Baby's First 3D Models for Printing

2min read

I’ve been thinking of buying a 3D printer…

It’s something I’ve always been interested in but until recently I haven’t had the space for it. The consumer 3D printing world has gotten a lot cheaper and simpler to get into in recent years.

In preparation for that I’ve been playing around with OpenSCAD. It’s a CAD (Computer-aided design) program which, according to Wikipedia, is a computer program used to aid in the creation, modification, analysis or optimization of a design.

It’s 3D modeling but for engineers. Given that I’ve been mostly interested building accurate and functional parts and tools for myself this program seemed most appropriate for me.

What makes OpenSCAD unique is that it is 100% syntax-based. Essentially, you write your 3D object out purely as code and then OpenSCAD generates it.

But depending on what you’re interested in printing, you might be more interested in a different 3D modeling program. If you want to build organic shapes like peolpe, animals, terrain then a sculpting program like SculptGL or ZBrush would be good. If you want to build inorganic shapes like miniature buildings or vehicles then a program like TinkerCAD or Blender might be better suited to your needs. If you want to build real-world copies of people, buildings, objects, anything really then a program like AliceVision, which uses photogrammetry, is best.

The subreddit r/3Dprinting has a great “Getting Started” guide that can help point you in the right direction if you’re interested in 3D printing.

With that said, you can take a look at the 3D models I’ve been working on (and their source code) over on GitHub

Follow me with fraidycat, or an RSS reader, to be notified whenever I write something.