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I got a 3D printer. I never saw the point before.. because from what I've seen people mainly use them to print little figurines and whistles off.. and while that's cool.. I always think you might as well just buy them from Amazon.. it's cheaper and easier.

I printed a whistle

I always liked making stuff. Manufacturing is something I'm always amazed by. The design work and the processes to create things. I've always liked that stuff, but I've never really got anywhere close to it.. apart from a few days work in a bike factory.

A GMan model from Alyx

So I printed a few items from the built in sd card, and I figured out how to print obj models off.. then I started learning how to use Fusion 360.

I've never been that great at 3d modelling. It's the art side of thing that hurts me. I can do Hammer or sketchup because the grid and measuring. Proper 3d modelling always seemed a bit like everything was eyeballed to me and I can't live with that.

I really love how Fusion 360 works. The sketches with measurements, turning all the lines black so it's fully constrained.. then extracting and whatever, being able to step back to any of the steps and modify (correct) what you did.

I've really enjoyed learning it.. but the hardest thing is having a reason to use it. But I found one this week. I had a unifi camera mounted to my porch ceiling, but it couldn't look straight forward 90 degrees.. because it bumped itself off the ceiling.

So I made this in Fusion and printed it..

Problem solved. Kind of. Where the camera attaches is off center by about 2mm because I fucked the screw hole positions up. And I could have hid the screws, or at the very least counter-sank them.

I could have done a lot better. I was really rushing because I'd already taken the camera down and wanted something done by the end of the day. But it totally works. The nice thing about this process is that it's really painless to jump in fusion and fix all those problems and print another one.

I've had the printer a couple of months now and this is the first useful thing I've done. So I'll let you know if I find anything else.

Clark Schaefer
15 September 2023
Always glad to see someone technically inclined get into proper solid modeling. I don't remember what the pricing model is for Fusion 360, but I have my own license of Solidworks as a mechanical engineer and nowadays recommend OnShape to people (made by the people who originally created Solidworks). Hope you're still getting some use out of the thing.

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