together as one solid
piece. I worked through all
the Tinkercad online
tutorials — which are great
at teaching you how to
use the software in a step
by step method — to
create various 3D designs.
It didn't take long to get
comfortable with this
software, so I started
designing my own
From there, you can
export your design as a .stl
file. Any 3D printer can
print the design, including
professional 3D printer
companies such as Ponoko or Shapeways. Then,
unfortunately, news came out that Tinkercad was going to
shutdown. I was very dissapointed, but soon Autodesk —
the makers of many popular CAD software programs —
stepped in to take it over, keep it alive, and
added improvements. I had found my easy-to-use design software!
You can only create designs for so long
before you actually want to build something. It
was time to purchase a 3D printer.
I shopped around and found I had several
choices for under $1,000. I was leaning
towards a low cost Printrbot Simple or
Solidoodle printer. I was ready to purchase a
Printrbot Simple as a starting point even
though it didn't print ABS or have a heated
bed. However, the price was good and I
wanted something easy to use. They offered
an assembled version and appeared to have
some kind of software setup and manual that
worked well together based on feedback.
When I went to the website to buy it, I
noticed the price had gone up $50 in the few
days since I last looked at it. That was like a
17% increase which was still in my budget but
now made other options worth reconsidering,
so I held off. Solidoodle was also a possibility
for $499, but there were extra cost options
that I wasn't sure I needed or not, so again I
delayed. While searching further, I discovered
the Davinci 3D 1.0 printer. This would be my
The Davinci 3D printer was released in early 2014. It’s
fully assembled and in a completely enclosed plastic case.
It came with its own software, had a large 7. 8" x 7. 8" x
7. 8" heated build platform, and — best of all — was just
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HELPFUL INSTRUCTIONS TO CREATE AND PRINT
December 2014 69
■ FIGURE 1. Tinkercad.
■ FIGURE 2. Davinci 3D printer.