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How to Design Your First 3d Printing Project

So you have your first 3D printing project in mind.  Kudos!  We can think of that as a first step towards success.  But nothing gets done until it is done.  You are probably there sitting with nothing in your hands.

But do not fear.  All you need at this point is some willpower and determination.  You will need those especially to collect the money you will be needing for your project.  Check out this simple tutorial on how to get started on your first 3D printing project.

What You Will Need

Before getting started, you need to make sure that you have all you need in hand.  Here’s an obvious checklist of what you need:

  • A 3D printing software.   This is where you will be designing your already conceived design.  Of course, if you want to skip this part, you can simply download already designed blueprints from the internet.  But since you have probably decided to create your own model, you should use a CAD software to help you with that.  The learning curve for this software can get a little steep, but with practice, you shall master all the basics.  You can also use a non-CAD software such as Google Sketch.  However, you will need to install a plug-in to tweak and convert your final design.
  • A 3D printer.  Choosing the best 3D printer will depend on the type of project, the size, and your budget.   Now, when it comes to it, you probably do not need to know about every single part of it.  However, you do want to know about the basics of operation so that you can troubleshoot when the time comes (which will probably happen sooner than later).
  • 3D printing filaments.  This is what your design will be made of. There are many types of filaments.  Choose one that you feel will make a good material for your design.  We are talking about durability and budget. Just make sure you store your filament in air-tight containers to avoid humidity from building mold inside.

The Steps

Let’s get down to the steps now:

Step 1

Download the 3D software.  You might probably want to start with a free CAD software to download.  If you google this one, you will get a lot of options.  You will notice that free versions offer enough capabilities and that upgraded ones allow you to tweak some more.

Since this is your first project, a free software will suffice. Once again, know that after you download the software and open the grid, you will feel tempted to simply say “Do something”.  Get used to the software, explore it, and got to the “How to” section every time you have a doubt.

Step 2

Before putting down the design on software conceive it. Sometimes, models work on paper but not necessarily in the real world.  You might want to use some cheap resources to model your design and see if it can hold by itself.  Decide if your design will be one printing or if it will be necessary to print two parts and assemble them together.

Step 3

Use your software to draw the design.  It does not need to be a symmetrical design just yet.  You will have time to tweak it and make it 3D-printing material.  Once you are done with your design, you will most probably save it as a .stl file.

Step 4

Now it is time to bring the drawing to practice.  Now, there are many options for 3D printing that do not involve you buying one.  The cheapest printer can be found at a price of at least $600.   You could find a school that offers free use of a printer or rent one at a store.

Some places might even have a laser cutter that might come in handy after printing.

Step 5

It is time to sharpen up that design. You might need to cut out rough edges and smoothen them up.

Your one finished work is a good chance for you to critique yourself.  Take a look at all the imperfections and use them to improve for the future.

Probably the design was too big, or you missed a little bit here or there. You will definitively have better results in the future.

7 Most Useful and Powerful CSS Tools

It is important for designers to have a good batch of online tools to help complete and deliver projects faster. We have come up with a list of 7 of the most powerful and useful tools for CSS designers.  With these tools, designers can reduce the time and effort put into designing a website.

Compass

Compass runs on top of Sass and makes development a lot easier.   Frontend Sass developers trust Compass.  It is the most powerful open-source CSS authoring framework.

New developers might find some confusion about how Compass works. It runs directly through the terminal for command executing on your Sass files.  If you are familiar with Sass, you should not have any problem with Compass.

Stylizr

The great thing about Sylizr is that this CSS tool helps you easily design anything fast.  Therefore, it can have some serious impact on you or your company’s workflow.

Basically, your workflow becomes an easy process of clicking and coding. You can even preview changes easily before making them live.

Stylie

It is pretty simple yet sleek.  Stylie is a very easy and fun CSS3 animation tool.  You can create really complex animations using this tool.  All you need to do is design the animation and grab the code.

It features a tab to remove, edit, and add keyframes as well as an easy save option.

CSS3Pie

Progressive Internet Explorer supports Internet Explorer 6-9.  It is capable of “rendering the most useful CSS3 decoration features.

It includes pretty powerful and useful features such as soft drop shadows, rounded corners, and so on.

CSS3Gen

This tool allows you to quickly create snippets and place them on your website.  It is pretty easy and intuitive.  All you need to do is select a CSS3 element, style it, and then paste it into your project.

You can easily create stunning buttons, create rounded corners, add shadow effects to any box, and several other features.

