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3D Printing Designers Interview: Jacob Stanton

1. First, Jacob can you say a few words about yourself and your work?

I love making things: from digital art to Arduino devices and coded scripts, even cooking. Of all my hobbies, the immediate gratification from 3d printing a tangible object is like no other. I bought my first 3d printer a few years ago and the enjoyment it brings me has not faded at all. It’s great to have such a quick and fun way to test an idea.

I make a living as an Industrial Designer, sketching and 3d modeling at a consultancy which develops medical and housewares products. I first used a 3d printer when we acquired a makerbot to test crude prototypes of our models. Before long I had to get a 3d printer for myself.

Most of my work starts as something where I think “hmm, I wonder if that would work?”, an interesting mechanism, or a challenging problem to solve, just a thought in my head. Therefore most of my 3d printed designs have some unique functional aspect to them rather than being purely sculptural.

Idea generation is my favorite part of developing designs, sketching and exploring different ways to use 3d printing to solve a problem. I have always enjoyed sketching, working out ideas drawn in sketchbooks that I have carried around with me since I was a kid. Most of my designs come about after many sketches and rough test mockups, before I land on something that works.

2. Where do you get your inspiration to create these fabulous designs?

I’m inspired by things that are weird and experimental but still work really well functionally or as an art form. Theo Jansen is an example of what I’m talking about: there are so many complex mechanisms and linkages in his Strandbeest, but it is basically a mechanical creature that wanders without purpose. The fact that someone could imagine something like this is almost as interesting as the idea itself.

Some of my favorite makers are Jörg Sprave, Matthias Wandel, and Adam Savage. I am blown away by their creativity and pragmatic approach to design and problem solving.

3. Which CAD software(s) do you use to make your designs?

Solidworks. I use it just about every day for work, so I am very familiar with it.

4. What 3D printer have you got and what are your regular printing settings?

I have been using an Ultimaker 2 since I started 3d printing and love it because it is really low maintenance. I see many people that like to mod their printers and tinker with print settings, but I really enjoy creating designs. I just use the default cura draft settings, it’s about 50mm/s speed and .2mm layer height. My designs are all printable with standard settings.

5. Finally, among all your great work, what is your favorite creation?

The swimbait 3D printed fishing lure. The design process was really fun and the resulting design worked way better than I had expected. It’s not my flashiest looking design, but I love this unique functional application of 3d printing and the fact that it catches fish is even more satisfying.

I made about 8 different lures and went out on the lake testing them in the water. I loved seeing the designs go from my computer screen to moving on the water: rattling, wiggling, and spinning. The swimbait was the biggest surprise since I just made a bunch of hinged segments and it swam like a real fish. I also caught a few bass on it, so it was the only one I published.

I found this video on youtube the other day of someone testing out my lure. It’s awesome to see someone with a decent camera showcase the design, since i couldn’t really do it justice with my setup.

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