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3D Design Tips — Finishing and Post-Processing Your 3D Printed Objects #3DThursday #3DPrinting

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For those looking to pick up a few new finishing techniques for design for 3D printing, you can now read most of the Skill Builder that I wrote for MAKE Issue 34 online here:

The domain of finishing techniques (i.e., everything that takes place after printing) is the craftsman’s workshop, where patience, tools, skills, and experience can transform the raw products of these machines into fully realized models. Like builders of dollhouses and model trains, many 3D printer jocks appreciate a loving and accurate rendering of a miniature world.

The results are impressive, but why should you tackle these craft skills when you could spend that time printing more plastic objects?

Makers who have mastered finishing techniques are granted wizard status by fellow 3D practitioners. Take artist Cosmo Wenman, who creates pieces that accurately mimic distressed metals and stones. And sculptor Jason Bakutis, whose sanded, painted, and polished faux marble and jade prints look remarkably like the real thing. Through careful work, pieces printed in crazy pink, green, and translucent filaments are made to resemble clay, stone, metal, and wood. How do they do that?

The desktop 3D printing community has a lot to learn from the sculptors, model railroad builders, and tabletop gamers now joining their ranks. …these extra steps aren’t just cosmetic. Your capacity to transform your models into “magical” replicas is a crucial means of communicating your inventions….

Read More.

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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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