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Elizabeth designed some earrings and here is the first set!
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 🙂 .
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.
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.
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!
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!
This is how you can sketch a star in Fusion 360 where you can add it to your crown or anywhere!
Here’s how you can create a simple rocket animation on Blender.
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!
Elizabeth asked me to create a simple crown for her LOL dolls. Here’s how I did it using Fusion 360. It’s super easy!
Check out our new recipe for designing a fun plane in Blender, which you can make with your children!
The Swiss army knife among 3D software: Blender!
A few minutes
1 brain (or more)
Here we go!
- Delete the cube (Right-click on it and press X + Enter).
- Add the first sphere (Shift + A and select the UV Sphere in the Mesh list).
- Rotate it 90° following the X axes (R+X+90).
- Quadruple the size following the Y axes to create the fuselage (S+Y+4).
- Go to Edit Mode (press the Tab key).
- Select and delete the two extremities of the fuselage (in side view, Press B to activate the “Box Select” tool).
- Go back to Object Mode.
- If you want, you can decrease the size following the X axes (S+X+0.5) to make the fuselage narrower.
- Give some thickness to the fuselage using the Solidify Modifier (thickness value = 0.2).
- Add the second sphere (Shift+A and select the UV Sphere in the Mesh list).
- Decrease the size by half (S+0.5).
- Make it longer in the Y axes (S+Y+1.5).
- Move it upward (G+Z+1 or more).
- Move it a little bit toward the front of the fuselage (G+Y+”-1”). Only the top half of your second sphere should be visible.
- Add the first cone (Shift+A and select the Cone in the Mesh list).
- Rotate it 90° following the X axes (R+X+90).
- Quadruple the size (S+4).
- To create the wings, decrease the height of it (S+Z+0.2 or 0.3).
- If you want wider wings, increase the width (S+X+1.5 or 2).
- To create the tailfin of your plane, duplicate the first cone (Right-click on it, press Shift+D, press Enter).
- Rotate your new “flat cone” 90° following the Y axes (R+Y+90).
- Decrease the size (S+0.5).
- Move it backward until the vertical part of the tailfin and the horizontal back part of the wings create a perfectly flat cross along the X axes (G+Y and move your cursor toward the back of the plane).
- Move the tailfin upward until you get a nice fin.
- Select the fuselage, the cockpit, the wings and the tailfin together (Right-click on the first one, while holding the Shift key pressed, Right-click on the three other parts).
- Press “Control J” to join these four parts together to form a unique object.
- Your plane is ready and looks like it is made of many facets, like a cut crystal.
- If you want it with a smoother surface, use the Subdivision Surface Modifier (View value of 2 or 3 should be ok).
To get the best result with your printer, print your plane the nose upward and its rear part on the bed of your printer. Enjoy!