Developer's Kit
MULTI-MATERIAL 3D PRINTER
Visual start guideDashboard

Autodesk Project Wire: Multi-material Part Walkthrough

Overview

In this walkthrough, we will walkthrough designing and printing a very simple multi-material project using Autodesk Project Wire;  an (fictitious) antenna (see Picture 001) . 

Picture 001: An antenna designed in Autodesk Project Wire and visualized in the Voxel8 Dashboard.


Registering for Autodesk Project Wire 

1. When you first registered for the Voxel8 Dashboard, you will have received an official Project Wire invitation code in the Voxel8 welcome email (see Picture 002).

Picture 002: Registration email with Project Wire Invitation link (002A)

If you have not yet registered for Project Wire, you should check your email and use this link to register for an account to have access on the circuits site (see Picture 004).

2. Click the "hamburger icon" (see Picture 003A) to drop down and access the Project Wire selection (see Picture 004) from the Circuits 123D site.

Picture 003: Project Wire home page. (A) opens the dialog to reveal Project Wire.

The Project Wire selection is now available to select from the menu choices (see Picture 004).

Picture 004: Project Wire location once registered with invite code.


Starting a new Project

1. After selecting the Project Wire selection, the next step is to click the "New Project Wire" button from the main page (see Picture 005).

Picture 005: Starting a new project in Project Wire.

NOTE: If Project Wire asks you to use the new editor, then click "Yes" to access the latest version (see Picture 006) of the Project Wire user interface.



Picture 006: Modal dialog asking if you want to use the new version of Project Wire.

2. Once Project Wire has loaded up, there will be a blank stage upon which to start your work (see Picture 007).



Picture 007: Empty Stage in Project Wire.


Project Wire Core UI Feature Areas

There are some core parts of Project Wire (see Picture 008) which we will elaborate on, below:

  • A.) Project Wire name: The current name of the Project Wire work file. This can be modified by modifying the text and hitting enter. 

  • B.) Operations to: Copy, Paste, Duplicate, Delete, Undo, and Redo are provided in this menu.

  • C.) Operations to: Group, Flip, Align, Enable/Disable interactions of modeled objects on the stage.

    You can also import .STL & .SVG files, as well as export to .STL and send print jobs to the Voxel8 Dashboard from the export button in this area.

  • D.) In this area there are selections for: Sketch, Workplanes, & Rulers.

  • E.) Shapes Model Primitives(Electrical) Component tab selections.

  • F.) Shape and Component Library: listings of primitive shapes and electrical components.

  • G.) Project Wire Stage: where a project is modeled and worked on.

  • H.) View Port User Interface: for changing the orientation of the stage during modeling.

  • I.) Grid layout spacing for Stage (in mm, min = off and max = 5mm).

Picture 008: Project Wire features and functionality areas.


Assigning a name to the Project

1. Now you should assign the work a valid name (see Picture 009) and hit enter.


Picture 009: Naming the project.

2. Once the project is named, it's time to create the plastic body; next.


Creating the thermoplastic body

1. Note that orientation defaults to a slightly top and front view (see Picture 010).



Picture 010: Designing the part in Project Wire.

2. The first thing to do is change the orientation to top down view in Project Wire. This will make it easier to generate the first thermoplastic body 
(see Picture 011).

Picture 011: Reassigned to a top view for working on the plastic part.

Picture 012: Project Wire is now in a top-down view mode which is easier to draw 2D shapes.

3. By selecting the "Shapes" tool from the far right, the box primitive tool shape will become available (see Picture 013).

Picture 013: Shape Primitives area.

4. Select a box shape, and drag it to the stage so it may be manipulated (see Picture 014).

Picture 014: A Box shape is being dropped on the stage in top-view mode.

5. Confirm that box on the stage floor by clicking away from it (see Picture 015).


Picture 015: A box has been placed on the stag.

6. Now set the box dimensions to 35mm in the width direction (see Picture 016).

Picture 016: Width of box is set to 35mm.

7. Set the box height to 35mm as well by clicking within the control points on the shape 
(see Picture 017).


Picture 017: Height of box shape is set to 35mm as well.

8. Now set the viewport to a side profile of "Right" as indicated below (see Picture 018).


Picture 018: Side profile of the box on the stage (Right).

9. Again, use the control points of the shape and set the height to be 2mm (see Picture 019).

Picture 019: Box height has been set to 2mm making it a flat square plane.

10. The box is now a flat square plane for the antenna trace (see Picture 020).

Picture 020: Box is now 35mm x 35mm x 2mm in size.

11. Switch back to the top view (see Picture 021).

Picture 021: Top down view of the thermoplastic part of the antenna.


Creating the silver trace for the antenna 

After creating the antenna, we lay out the silver conductive ink that will act as the actually RF antenna design (see Picture 022).

1. First, we select the "Sketch tool" as highlighted in Picture 022. 

Picture 022: The top down view of the flat thermoplastic substrate to print trace on. 

2. Using the line drawing we carefully draw out the line segment design as shown in Picture 023. As seen below, each square icon represents a control point which can be manipulated.

Picture 023: Top down view of the antenna in Project Wire after the sketch tool drawing.

3. After drawing the conductive silver trace for the top design of the antenna which sits on top of the thermoplastic (see Picture 024), we're ready to export the design and send it to the Voxel8 Developer's Kit printer.

Picture 024: The isometric view of the antenna as seen in Autodesk Project Wire, with both plastic (red), and silver (white) depicted.

4. Clicking the "Export" button in the top right corner of the Project Wire interface will bring up the download/export dialog box (see Picture 025B).

Picture 025: The Export modal dialog inside of Project Wire.


Sending the Part for Printing to the Voxel8 Developer's Kit

It's time to send the part into the Voxel8 Dashboard for slicing and eventual printing.

1. Find the "Send to Voxel8 Dashboard" button in the dialog and click it (see Picture 026) to queue up the print job on the Voxel8 Developer's Kit printer.

NOTE: If you have not already sliced and printed a part on the Voxel8 machine or gone through the Visual Start Guide, you should run through it.

Picture 026: Part is being exported and sent to the Voxel8 printer.

2. From the Voxel8 Dashboard, the prototype antenna will have loaded from Project Wire (see Picture 027). It should be sitting flat on the build plate in the center position as depicted below.

3. The next step is to click the "Send to Printer" button located in the lower right hand corner of the Voxel8 Dashboard (see Picture 027).

Picture 027: Part is loaded.


Printing the Part

1. Once the part is sent to the Voxel8 Printer, it's time to print it by hitting the print button that should be displayed on the printer (see Picture 028).

NOTE: At this step, we will presume that you have the printer configured and setup to print multi-materials. If this is not the case, then you should step through the visual start guide to know to do this.

Picture 028: The Voxel8 Printer has received the file and is ready to print.

2. After the job is completed, you can remove it from the build plate and verify your printed antenna has printed successfully (see Picture 029).

Picture 029: The final printed part from the Voxel8 Developer's Kit.

3. Once the silver is cured and dry, you can hook up the antenna to test it (see Picture 030).

Picture 030: Testing the prototype antenna.

4. Now that you have walked through a simple multi-material part (i.e. the antenna design), you can further experiment with Project Wire by integrating components into your design. We recommend that you check out more resources in the Design section of the Voxel8 support site.

NOTE: You can also provide feedback to Autodesk via their support site about what features you'd like, and what would enable you to create functional parts on the Voxel8 Developer's Kit printer.

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