Updated: Jul 30
Where to Start with 3D Print & Design Services?
Most of you have probably heard of 3D printing but maybe you haven't thought about how it can help you or even where to start. I want to help you identify how 3D design and printing can help you C.R.E.A.T.E. At the risk of sounding like a self-help book, I came up with my own personal way of thinking to help me find new ways 3D design and printing can solve problems or create cool new things. Hopefully sharing this will help you (like it did for me) develop new and better ways of doing things by bringing out your creative side and show your ideas and passion for something awesome.
The C.R.E.A.T.E. Mentality
I know a lot of people say they don't have a creative bone in their body (I call B.S., how many excuses have you come up with to not do a chore or go exercise). I think Mary Lou Cook said it best, "Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." You can be creative by looking at the problem from a different angle through trial and error or brainstorming with others. You can always try to summon your inner-child, too. I love my kids and the crazy and fun things they think about. I love (and sometimes hate) the "What if..." questions I get but thinking about scenarios and adding your own ideas to them is actually quite stimulating to the brain.
You can't do that! That'll never work! Yup, we hear it often or most often say it to ourselves. We stay in line, follow the rules, and keep our herd-mentality so we don't stand out, look bad, or fail. How many times have you seen successful people do whatever everyone else is doing or stop when someone told them it wouldn't work? I mean, even physics "laws" get proven wrong sometimes, and that's freaking PHYSICS, man! There's always someone else coming along to disprove those "laws" (ok, theories). Point is, if you have an idea, tell the voices to shut up and test it out; you may be on to something great.
Education is important. Done! See next slide. But seriously, educating yourself, knowing what's current in your field/passion, learning other cultures, gaining real-life experience, keeping up with technology changes, are all ways in which we can use that info to teach ourselves new ways to think up new ideas. Not only that, but we need to be able to educate others on how a new idea helps them or why it's fun. I also feel it's important to pass down that education to our youth. STEAM education has shown great strides through 3D printing because you're able to produce physical objects that provide hands on ways for kids to learn and engage on different subjects. Educating others can be a win-win as you may just learn a thing or two yourself.
At least for me, 3D design and printing is 95% failure, 5% success. By that, I mean you have to be willing to adapt to changes and failures and move on. Iteration (or rapid prototyping) is a huge part of 3D design and printing. If you're not willing to experiment, take risks, make mistakes, and grow, then you're going to have a tough time thinking of ways to be successful.
The 3D design and printing community has shown an immense amount of ingenuity and support for others. From disaster relief like 3D printed COVID masks and face shields to a custom-fit prosthetic for a child or pet. We sure can be thoughtful in our designs when it comes to how we help others or how we can do things better to reduce waste or costs to others or the world. In fact, 3D printing has shaken up the manufacturing world with its "print on demand" mentality and not having to keep massive inventory of products. Instead of producing and then wasting unsold products, it can be printed quickly and easily for on demand consumption. Got a broken part? It might be salvageable or at least reduce the amount of waste to repair versus throwing it all out. Also, keep nature-friendly choices in mind when it comes to utilizing 3D design and printing. Consider using/requesting bio-materials for your print ideas or designing in a way that uses the least amount of material required.
Last, but not least, be entertained. 3D design and prints can be a lot of fun and very rewarding! Developing new ways to be entertained or entertain others, sharing our passions, and sharing what others design and make can be an incredibly satisfying value to you, friends, family, or your business.
I know these aren't new concepts, but I think it's always a nice reminder to have an easy to remember C.R.E.A.T.E. mentality. Please let me know if you find this helpful. Like, share, and comment below and have fun creating!