CSS Menu Maker

As the name says, make stunning menus for your site.  These menus are very intuitive and responsive.  If you prefer to work with the source codes, this site has 65+ free menu designs for download.

Simple CSS

This is a CSS authoring tool that enables you to create style sheets easily.  It is available for Mac and Windows.

Simple CSS comes as a free tool.  It is also part of a hosting package that includes hosting services such as webmail, web app installer, and a file manager.  The CSS tool is pretty easy to use and can save you time in creating style sheets.

 

The Best Web Design for a Business Site

The website of a business is the only way clients have a direct view of what the company is about.  Therefore, it is in the best interest of a corporation to make it look stunning.  If a business or corporation also has a physical store, then we say they have 2 “exposure sources”.

The same dedication that is given to designing and decorating a physical store should be given to a corporate website.   But what makes a good web design for a business site?  Certainly, it is more than only the design.  Truth being said, establishing a standard of what works is nearly impossible.

There are certain considerations that can be taken into account when designing a corporate website.  It will depend on the characteristics of the corporation and even on their mission and vision.

A Perfect Template

The perfect template for a business website has a design that is both modern and appropriate for the type of business.

When it comes to a code, this has to be clean.

  • First, this code comes from a reliable template resource.  Make sure you can test the reliability of a template company.  There are many out there live today and gone tomorrow.
  • A good code resource has availability of updates and support.  Ideally, this support should be 24/7.

A nice and neat-looking website has a great impact on branding, which basically is the main goal of a business website.  A website should be highly responsive and intuitive.

Benefits of Having a Good Web Design

As we mention the benefits of having a good web design, we are actually stating how will such design help a business.   Here are some benefits:

  • It attracts and holds customers.
  • It helps create and establish business connections.
  • A greatly designed website will not fail to attract new customers and a wider audience.
  • The company’s website may become the reason why a visitor decides to purchase a service or not.
  • A great design makes a business or project look memorable and captivating, which will make visitors want to know you more.

What are the Qualities of the Best

When a website has a flawless responsive design, it gets more visits and better ranked by Google search.  Remember that a good web design is not based on the design alone.

Those companies who have succeeded in great web design, have certain characteristics that are not based on design alone:

  • Innovative design and constant updates, to keep clients up to date.
  • An expandable portfolio to showcase past work with other clients.
  • It shows business growth.
  • Tracking record of success.

 

An Easy Guide to Wireframing

So, you are ready to start setting up your website from scratch.  You have certain requirements of content layout and functionality.  A wireframe is what you have before visual effects and content are added.

Let´s take a look at the basic steps of wireframing.  Get ready to get your feet wet as you go deeper into this important step in any screen designing process.

First Step:  Think of an Idea

The best way to think of an idea is to find inspiration.  You can do this by visiting several websites and try to figure out what each designer had in mind while wireframing.

But you still need to get the idea of the wireframe and see what is the content designers are giving priority to.  You can do this with an app called Wirify, which allows you to watch any website in wireframe.

As you go through each wireframe, try to find common places in all the designs and check out how well it has worked for them.

Second Step: The Process Design

You must then decide on the type of process you are going to implement. This process is organic, which means that designers approach the whole wireframing and translation to code or visuals differently.

Decide which process brings out your strengths and makes you feel more comfortable.  Perhaps you will feel comfortable with a 12-column grid and use a tool called cssgrid to get your design.

Third Step: The Tools

There are several wireframing tools that you can use for a faster and better wireframing.  Here is a list for you to go and check out.  Remember, do what works best with what you are.

  • Omnigraffle
  • Balsamiq
  • Adobe CS
  • Keynotopia
  • Axure
  • Flairbuilder

There are much more in town but these are the most widely-used products.

Fourth Step: Grid and Layout

Once you have set your mind in a tool and already have it running, it is time for the grid and then the layout.   For starters, you should set a document size.  A proper size is 1280 x 900, especially if the picture will need some color enhancement.

Next, you will import your template from cssgrid to your document.

When it comes to layout, you should think of boxes.  Think of what is the most important things on the website and which will be the easiest and most comfortable position for your template.

Fifth Step: Start Placing Information

You can start adding information little by little.  This will help you decide what design has a better flow for informing.   Also, think of your client’s requirements and actual needs.

Sixth Step: Fine-Tuning

Use Grayscale to determine the visual strength of your elements.  The advantage of it is that it will later help you in the design process.

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