I've been experimenting with 3D printing recently after initially having similar opinions to Scott Hanselman on the subject:
The first 3D printed thing I ever saw was a florescent green Yoda head. First you're like "HOW DID YOU DO THIS?" but quickly you're more like "OK, how many brightly colored plastic pieces of crap do I really need in my life?" - Scott Hanselman
My previous impression was that the majority of things people printed were replacement parts for the printer itself.
But... then I got access to a printer to use for a few days and printed a few bits and pieces. I think the first thing I printed was a micro quadcopter frame to carry an equally small FPV camera.
Once I realized I could print things that could fly it sort of snowballed from there.
And fly they do...
At the Chicago MVP Summit event and Midwest Dreamin' conference I'd taken along a handful of Deployment Fish to hand out to people. They were well received, which left me wondering if I could refine the idea for Dreamforce.
At first I thought I could do a 3D version of the Salesforce logo with a flash drive or Raspberry PI embedded.
Playing around with a quick 3D model. The 3D Builder in Windows has a great way to "Settle" models before printing. pic.twitter.com/5zhbL8124R— Daniel Ballinger (@FishOfPrey) May 6, 2016
I've been practicing 3D modelling and printing. Created some cloud storage. pic.twitter.com/6GZ7Ujn4iw— Daniel Ballinger (@FishOfPrey) May 16, 2016
The idea kind of worked, but I wasn't sure I wanted something that was the company's logo. Plus, I could never figure out how to correctly fill the middle of the cloud between all the defined spheres so it looked right.
I then tried some variations of the deployment fish concept. I really liked the idea of a punch out deployment fish, but the printer didn't have the resolution to do text for a business card. The other idea was a fish that would clip over a conventional business card.
In the end, keeping it simple seemed like the best idea. So I got some basic stickers printed with my details and put them on the back of the original designs. For good measure I did some Trailhead logos as well.
I also really wanted to get my Twitter handle on my conference badge. I had a number of people recognize me first by my handle. The fish was supposed to slot into the sharks mouth, but I didn't have time to refine it the day before departing for the conference.
Shortly before Dreamforce the Einstein announcements started coming out. Putting Einstein in a plane just seemed like the thing to do.
I also played around with having the cloud be Einstein's brain.
Apex Hammer Test
It may or may not bear a striking resemblance to Mjolnir with custom rune plates.
Stuff for the kids
There is no end of things to print for the kids. I like the simplicity and usefulness of printing new train track connectors.
Sometimes things don't always go to plan
Sometimes the model isn't correct and you try and print a surface with no depth.
Sometimes the filament feed jams mid print.
Sometimes the entire print bed moves mid print.
If nothing else, 3D printing helps teach you perseverance. Happy printing!