Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

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Stemfie3D
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Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby Stemfie3D » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:56 am

Greetings, FreeCAD users :)

I have been developing a free downloadable construction set toy for some time now, and wanted to share it with everyone.

The future development of STEMFIE will be made using the FreeCAD 3D-modelling software. Expect downloadable source files and feel free to adapt them according to the #STEMFIE3D standard.

More information here: https://stemfie.org/13-blog/36-joining- ... unity.html

I'll be posting posting relevant news here, but you can also follow the project via the following social media:

Code: Select all

//Edit @ 2020-10-18

I am editing this first post to say that it warmed my heart feeling welcomed here by the FreeCAD community! Thank you all and a special thank you to the developers for making this fantastic open-source software!

I have been using 3D-printers for twenty years now; I know a thing or two about them. Therefore, if you need some advice on how to get started using 3D-printers and making STEMFIE parts, please let me known here in this post or via the website. I will gladly lend a helping hand! :)


Image
Last edited by Stemfie3D on Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kunda1
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby Kunda1 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:15 am

This is awesome! Thanks for posting. We saw your post on twitter. Very cool!

Tell us a little more about:
you workflow (how do you work with FC?, what did you work with before FC?)
why you created STEMFIE?
who uses STEMFIE (demographic)?
are you sponsored?
what type of issues you've encountered using FC (bugs and workarounds)?
what type of features you'd like to see in FC?
Want to contribute back to FC? Checkout:
#lowhangingfruit | Use the Source, Luke. | How to Help FreeCAD | How to report FC bugs and features
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Stemfie3D
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby Stemfie3D » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:20 pm

Hi, Kunda!

Thank you for your kind words! :) I am glad you like my STEMFIE project. I have been using 3D software since the late 1980s. Back then, I started using XCAD, Sculpt-3D and Real3D on an Amiga! Those were the days! ;-)

Since then, I never stopped being fascinated by 3D-modelling and 3D-rendering and animation. I use it continuously both as a hobby but also in my profession, where I work with many different CAD software solutions. Nevertheless, I never took the time to dive into FreeCAD, even though I downloaded and played with it a few times. So, in other words; I am a FreeCAD newbie and here on the forum; so please forgive me if I describe workflows and wish for features which already are in your software – which, by the way, is fantastic! I am assuming you are one of the developers.

you workflow (how do you work with FC?, what did you work with before FC?)
I have currently just started using FreeCAD regularly. What I have done and discovered so far, was only by trial and error. I find FreeCAD to have relatively "intensive" US but after a while that sinks in and then the workflow seems to be very easy to get into.

Before I started testing FreeCAD more seriously, I used several different 3D-modelling packages since the 80s, such as SolidWorks, Inventor; Fusion 360, Rhino3D, 3ds Max, Cinema4D, Modo, MeshMixer, and Blender.

why you created STEMFIE?
Since I was a child, I always have loved solving puzzles and creating gadgets and inventing stuff using construction-set toys. My father taught me how to use Meccano, and I could spend countless hours playing with it.

Having worked with 3D-printers for more than two decades, I have seen how consumer-level machines became cheaper and easier to use. Anyone who owns a 3D-printer – or knows someone who has one – knows sees lots of trinkets being made. There are so many nice decorative things to print, but I wanted to create an application for home-based 3D-printers, which would yield useful objects. So I combined my know-how in 3D-printing with my passion for construction-set toys. I also wanted to create something that would make it easier and cheaper for parents and schools to create educational toys for the children.

who uses STEMFIE (demographic)?
I guess that STEMFIE could become quite popular in schools. I have worked with and talked to many teachers who invest in 3D-printers, and most of them have the same issue: "Now our school has a new 3D-printer, but what shall we print?". I think that combining free 3D-modelling software with 3D-printers is a win-win situation for teachers and schools.

I also see STEMFIE as a practical thing to print if one has a 3D-printer at home. The number of home-based 3D-printing hobbyists is rising to constantly. Therefore, I think, there is a potential for STEMFIE parts to become a commonly 3D-printed toy at home for anyone who has a 3D-printer and wants to gift toys easily to kids.

are you sponsored?
No. STEMFIE is just my pet project which derived from my passion for construction set toys, and my desire to give something to the 3D-printing community.

