Preschool teacher Kate Brehob is wonderful with kids. Everyone who has met her knows this. What we didn’t know–possibly herself included–is that she can also design sweet customized jewelry that is ready to 3D print.
The back story:
My cousin is naming her second baby for my grandmother. She named her first child after her mom so now there is going to be a new generation of sisters with these same names. I thought it was such a sweet idea and I wanted to give her something she wouldn’t find anywhere else that also had meaning. I decided to create stud earrings with each daughter’s name on them. I also thought they would be cute as stud earrings because both names have four letters each. The next step was just to figure out how to get tiny custom stud shaped names!
-Katherine, San Francisco, CA
Using TinkerCAD–an entry-level computer-aided-design (CAD) software–and the You3Dit network, Katherine was able to quickly able to make the earring parts which she then cemented to blank, earring studs. We sent her this CAD tutorial from Hands-on Rapid Innovation to help her get started.
“TinkerCAD was pretty easy to use, but I’m not used to working in millimeters” said Brehob. Most engineers and scientists prefer the metric system and regularly push using these units (as demonstrated in TinkerCAD), however, people living in the U.S. are typically more familiar with the inch, pound and quart units of measurement. Thus, if you’re struggling to figure out the size / scale of your project, consider downloading and printing one of these “to-scale” rulers. Additionally, we worked with Ms. Brehob to tweak the z-dimension height so that the earrings came out a just the right thickness so simply work with your designers.
“The first set turned out pretty good, but I think I’m going to add hearts or something to hide the backing of the stud” said the preschool teacher. This observation was made after she had received the first set of prints. “This is exactly the benefit of quick & easy access to rapid prototyping tools like 3D printers” said Chris McCoy, co-founder of You3Dit. “3D printers unlock creativity via rapid iteration” which allows for faster convergence on final solutions and allows the mind to explore many solutions without a lot of cost (time, money, effort).
3D printers are not the end-all, be-all solution for everything–we know this. But if you show people their potential and how easy it is to get started, people can start to see their real value beyond just a mini widget factory. Since people are not yet used to having extreme personalization in their lives, they don’t add 3D printing to their solution set for problems. This is one of You3Dit’s main goals: highlighting the potential of desktop manufacturing, educating people about how the technology works and then, providing people access to these machines that can help bring their ideas to life.