The main mechanical tools in a hacker’s shop used to be a drill press and a lathe. Maybe a CNC mill, if you were lucky. Laser cutters are still a rare tool to find in a personal shop, but today’s hackers increasingly have access to 3D printers. What happens when you have a design for a laser cutter (2D parts) but only have access to a 3D printer? You punt.
[DIY3DTECH] has a two-part video on taking a 2D design (in an SVG file) and bringing it into TinkerCad. At that point, he assembles the part in software and creates a printable object. You can see the videos below.
Honestly, on the face of it, this doesn’t sound very complicated. But like anything else, it isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Watching someone work through the process will help you when you try to do it on your own. Keep in mind that while the laser-cut piece will fit with tabs, the 3D printed part won’t need them. There are other concerns he covers too, like aligning the infill to make the part stronger.
To demonstrate, [DIY3DTECH] devotes a video to converting a 2D fixture for holding wipes. The second video shows the printed result and gives some advice on the printing process. Laser cutters–for example–don’t usually warp, but that’s not true for all 3D printer material.
If you like watching someone work through their 3D printing design process, you can’t go wrong with the videos for a 3D printed vise. If you are pining for the wood that you would use in a laser cutter, maybe you need to try some exotic filaments.