Browsing Blog by Category "3D".

SUP ornament

Posted on Saturday December 20, 2014 in 3D Printing


One of our traditions is that every year I make Shannon an ornament for the Christmas tree. Last year we spent a lot of time floating off the beach in a 6ft inflatable, so I made an ornament of that. This year I designed and 3D printed a stand up paddleboard for her as she spent a lot of our summer on hers. (I found I don’t have the balance for it so I’ll stick to my kayak and leave the paddle boarding to my awesome surfer fiance).

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Dinosaur skull sparkle ornament

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014 in 3D Printing



Because sometimes you just look at your christmas tree and think, gosh, why isn’t there a sparkling dinosaur skull hanging on it... 

Or maybe you don’t. But I did, so I 3D printed myself a dinosaur skull in high resolution in resin, sprayed glue all over it, and then rolled it in a pile of silver sparkles.
I made ornaments as a kid, and I still make them now. I just upgraded my toolset a tad.

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TIP: How to create a 3D printed solder stencil!

Posted on Sunday December 07, 2014 in 3D Printing, Electronics



Save time, save money and save your sanity. Solder stencils are invaluable if you’re making a printed circuit board with tiny SMD (surface mount parts). The low tech way to deal with SMD PCB’s is a syringe, and dabbing each spot with a tiny blob of solder paste by hand.
The better way is to use a solder stencil, which only allows solder to flow where you want it to. The concept is very similar to creating a silkscreen for a t-shirt actually. It’s amazing how skills bleed across disciplines.

Solder stencils are usually expensive, although there are services that do them cheaper. I recently found one that will print them for $5, but I haven’t used them yet so I can’t recommend them. Nevermind the price though, what I’m talking about here is being in a bind. You need a solder stencil, and for whatever reason (lack of planning, quick turn around) you don’t have one, and ordering one could take weeks.

Another method would be to use kapton film and a laser engraver. My laser is currently on loan to a friend though, so it was time to experiment!

The process is actually pretty simple:
-If you’re using Eagle to design your pcb’s, create a cam job, select the tCream layer (that’s the top paste layer) and choose to save it as an eps.
-Click ‘process job’. This will create the eps vector file.
-Open in adobe illustrator (or another vector program) if your cad software can’t import an eps. I used 3ds max so I needed to convert it to an AI file first.
-After import, convert the outline to an editable polygon and extrude it to desired thickness. 0.3mm seems to be perfect.
-Print at the highest resolution possible, ( e.g. 0.1mm layer height).
You should end up with something paper thin. In fact, it’ll feel a lot like paper. It may be a little rough around some of the holes depending on your printer, but it’ll do the job. You can clean it up or fill any areas it misses with a syringe. I’d much rather fix 10 pads with a syringe than 300.

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Updated prototype. Now with Magnetic locking!

Posted on Thursday December 04, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype


In my original prototype the kickstand wasn’t functional yet. I needed something to convey the look and feel and make sure all were happy before really digging in deeper on the design. To make the kickstand function correctly on this prototype I’ve added magnets. This helps the spring pull it into position after sliding the release clip, but also locks it in position strongly enough that the unit can stand on its own without issues. At first I imagined making the kickstand lock through plastic parts inside that would allow it to click into place, but after seeing the magnetic version in action it just feels so much better and works faster. I’m really happy with this change.



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Prototype

Posted on Tuesday December 02, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype, Electronics





A mere 13 days after I sketched this in a coffee shop with a team member sitting next to me, a pair of these prototypes are here on my desk in real life. Aluminum, plastic, professionally printed circuit boards from my design files, magnets, springs. etc. I love how fast I can go now from concept to reality - manufacturing really is a changing landscape. I have some tweaks to make and I have to redesign and print a few small parts today, but hey, I'm happy with the super fast progress so far and how clean it’s looking already.

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3D printing a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur skull

Posted on Sunday November 23, 2014 in 3D Printing



I find I use my 3D printer mostly for personal or client work (inventions, products, prototypes, etc). I always have fun making products, but I rarely just print things FOR fun that do not serve a specific purpose. I decided to just print something frivolous. I’ve wanted a large t-rex skull on display for quite some time, but they can be kind of expensive and not great quality in most cases anyways, so why buy one? This is printed from a 3d scan I downloaded, and not finished yet. It’s about 1/5th scale (30cm long) and printed in 9 parts. Almost all 3d printers have fairly small print areas so it’s going to need a lot of filler and sanding, but when I’m done, I expect it’ll look great. I’ll update more on this later. It’ll have to sit in my queue with other projects and slowly progress.

