Week 4: The One Ring (or two or three)

The Assignment for this week consisted of two main parts (i) making a 3d printed piece and (ii) scanning something 3D.

For making a 3d printed piece I decided to make ring. I chose rings because although their fundamental design is straightforward they are also customizable. The first challenge I faced was technical. Somehow, every time I installed solidworks it would spend hours downloading and extracting only to freeze midway through installation. Eventually I moved to Windows 10's '3D Builder.' It was a lot less powerful of a software but easier for a beginner to use. From there I looked up designs of a ring. I found one that was really cool. A Voyager Ring. I opened up the STL file and experimented with the ring to see what variable affected what. I then printed out the Voyager Ring.

From there I tried to make my own ring. I started off using a torus. After printing it I realized it was too big. I scaled it down. And then customized it. The biggest hurdle I faced was not being able to figure out how to adjust the thickness of the torus.

Ultimately, I 3D printed a torus ring that was unique but just too thick. Maybe you can use it as an incense holder.

Scanning something 3d was a lot easier and straightforward. I used the next engine in the Fablab. The first item I tried was my brass rat. It didn't work well because it's shiny. The second item I tried was a white rook. That one didn't work because it was hard to make out. The final item I used was a grey sculpture of a head. That one worked because of the texture and the color contrast.

Conclusion: After trying my hand at 3d printing I got exposed to several different 3D printing software. Personally, my favorite was Blender. But the one most accessible was 3D builder. In those softwares there are what feel like an infinite set of variables to manipulate. The learning curve is high. But, by experimenting and failing I learned more about the software and the machines involved. Moving forward I'd like to get more experience with the software and try printing more things.