This weekend I had access to a 3D printer. Up until now, I didn't really have a clue what I would be doing with a 3D printer if I had one (or easy access to one) myself. Sure, you can print some cute or handy things other people made, but that's not a good enough reason for me to spend so much money on it. I admit I really love the 3D printed Dalek my husband brought back home one day (by request) (to my Dutch readers: this is a British thing- seriously people, just start watching Dr Who already!) but it's just a toy and how many of those plastic little toys do you want around the house anyway? I also love the little vase we printed (and pretty much the rest of the 3D printing world, I imagine), it's so pretty I wish I had designed it myself, but I wouldn't want an endless supply of vases.
I like creating things, not copying them. However, I'm usually a very 2D minded person when it comes to the medium I use. I take photos, I make drawings. On occasion I feel bold and I try to use clay but I usually end up making penguins then, and not much else. My brain always thinks 'penguin' when I think of creating something in 3D. Or furniture, but I wouldn't want that in clay or in small PLA printed parts.
True, my photography work focusses on 3D- spaces, the environment- but still, my medium is a two-dimensional one. And yes, I like it that way. No 3D photographs for me.
Furthermore, I hate 3D movies (the movie decides for you where you should be focussing which makes focussing on the background very hard, I don't think it adds anything to the story in any way and I am not fond of wearing the glasses either) and the 3D option on my Nintendo 3DS (gives me a headache even though some games look really cool in 3D, so I always turn it off).
I prefer architectural drawings, sketches or actual photographs above the renderings you see everywhere nowadays. Call me old-fashioned- in some ways, I really am- but the whole '3D craze' is beyond me.
As you can imagine, I wasn't too fond of the idea I'd have to use 3D drawing software. I just wasn't used to thinking like that. When I draw, I draw in lines. But I decided I wanted to make and print some things now that I had such easy acces, so I used tinkercad for the first time in my life.
I started simple. Well, sort of. Not a penguin- actually, now that I think of it, the thought of making a penguin hadn't even crossed my mind yet, how odd.
A box is an easy shape and I always have stuff that needs a box. I wanted it to have a pattern though, otherwise it would be too boring. Creating this pattern (which had to be perfectly symmetrical) in tinkercad took me a while (understatement; it took me ages) but I'm pleased with the result. I discovered it's not easy coming up with a nice repetitive pattern actually. It had to printable too, of course.
All the sides have the same pattern so you can see through the entire box.
I printed all the sides and then glued them together (I made cutouts on all the sides so they would fit nicely). I wanted the lid to have hinges but I went for an easier solution for now. At some point I'll work on a better lid for a box.
Part of my logo, the [•] part, is printed- or actually, left out- on the bottom of the box. I couldn't resist.
It's a small box, credit card sized. It still took the printer we used many hours to print all those sides with all those patterns.
Next, I decided to try and redraw one of my drawings in tinkercad; a drawing of a robot I made in Paper about a year ago. I changed a few things but overall it's pretty much the bot-bot as it was in 2D. I painted a few parts (by hand) to give it a bit more expression.
Bot-bot is 6,5 cm tall (the printer was working on this one for about 100-120 minutes). I have to say, I kind of love him and it was nice working on something as fun as this.
I'll be trying some other old drawings too. I've already started working on one, but it's a very difficult thing to print.
So, now I'm hooked. Seriously hooked. I really want to try some woodfill filament at some point (a mixture of wood fibres and PLA which gives the print a real nice wooden look).
I'm hoping I'll have some time to experiment some more soon. If so, I'll post the results here.