Hooray! I won a month-long premium subscription to Lynda.com from Ponoko. Sounds like the perfect way to improve my Rhino skills, and try out Ponoko's Personal Factory.
It's fun to see what other people are designing in CAD, and 3-D printing on Shapeways. Recently, I ordered this LED cap by Virtox, to see what it looked like. It's quite tiny — only the size of a small marble, and kind of resembles a giant spore.
Earlier this year, I took a beginning electronics class, where we put together a circuit that makes an LED blink continuously. Just now, I put the cap on my blinking light and it looks pretty cool. I like the way the light glows through the semi-opaque material, and really highlights which parts of the material are thick or thin.
I have an idea for a 3-D printed lamp that would involve multiple LEDs. It would be a fun project to pursue in collaboration with someone who's well versed in electronics.
For the past several months, I've been learning Rhino in my spare time (actually, I'm beta testing their Mac version). I'm still not all that advanced, but am making progress, and really having fun.
In the future, I really want to 3-D print some larger art/design objects that I create in CAD. To get to that point, I've been assigning myself little projects to help learn Rhino. The projects are jewelry related -jewelry is a great way to learn because the objects are quite small, so I can finish them fairly quickly. And there's the gratification of getting a real, touchable, three-dimensional object in my hands, about 10 days after designing the object – amazing! I've been sending STL files to Shapeways for 3-D printing.
These wireframe diamond earrings are one of the first pieces I designed; Shapeways sent them about two weeks ago. I'm really happy with the way they came out. Since I only ordered one of each material (black detail, white detail, transparent detail, and white strong and flexible), I have to wait till my next order comes in to actually wear a matching pair of diamonds. One of them broke, while I was attaching the jump ring – I think it was the white detail. The white strong and flexible material seems stronger, so I will be using that for my white diamonds in the future.