Since the project only yields digital files, there is no enormous material cost involved in making STEMFIE; but the number of hours spent developing the concept from scratch; I prefer not to count or think of so much. ;-)

what type of issues you've encountered using FC (bugs and workarounds)?
So far, I have not encountered any relevant issues using FreeCAD. I think it is effortless to use, but the only uphill battle I predict, is to learn the bulk of the software; there are so many features and workbenches, which is quite impressive!

I will, for sure visit the forum often and post any issues or requests.

what type of features you'd like to see in FC?
I love exploring 3D programs and suggesting new features and improving the UI experience. I will need to learn much more about FreeCAD to be able to start describing new features, and I will gladly do so as soon as possible.
openBrain
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby openBrain » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:22 pm

Very impressed. By your project which looks to me as a very philanthropist one. But still more by the approach you developed in using FreeCAD. This is one of the most pragmatic I ever saw.
Anyway, welcome here. If you need former models to be "translated" to FreeCAD, I'm sure the community will gladly help.
PS : there's a problem with the link in your signature. Probably your forgot the "http://" prefix.
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GlouGlou
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby GlouGlou » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:16 pm

Nice. Its remind about Meccano.
This is some foods for assembly workbenches. :D
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Stemfie3D
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby Stemfie3D » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:35 pm

openBrain wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:22 pm
... welcome here ...
Hi, openBrain! :)

Thank you for welcoming me here and for your appreciation of the STEMFIE project! I am pleased about finally launching this toy into the world; which, by the way, I have carried in my head for far too long. Not it is time to let it fly and see what happens.

As the inventor of STEMFIE, I naturally want to manage its evolution in a way that helps the community to adopt it. I also want to work with the user base to help me grow the number of parts and projects which can be made using STEMFIE.

I am looking forward to seeing what you all want to create and appreciate all help I can get. Naturally, I will validate and adopt new files into the central STEMFIE repository, with attribution to the creators. I am still a newbie using FreeCAD, and see that I will need some expert advice now and then. I will make sure to read previous threads here on the forum and ask when required.

Thank you for the hint about the URL in my signature – you are correct, I missed the https://, and now it is fixed. :)

Stay tuned for a new STEMFIE project soon to be released! :-)

https://stemfie.org/projects
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Stemfie3D
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby Stemfie3D » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:40 pm

Hi, GlouGlou!
GlouGlou wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:16 pm
Nice. Its remind about Meccano.
:-) Meccano was the initial inspiration for this project; which I used to play with for countless ours as a child.
GlouGlou wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:16 pm
This is some foods for assembly workbenches. :D
I totally agree; creating assemblies with all the parts will be the perfect application for making STEMFIE projects. All the future parts and projects I will make in FreeCAD will for sure give me lots of training using the Assembly Workbenches.
openBrain
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby openBrain » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:45 pm

Thinking about this, I'd find it very cool to have a Stemfie workbench in FreeCAD where you can get the individual parts, update the list of them, or download pre-built models. ;)

PS : I didn't yet browse your website, but is there a place where parts are downloadable as STEP, and eventually a list of these that aren't yet available as FreeCAD format?
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Stemfie3D
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby Stemfie3D » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:39 pm

openBrain wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:45 pm
Thinking about this, I'd find it very cool to have a Stemfie workbench in FreeCAD where you can get the individual parts, update the list of them, or download pre-built models. ;)

PS : I didn't yet browse your website, but is there a place where parts are downloadable as STEP, and eventually a list of these that aren't yet available as FreeCAD format?
Having a STEMFIE-dedicated Workbench in FreeCAD would be amazing – a dream come true! :) That would make it so easy to assemble projects.

I assume that useful feature in such a Workbench would be to have the parts list update automatically from a central STEMFIE parts repository. So far, I have arranged the URL https://get.stemfie.org where all the official parts are listed so far; I will place future parts there.

Currently, there are only STL files there, but I will in the future – when the STEMFIE project evolves more, I will also provide the FreeCAD files there. I am not a programmer, so I will need some good help and advise in the future for managing such a development.

:)
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bitacovir
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Re: Creating a 3D-printable toy with FreeCAD

Postby bitacovir » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:30 pm

Stemfie3D wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:39 pm
Having a STEMFIE-dedicated Workbench in FreeCAD would be amazing – a dream come true! :) That would make it so easy to assemble projects.
:)
Here a example that can be replicated:
https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD-library
https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=11610
::bitacovir::
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