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11 December 2014

Python Turtle Graphics for 3D Printing

As we've seen in previous posts on Turtle Patterns and Turtle Shapes moving your turtle around the screen is done by simple dictional commands and angled turns.

A similar process happens in 3D printing with DIY plastic extrusion hardware, such as Rep Rap, RepRap Pro and Makerbot.

Here the 3D printing extrusion nozzle is moved in a particular direction and for a specific length, before it halts and waits for a new instructions.

So, we could use Python Turtle code to simulate a 3D printing layer. Then put it into a repeating loop to create multiple layers. This loop could subtly change the direction and length commands to build quite complex and intricate shapes.

Here's a video of a Turtle code driven 3D printer in action.

The video was part of this 3D Printing presentation at the IPSJ Summer Programming Symposium in 2014.

The presentation also included a 3D Printer Turtle Graphics Python module and a code example of the module in use.

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