Life is a Learning Curve

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Hi guys!

We all know what a learning curve is, right? If it’s a valuable thing you are learning, the beginning of the curve will be almost flat for a while (with small bumps). Then, when all the pieces you learned will start to match together, you curve will go up faster. It will become steeper and steeper and steeper. That’s the beauty of an exponential growth and that’s the beauty of learning design with 3D modelling tools.

At the beginning, you have fun. Then you start to think that you could model something fun and nice. Then you see yourself creating something fun, nice and useful. Then you hit the ceiling of your current knowledge…

And that’s when Thomas Edison comes in. This really creative mind is supposed to have said:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Think about it one minute. I am sure you had those moments when you wanted to give up because it was becoming too hard for you (at least, it was your feeling). But you decided to go on, found the right tool, the solution and finally conquered a new victory.

You will have that experience very often while learning a 3D modelling software, Blender for example. I still do from time to time. That’s the beauty of it. If you are never challenged by something you already know well, it starts to loose interest, it becomes boring. This situation will never happen with Blender.

The next time, I will show you what you can do with your learning curve using Blender. You will love it!

Stay tuned!

How to Design Star-shaped Earrings with Links – 3D Printing with Kids using Fusion 360!

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Following from our earlier vlog about designing a heart-shared earring with links, here’s how you can quickly change the heart into a star to create a star-shaped earring with the same links. (Ok I should have softened the points on the star to make it more comfortable to wear!)

 

How to get a surprising material to 3D print while traveling towards Mars

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Almost two years ago, I wrote a blog (in French 🙂 ) with my son about the use of recycled material to 3D print on the planet Mars. The idea was to turn into powder anything we didn’t need anymore once arrived on Mars. It could be plastic parts, aluminum or other metal parts. I even mentioned that we could melt the sand we can found on the red planet to build shelters or buildings. Scientists are already working on all these ideas.

Researchers in the Canadian University of Calgary have found a new source of material to use in a 3D printer. It could even be useful during long space travel. They will recycle the “result” of your short stay on the toilets. That’s right, thanks to a special process and a hard working special enzyme, they will create a solid material that will work very well in a SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D printer. If dogs are allowed for these kind of trips, we will get even more material 🙂 .

Modern Space Toilet

Going back to the use of sand, it reminds me of the 2010 adventure of Markus Kayser, an industrial designer and pure genius. He designed a 3D printer able to 3D print by melting sand. He did his experiment in the Egyptian desert. Solar cells were there just to deliver the energy for motors, the sun tracking system and the electronics.

Markus Kayser and his Solar Sinter

The melting energy was provided ONLY by the sun through a Fresnel lens. The concentrated sunlight, thanks to this Fresnel lens (like the lenses at the top of lighthouses), was enough to melt the desert sand in order to print objects like this bowl.

Bowl made of sand

As you can see, the kind of material you could use in your 3D printer is sometimes surprising. Thanks to the imagination and genius of some people, new possibilities are created all the time. These guys don’t limit themselves to the usual.

I encourage you to apply for yourself and your kids, my today’s take-away advice: Always look beyond your habits to break your limits.

Have a great day!

How to Add a Heart to your Super Simple Crown!

How to Add a Heart to your Super Simple Crown!

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This is how you can sketch a heart in Fusion 360 where you can add it to the basic crown that we made earlier, which you can see here. But as a sketch, you can add your heart anywhere!

 

 

The Wonderful Connection between Cooking and 3D Printing

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If you are a parent who enjoys cooking with your children, we are totally convinced you will also enjoy 3D printing with them as well. After playing around with 3D modeling software for the last four years, and more recently posting videos on social media with my daughter about 3D printing with kids, I can say without a doubt that the steps to cooking any dish follow the same process as creating a 3D print. You can think of both having “recipes.” Given this, I believe 3D printing can and will be a new type of family activity!

If you are still unconvinced, check this out.

1. Cooking ingredients as 3D modeling tools. Every dish you cook needs ingredients; every 3D model needs tools. You can’t make an omelet without eggs and you can’t make a 3D print without tools that can create or shape the model. In our “recipe” to make a simple table in Tinkercad, for example, you can examine the list of tools needed next to the table.

2. Cooking method as design steps. As any cookbook with show you, after you identify the ingredients, you need to follow the recipe steps in order to create your dish. Here are the steps to our Table.

 

There is a certain step-by-step order that you should follow to reach the final goal. When frying an egg, for example, you should add oil before adding the egg, not after. For our Tinkercad Table, you want to create the legs first because you need to see the squares in the Workplace to make sure all the legs line up, before creating the tabletop. Both cooking and 3D modeling should run in a quick and logical order. Check out this video, which shows you how we created the Tinkercad Table.

3. Your stovetop/oven as the 3D printer. Many parents and students I come across who are new to 3D printing expect 3D printers to produce a model as fast as a 2D paper printer. One day, the technology will get there. But for now, in order for a 3D printer to create a relatively thin 15 cubic centimeters (6 cubic inches) design, it would take almost an hour, which is about the time it takes to bake a cake. So both in cooking and 3D printing, you need some patience.

4. You can personalize! Ultimately, recipes are general guidelines and everyone can have their own version of a dish. Just think of many types of burgers or dumplings that are out there! So you can have a version of your own table, or any 3D model. The 3D modeling software, many of which are free, gives you that total freedom. For me, I love personalizing designs with my daughter because I can connect with her at logical and emotional levels as I have explained in a past blog. We personalize every model that we work on to our own tastes and preferences, like this video shows.

So, if you like cooking, give 3D printing a try! Your children will thank you for it!