Customized-Designed, 3D Printed Instruments For Stitching and Quilting


Our October 2019 Hacker of the Month is a northern California resident who has taken her need to create cookie cutters and turned it right into a full-time product design and 3D printing manufacturing enterprise for {custom} stitching and quilting equipment.

Heather Snow, of, first caught the 3D printing bug again in 2014, “I first discovered about 3D printing from Make journal. I learn their 3D printer overview articles that inspired me to buy my first 3D printer.”

Heather's Snowflake Cookie Stamps and some finished cookies

Heather’s Snowflake Cookie Stamps and a few completed cookies

However Heather’s preliminary urge to pursue 3D printing got here from the necessity to create {custom} cookie cutters. “You’re going to chortle—I needed to make cookie cutters and pasta extruder discs. I used to be utilizing free 3D software program on-line to make what I assumed had been easy daisy-shaped flower cookie cutters. The software program stored crashing and it was driving me loopy. A pal at work really helpful SolidWorks, so I purchased a duplicate (I used to be working at a excessive tech firm on the time and this was my means of enjoyable—a minimum of that’s how I justified the acquisition on the time.) A number of years of attempting to be taught SolidWorks alone left me annoyed however nonetheless decided.”

“However just a few years in the past I used to be lucky sufficient to have the ability to stop my day job and enrolled full time in SolidWorks courses at DeAnza Group School.  The professor began the category saying “We construct issues that don’t fall out of the sky”, referring to designs for airplanes and helicopters. I sat there pondering, “I simply wish to make cookie cutters!”  I took a number of SolidWorks courses at De Anza Group School and this made an incredible distinction within the high quality of my designs and my understanding of 3D modeling. I nonetheless have tons to be taught after all, however De Anza Group School continues to be a superb supply of the newest in trade information for 3D printing and courses for all of the most well-liked CAD software program.”

Heather's 3D printed Jelly Roll Rug Binding Tool

Heather’s 3D printed Jelly Roll Rug Binding Software

With all her design expertise and schooling, Heather creates her prints with an overriding precept that we are able to all get behind: No Helps. “I spend an incredible period of time designing my objects so there are not any helps wanted.  I do must do some little bit of sanding tough edges on among the elements, however my objective is to be as near zero post-processing as potential! Essentially the most intensive post-processing I do is with the Dinosaur TacoBuddy—I bake them to anneal them which additionally makes them dishwasher secure!”

Heather at present has a small print-farm consisting of a number of Ultimaker 3s, a Raise3D Pro2, a Dremel 3D40 (her favourite for printing TPU) and a Dremel Digilab 3D45. She sticks with the native slicers for every of the printers; Cura for the Ultimakers, Dremel’s Cloud software program, and IdeaMaker for the Raise3D. She nonetheless makes use of SolidWorks to create all her designs, despite the fact that it was not straightforward to be taught, she says the time she invested into SolidWorks was effectively price it.

Heather and her household are at all times prepared for one thing to interrupt in the home and use 3D printing to provide you with a fast, cost-effective resolution, in addition to going by the iterative course of to create the proper print. “We use 3D printing for EVERYTHING at my home. If one thing is damaged, we create a substitute half. If we want a instrument, we create and print one. 3D printing is superior, however the actual magic comes whenever you mix it with the flexibility to create your individual designs. Now, no matter we are able to think about we are able to maintain in our palms in a matter of hours (OK, typically days) and that’s nonetheless completely superb to me. I like fixing issues, and the extra I discovered about 3D modeling, the extra issues I noticed that I might “repair” with 3D printing. From dinosaur-shaped taco holders to custom-designed quilt instruments I’ve been having a blast with 3D printing.”

Clever mason jar lids to protect water from pesky cats!

Intelligent mason jar lids to guard water from pesky cats!

“My son’s cat likes to drink water from wherever however his water bowl. Every time I set down a glass of water the cat would instantly seem and stick his head within the glass to start out ingesting.  YUK! I created lids with straw holes for mason jars to maintain the cat out. The primary ones I made had been out of PLA and they might leak if I tilted the jar so I began to print them utilizing TPU and so they work nice! They’re additionally dishwasher secure which is an additional benefit.”

“I’m additionally a fan of large espresso mugs and mine was leaving rings on our new wooden desk. There aren’t coasters available on the market massive sufficient for my espresso mug so I designed my very own and now it’s a spot for us to embellish for the vacations: flowers within the spring, snowflakes within the winter, and so forth.”

Heather has taken all of her schooling, expertise, and design-savvy to create a enterprise producing instruments for one more trade; stitching and quilting. “I’ve created a number of quilting instruments which have helped maintain folks safer and extra environment friendly. I used to be taking a quilt class in the future and the girl subsequent to me stored stabbing herself with pins each time she tried to select one up. I assumed that there needed to be a greater option to maintain the pins so she wouldn’t maintain getting damage and the Magnetic Pin Cup was born. It’s a cup that holds the pins sharp facet down with magnets, but it surely additionally has a telescoping carrying case and lid that twist shut to securely transport the pins. There are a number of different quilting instruments I created to make issues both safer or simpler. My BladeSaver Thread Cutter permits folks to reuse a 45mm rotary blade that they’d have in any other case thrown away. The design safely holds the blade and permits threads to be minimize however doesn’t enable fingers wherever close to the blade. There are a number of different instruments that assist quilters when a 3rd hand would come in useful.”

