3D Printing

Using the program Meshmixer the making of a 3D print will be explored. The goal of this project is to make a dynamic and asymmetrical design using the default primitives that are found on the Meshmixer program. Along with that, the print had to be stable and be able to sit on a flat surface without falling over on its side. To get started watch some tutorials to get acquainted to the tools and techniques, and read/follow the handouts that could be giving to you. Now the text will go into more detail on how to succeed with this project.

Following along with the tutorial while having the Meshmixer program up is a big help. One thing I recommend is getting the basic settings and formats done first. For example, going under units/dimensions in analysis to make your biggest measurement 5in, changing the bed size to 7″x7″, saving your document (and saving it every time you make an important change), and then checking the stability of your form by going under analysis and stability. You are able to tell if the design is stable by a green dot, and not stable by a red dot. Check the stability and strength of the design as you add more elements. You don’t want to put hours into the project to find that the form is actually unstable and you have to make changes/redesign it to print properly or meet the project goals. You also have to think about how if your design or settings aren’t correct for printing and once you’ve printed you find out the mistakes that’s a waste of time, money and material.


Now it’s time to go into the visual elements of the project then the technical details. After that I used the sculpt tool and different brushes and brush sizes to create lumps, textures and unidentifiable forms coming out of the bunny to make it more dynamic and asymmetrical. Size variation and contrast adds to creating a dynamic form. I also added stamps to the form which I really wasn’t sure if it would show up in the final print (which it didn’t), but I thought I’d give it a shot anyways because it would give the form texture helping the eye go all around the form. The colorful shapes are the stamps. Next I added Meshmixer primitives and a hand under the category arms. I thought these objects would give the piece more curiosity and interest. Some of the objects or shapes I created using the Meshmix and sculpt tool were to thin/weak or long so I would go in with the plane cut tool under edit and chop those pieces off.

Once I was happy with the form and made sure it would print correctly and saved it as a binary stl. I sent it off to be printed. The whole process took 3 days but the form printed in 7 hours.

I asked for the form to be printed in dark green or purple. These colors were chosen because it’s easier it to see the details and shadows/highlights in the piece than bright/light colors which make the whole form look like one color and flat. The form did come on a base and with 3D printed plastic supports which were actually easy to take off. It is possible to pop them off with hands and no other tools.

This project is challenging in a sense of not being able to do test prints, and not having an idea of what a design will look like before the final version is printed. In my experience, designs can look different on the digital screen in comparison to its printed version. 



Original writing by:

Grace Brown, http://marksfromgrace.plymouthcreate.net/3d-art-work/meshmixer/ 

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Blog by Grace Brown is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Sherry Lin, http://sherrylin.plymouthcreate.net/3d-print/

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


AR 1065 Design & Meaning Handbook Copyright © by Phil Lonergan. All Rights Reserved.

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