Let’s start with a nice introduction.
- Instructables (owned by Audodesk)
- Thingiverse (contains many STL files)
- Printing food
- Printing almost everything
- Selling almost everything
- Some printers
- Designing for 3D printing by Maxim Sachs.
A few best-of lists
- “10 Best 3D Printing Software Tools for Beginners”
- Top 25: Most Popular 3D Modeling & Design Software for 3D Printing
- shapeways recommendations (look for online services)
- 5 Free STL Editors
Try to use one of the online systems.
The 3 stages of 3D
These, sometimes expensive, programs are for creating the big designs. Here are some that have been used at UNC Asheville.
- SketchUp — NM & CSCI
- Blender — CSCI 379, Elementary Virtual Worlds (with houses on the Quad)
- SolidWorks — JEM 171
- AutoCAD — facilities
- Maya — NM animation
- Fusion 360 — CSCI 173, Creative Fabrication
AutoCAD, Maya, Fusion 360, and Tinkercad are all products of Autodesk. They do have an Education Community.
Slicers transform STL — STereoLithography (see examples) into G-code (see example) which is sent to the printer.
Control software produces sends the G-code to the 3-D printer. A small computer, such as a Raspberry Pi, is needed for this.
The next homework will be to make a simple object that we can print. The complexity would be something on the order of the cufflinks or chess piece in Tinkercad.
Try to customize your design.