Interview: Matt Stultz, Community Organizer, 3D Printing Guru, 3D Materials Experimenter
Q: Hi! Who are you, and what do you do?
Howdy, my name is Matt Stultz and I’m a community organizer, 3D printing guru, and 3D printing materials experimenter.
Q: What are your go-to machines? (Desktop printers, services, hand tools, etc!)
Q: And what software do you use to get your work done? (Design packages, CAM software, slicers, host software?)
I mostly use OpenSCAD and Sketchup for design simply because I prefer to use free/low cost tools to share my projects with others. Professionally, I’m a software developer so OpenSCAD seems natural to me and it’s power is hard to resist.
Q: What is one (or what are some) of your designs that you’d like for everyone to check out?
I am not a super skilled designer, I spend my time working on less “pretty” things and more on functionality and experimentation. I’m really pleased with my Raspberry Eye project that I did for Make because even though I based it on another design, the whole project came together beautifully and incorporates not only 3D printing and design but also software and hardware.
I’m working on a current project that I can’t really discuss right now that follows the same lines but I’m building it from the ground up and I’m really excited about it!
Q: What are design challenges that you have faced (and perhaps or perhaps not overcome) when creating your work?
My challenges come in trying to design more organic models for sure. I use OpenSCAD for most of my design work because I’m looking for precision parts and the ability to easily modify my designs. OpenSCAD does not lend itself to organic design. My plan is to start learning a few tools that I can more easily use to create beautiful designs.
Q: What challenge do you most look forward to tackling in the future?
As I mentioned, I want to learn new tools. I don’t feel like we currently have a single tool that is good for every design task right now. The more tools we have in our repertoire the better our projects can become.
Q: Any pointers for those just starting out with design and 3D printing?
The internet is a great tool but I think can be a very dangerous place for misinformation too. 3D printing has become such a buzzword and hot topic that many people are jumping on board to try to get a piece, whether they know what they are really talking about or not.
3DPPVD.org attending Rhode Island Mini-Maker Faire
Instead try to find a local community of people interested in 3D printing. If you don’t have one in your area see if you can start one. You don’t have to be a 3D printing expert to get a group of people together to talk about it. Start with your local hackerspace (hackerspace, not fablab or techshop, go to a community not a tool rental service) if you don’t have one of those either, see if a local library has a 3D printer and would allow you to start a monthly meetup there.
I have an amazing community that we have built over the past two and half years here in Providence. If I don’t understand something, there is likely a member in my group who does and who can help me out and vice versa. Where I fall down, my community helps me back up.
Thanks, Matt, for sharing with us!
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!