3D Printing – Design to Build! Thank you, Autodesk!

Forget everything I said 2 posts ago about Blender. We are rocking and rolling with the 123D Design app on the iPad. Honestly, we were discouraged to think that we would have to return to our PCs and laptops to create printable designs. So, we worked a little harder and looked a little deeper for options. We discovered that we can upload our models to the Autodesk Cloud and then download them through the Autodesk 3D Print Utility on my class PC. We downloaded the print utility from the 123dapp site. From the site, we downloaded to the print utility, which saves the file as an .stl file. We then added the file to MakerWare, which is also on my PC. Today we used a model created by Andrew M. of our MakerCrew.


Once the model was in Makerware, we adjusted the scale and the design to make sure it looked like something we could print (keep in mind we are brand new at this and are merely speculating :). At first, we felt the model was too large and we reduced it. The MakerCrew had a hard time visualizing 84 .mm, so Owen B. took care of the .mm to inch conversion with a handy conversion table we found on the internet. The model was just about 3″ wide (in case you are curious). Once we felt ready, we sent the project to slice and sent the file to the SD card.

This is what Andrew's model looks llke in Autodesk Print Utility
This is what Andrew’s model looks llke in Autodesk Print Utility
This is what Andrew's truck looks like in MakerWare
This is what Andrew’s truck looks like in MakerWare

As I write this, I am realizing just how much ground the MakerCrew has covered working 45 minutes after school one day each week for just two months. I am incredibly proud of the MakerCrew and am excited to consider our next steps and possible projects. I am so thrilled to use the 123D Design on iPads in our 1:1 iPad initiative school. This is a great fit with our school culture and goes along well with my students “I can do everything with this thing” approach to using mobile devices in school. We are all eager to continue with our exploration of this sophisticated, high-tech tool.


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