Group assignment

Test the design rules for your 3D printer We worked with a classmate from the FabAcademy in his place called Maker Group Ecuador and here you go the link of his web page


3D Printing

A 3D printer is a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) device that creates three-dimensional objects. Like a traditional printer, a 3D printer receives digital data from a computer as input. However, instead of printing the output on paper, a 3D printer builds a three-dimensional model out of a custom material. 3D printers use a process called additive manufacturing to form (or "print") physical objects layer by layer until the model is complete. This is different than subtractive manufacturing, in which a machine reshapes or removes material from an existing mold. Since 3D printers create models from scratch, they are more efficient and produce less waste than subtractive manufacturing devices. The process of printing a 3D model varies depending on the material used to create the object. For example, when building a plastic model, a 3D printer may heat and fuse the layers of plastic together using a process called fused deposition modeling (FDM). When creating a metallic object, a 3D printer may use a process called direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). This method forms thins layers of metal from metallic powder using a high powered laser. While 3D printing has been possible since the 1980s, it has been primarily used for large scale industrial purposes. However, in recent years, 3D printers have become much cheaper and are now available to the consumer market. As the technology becomes more widespread, 3D printers may become a viable means for people to create their own home products and replacement parts.


3D Scanning

3D Laser Scanning is a non-contact, non-destructive technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects using a line of laser light. 3D laser scanners create “point clouds” of data from the surface of an object. In other words, 3D laser scanning is a way to capture a physical object’s exact size and shape into the computer world as a digital 3-dimensional representation. 3D laser scanners measure fine details and capture free-form shapes to quickly generate highly accurate point clouds. 3D laser scanning is ideally suited to the measurement and inspection of contoured surfaces and complex geometries which require massive amounts of data for their accurate description and where doing this is impractical with the use of traditional measurement methods or a touch probe.


We worked with this device 3D Systems iSense for iPad/iPhone 3D Scanner.

Scanning Process
To build a 3D model, you point the camera built into the device at the object you want to scan. As you start the scan, the app creates a 3D box showing the volume of the area where the camera will scan. You can pinch and zoom to make the scan area smaller or larger. The iSense can scan objects between 1 and 5 feet away from the device, which means it won't work for very small objects (less than about 2 or 3 inches high) or big ones (larger than about 6 feet high). It works fine for a cat or a person, for instance, but you can't scan an entire car. As you move around the subject and scan, the iSense and its app detect this movement, using it to build the new parts of the 3D model. A preview of the model is overlaid on the camera image in gray; any parts that are too close appear in red. You can pause the scan or restart from buttons on the screen. Occasionally, the app asks you to hold still while it grabs a key frame that it uses to track the object. In our tests, it did this more often with complex and large objects, often asking us to stop every 5 seconds or so. When you have moved all the way around the object (or as far around as you can), you should have a complete scan.
After you've scanned the object, the app processes the scan and creates the 3D model — a process that usually takes less than a minute. You can edit the model with a number of simple tools for tasks like cropping off the surface the object was sitting on, or trimming out scanning errors and bits you don't need. You can also solidify the 3D model, filling any holes, and turn the scan into a solid 3D model for printing. The scanning process with iSense is pretty smooth on most objects. We were able to scan and create models of objects ranging in size from small figurines to a full human being. It didn't work on moving objects, though: When we tried to scan a cat, the movement of the cat's head as it quizzically wondered what strange thing this human was doing confused the app. A sleeping cat could be scanned, though, as long as we let it lie. Likewise, we could scan people, as long as they stood still.
Printing Scans You can download the objects as .obj files to make them ready for 3D printing at home, or to use them with a different online service. If you do this, however, the color information is saved as a separate file that some services may not be able to read. When we tried to print our object through Shapeways, we had to do some conversion in another program before we could get a scanned 3D model correctly set up.


Hands scanned in different positions to study them for the final project

Preparing the 3D printer in the Lab.

  • Prepare the file (.stl)
  • Save it in a flash drive
  • Insert it in the 3D printer
  • Find the file in the 3D printer
  • Clean the bed
  • Press print and go
  • Individual assignment:

    - Design and 3D print an object (small, few cm3, limited by printer time) that could not be made subtractively - 3D scan an object (and optionally print it)

    Basically I used Fusion 360 to make this design. I decided to work with one finger of my final project to take advantaje of the understanding of this piece. It's impossible to make with substractively technology because of the geometry of the design. First of all, you have to understand the way a 3D printer works and its limitations.

  • Things ypu should have in mind if you want prepare a file just use a 3D printer:
  • If ypu have a complex model to print, it means your are goint to need supports and that it´s something almost impossible to make subtractively.
  • When you work with plastic filament means you are adding material and you can obtain all the elements in one piece and then you can brake this small parts to get the movement on the joins.
  • Impossible geometries are esaier to get with this technology because of they way they are constructed, layer by layer.
  • Yo don´t have to intruce a tool to remove material.
  • You can change the properties of the material using a heater after getting the printed object.
  • Preparing the Final Project

    Some extra hands to understand the movement.

    Extra 3D modeling INVENTOR Autodesk

    I´m presenting the process of 3d modeling for a case to protect my programmer

    First make a sketch to define the volumes of the PCB of my programmer, based on these dimensions the appropriate design of the case will be made.

    Once the initial sizes were defined I proceeded to draw the upper part, that is, the cap. The tools used are very simple, basically the steps that were followed were to draw, respecting the measurements and then extrude to generate volumes.

    In the same way, in reference to the dimensions established in the cap, the complete body was modeled, in the same way, from a sketch and extrusions.

    The best way to check everything is through an assembly, prior to preparing for 3D printing.

    Finally, I used CURA to prepare the file for the respective printing.

    Done, perfect fit.


    • The use and exploitation of the different types of software that have been presented I have used in recent years, however it is very difficult to master one hundred percent. What is presented is an approach to each of them and how I use them to obtain examples aimed at the manufacture of the final project.
    • Based on the experience I have from my profession, the recommendation is to learn specific software and identify all the tools so that in this way you can venture into the use of other programs by searching for similar tools.
    • The modeling presented has a basic level in terms of the development of the final project, different programs were explored to find the ease of organic digital modeling. The recommendation is to master both mechanical modeling and organic modeling software.
    • Using software that is loaded in a cloud is one of the most appropriate options when working with innovation currently, the best finding I had was Fusion 360.
    • I will not share all the files because I am using some of them for my academic research.