This year, my school purchased not one, not two, but five 3D printers. All of them, the same model, the XYZ DaVinci Duo printer. As an EdTech specialist, and self-proclaimed 'king-nerd' of the office, I chose to learn what I could to get them useable in learning activities in the classroom.
So... here is a bit of where I came from, and where I got to... and a few of the 'how-to-fix' things I figured out.
|STL vs CAD file|
Getting 3D designs made is a challenge, but there are a lot of tools. A number of them come from AutoDesk for free. Here are a few I like:
123D Design this Application is Mac/PC and iPad... and pretty good. It has lots of pieces that can be used as templates to create things like cars and airplanes, as well as regular shapes and lettering. Tutorials from AutoDesk are here
Google Sketchup probably just as easy as 123D Design. I tended to stick to the 123D software, but a number of students at my school liked this application.
Why not design on a touch screen! The interface is much more compliant for manipulating designs. I really like the interface of designing 3D objects on tablets, where laptops just are not the same feel.
Both Autodesk 123D apps discussed, allow you to upload your designs to a free Autodesk cloud account. Getting your designs off your tablet and onto your laptop is important, and AutoDesk makes it easier with their cloud service. The Meshmixer application, discussed in the Printing section, allows you to download your files directly in the application. Or just by logging into your Autodesk account, and downloading your files.
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