My nephews, ages 10 and 12, did me a favor by cleaning up my yard. It was a favor, so they did not want to be paid. This is how I thanked them.

First, I made them a Thank You card using a template I found in the Silhouette Design Studio.  They are held together with double stick tape.

One for the SuperHero fan…


Another for the garden lover, orange wearer, fan…


Then using my new 3D design skills that I learned in Tinkercad, I made them both a name tag and printed it on my Ultimaker 2 printer.



Print Time: 6 hours 54 minutes – for both
Filament: PLA – 3.52 meters 28 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 130.5, 40.002, 6.0 mm – each

I then realized that their younger brother may feel left out.  So, I made him a name tag too.


Print Time: 3 hours 28 minutes
Filament: PLA – 1.77 meters 14 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 130.5, 40.002, 6.0 mm


3D Print – My First Design

The next step for  printing 3D objects was to fine some 3D design software that support .STL or .OBJ files.  There are a lot of free software available for 3D design.  However, I am very warily of “free” software since a lot of “free” software (especially game software) comes with viruses, Trojans, and other nasty things.

I found four that was worth looking into deeper.

  1. Tinkercad (  It is owned by Autodesk.  Autodesk has been around for a long time.
  2. Google Sketchup ( Do I really want to install another Google product.  However, looking at the site, there was not direct indication it was owned by Google.
  3. 3DSlash (  Looked interesting.  Take an object and remove parts.
  4. Blender ( Has promise.  Is part of the Open Source community.

Since I use CorelDraw, I decided to look at their recommendations.  They recommended developing a 2D design in CorelDraw, transferring it to CAD software, like AutoCAD or Autodesk 123D, then fine tuning it with Corel Technical Suite.  Corel Technical Suite is $999.   I think not!

I decided since I was a beginner, I would start and learn with Tinkercad.  I went through several lessons in Tinkercad to learn the basics.  It was very helpful, especially learning to adjust the workspace.

Many years ago, a friend told me I needed to sign all my art works.  Most of my cards, houses, paintings now contains this logo.  That is want I created first.

Made By Sarah….







Yes, I did make it double sided.  If I had though about it before, I would have mirror the image on the reverse side.

Print Time: 4 hours 46 minutes
Filament: PLA – 2.14 meters 17 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 127.0, 68.0, 5.0 mm


3D Print – Makey Robot

I have printed everything that was on the SD Card that came with the printer.  The next step is downloading and installing the Cura software.  To my disappointment, the Cura software does not let you design 3D objects.  It does lets you render the object for 3D printing.

In Cura, there is a link “YM” to that allows you to share the objects you create.  If also lets you download objects created by other individuals.  That is where I found this robot.  Named Makey Robot by le FabShop.






Yes!  He does have movable parts.  There was no assembly required.  After it was printed, I could move most of the parts.  I having problems moving one of it’s ankle and knee parts.  Only the 65 piece model was printed.


Print Time: 5 hours 42 minutes
Filament: PLA – 3.43 meters 27 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 62.4, 55.4, 40.5 mm

The search is on for 3D design software.  If you have any favorite, let me know.

Birthday Card

Here are my first two attempts at making Birthday cards.  For the outside I used the templates from the Silhouette Design Studio.  On the inside, I font was used and another template.  Several cards will be made this month, because of the numerous birthdays in January.

I really need to learn how to get the insert correct if the card will have a background.


Instead of gluing the dots back into the letters, I used my metallic marker to draw the dots.  Lazy? Maybe… but, more likely I am feed up with all forms of glue.


Note to self – Check the quality of the photo before mailing the card.


The signature was done with the sketch pen in the Silhouette while before the cutting was performed.


I did save the cut letters.  I may want to used them in the future for another project.


3D Printing – More Standard Prints

Here are some more items I printed directly off of the SD Card that came with the Ultimaker 2.

Double Heart:



Print Time: 59 minutes
Filament: PLA – .60 meters 5 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 40.0, 40.0, 6.0 mm

Earring Circle:


Print Time: 15 minutes
Filament: PLA – .13 meters 1 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 30.0, 32.9, 62.9 mm

Coffin’s Cube Puzzle:

This was the second time I attempted to print these objects.  The first time, the filament stopped extruding after the second object was printed.  I removed the filament from the machine and printed all of the other objects on the SD card before I attempted this object again.



