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.
So as we often explain the myriad possibilities of 3D printers for an uncountable number of potential applications, we reel in our audience’s minds by grounding our expectations with “well, I’m not about ready to 3D print my car axle…but there are tons of applications…” While I didn’t 3D print my axle just quite yet, we did 3D print some rim spacer clips in order to eliminate slop between the brake disc and the rim’s decorative center piece.
Why was this even a problem? No one looks cool driving a car that has wacky noises coming from the vehicle. Vehicle sounds are a big part of the driving experience (ask Tesla motors) and while no one should define themselves by the car they drive, no sense in letting it be when the You3Dit network has design and 3D printing resources to easily resolve the issue.
The workflow was pretty simple:
A thin ring that would fit between the wheel hub and the decorative piece
Measure the critical dimensions of the wheel
Transform the sketch into a CAD model (a process called solid modeling)
Export design to STL
Slice and drive 3D printer using Repetier
Test spacer ring on vehicle
Modify dimensions as necessary
Once we iterated 2-3x, we had a part that worked. The first two were too thick. We made the ring into a “U” shape to allow for slop in wheel dimensions, increasing the likelihood that the part would solve the problem.
So the rims and tires handled just perfectly for the last year with the 3D printed rim spacers as designed…and as expected. However, it wasn’t until the service guy rotated the tires when they fell out and the wheels were re-assembled without the spacers. Houston…we have a problem? Or do we? Not really, because the wife of the old man who owns the truck has a 3D Printer–A Printrbot Simple Metal!
So with the help of this article (and Thingiverse’s kind gesture of hosting the files), she was able to re-download the STL and 3D print another set.
So, just when you thought these 3D printing machines were just for younger kids great with computers, think again (note: the woman who did 3D print these is pretty amazing and is pretty darn resourceful for someone of her generation…especially with respect to technology).
It seems we’re all in the game for finding the best camera angle for our GoPros and ContourHD cameras. In our limited experience here, we’ve found that a “fixed reference” with moving scenery in the background really makes for a cool camera angle, but we don’t always have a way to the camera to our mountain bikes, motorcycles, etc. For our mountain bike ride in Moab, Utah, we were looking to get a camera down low enough so we could see the terrain of the trail and also stay out of the way of our rider’s legs while they pedaled. So as you’ll see in the video below, we designed and 3D printed a mount to attach to the universal water bottle mount. It’s a quick set up and made for some cool camera angles. The chest-perspective was filmed with a GoPro and the front wheel perspective was filmed with the 3D printed mount and an old school ContourHD which
Although it was some time ago, Chris—our co-founder—had the opportunity to work with Fox News and the founders of Z-Boards electric skateboards to film a news story on their company. As part of that story, action shots were needed of the skateboards and they needed to be made quickly. Utilizing Solidworks 2011 and a Makerbot Replicator 2 from the TechShop in SF, both the design and print were completed within a couple of hours. The design leverages two mechanical clamping springs to pinch the skateboard deck and a through hole to w/a countersink / counterbore hole to accommodate the ¼-20 screw head. The story was covered by Michelle Macaluso from Fox News and we were happy we could assist in some quality news-worthy film. For details on the solid model and photos, check out Chris’s blog. You can watch the Fox News Segment at this link. Also, you can download the Skateboard Clamp from Thingiverse.com Don’t know how to get
No one likes to be in a hospital, no one. However, Joan–amidst the pain of her surgery–made the most of her unfortunate situation and came up with this brilliant idea for hospital beds–a cable routing tool! Her request (written from her hospital bed using her smartphone) was: Subject: “Invention Need” Body: “Using a Styrofoam cup to manage my IV lines over the bed rail. There MUST be a better way!” Photo Attachment: (see image to the right) While Joan and husband were particularly clever to MacGyver the Styrofoam cup as a temporary solution, there was still a clear need for something better. Thus, You3Dit and its community accepted the design / print challenge…people jumped at the opportunity to help. Enrique–a You3Dit designer–came first to the rescue and had a series of designs that could potentially improve Joan’s cable situation. We were initially a little concerned with the curved bar not being universal enough so we had Enrique propose some alternative
Well that’s at least our goal with one Maker in our community. Amine–a San Francisco Resident–would like to quit smoking. But as anyone who’s ever tried to kick the habit knows, it’s not easy and for many reasons. One of which is the standard pack of smokes has 20 cigarettes–always begging to be smoked when the urge hits. Well, what if you’re brilliant like our Maker Amine and said, “wait, what if I could make a pack of cigarettes that only holds 15 cigarettes, then 10, and then 8, and then 5…and finally 1 or 2?” If the smoker only has access to a few cigarettes when they’re trying to quit, the assumption is that they’ll be able to kick the craving and NOT fall weak to the temptation–because the cigarettes won’t be in their possession. Currently, we’re still in the design phases but we’re looking for 3D printers who would be interested in helping us bring Amine’s idea to life.