New 3D Printer Filament

3D filamentStudio 300 recently added several new filaments for use with our 3D printer.

The new colors are Blue Glow (it glows in the dark!), Red, Orange, Magenta, Gold and Green. You can create your own 3D models using the free program Sketchup. Or use a pre-existing design by visiting thingiverse.com.

3D models cost 10 cents per gram after it is printed and weighed.

Fixing Pixelated Printing Problems

Why is it that a picture that looks nice on your computer screen doesn’t look as nice when you print it? This degradation will happen if the resolution of the picture is lower than the size you want to print. Here are some tips to help prevent these kinds of printing disappointments.

Before you print a picture, check out its original size. To do this save your picture to the computer, right click on it, then click on “Properties” if using a PC or “Get Info” if on a Mac. See the pictures below:

imagepropertiesMacGETINFO

For PC users, click on the “Details” tab and scroll down to “Image”. For Mac users, click on the “More Info” arrow. See below:

imagesizeMACscreensize

In both cases, the Width and Height of the image displays. In the examples above, the PC image (left) is 480 pixels for width and 359 for height — or 480 x 359. The Mac example shows 1243 x 902.

Two variables for printing are image Pixel size and the Dots Per Inch (DPI) of the printer which for most printers is 300. Using the formula:

Pixel Width / DPI
Pixel Height / DPI

yields the maximum width and height of your image (in inches). For example, if you want to print a poster-sized image with 18″ x 24″ dimensions, the formula says that your image needs to be 5400 pixels x 7200 pixels — a rather high resolution. It is acceptable to scale down an image but scaling up will result in a distorted, pixelated print. In short, always use higher resolution images when printing.

A Man Who Ate Too Much with a Caterpillar

Animation is a filmmaking style that allows people of all ages to create whatever they can imagine. In the recent Stop Motion Animation program held at Studio 300, two patrons created their own fun videos using iStopmotion software, some paper, and their imaginations. Enjoy these two short animated films: “Exploding Man Eating Pizza” and “Caterpillar.”

 

Tween Animation Camp 2014

TweensAnimation 002The Fountaindale Public Library held its first Tweens Summer Animation Camp with help from Studio 300. Patrons in grades 4-6 learned the techniques and history of animation. During the week they explored different animation styles including pixilation, stop motion, and computer-based (using Stykz software). It’s always fun to share the hard work they did with the video below:

 

TweensAnimation 003TweensAnimation 001

3D Printed … Houses?

Adipose, house, and a leaf textured cup created on Studio 300's 3D printer.

Adipose, house, and a leaf textured cup created on Studio 300’s 3D printer.

3D printing continues to be a popular phenomenon This technology has changed from large industrial companies using it for their products to at-home hobbyists 3D printing fun characters, small models, and even reusable cups. No longer do we have to wait for things to be available in stores. You can 3D print at home and start using it right away.

And now you can even 3D print a full-sized home!

A large 3D printer is laying down cement for creating the framing of the house. This is similar to smaller 3D printers that use plastic filament to create objects.

A large 3D printer is laying down cement for creating the framing of the house. This is similar to smaller 3D printers that use plastic filament to create objects.

WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. have 3D printed homes in under a day! By using recycled material (industrial/construction wastes) instead of plastic filament, WinSun are able to make several small homes (Length: 150 m x Width: 10 m x Height: 6.6 m) in Shanghai, China. This is just the beginning for WinSun according to Ma YiHe, CEO of WinSun. His plans for the future is to use recycling companies in China as their main resource for 3D printing homes. YiHe feels that this will provide an inexpensive and comfortable living style.

No matter how you look at it, the future is here and changing lives for the better.

 

 

Animation Essentials

flash_cc_splashHave you always wanted to make your own animation? Studio 300 can help. We have several free software programs available to use. Also, we regularly offer classes on how to use this software. Check out these ideas.

  • Stykz – This is free animation software that works on Macs and PCs. You can create simple stick like characters and backgrounds to make fun and easy animations to show your friends! There is even a website where you can see what other characters and animations are available. See work made by Fountaindale Public Library patrons on our YouTube Channel.
  • Adobe Flash – This is a professional animation software that you can use to create movies, website animations, and 2D game animations. It works using drawing tools (similar to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop) and uses both vector and raster graphics that you can animate in a variety of styles! Flash classes coming this summer.
  • Blender – A free 3D software you can use to create 3D models from rigging to modeling, make 3D Animations, and it even has a game engine.
  • Toon Boom Studio – This animation software is similar to Adobe Flash, however it is more so optimized in a user friendly manner. This is a great program to start with for making your own 2D characters and animating.

Studio 300 can also recommend other resources that you can use to explore your creativity via animation.

Animation by Adults

These stop motion animations were created by adult patrons in the Fountaindale Public Library Studio 300 Stop Motion Animation class. They conceived and animated these short videos using paper cutouts and iStopMotion animation software. One ambitious patron did some hand-drawn work, too.

Studio 300 offers stop-motion and computer animation programs regularly. Register for one (or any of our other classes) today.

Maker-Breaker Bot

DSC00264 During the holiday season, it is a time for selflessness and caring. A time for being thankful for what we have in our lives. One thing that Studio 300 is thankful for is when our 3D printer works. Although you may see several fun and interesting items made from the 3D printer in Studio 300, what you don’t hear is the back story about the making of these unique plastic creations.

Sometimes the printing doesn’t go quite as planned:

ToplessTardisVaderDSC00281

From clogged extruders, tangled plastic, failed designs, and general havoc – the MakerBot 3D printer can be a stubborn machine. Our solution? Patience and occasionally leaving it some flowers and chocolates while whispering soothing words of encouragement (just kidding).  But when it all goes well, the results are often amazing.

Want to learn more about 3D printing? Check out this new book and plan to attend one of our classes.

Meanwhile, here is a time lapse video of our Makerbot in action videotaped by one of our patrons this past summer.