Now that I have a puzzle. I guess I will need to Google it to determine how to put it together.

Print Time: 3 hours 4 minutes
Filament: PLA – 1.89 meters 15 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): Varies

3D Printing – Mini Cal Test

Printed this off of SD Card. Named: MiniCalTest. I am assuming it is used to test the printer.  End result was –  it looked good.





Sorry!  The SD Card did not contain the .stl file.  When I load the gcode file into the Cura software, it did not provide the data need.  Print time was approximately 50 minutes.

3D Printing – Stackable Cup

This print came directly from the SD Card that came with the 3D Printer.  I did not know what to expect from this 3d print. What is a Stackable Cup?



When the cup began to curve, I didn’t if the printer had messed up or this was part of the design.



It looks like what make the cup “stackable” is the ledge inside the cup.



Yes!  It does hold water.


Print Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Filament: PLA – 2.56 meters 20 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 57.462, 57.462, 50 mm

3D Printer – First Print

As I mention in the previous posting, the first couple attempts on printing the Ultimaker Robot, did not go well until I figured the filament grinding issue. The printing of this little guy when smoothly.



DSCN6651After the print is done, it is necessary for the printer to cool.  I have learned that even after the printer has indicated it has cooled down, if you let the object sit there longer, it is easier to remove.

The finish robot:


Print Time: 50 minutes
Filament: PLA – 0.47 meters
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 25.9, 15.0, 33.8 mm

3D Printer – Setting Up

Yes, for Christmas I was given a 3D Printer.  It is an Ultimaker 2.  It one thing that I have been wanting, but I would never asked for one.  If you listen to the TV, it says that most women want jewelry.  For me, I do love my computer and gadgets.

The first challenge I experienced with my new printer was find a sturdy table to place it on.  I knew the printer would have a lot of movement during printing, so I wanted a table to set it on that would have very little movement.  My computer desk is already full with two monitors, a key board, a mouse, a camera, a speakers, 4 pair of reading glasses, etc.

The Ultimaker web site contains step by step instructions for unboxing the printer and setting it up.  They also has an app.  But, the apps basically only provide tutorials and access to their community sites.


One thing to remember as you are removing it from the box, only lift my it’s frame. Do not pull on it cables, cords, or moving parts. After looking at the troubleshooting guide, you may be doing this a lot in the future.


Install the filament spool holder.  Simple enough.


Insert the glass plate.  Careful, be very careful.  Those metal glass holder are a little difficult to open and are very sharp.


Let the set up begin.  Even though, the printer comes with a USB cable you do not need to attach it to your computer to do the prints from the SD Card.


Challenge number 2.  How big is a millimeter?  Off, to find the ruler.  After I found the ruler, I saw in the set up guide that this measurement does not have to be precise.


For the next step, you do not need an entire sheet of paper.


Time to insert the filament.  There is a hole in the small gear box on the back of the printer that is used to feed the filament through.  First you insert it through the gear box, and second you allow the printer to feed it to the print head.


Let’s print!!!




Here is where the major challenge began.  After printing the base of the object, the printer stopped feeding filament through the print head.  It took me several days to figure out the problem.  Keeping in mind some great advice I received “If you have a problem, take a break and work on it later.”

The problem was grinding of the filament at the gear box feeder.  I removed the filament from the printer and trimmed off the grinded part.

I installed Ultimaker Cura software on my PC and attached the printer.  I then updated the firmware on the printer.  This did not fix the problem.

The tension in the gear box was either not enough or too much.  There is a screw on top to the gear box to control the tension.  Keeping in mind that clockwise rotation tightens and counter clockwise rotation loosens, in America, I gentle tighten the gear box to it’s max.  Then I took some can air and blew out the gear box to remove all the filament fragments.  Afterwards, I loosen the screw on the gear box with a couple of rotation of the hex wrench.  I feed the filament back through the gear box and allowed the printer to feed it to the print head.

Success!!!! The printer is printing the first object.