3D Printing School: Tools!

30 Jul


I’ve been slowly building up a tool kit since I built my first printer in 2011 so I thought I would make a list of my “must have” 3D printing tools. I found some of these by reading 3D printing blogs and news sites, and while pretty much none of these tools are made specifically for 3D printing, they have turned out to be super helpful.  So here it is: the tools I find essential to my printing process.

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How I do it: Dropbox

14 Jan


If you don’t have Dropbox installed stop what you’re doing and install it.

Go ahead.

I’ll wait.

For those not “in the know”, Dropbox is free a cloud based backup/psedo-versioning system. And it’s awesome, oh, and it’s free. Note: I really like Dropbox but Google Drive, SpiderOak,, Microsoft SkyDrive, and BitTorrent Sync are all good alternatives. The important thing here is to backup your files! I also use Dropbox to keep my 3D modeling software in sync, here’s how I do it.

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Monitoring your 3D Printer with Skype

31 Dec


If I had the time I’d sit kneeling in front of my 3D printer at all times watching it print. It’s like a grown up version of Sesame Street’s trip to the crayon factory. Unfortunately I don’t have that kind of time. I did however find a work around with a spare laptop and Skype (and with New Years parties kicking off shortly, you just might find this handy).

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Creative Wrapping 2013

23 Dec

DSC_4818 copy

For the past three years (2010, 2011, 2012) I’ve been posting about my yearly gift wrapping. This year I ended up doing something that fits a little bit in-between high tech and low tech.

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See WALLY at the Science Museum in London!

11 Dec

Back in April I was contacted by someone at the Science Museum looking to collect prints for a 3D printing exhibit. I packaged up some early WALLY prototypes, mailed them off, and waited for an update (checking the museum site every so often so I wouldn’t miss the unveiling)… At some point I stopped checking, as it turns out the exhibit opened in early October and looks really awesome!

3D: printing the future” will run until sometime in summer 2014 and includes some really cool examples of 3D printing. It looks like they have a good mix of scientific, medical, commercial, and artistic prints.

Included in the exhibit are two prototypes (pictured above) and a finished electrical plate. They illustrate the development process of my model and are a pretty good example of how 3D printing allows for inexpensive gradual iterations.

I haven’t been able to get to the exhibit personally but I was able to get some additional shots from the museum that I’ve included below. If you’re able to get out and see this exhibit take some photos for me! I’d love to see more of it.

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