Written by Sibi
E3D Meets Natalie - 3D Print Bunny
TL;DR: Natalie aka 3D Print Bunny is the extremely talented creator behind some of the most intricate and iconic designs that you may have come across on social media or Thangs. Last week we caught up with Natalie to speak about her journey with additive manufacturing and Computer-aided Design (CAD). Read on to find out all the juicy details she shared exclusively with E3D!
Hi Natalie, go ahead and introduce yourself to our community.
I’m originally from the UK but have lived in Australia for 13 years. Apart from 3D printing, I have worked in chemistry and social work and I have a doctorate in rural mental health. I love Football, Formula One, Lego and Beatsaber! Also very happy gardening, jigsawing and reading 😊
Large Pixie Pots designed by Natalie.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Tell us about your first-ever experience with 3D printers and what got you into 3D printing.
My daughter got me into 3D printing. Just over two years ago she came over from the UK for Christmas and showed me all her prints and before she left to go home I had ordered my first printer: a Creality Ender 3. About 6 months later I started designing and haven’t looked back since.
A decorative sailing boat model which can be printed without supports.
We’ve been following your design work for a while now and it is exceptional! What are your go-to CAD softwares? How long have you been using them?
I’ve tried lots of different CAD programs but I still go back to Tinkercad and Blender as my go-tos. I think Tinkercad is greatly underrated as a straight-forward (and free) CAD tool, it is intuitive and accessible, so great for someone like me who had never encountered CAD before. Blender is more difficult to get into but its powerful and allows you to design organically and sculpt from scratch, for me, it complements Tinkercad well and I rarely need to use anything else.
You're very good at leveraging the limitations of an FDM 3D printer to your advantage in your designs. Is this something that you find particularly interesting or challenging?
Absolutely, I love trying to make a printer do something it looks like it shouldn’t be able to do. Sometimes you can design prints to do that but at other times it is a happy side-effect of a failed print. I like printing models that are on the edge of unprintable, if they fail sometimes you discover something interesting in itself.
What advances would you like to see in 3D printing in the coming years?
I would love to see non-planar printing become more accessible both with respect to slicing and machine design. It would also be great to see multicolour printing without waste and more truly recyclable filaments. Although speedy printing is a nice thing to have the quality and capability of the printer is what I will be interested in seeing evolve. Mostly I would like to see advances that I haven’t even thought of, they are the best!
Are you attending any industry events this year?
Living in Australia makes it difficult to attend events and I have actually only met one other person face to face who is in the 3D printing industry. I so want to meet up with the beautiful 3D printing community I have got to know so well through social media, so plan to do everything possible to make it happen this year. There are two events I am really hoping to attend, ERRF and SMRRF.
3D printed Formula One Tracker.
What’s your next big project?
Oh gosh I have lots of ideas in the pipeline. I would really like to make a large art piece, big enough to fill a wall! I want to do some more experiments with designing 3d printed flexible fabrics, and I also want to have a go at designing specifically for zero infill printing.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the community?
The 3D printing community has been massively supportive and positive towards me ever since I first started designing so thank you so much, I appreciate you all 😊
Get involved in the E3D community!
We'd like to thank Natalie for sharing her work and so much more with us. If you want to stay up to date with her latest designs make sure to follow all her socials here!
Find lots of other hints and tips from other 3D printing enthusiasts to make your 3D prints better! Join the conversation on Discord, follow our blog, and keep in touch on our socials. Do you have an impressive 3D printing project you’d like us to highlight? Get in touch and we can feature you!