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Another Project

Posted on Saturday November 15, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype



This is a very rough sketch of an assembly I’m designing for a new product I’m collaborating on.  I’ve designed multiple versions but I like this one the best I think. I’ve worked on about 20 products over the last year, and with practice I’ve become super fast at taking things from concept to finished version ready for production. I thought this went very quickly and turned out really well. I’ve got final tweaks to do yet, and use scenarios may dictate changing the design, but I’m happy with this version of it.

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Makerbot store visit.

Posted on Tuesday October 07, 2014 in 3D Printing



We’re in Boston on our road trip, so we stopped by the Makerbot store. I have to say I think it’s neat to see an entire store based around 3d printing, and I’d wager they’ll become more widespread. For now, I think it’s a great way for people to see and experience the technology.

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Print the Legend now on Netflix.

Posted on Tuesday September 30, 2014 in 3D Printing

This Documentary about 3D printing companies is for sure worth the watch. I’ll say right off the bat I found it interesting to see that Makerbot was actually Zak Hoeken’s idea, who was then pushed out of the company that was his dream in the first place. I guess that happens a lot in the business world. This movie was very clear about what sort of person would do that, and what personality traits they have. Ultimately, no one stays at the top forever - someone is always waiting to push them aside. This happened there too.

It seems Hollywood likes to glorify pirates only, so it was nice to see a doc that showed both sides of the story. Perhaps deception is what’s needed to succeed now. Maybe the crazy inventor introverts will never be the people that can run companies, but as a crazy inventor introvert, I’d like to think it’s possible to invent something and not have it ripped away from you like that. It should be possible to invent something, form a company, and then just run it with honesty and integrity. There must be some out there somewhere.

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Budweiser Redlight secret project

Posted on Thursday August 28, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype, Advertising, Electronics


Well look here, one of the Budweiser Redlights I helped originally design and launch came home.  Why?  Some secret modifications.  I gutted this unit and built all new electronics for it so it can work in a different way -  there’s a microphone on the front, some new leds, a new cpu and that’s really all I can say for now.

(This blog post was only visible long after the work was done for secrecy) 

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Home-made 3D printed curtain rod

Posted on Friday July 18, 2014 in 3D Printing



Well, we’re still moving into our new home on the beach and we needed curtains for the bedroom. We already had the curtains, but lacked any way to hang them up.
Just go to the store and buy a rod and holder you say. I’m a bit nutty so I thought, it’ll probably take an hour just to drive out, choose them, drive home, so instead, why not make them for free? There was an abandoned wooden rod in our basement, so I designed the rod holders and round ends in about 10 minutes and then 3d printed them. Printing them took some time, but I didn’t need to do anything, the machine did it all. So as far as I’m concerned that’s 10 minutes out of my day vs 1 hour. 3d printing for the win!

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Helmet hooks

Posted on Tuesday June 10, 2014 in 3D Printing



As we set up things how we want in our new home I’m taking any excuse I can to 3d print things. In this case, I’m designing and printing hooks for our bike helmets. The helmets are light, so there won’t be any problems with just printing them.  Oh sure, i could go to the store and buy hooks for a couple bucks, but why go and stand there for 10 minutes deciding which ones look the way I want?  I can just design them in less time than a one way trip to the hardware store. So I did.  I think they turned out just fine for less than 10 minutes of work.

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RED paddleboard adaptor

Posted on Friday June 06, 2014 in 3D Printing, Prototype, 3D Scanning




Crazy little side project for fun.
Red paddleboards are pretty great, but if you need to inflate a few of them at a time you might need an electric pump. But there’s no adaptor to do that - until now!  I designed and 3D printed a small adaptor that fits onto an electric pump to the red paddleboard air intake.
I used a 3D Scanner to get an admittedly very rough and not so great scan of the adaptor, and then remodeled it. The scan was good for getting some base measurements anyways.

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Cuddlers Cove 3D printed sign

Posted on Friday May 30, 2014 in 3D Printing, Sculpture, Personal




My anniversary gift to Shannon this year was to surprise her with this 3d printed sign for our balcony. We have a 2 person hammock and spend quite a lot of time relaxing and reading in it.  We also live on the beach, so I looked to classic beach signs for inspiration and made her this ‘Cuddlers Cove’ sign.  I designed the base and lettering in CAD, 3d printed it, then hand sculpted some of the details and hammock in clay, made a rubber mold of it, and then cast it in a  solid hard plastic.

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Budweiser shoes?

Posted on Wednesday April 23, 2014 in 3D Printing, Advertising, 3D Scanning


Well I can’t say much about this one yet, but it’ll also be going into the portfolio! I used 3D scanning, 3D printing, mold making, custom electronics design, and my design skills to pull off some custom shoes for Budweiser.

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