I’ve recently been working with Autodesk Inventor, it’s a professional 3D CAD program that exports to STL files. To help me learn to use the program, I designed a coffee cup and had it 3D printed in “Glazed Ceramic – Black” at Ponoko. It’s a very shiny black glaze, looks amazing. I got the cup back from them recently, check it out:
As with all of my projects, there are problems/observations/issues:
1) LARGE! Extra LARGE! I designed the cup and submitted it for 3D printing before I calculated the internal volume. Just before I got it back from Ponoko, sat down and calculated that it can hold roughly 19 oz. That’s allota coffee! If I update this design, I’ll re-size it to about 12 oz instead.
2) Handle troubles! The handle looks good in the design, but in use, its too small. The cup isn’t that heavy, but I feel I should make it so I can get a better grip. I think the width is fine, just needs to be lengthened.
3) Light! Just as an observation. The cup is large! Its about 100 mm (~4 in) around and tall. But its lighter than other smaller coffee cups I have. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, it isn’t made out of clay but instead its a “alumina silica ceramic powder”.
4) And finally the fatal flaw (duh dah DAHHH) … it doesn’t hold liquids! The cup is porous! Making it an … interesting cup to drink from. First I thought it was the design, I’m probably abusing the material by adding text to the inside of the cup. But if the issue was with the text, then the rest of the cup should be smooth and I should see either cracks around the text or if the cup is smooth then leaks around the letters. That’s not the case, cracks in the glaze appear on the outside and closer to the handle. That’s far away from the text. (Insert sad trombone sound here)
Well, that was instructive! (Laugh) My first 3D print and its a learning experience! I’ve exchanged emails with Ponoko and they will be printing the cup again. Thank you Ponoko!