Experiments in 3D Printing

This post is so exciting because it feels like I am touching the future. I’ve read stories and seen videos online about 3D printing, but I never really expected that I would be able to do it myself. Through the encouragement of my husband and friend who has the first Tokyo purse, I had an opportunity to try and design something!

This all started because when we were getting rid of some of my husband’s old dress shirts. If they had holes and could not be donated, we started to cut off the buttons and store the fabric to be converted into pocket linings. Looking at the buttons, many of them would say the name of the company on them. This made me wonder: If I take all the time to make him a shirt, do I want to put a button on it that makes it look like a different brand? Not really. That’s when he said, well, I bet we could 3D print some!

There is a program called Tinkercad in which you can take a series of shapes and start to play around with your own designs. I think this is a friendlier program than CAD which is used by many engineers (haha just went to the CAD website for fun, it is definitely more advanced). It was very easy to get started… and after a few hours of playing around I had some button designs, and then some other cylinder shapes where I started to turn the word art into holes and sink it into the rings. It did not take me a long time to figure out how to play around with different designs, but rather, once I started doing something, I just wanted to keep trying new options. In the future, this could even work well for purse handles or more advanced designs…

There are a few main selection panels that let you drag and drop/rotate whatever you want
The yellow bead just has a big C in it. Also, the green button is designed to be one of those formal buttons that has the hole just on the back. The blue buttons are technically different because Tinkercad offered a translucent or solid option, and I tried to play around with that.

Well… I emailed the files to my husband and he gave them to our friend who is involved in a Computer Science program (she is so cool! can’t share too many details for her privacy). A few days later when we both got home from work, we were brushing our teeth and he said, “Oh, guess what I have.” I literally said, “Oh! Do you have the 3D printed buttons?”, and he kind of shrugged and said, “Man, how can you read me?” I have done this about three times in the past… I think I can tell from the context clues and ideas about what we’re excited about. Either way… Ta Da!

This was so exciting and I can’t wait to try a few more designs!