A 3D printed Bladesaver Thread Cutter

A 3D printed Bladesaver Thread Cutter

Heather primarily makes use of PLA in her 3D prints, “ I’m involved in regards to the particles emitted from printing with different filaments. I take advantage of a number of Matterhackers MHBuild and PRO Collection filament as a result of it’s so constant (no, I wasn’t advised to say this!). I additionally use TPU for mason jar lids and some different devices I’m at present designing.”

Heather can be a fan of how 3D printing permits her to be versatile in her enterprise mannequin when the necessity arises, “3D printing permits me to supply many colours and scale manufacturing to create no matter is in demand in the meanwhile. A pal blogged about my merchandise and I had a run on a particular colour that she talked about. It was nice to have the ability to instantly ramp up manufacturing of that colour for just a few days after which return to the common set of colours afterward.”

“I used to be additionally fortunate sufficient to get a distributor concerned about promoting my merchandise. This meant extra quantity was wanted rapidly.  It was nice to have the ability to order just a few extra Ultimakers from MatterHackers and have them busy producing merchandise simply two days later, and at a fraction of the price of injection mildew tooling!”

3D printed Magnetic Pin Cups

3D printed Magnetic Pin Cups

Most of Heather’s ardour for creating these merchandise comes from her love of baking, stitching, and quilting – one other degree of Making that pairs extraordinarily effectively with 3D printing and vacuum forming. “Quilting and cooking are my two favourite hobbies. Each time I battle and want there was a less complicated option to do one thing I take into consideration how I might remedy the issue with 3D printing.

“My grandmother used to chop a gap within the high of her Morton salt containers so she might stick a measuring spoon inside. I took that concept one step additional and created a swiveling lid for the salt container. I like to make cookies however I’m horrible at adorning them so I create mixture cookie cutters and stamps. The cutters clearly minimize out the shapes and the stamps present the traces for the designs. Simple!”

Dinosaur Tacobuddies!

Dinosaur Tacobuddies!

“Goodies are certainly one of our favourite issues to make. I take advantage of a mixture of 3D printing and the Mayku vacuum forming machine to make {custom} chocolate designs. We created particular eightieth birthday chocolate discs for my father’s birthday.”

“Somebody stole one of many spherical tow covers from the bumper of my automotive. This left an unsightly gap within the bumper so my son designed and 3D printed a set of flowers to fill the opening (and changed the remaining tow cowl so it’s symmetrical). Sure, 3D printing is contagious. Each of my sons create and 3D print issues usually.”

3D printed Pinnable Quilt Block Markers

3D printed Pinnable Quilt Block Markers

Heather hopes to see most of the issues that the neighborhood is on the lookout for sooner or later for 3D printing; accessibility, and sustainability. “I wish to see 3D printers in each house so folks can buy and obtain designs to print in no matter colour and materials they need. I might like to see 3D modeling provided to all college students as a fundamental talent. It took me some time to rewire my mind to consider easy methods to design issues in 3D, however now that I can create no matter I can dream up I’m having a blast! I might additionally wish to see recycling for filaments and printed elements. PLA is labeled as biodegradable, but when we might get it recycled that will be superior for customers and for the earth.”

Lastly, pulling from private expertise, Heather is aware of that schooling surrounding digital fabrication strategies like 3D printing is paramount. “I’m an enormous believer in hands-on studying.  I might like to see extra applications like DeAnza Group School has the place they train 3D modeling in addition to easy methods to use 3D printers, how to decide on the proper 3D printing course of, and so forth. The problem is that applications like this deal with skilled 3D printing—I wish to see extra coaching for house use. I benefit from the YouTube movies that MatterHackers publishes in addition to these printed by many 3D printing fans, however nothing beats actual, hands-on expertise.  It will be nice if there have been multi-day boot camps to show folks easy methods to use 3D printers and easy methods to preserve and troubleshoot them. We additionally want 3D printing superstores the place you’ll be able to go in and get assist from a 3D printing skilled with both troubleshooting a printing downside or assist with making a design for 3D printing.”

A measuring-spoon friendly salt lid.

A measuring-spoon pleasant salt lid.

We will’t wait to see how Purple Hobbies continues to achieve success with Heather’s inventive drive and spirit! If you need to be taught extra about Heather and Purple Hobbies, you’ll be able to go to her web site right here:

Are you a 3D printing Hacker or know somebody that’s? We’d like to share their tales with the 3D printing neighborhood! Please electronic mail with info, and also you or your pal might be our featured Hacker of the Month.


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