3D printing is hottest areas of tech right now, and over the next year or so we’ll see 3D printers breaking into the mainstream, revolutionising the way we do things – from adorning our phones with custom cases to doctors creating prosthetic limbs personally shape for our bodies.
Leading the way is 3D Make & Print. Produced in association with My Mini Factory, you’ll find a complete guide to getting started in 3D printing, from buying the right printer and setting up to creating models and adding the finishing touches.
Discover the impact 3D printing has had in multiple industries, from manufacturing and medical to agriculture and electronics, and follow the step-by-step guides and print your very own iPhone case, sci-fi mask or even a model of your own head!
Packed with reviews of the essential kit and software – from ZBrush to SOLIDWORKS – the book also comes with 100 free models to help get you up and running. 3D Make & Print is out now in shops for £9.99, or you can order it online, or download it to your tablet.
To mark the launch of this exciting new title, here are five apps everyone in the maker community should have, whether they are serious about 3D printing innovative products or just entertaining their kids.
Available on both iOS and Android, Tinkerplay is the perfect 3D printing app for kids. Follow instructions to create models or pick and mix parts from a large library of designs – for instance, wings, human body, scorpion tale – to create your characters. Before 3D printing your design, you can test your design out, bending and twisting every joint in a life-like simulation.
From the biggest name in 3D printing, this companion app will give you remote control over your MakerBot Replicator. As well as being able to prepare designs in app and queue up jobs for your printer, you can also use MakerBot Mobile to monitor your 3D Printer. Using your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer’s on-board camera, you’ll receive updated images of the build area every three seconds so you can check your print progress.
Blokify – 3D Printing & Modeling
If you love Minecraft as much as you love 3D printing, then Blokify is for you. Create free-form cubist masterpieces or follow blueprints to assemble castles, spaceships and more block by block. The end result can be shared with the community and, of course, printed. Don’t have a 3D printer of your own? You can order your model with Blokify and they will post it to you to.
MakerBot’s other app is a thriving design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things. From clothes and jewellery, to statutes and lampshades, even covers for your phone and Raspberry Pi projects, you’ll find it all here. See something you like? Just tap to download it to your Replicator and start printing. Proud of something you’ve made? Share photos, and your design, with the group.
Like Tinkerplay, this is another app from Autodesk, however this time it is aimed at experienced makers and professionals. Construct 3D models that you can then print, or chose from one of the example kits and start building. Each part is editable so you can try out different ideas and make them your own.