Friday, January 6, 2017

Free 3D Design and Printing Applications + bonus recommendations

Periodically, I get into a conversation with someone about 3d printing and end up rifling off a list of cool 3d apps and resources I've stumbled across.   So, it's about time I made a list. If you know of other great resources or information, please enter it in the comments.

Tinker CAD; Simple, browser based 3d modeling software.  You can also search and build on others' creations.    Free

 Fusion 360; Robust 3d modeling software for pc or mac.   Free for hobbyists and start ups (earning less than $100k)

123 App; This is a suite of multiple apps and software for 3d design.   123D catch allows you to generate models from photos and 123D design is basic design.  There are some changes coming to these apps soon.   From the press release, it looks like they're consolidating apps and rolling some features into other apps.  Be sure to read the comments as well where there are further clarifications.

Cookie Caster; Draw your own cookie cutter or make one from a photo.  You can then download the file to 3d print it.  

 Thingverse; A platform for sharing designs. You can download and build on other designs or just download and print.

Instructables; User generated instructions on everything from construction to sewing, cooking and electronics.  3d printing Instructables may have also downloadable designs. At minimum, a great place for inspiration and learning. If you're over there, be sure to look me up.

YouTube; User generated video.  It's a great place to see these apps in motion.   You can often find a quick demonstration of exactly what you need.    Be sure to check out my Maker Freak channel when you're there (though I have no 3d printing videos yet).

Fabricated; Book on how 3d printing will change the world.  I had to stop reading it before bed because it would make my mind race with the possibilities. (Link is to Better World Books who sell books for non profit agencies and use their profits to support world literacy.  Not to mention great prices and free shipping).

MIT app inventor; Great resource to start learning about design and building of apps.  Companion app (to test your code) is Android only.

Scratch; Basic drag and drop programming

Disclosure; A number of the resources I'm recommending are from Autodesk Inc., but that's just because they're awesome and offer a bunch of free resources in support of makers and hobbyists.  My brother works for Autodesk, but I have no relationship with the company nor have received any compensation for my recommendations.   (But hey, Autodesk, if you want to throw some $$$ my way, I'd be happy to delete part of that last sentence).

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Transparent Zero Clearance Table Saw Insert- Maker Freak

For a while, I've wanted to make this insert and finally took the time to get it out.

I like the results of the build, though it has a tendency to get dusty.   A little more playing with it and it may be a regular feature in my videos.   As you'll see, I played with a few camera angles from both above and below. I think I like the shots from below best as you can see the wood pass over the blade.

There are a few notes on the build below that you may want to check out if you're going to try this.

I hope you enjoy it and like, share and subscribe. 

 Notes on the build
  • I used a very fine blade on the bandsaw to cut the plexiglass, then sanded to get final fit. 
  • When cutting the slot in the insert I used a plywood blade on backwards. I got the idea from when I did some vinyl siding, and that was the recommended way to cut that on the saw and worked great on the plexiglass. 
  • The board I used to hold down the insert had a slot cut in it, through which I raised the blade. What's not on the video, is that when I first started raising the blade, it wasn't aligned correctly and started cutting the wood (poorly). Rather than cutting it was more burning the wood because the blade was on backwards.   Once I realigned it, it was fine. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Maker Freak 10 Minute Harry Potter Wizard Hat

There's a (relatively) new video up on my Maker Freak You Tube channel.  The 10 Minute Harry Potter Wizard came about because a few days before Halloween, my son informed me that he needed a hat to round out his Ron Weasley costume.

I prototyped it with some paper, playing initially with wrapping it into a cone.  I didn't like that approach because it left a lot of waste once I'd have cut off the bottom to make an even brim.   It occurred to me that I could just do two relative triangles (slight curve at the bottom).  Once I figured that out, it was a very quick built.  

For the outer material, I'd wanted a furry red material, but didn't have any luck finding red hairy material.  I did have some red fur from inside an old swimming deck coat of mine from college.  It's a little ratty looking but served the purpose.  I really enjoyed the super tall hats, foolishly tall and impractical.   I have yet to find a good excuse to wear them, maybe next time at the sledding hill.

The full instructions are over at Instructables.  I hope you enjoy the project. I'd appreciate it if you'd like, share and subscribe. 

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