3D printing case study: from idea to an actual 3D print

3D PrintingFront Page Display

Papp Gabor
Nov 09

In October 2016 one of our users, Steven posted a 3D printed item on Twitter. He created it with Shapr3D and printed it with his Prusa i3. This is the story how he got from the idea to an actual 3D printed item in less than a few hours.

Just a few days ago, in late October one of our users posted this tweet on Twitter.

3D printing case study with Shapr3D - mute holder

It was posted by Steven Quinn (from Phoenix, AZ). Steven is a 3D artist and co-founder of Figoli Quinn & Associates who can work as a generalist, but his specialty is in 3D modeling. We took the courtesy to reach out to him and ask about his Shapr3D experience.

Can you share some thoughts about yourself?

I’m Steven Quinn, a designer and developer from Arizona, who also happens to love 3D modeling. I have been working a lot with tools like ZBrush and experimented with software like 123D. So I am pretty knowledgeable in the space and have some first hand experience as well.

How did you come across Shapr3D? What made you to try it out?

It happened a few months back.

I read an article on top iPad Pro apps on the web, and Shapr3D was the only truly 3D app amongst those.

As the field is very close to me, I thought it would be great to give it a try. I downloaded it, played with it for a while and set it aside.

So what made you to pick it up again?

Well, just recently I bought a Reprap Prusa i3 3D printer KIT. I had experimented with several solutions like Shapeways and looked at many printers, but it looked like the Prusa DIY kit was the best value for money solution for me. I also wrote an article about how I set it up and what expectations I have of it here: https://www.stevenquinndesign.com/blog/building-a-3d-printer/

So when I purchased the 3D printer KIT, I picked up Shapr3D again. It was time to model something and try out the 3D printer.

How did you decide what to model?

That’s a good question. The same thing came up during a talk with my wife. I got the 3D printer and we were like:

“Okay, what should we do with this?”

That’s when it hit me that there’s a concert coming up and it would great to design a mute holder that slides onto the stand.

I did an initial sketch on paper and then I picked up my iPad Pro and created the model in Shapr3D.

3D printed mute holder modeled with Shapr3D

It took me about 20 minutes to perfect the sketch. The good thing was that I could do the entire thing while sitting on the couch at home. Didn’t have to sit at the office or in front of a computer.

It was pretty easy to get it done.

  1. I exported to STL format,
  2. emailed the design to myself,
  3. sliced it and
  4. finally 3D printed the whole thing.

Prusa i3 3D printer KIT used with Shapr3D

Reprap Prusa i3 3D printer KIT meets Shapr3D

Pruse 3D printing with Shapr3D

In the end I painted it black and installed it on the stand.

3D printed mute holder

This is how the final version and installation looks like.

Installing a 3D printed mute holder

How did the model turn out?

There’s definitely room for improvement. When I started using it I found some problems with my design so I already had plans to make a 2.0 version of it. The great thing is that I didn’t have to start from scratch. I just had to go back to my file in Shapr3D and modify it.

At first I thought I could get the new, refined version done in another 15 minutes.

Just a few days ago I was on a flight and took the free time to improve the design flaws I had in the first version. It was mainly trimming down the amount of material used and adding hinges that would allow it to collapse when it wasn’t in use. It’ll also allow me the flexibility of printing this in multiple pieces.

I was pretty impressed with the app and it’s amazing that even crammed into a seat 35,000 feet in the air I was able to pretty quickly do this update.

This is how the refined, 2.0 version looks like.

mute holder 2.0

I will get this printed as well on my Prusa i3.

In general I am not a fan of downloading models made by others to just print them out. I like to design my own practical things. And Shapr3D is a good partner in this. At first it was a little different. But once I understood the whole concept behind the app, it became really easy to use.

If you are looking for an easy to use, but still professional 3D modeling tool, Shapr3D is definitely a great choice.