The One Tool I Would Keep

Formally “The Queen of Sh*#y Robots”, I don’t know how old this is, I just ran across it - but I have to agree.


Looks like it was posted 6 days ago.

I don’t know that a laser would be my first tool anymore. I think that would go to my 3D printer now, but if you’d asked me 6 months ago it would have been the laser also.


Yeah, it would be tight between the laser and the 3D filament printer.


But seriously, I might have to think about it for a second.


You know? As I mull this over I’m thinking “this is my work flow”, well except she is orders of magnitude better at it than I am.

And the one tool I could not live without, well that depends on what you call a tool. If it is a physical thing then yes, my Pro, but if you count it as a tool, Fusion 360 is even more indispensable to me. I mean most things work with several fabrication methods if you start out thinking that way but I’d never get anywhere without a way to go from vague idea to much less vague idea ready to iterate.


The iteration time between idea, object in hand, revised idea, object in hand… has got to be so much faster with a laser still that I’d still pick the laser myself. But maybe I just haven’t spent enough time designing in 3D to realize I need it?


That is such powerful design software, essentially the new Autocad Inventor - but online. A company I worked for had the full version with all the hardware libraries. The non-destructive testing was Voodoo to me. Before ever touching a tool or material, model out your component in a specified material, and a color-coded rendering shows you where it will fail under load.
Couple 360’s ability with a 3D printer and you can flesh out any idea.


I know - I had to ponder it too. The primary reason for not picking the laser first is because of the speed of 3D printing now. It isn’t as fast as my laser, but I get fully formed parts. Also, I can start them and go to bed. The worst thing that happens is I wake-up to spaghetti as opposed to burning the house down.

Yes. It is wonderful to parametrically model things in short order and get them ready for printing. The Bambu Labs slicer lets me bring in STP files which is really nice compared to STL.

I use F360 for pretty much anything beyond a simple box which I’ll still do with something like BoxesPY and Adobe Illustrator.

Happy :birthday: to you today too!

It really boils down to the right tool for the job, coupled with your needs and expectations. If your workflow works for you stick with it.

3D modelling and assembly really allows you to iterate a lot in the computer prior to ever printing. And if you model it “right” (which I’ll define as parametrically) then you can iterate really fast, including changing thickness and adjusting slots and tabs accordingly. It takes a couple minutes more effort, but downstream is potentially a lot of benefit depending on the project.


I bought a 3D printer for my family for Christmas this year (and I really REALLY want to open it early, but I am being good). So this discussion is very interesting to me.

I LOVE my laser cutter (not a printer), and the speed that it produces products is amazing to me.

I know the 3D printer will be different, and I hoping to be able to use them together to make even more incredible gifts and items to use around the house.

(Really excited for Christmas this year!)


I am really excited for Christmas this year because I’m actually getting to use BEAMER for some things.


This! I say this every time a nub asks what they should be using and my first answer is always “What do you already know?”

I can see never going to a 3d modeling program if you do nothing but flat things and simple boxes that a box generator can cover.


Which one did you get? There is a huge variation in printing speeds. Right now Bambu Labs is kind of out in front for FDM printers, but all of the other players are catching up quick. So the 3D printer I bought 6 months ago (Anycubic Kobra Max) is really slow and wouldn’t have displaced the laser from my “top tool” list. My Bambu Labs P1S is fast enough to satisfy my need to hold a finished part in a reasonable amount of time and the parts come out really, really nice.

The one project I cut over and over again for my wife is a stackable paint bottle holder that I made on BoxesPy and modified with AI. I literally just cut and glued another one this morning because she went shopping and came home with more of her paints.


I’m assuming that stuff like a pencil and the computer to run all the software and drive the laser or 3D printer don’t count against the “one tool” …


You can define it any way you like. No rules! :smiley:

I don’t count pencil and paper when I’m in the garage building projects on my table saw or with a circular saw so I didn’t count CAD or how I got to an SVG for the laser here either.

We could make the argument for CAD though due to digitale iteration, but nah…


Excellent! My favorite tool is my studio. :wink:


Happy Birthday Mark!


I went for the Bambu Labs X1 Carbon during a Black Friday sale.


You will not be disappointed in that printer. It has a few features that mine doesn’t.


I am so excited to try it out! I hope my kids will be as excited as I am…


You will infect them with your enthusiasm. With the ability to wield design software like 360, I can’t look at an object and not think “How would I model that?”. Plug that file into your printer and watch the magic manifest.