AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

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Lockdown and print-up: How to use your CAD skills in the battle against coronavirus

With the rise of the current global pandemic, our way of life has been changed in an instant. Gone are the days where we can comfortably walk down the streets to work, enter busy cafes to dine, and travel without having a little tinge of worry. The coronavirus has sent us packing our things, heading home, and observing social distancing -all to avoid contracting this disease. This made our companies either send their workers to work from home or worst, close and lay-off its employees.

One of the challenges of the current pandemic is meeting the large demand for medical equipment and protective gear. With high demand and low supply for PPEs, we are struggling to secure enough gear for our hospitals and social institutions. And this applies to most of us as well, since going out without protection meant we are actively or unknowingly contributing to the spread of the virus.

But where can we help? People around the world have been using this quarantine period to dedicate their time to creative projects. Some have been crafting masks while others are creating face shields and equipment. For some enthusiasts, they accomplish these by utilizing 3D printing. It is also seeming to be the right and timely idea in helping our manufacturing and import sectors to cover the gap in the supply chain. By utilizing this technology, we can independently fabricate face shields, mask holders, and makeshift ventilators right from the comfort of our own homes. As templates can be easily sent online, it can offer an efficient and local solution globally.

Here are some ideas that you can accomplish with 3D Printing:

Face Shields and Masks. Face shields are technically headbands or sun visors with clear plastic at the front and sides of the face, completely covering both sides. Here is a good face shields template

Mask Accessories. Ear savers and clips are accessories that helps to fit the masks comfortably. It also eases the pressure off by pulling the elastics when you wear it all day long. See more mask accessories template here

Makeshift Ventilators. Ventilators help patients breathe easily by pumping oxygen into the lung via intubation. By creating a splitter for a single machine, it can serve two patients instead of one. Some are also able to create fully functioning ventilators by 3D Printing parts. Find makeshift ventilator details here.

Toys. As we are confined to our homes, mental health is also an important aspect of your life that you want to focus on as well. From little toys for kids to grown-up frisbees, there is a lot of templates you can choose from to create a fun activity while in isolation. Here are some exciting 3D printing projects for you and your family

Typically used for architecture and engineering prototyping, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, as we know it today, has been in development since the 1980s. With renewed interest in the previous years, architects, engineers, and hobbyists have been tinkering with objects and possibilities with this machine. A typical 3D maker machine produces an object by successively laying down thin layers of material atop each other.

The process usually starts from preparing a 3D object, which can be done through a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program. From there, you can study the model and look for ways on how it can be printed efficiently.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you develop your CAD file for 3D printing:

1. First, you can load an available 3D file or create from scratch
2. Select, “File” click “Open” from the window, select the file you want to use or to start a new file press, “New” then click “Drawing
3. Select “PLINE” then draw or trace the outline of the model you wish to create
Make sure you have a closed polygon. Right-click, then select “Close
4. Select “3D Modelling” workspace in the general window ribbon. Notice that your tools ribbon has changed to modeling tools. Click the square in the far right corner to switch to an isometric view. Your model is now in isometric
5. To add depth to your model, select or type “Extrude”. Select your Model. You may navigate the UCS and see values change as you pull towards the direction of extrusion.
6. Enter your desired value or height of the object. Press, “Enter”. To learn more about making 3d models in CAD, click here.
7. Switch to “Realistic” from the view tab to view it as a solid
8. From the “Home” ribbon, you may check “Smooth Object” to round out edges
9. From the “Output” tab, select “Send to 3D Print Service
10. A Window will pop up prompting you if you want to continue. Click Continue
11. Once you’ve ensured dimensions are correct, save as a stereolithography file or “.stl” file

Now you are ready to print your model, all you must do is to wait for the final product to be produced. The amount of time for printing an object depends on the materials to be used and the complexity of the project. Most projects as simple as this may take a few hours or less in production, enabling you to make more of it in a day.

Aside from standard plastic and PLA (nylon), you may also use resins, polyurethane, and metal, filaments to print your material. This enables you to explore a variety of options and experiment scale and materiality on different projects. Aside from PPE’s you may experiment with these materials to create functional objects made from metal or reusable items from polyurethane.

With the uncertainties we are facing right now, it is a good thing to know that we can utilize our skills and our hobbies towards something that can benefit all.

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