3D Artist magazine has announced a creature creation competition to win a 3D printer, and a new crowd of designers from the visual artistry side of 3D are arriving!  3D Artist also provided a link to a tutorial for preparing your models for 3D printing which covers manifold geometry and the practice of shelling to save print material (not quite as important on printers with material as cheap as coils of $43 a kg ABS), as well as a link to the skeinforge home page.

Some more help for those of you going for maximum printability:

* Avoid “overhangs” of greater than 45 degrees (except when you can get away with them)

* Learn a bit of Noodlemancy (although with modern extruders small details aren’t quite as tough)

* Learn from the masters

* Make sure you’ve got STLs, any helpful model files or documentation you can think of added in!

How easy it is to print your model won’t just be important in the contest (it will) but it’ll also play into whether you start seeing your model pop up on desks, shelves, and dashboards around the world after you upload it!

Excerpt from: And They’re Off!

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