Free 3D design training explores the freedoms and restrictions of designing for 3D printing

As 3D printing grows in popularity and many new 3D printer owners take their first steps with 3D printing, we’ve looked at several of the resources available for learning 3D printing. These free resources include an overview of the popular 3D Benchy for calibrating and testing 3D printers and free courses available to learn more about 3D printing.

As we continue our review of the free resources available to learn 3D printing, we visited another free course: How to improve your design with 3D printing.

The urban manufacturing center of the iMakr store in London. Photo by Beau Jackson.

The course takes place in the London store of iMakr. Store manager Julien De Muyter opens the 3D Design seminar by saying:“There is a difference between design and design for 3D printing.” Two of the in-house designers then take over the presentation, breaking down what to keep in mind when creating something. digital for a physical to print.

Freedoms and restrictions

It’s a common misconception that any 3D model can be 3D printed, just like any Word document, photograph or spreadsheet can be 2D printed, the fact is that even in typical 2D printing, an act of translation must take place.

Diagram of the 3D design process to print on the wall of the iMakr store in London.  Photo by Beau Jackson
Diagram of the 3D design process. Photo by Beau Jackson.

3D designers explain that although an object may appear in 3D on a computer, if it was not designed for 3D printing, it will any surfacethat is, there is no internal geometry to give it support if it is to become a physical 3D object.

Integrate limits into 3D design

The presentation discusses the freedoms and restrictions of 3D printing, especially for the fabrication of fused filament (FFF) that most people are already familiar with, i.e. the layering of molten plastic.

  • The production volume concerned.
  • FFF 3D printing of a single large object (without multiple parts) – which is technically possible with 3D printers like BigRep and Delta Wasp, but not readily available outside of industrial use.

To optimize a design for 3D printing, it is important to take them into consideration. By doing so, the benefits of 3D printing can be exploited, including

  • The creation of bespoke objects
  • Re-engineering multi-part objects to improve an object’s functionality

Freedoms of 3D printing

Compared to other 3D object manufacturing processes, such as injection molding and CNC milling, the advantages of 3D printing are explained as follows:

The 3D designers then give examples of how these ideas can be manipulated in a 3D design and introduce the WeDesignLive platform as a good way for beginners to learn about the technology.

The courses are ideal for anyone who wants a hands-on introduction to technology. The presenters were well prepared to answer questions on the topic and illustrated their responses to questions from the audience with handy examples from around the store. One visitor was particularly interested in the use of 3D design to print 3D models of teeth, to which the team explained how a more organic design method, i.e. digital sculpting, could be the better suited to this idea.

3D printed medical models in the iMakr store in London.  Photo by: Beau Jackson
3D printed medical models at the iMakr store in London. Photo by Beau Jackson.

When can I check it?

Anyone interested in finding out more can drop by the iMakr store in Farringdon, London on Thursday. 3D design classes currently take place once a month and can be booked through iMakr on Eventbrite.

The first piece of advice they give, however, is to “Stay close to technology” and it’s something that readers of the 3D printing industry will certainly already be equipped for!

To stay up to date on 3D printing and 3D design news, you can follow the 3D printing industry on Twitterlike us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.

Don’t forget that nominations for the first annual 3D printing industry awards are now open.

Featured image shows trophies designed and 3D printed by iMakr for iMakr ophies for the London Lift Off Film Festival. Photo via: iMakrStore on Facebook