How can I learn to create models for 3d printing?

  • How can I learn to create models for 3d printing? BlueCloud

    I've recently bought a 3d printer and waiting for it to be delivered I've given quite a lot of time to looking things up on thingiverse. I see people create incredible models with gears, screws, lids and a lot of very cool and functional connectors (there are some project for boxes with an iris tipe lid that can be printed already assembled as a single model). I'd like to learn to do some of that as well. At the moment I have some proficiency with Blender where I can navigate the interface and sketch up some simple shaped model without any of the functional parts described above. My question therefore is:

    Are there any tutorials that could help me create better models? If I need to I'm ready to learn to use a software other than Blender. I've tried searching for a similar question but found nothing.

  • The answer to your question is yes, there are tutorials to help you create better models. Unfortunately, the back-story to the answer is beyond the scope of StackExchange.

    Don't limit yourself to Blender, especially if you are attempting to create non-organic (engineering-type) models. Blender is great for curves and bulges and bumps (and animation, and so much else) but not so great for parametric modeling. Meshmixer is a useful program, but more organic than engineering.

    Consider to search for OpenSCAD, Fusion 360, TinkerCAD, but also use terms such as "parametric 3d modeling software" to find a wider range of solutions to your quest. The above programs are free, there are too many paid programs to list even a small number.

    Oh, yeah, stay away from SketchUp for any 3d print modeling. So many failure modes result from models created with that program.

  • I think rather than looking for a tutorial at this stage, it might be instructive to watch some videos on tuning and calibration (since these touch on what is difficult). Also download Cura (or some other slicer of your choice) and look into how your existing models would be printed layer by layer. Cura has a layer slider so you can step through the design.

    So, to make an attempt at answering what I think could be a good question, things to research whilst waiting for your printer are:

    1. Print failure examples and calibration;
    2. Parametric 3D modelling packages;
    3. Slicer operation (this ties in with calibration).

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