3D printing assignment

For the past two weeks in the Makerspace 490 class, we have been working with 3d printing. I had not previously worked with 3d printing or scanning or modeling for that matter,  so I was excited to learn about it. I was at first a little intimidated by the 3D modeling required to design an object to print. The first thing I made, an alien and a castle was not that impressive.

Luckily, I got somewhat better at using the Tinkercad program within the following days.

We were instructed to come up with four different possible designs, following different prompts. At first I really wasn’t excited about most of the prompts and had trouble finding inspiration for them. Eventually, I managed to think of some ideas. I had two designs that I thought were good enough to actually turn into objects. One was a design for a bowl that has a curved spoon that attaches to the side of it. Modeling this in Tinkercad took me some time, but I was a lot more pleased with the outcome than when I made my alien.

The other design was for a patch cable holder. I use a lot of audio cables at home, and I had been wanting to buy something to hold all of them anyways, and I thought, maybe I can just make one. This is my initial design for the patch cable holder.

By now, I was fairly pleased with my design. I feel like I had gotten much better at using the 3D modeling software, and I was excited to make this thing a reality, and have something to organize my patch cables with.

So far so good, The above image is the beginning of the printing process. The print took about an hour and a half. However, when it was finished I became disappointed. I had designed it to be really to small to fit any patch cables into, and also the prongs on the end were too thin and broke off very easily. You can see in the next picture that I had snapped them off.

So, I went back and recreated another version from scratch, hoping to get it right this time. My second version has more space for holding the cables, and was slightly thicker to be sturdier. I decided to not include lips on the prongs, since they might just snap off anyways.

This design was more minimal, but I felt that I sort of had to get the basics of it to work first and foremost. I made the prongs farther apart so that cables could fit in between them, and also made them longer so that more could fit in each individual slot.

Above is the final product, and I’m pretty happy about it. The cables fit in there fairly snug and I think it will work well. I’m planning on using some double sided tape to attach it to the side of my modular synthesizer case. I do plan on continuing to refine this design and make it look more appealing, and more sturdy, but for now I’m happy.

This assignment was a big one but I learned a lot about 3d printing, but also design in general. It takes a lot to design something even simple and it doesn’t always turn out like you want. I encountered a few problems while trying to accomplish this, but in the end I created something I will actually use.