Many, many years ago, Back at Mill Hill School I spent a huge amount of time building 3D objects with a program called Euclid on the Acorn Achimedes. I made citiies you could "fly through" (move the camera) and an American truck. It was where my love of 3D things, be it rendering or building worlds, began. At some point in University (1996ish), once I had my stonking first PC (a Dell Pentium 200Mhz) an old chum Raj furnished me with Lightwave 3D, which he said "They used to make Babylon 5". He was a good man to know, he had the one and only CD burner.
Since then, my 3D has improved over the years and technology has moved on rather quicker. I am quite fast at building - as long as I have decent sketches or a strong idea in my head.
I don't need a 3D printer in my day to day life. I'd like to try and print pieces for a board game that Felix and I are working on and I would like to design a proper cable holder for my desk but I can't see opportunity on a regular basis. The one place that it would be really useful for is my quadcopter. Mounting cameras, holding antenna/power cable and so on. Lots of places it would help.
After my little fire, my mobius HD camera died (fair enough) and I have been waiting for a lovely 60fps Yi, which is now here. All I need is a mount. The Mobius was mounted on one of these that a kind fellow flyer printed for me. The Yi could be fitted on it but it wouldn't survive some of my more energetic crashes.
In all the designs on Thingiverse, there wasn't a good Yi camera mount. A Go Pro one is similar but there is a big button on the front of the Yi. There were some that left the camera exposed but the one that I'd seen that was really cool was for a different frame. The holes would just not fit my frame.
The version number for Lightwave has long since been abstract. However, with 11.6 they built in native support for STL files, which is the format used by 3D printers. So I downloaded the cool mount and edited the 3d model.
I'm not blowing my own trumpet to say that it was a piece of piss. It took me half an hour. The Stub Wing pictured above took me 8 hours. I could have made the whole design in an hour. It would have taken longer to make the measurements. Once I had the design, it was a quick job to export, put it through Microsoft's online "3D Builder" which is BUILT INTO WINDOWS 10 and then send the file to a chum I fly with.
I told him not to hurry, the Yi was on the slow (cheap) boat from China. This morning I had this pic in my FB inbox.
The print didn't finish (the plastic jammed) but it'll be fine. As you can see he's put his Yi into the mount. The chum has a £300 printer-from-a-kit and it can be a bit temperamental, which is (as far as I can tell) the state of the £300 market just now. Give it a year and the £300 printers will print with the ease of a £1100 one. That's probably when I'll get one. I wanted one as a "40th birthday present" but I simply don't have the time to put into it.
Still, I'm absolutely flipping my shit today. I took a thing in 3D, remixed it, emailed it and someone printed it. Soon I'll have a thing in my hand that I had on my screen. That fills me with a sort of giddy joy. Kate doesn't quite understand but I know you bitches will.