Here are some software resources your will need for designing and printing models. They are all available for free to Wesleyan students.
- Mathematica does all sorts of mathematics, including numerical computations, symbolic manipulation, and — most important for our purposes — graphical representation. It is the most direct method for producing the graphics files we want.
- Generally quite expensive, Wes students can download a copy for free from WesFiles in the following way: Go to WesFiles. Click the yellow folder under the cardinal in the upper-left-hand corner. Follow the folder path software -> (Linux/Mac/PC)Soft (as appropriate) -> All -> Mathematica for Students -> Mathematica 9.0 and download the .dmg file to install. Also in the Mathematica for Students file you will find Mathematica_Student_Activation.txt, which has instructions for obtaining an activation key for your copy of the program.
- This is the software which connects directly to Wesleyan’s printers. It can also perform some (simple) manipulation of the models. Other 3D graphics programs produce .stl files; Makerware converts these into .x3g files which can be sent directly to the printer.
- Makerware can be downloaded for free from: http://www.makerbot.com/makerware/
- For some more complicated design project, we may have to design directly through a 3D design program. There are many of these; Blender is a free, open source one.