Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Converting a drawn image to a 3D print

Just when I think it's time to cancel Facebook, I find an awesome group of librarians who have inspired me. The group is called Makerspaces and the Participatory Library.  I have always considered 3D printing to be something that students in upper elementary and beyond could bring their designs to fruition with the aid of Tinkercad but what about a 5 yr old?

In the Facebook group, I just saw this post that any black and white silhouette image could be flat printed on a 3D printer. The steps really are that easy. Now anyone who could hold a Sharpie could make something.  The mystery of how someone could easily draw curvy lines in Tinkercad has been solved! I had always imaged that they made it in AutoCAD and it was a very involved process.This is one problem with being self taught in things like this. Sometimes you learn the hard way before the easy way.

Step 1: Draw figure, try to smooth out the edges of the outline and take a picture. I free handed the drawing so it ended up on 2 small pieces of paper. I draw about as good as a 5 yr old so I was the perfect subject.  (It's a T-Rex just to clarify). I cleaned it up in Photoshop with a minor crop to take out the marble table around the edges. If any of the green table is left, Tinkercad will consider it another shape as shown by the line artifacts to the right of the T-Rex. 


 Step 2: Once those artifacts are removed, go to online-convert.com and convert the image file to SVG.



Step 3: Log in to Tinkercad and choose import from the gray right drop down menu. Resize to 20% with a desired thickness.  You will probably need to resize it even smaller with the side tools depending on the original file size of your original image. Go to Design, Download for 3D Printing and save as an STL when ready.


Step 4: Put STL file into desired 3D printer software (Cura in our case) and TADAH! In hindsight, I should have just added the ring using the Torus shape in Tinkercad just so I would have more of an exact measurement for adding the earring hardware. Here is a link to my updated design.





If you have read previous posts, you know I'm a big fan of 3D printing my own earrings.   This is my next print. 
Just make sure if it is this delicate you add a BRIM to your supports. My first print didn't adhere to the plate and I came down 20 minutes later to a gobbled mess.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog on how to convert a drawn image to 3D print. Infograrhically and Step by step given and also easy to follow. Now anyone who could hold a Sharpie could make something. Recently I got a blog named One off Precision Engineered 3D Printing Services Online,which I read and got to know that 3D printing has created a quiet revolution in engineering prototyping and parts manufacturing. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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