We've just put the second designing mechanical parts for 3D printing tutorial live. We would like to thank Dick Tiekink very much for his work and knowledge. If you would like to learn from this we recommend that you first have a look at part one of the Designing Mechanical parts tutorials.
The second tutorial walks you through some of the design decisions, considerations and issues that he encountered when making the Whoosh Machine. This is a gift for a departing colleague that has lots of mechanical parts such as a turning drum, coil springs and buttons.
This is not for everyone, it might be complex at times. We hope to give you guys real understanding of the process and technicalities behind designing for 3D printing. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time a anyone has undertaken such an effort to help people look under the hood in 3D printing and learn to understand the limitations of the process. We know that such an effort is atypical. We are supposed to just chant over and over that 3D printing will conquer the world and that anyone can do it. But, whereas anyone can use our Creator tools and most anyone with 3D modeling or CAD experience can make a design and have it printed out with Shapeways, there are precious few people that can really design for 3D printing. What I mean with that is, "people that understand the process to such a degree that the things that they make make optimal use of the technology." Most of those precious few are Shapeways community members. We hope that with these tutorials we can help 'make' more of these people and give a deeper understanding to those that already get it. Their creations will inspire more people and then we will conquer the world. On to the tutorial.