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07.04 Final 3D Print Ideation Sketches

Assignment Deliverables

  • 5 thumbnail sketches minimum - These should be 5 completely different ideas. Draw without constraint. Do not limit your ideas.
  • 3 larger refined ideations minimum - Choose some of your ideas from your thumbnails. Refine them and iterate on the concepts. Which parts do you like and which parts can you change to make your ideas better?

Assignment Overview

Now that you have made a test 3D print and are more familiar with the opportunities and challenges of 3D printing, we will tackle specific design challenges using the 3D printing fabrication process.

Using thumbnail sketches, quickly design numerous ideas tackling the design challenges below. The ideation phase is one of the most important parts of the design process. Push yourself to generate unique and developed ideas. Thumbnail sketches should take 4-7 minutes each. Refined sketching should take 5-10 minutes each.

Design Challenges

Often creative work has arbitrary restrictions on the creative process. There may be challenges based on material availability, budget, time, aesthetic criteria and countless other constraints on what you can make. Part of your job as an artist and designer is to work around these restraints and still create new and compelling creative works of culture. For this project choose one or more of the design challenges below. How can you meet the criteria of the challenge(s) and still make unique and exciting objects?

Make an extension of the body

Do you need a helmet? A headband? What about flexible knuckle guards? Does your hand need and custom fit extension for scraping ice off of windshields? To complete this challenge, articulate a problem to solve with a body extension. This can be functional, decorative or both. How does the 3D print solve the problem? Measure your body or the target person’s body and use these dimensions as guideposts when modeling in Fusion 360. 3D Printed Earing Exampleexternal link

Combine 3D Printing and Laser cutting

3D printing is a great technology, but it has limitations. Laser cutting is also wonderful but has its own set of restrictions. Combine the two technologies to create something that would not be possible with a single technique or fabrication process. You could incorporate brackets to attach laser cut panels at angle or to create a shelf.  You could design a phone or laptop stand with 3D printed hinges, so it is more functional.  Laser cutting can be a quick way to add scale to your 3D prints and 3D printing can add versatility of connection and position other than 90 degrees to your laser cuts. Design with the best of both worlds. Example of 3D Print Bracket for Laser Cut Plywoodexternal link

Use a Print in Place Flexible Joint

With 3D printing objects can be created that would not be possible with other fabrication techniques. One such method is a print in place hinge or joint. Print it place means that the two separate objects are printed “in [place” or as is on the 3D print bed. Once completed the two parts are forever locked together. Can you make a movable ball and socket figure or snake? What about designing an adjustable cellphone tripod holder for documenting work? Hinges for a box lid? Print in Place Hinge Video Tutorials Version 1external link , Version 2external link

Fit a real world object(s)

For 3D prints to have a function beyond decoration they must interact with the environment. Often that means attaching to a specific object or enclosing a specific object. For this design challenge use digital calipers to measure an object from the world. Then design a 3D print to add functionality or decoration or both to the object. Does your pencil need a top hat wearing rubber ducky that fits on top? Need a custom headphone holder for your desk?

Have an interlocking lid

Boxes are great. What is better than a box? A box with an interlocking, perfectly fitting lid is better. Even better is a box with an interlocking lid that has a hinge and a clasp to keep it closed. Design a custom box that has a lid. What should it contain? Think of things that don’t have pre-made boxes. Is there a board game that you play that could use a box to contain specific pieces?

One dimension over 7”

Because of the nature of 3D printing, prints are often small. For this design challenge you need to make a 3D print with at least one dimension over 8”.  The interior build size of the Ultimaker 2+ 3D printer at the think[box] is 8.1” (20.5 cm) tall, 8.8” (22.3 cm) wide, 8.8” (22.3 cm) deep. Getting a print over 7” in one dimension is running right up to the limits of the build volume. What about putting the print in diagonally? Can multiple pieces be connected together for a print that is larger than the machine itself? What other creative ways can you increase the size of y our 3D print?

Make Custom Lego Compatible Pieces

Lego is fun but Lego is still an extant company with trademarks, patents and copyrights. Luckily the standard building block is no longer protected by patent. Anyone can make an exactly matching dimensioned toy building block. What you can’t do is call it Lego or copy existing Lego designs. That still leaves a universe of creative possibilities. What can you make out of interlocking building blocks? Can you improve on the design? Can you make your own design for toy block figures? Go crazy but only make your own original content.

Sculpt in a 3D Sculpting Program

Use Blender , Mudbox, or other 3D sculpting program to make a detailed 3D sculpture that would not be possible with polygon modeling. Export the sculpture as an .obj file for further import and parametric modeling in Fusion 360 or export as an STL file for direct printing. If you use this technique of digital sculpting, you should intentionally make something that could not be make with polygon modeling or solid parametric modeling alone. Consider combining sculpting techniques with a parametrically modeled base or support.

Grading Rubric

5 thumbnails40 points
3 revised sketches40 points
Sketch Documentation10 points
File Management10 points