Our talented designers are an eclectic group from all over the world. Find out what drives their passion for 3D design as they reveal more about themselves in our “ Meet the 3D Designer ” series. Their tips, inspiration, and wisdom will provide you with an insider’s view of 3D printing, along with a few laughs and surprises along the way.
I am from Howell, Michigan. I studied art, music, and animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Why 3D printing? How did you become interested in it?
I looked into 3D printing as a way to manifest my visions for products from the comfort of my own art studio. I would quickly get through the sketches and the very rough ‘cardboard and tape’ kind of prototype. In a firestorm of creativity, I would do conceptual 3D models and renderings of the idea to get it out of my head.
Time and again, my enthusiasm would dwindle as I considered the costs of commercial prototyping and short run production. I needed a way to create things fast and affordably so I could hand people a prototype and get feedback. I had also heard in some entrepreneurship seminars that the difference between an idea and a product is shown by a good working prototype.
What is the favorite 3D printed object that you’ve created?
I really enjoy the Easter Island monolith. It captures the archetypal head shape but if you compare the 3d model side-by-side to a photograph you will see where I have stylized the form and made it my own. I think it presents a timeless and mysterious symbol in a new way that stimulates people.
Which of your designs has received the most positive response?
The best response is probably my Queen B apartment design for the NASA and Makerbot Mars base challenge. I had been studying all the mars photos coming back from the probes since 2012 so when I heard about the contest I was quite excited to try my hand at a mars base design.
I won the contest and this work was featured on many major news outlets. I’ve never had a design get that much attention before, so in some sense it is the best at ‘going viral’ and getting seen by a lot of different people.
Do you have any advice for people just starting out in 3D printing?
Persist past the problems with a healthy perspective. When your printer stops delivering predictable or consistent results, take a day off and start fresh the next day.
Do you have any 3D printing disaster stories that others can learn from?
Do not try to clean your nozzle with a blow torch. I tried this after reading it as a shortcut on a website and here is what happened: the moment the brass nozzle heated up, it deformed from the pressure that I was applying via needle nose pliers. The threading was all folded over and the nozzle not usable.
Also, wear safety glasses when removing support material. The chances of it flying in your eye are pretty high, as I have discovered.
How do you think that 3D printing will change people’s lives?
I think it will enable people to bring their ideas to market without the overhead of traditional manufacturing. This includes all kinds of products in all industries: medical, automotive, and consumer goods especially.
Do you have any new projects that you can share with us?
My current endeavor is creating the world’s first 3d printed home décor brand called MeshCloud. The idea is to create modern styled, high fashion and trendy home items and price them low enough for the average working class apartment dweller to enjoy.
What other interests do you enjoy?
I enjoy composing and playing music, cooking tasty meals, and keeping up with my wife and 3 kids.