Keeping Kreative with a 3D printer

So get this, a few weeks ago I took a 3D printing class!!

I haven’t learned any new skill in a while, so I thought this would be a fun nerd-activity.

I’ve been fascinated by 3D printing since around 2007, but only now are 3D printers become semi-reliable enough for home use.

Anywhoozle…..I Googled “3D Printing Class Austin” and found a place called TechShop that holds them:3d-print-test5

This TechShop was connected to a Lowe’s hardware store, and you can pay a monthly membership to use all the high end machine and manufacturing tools there like this:3d-print-test4

The class I enrolled in would teach you how to use a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer.  You can see the Replicator1 (left), and Replicator2 (right):

Our instructor mainly showed how to use the cool-looking Replicator2:

The first step was to learn the software, so we all downloaded pre-existing .stl files from the internet and loaded them into the 3D printing software.  Here’s the little toy octopus gettin ready to print:

Once the file is sent to the printer, it starts printing out small layers of PLA plastic less than 1 millimeter thick.  Once it’s done with that first layer, it moves up and prints another layer.  It does this hundreds of times until a full object is printed out!

Here’s the printer in action using orange plastic:


Now I’d been wanting a 3D printer for a long time, and after taking the class I was dead-set on getting one….so I made a quick internet order for a MakerBot Replicator2.

I ordered a couple of spools of plastic filament and the MakerCare Insurance (because there’s like a 99% chance something WILL go wrong with the machine in less than a year).

I’ve also started downloading the printing software and experimenting/downloading objects from the internet.

The first thing I want to print are these 3D shot glasses which would be impossible to create with a lathe or laser cutter:
Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 7.15.49 PM

I also just for fun wanna print a gun….now keep in mind it’s just a mold of a gun made out of shitty plastic with no moving parts….but the CRAZY thing is the file I’m printing from actually includes all the parts to make a gun (assuming you had a high-precision metal-printing 3D printer you could possibly make one):Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 7.17.11 PM

I also downloaded a bunch of other random cool stuff from Thingiverse for free.

I dunno exactly where 3D printing will go…..but the ability to create and print out highly complex objects from your home is going open up a WHOLE new plane of creativity like Apps did to smartphones.

It’s so cool to imagine that from my apartment I can manufacture things.  I mean….crappy things for now, but the technology will soon get better-and-better to the point where we’ll all be able to print out highly complex objects, machines, and circuitry.  SOOOO FREAKIN COOL!

Since I left college I’d always been trying to learn something new at all times….and lately I haven’t, so getting this excited about something new is very refreshing :)


Keep Kreative!
Neville Medhora