topics: Autonomous Vehicles (and AI), Drones, Internet of Things, and 3D Printing; all four topics can be linked to each other and vastly improve the mobility beyond mobile phones.

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