I’ve been involved in 3D modeling for about 6 years and 3D printing for the last 4 years. My first introduction to 3D modeling was my final year of school, 2013. I was wrapping up a Graphic Communication degree and was heavily interested in 3D modeling to add to my portfolio. In reality, I prefer 2D art & design, but I still had to learn and get my hands dirty a bit.
After that brief class, which taught 3D modeling with Maya (used more for video game design), I began learning about and playing with Tinkercad.com, a browser based modeling tool developed by Autodesk (makers of Autocad and other great products, including Maya). Once I got the hang of it, I started using the FREE 3D printers at my local library, the Arcade branch of the Sacramento Public Library system. My first few prints were free designs from the internet, then I moved on to printing my own designs to see if the results were what I expected. Sure enough, I soon had a small army of tiny spray cans. I also modeled and printed a few public electrical utility boxes, oil drums and jersey barriers to be custom painted and graffiti added.
Below are some examples of my work. If you scroll past, there is information on how to finish and maintain 3D prints purchased from me and links to the resources where I gathered the information, if you want to learn more.
Why print with PLA?
Most brands of PLA are non-toxic and all-natural ingredients.
PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a more environmentally friendly, biodegradable (under certain conditions) thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, soybean or sugarcane.
It’s easy to sand, drill or cut after printing.
It can be surprisingly strong.
PLA comes in a larger variety of colors.
Can you paint on PLA filament?
Yes, it’s easy to paint PLA 3D prints. It’s best practice to use acrylic paints, but you can also use oil-based paints or artist spray paint, even cellulose spray paints.
PLA melting temp is relatively low, approximately 170°C. It’s advised to keep 3D prints indoors, dry and at room temperatures. They will melt in a hot room, hot vehicle or if left outside succumb to weather.