Wednesday, November 30, 2016

3D Printing Holiday Ornaments

This holiday season, I was inspired by snowflake silhouette 3D prints and wanted to teach a class using the draw-print image method I have blogged about previously.

This time I would skip the drawing step and use google images to find a pre-made silhouette.   I started by googling Mario star silhouette. I saved the file as a JPG then converted to SVG using online-convert, imported into Tinkercad, then hit CTRL + D  multiple times for smart duplicate (thank you Tinkertips). I tried once with mario stars and twice with the Doctor Who Tardis.

Here are my results..

 My conclusion was trying to teach a class in this is much too complicated for beginners. It required much more precision (as shown in the Mario star snowflake that broke apart because the stars weren't connected enough) as well as finding silhouettes that lend themselves to 3D printing. The Tardis was having issues because of design alone. By making the Tardis 20% fill, it wasn't enough for the 48 mm size to complete the shape, then when almost doubled to 98 mm it was still stringy and took over 4 hours..which anyone who has a 3D printer knows that it could be many things in the "under extruding" troubleshooting category. Maybe the nozzle retraction, maybe the nozzle needed to be hotter, etc. I gave up for now.

Moral of the story I went to doing very simple ornaments like the one shown below. These were 2 hour or less designs using the Google image search- print silhouette method.

Let's go step by step with the tree..

1. Google image search for "Christmas Tree silhouette", right click on mouse and SAVE IMAGE AS. 

2. Go to Under image converter chose SAVE AS SVG, click GO.

3. Next page, CHOOSE FILE, then scroll down to CONVERT FILE. 

4. Open Tinkercad, CREATE NEW DESIGN and go to IMPORT (right side toolbar). I recommend changing the settings to scale to 10% with 5mm thickness otherwise it is going to be HUGE on the screen. Click IMPORT.

5. Add cylinders for the "balls" , I just got one to the size of my liking, turned it into a hole using the INSPECTOR, and then copy and pasted a few more so they are the same size and moved them around the tree

6. Add a ring shape to the top.  (Ignore the ring in the last picture I'm working backwards in the tutorial)

7. Highlight everything and click on GROUP. 

There are a few different avenues students could go in. They could make cylinders sit on top of the tree for christmas balls, add letters, star on top, or make an ornament of their favorite characters instead to make it a bit less Christmas focused and potential for a fun Hanukkah gift!

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