I am a bit surprised at myself. This 3D printing “stuff” was to be just a sideline in my workshop blog. Now I built a complete website just for this activity.
I am spending a fair amount of time with the design side of the printing. The printing process itself is fun to watch for a while, but is a total waste of productive time. The print times are usually so long, there is excellent opportunity for doing something else.
That something is my wax carving and lost wax casting of silver jewelry. The 3D printer is in the same room but I don’t have to pay any attention to it running. I just hear it singing its stepper song. For this reason, it is very easy to concentrate on something that needs a lot of attention and manual skill. Like hand carving wax.
I can also go out into the real workshop and spend hours working with hands-on tools and machines making other tangible things from raw wood and metal. Also, doing actual silver casting and finishing. Making things is a great retirement activity. A real life’s work activity too. If you are reading this I know you understand.
I love it when actor Mark Harman, on the popular NCIS TV program retreats to his basement workshop to get his mind back in order. It makes him human and someone to whom I can relate.
I understand why 3D printing is addictive. It’s the same addiction people get who love to create things that never existed before they make it. It’s common with all crafts and trades. As with any type of construction process. Making tangible things has regained a large following as people move away from just buying cold factory manufactured products.
A workshop full of tools is not required. Just a computer and a desktop sized 3D printer. An Internet connection is useful for the creatively handicapped to download ready to print files. I do that.
The goal with this website is to encourage the design side of 3D printing. I would like to help people become more than just a push button machine operator. There are some good 3D CAD drawing programs available free, I’ll talk about them eventually. The only cost is therefore time and practice, like playing the piano. (My wife teaches piano…)
Enjoy the shared files. I do. It’s fun. Then go design something that is entirely your own. It’s something to do while the printer is spending hours printing someone else’s designs. I REALLY like printing my own designs…