….The service sells 3D models focused on gaming uses, providing a variety of terrain, buildings and structures for fantasy, future and historic genres. Buy a model, print it at home or on any 3D print service, paint the print and you have another excellent piece for your game.
…Mathew Barker of Printable Scenery explains some of the challenges in designing the components displayed at Printable Scenery:
The main challenge for me is to keep everything to scale. I often get designs with no elevations, and only one perspective drawing, and then have to extrapolate the dimensions of all the other parts of the design. In animations you can fudge the small numbers, but for printing you need to be exact with everything.
All the details have to modeled into the mesh as we cannot cheat anything with textures or normal maps. This way the model quickly becomes very hi-poly and can be a nightmare to change once the details have been added after long hours of modeling.
Creating brick patterns that don’t tile or repeat can take a while to model – as opposed to in animations, where applying a tile-able texture is much easier. This all becomes more painful when changes are requested, making locking down concept designs an absolute must. Changing the size of bricks in a texture is one thing, re-sculpting an entire building is another entirely.
You also have to keep in mind the spacing and angles of elements that will print correctly. Sometimes gaps that are too small will fuse, and holes that are too large will require messy supports if not planned out beforehand.
There has to be a physical prototyping process for each model, which makes things pretty costly and stressful at times, but the results are always overwhelming if the prints are good and the hard work pays off!
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!