3D Printed Shoes and the Coolest Hello World Boards You’ve Ever Seen at Fab Academy

3D Printing & Imaging CNC & Machining Craft & Design Technology


The Fab Academy program is a distributed educational model providing advanced digital fabrication instruction for students through a unique, hands-on curriculum and access to technological tools and resources.

In this series, Erin, aka RobotGrrl shares her experiences with the program as she progresses through the courses.

In this adventure we worked on electronics productiondesign, and 3d printing and scanning!

The electronics involved the making of the FabISP board, which was then used to program the Hello World board. Everyone has their unique, redrawn version of the Hello World board.

For 3D printing, the fun begins when creating an object that can only be made additively. 3D scanning and repairing the mesh was also explored.

With that said, here are some of the projects!

Happy FabISP milling


From Fab Lab Barcelona! Featuring Pamela Chami and Maria Josefina Petrini with their boards.

“We had a record of 20 FabISP boards produced this week, and all working fine thanks to Local Guru Ferdi superpowers! Although to get to this result it took the whole group a lot of troubleshooting and collaboration.”

Here’s a variety of Hello World boards from FabLab BCN:


FabTiny* ISP


Created by Zaerc:

“This basically started out as a 100% fab-able version of the vusbtiny programmer from simpleavr with a few minor additions, namely a switch and indicator-LED for target-power and an LED on the SCK line (just like a real Arduino). It was inspired by David Mellis’ FabISP and Andy Bardagjy’s FabISPKey, although it doesn’t feature any solder jumpers or zero-ohm resistors ;). ”

You can grab the files here and read more of the documentation here.

Vinyl cut stencil


By Miro at Fab Lab EDP.

On Miro’s page he describes how soldering was a challenge, so he tried a new approach by soldering all the components with hot air. To do this, he used a vinyl cut stencil, added the solder paste, and populated the board with components. With the hot air, all of the connections were soldered.

Laser engraving a board

Enrico Bassi from Fab Lab OpenDot was working with a Trotec Flexx laser cutter for his boards. It combines two laser sources, CO2 and Fiber. The fiber laser can engrave metals.

Here was a first test. This was five light engraves at 500 dpi, but it still did not remove all of the copper. Photos were taken with an amatorial microscope.


After trying with 1000 dpi, the results were better with clean edges:


He also did the same process for the Hello World board, check it out here.

Cauliflower Scan


By Francesca Perona

“I love the fractal-like surface of romanesco cauliflowers, so I decided to give it a try on the Modela.”

After creating a cardboard base to keep the plant steady, she started the scan:

“In my experiment the cauliflower floret opened up at night, changing its original shape and modifying the selected area. The Modela tip therefore ‘pierced’ the surface in a couple of points (worsened by the fact that I didn’t select a bottom scan Z, I suppose). Although in the second scanning attempt I obtained a complete scan of the object, the result was very disappointing. Although the Modela head is really gentle when testing the surface, it was pulling slightly the florets subparts, generating a very jagged model.”

Next up, she wanted to 3D print simple patterns onto a stretchy lycra base.


“The best solution I found (working perfectly) is to tape with double sided tape the central area of the Makerbot plate, and then attach the VERY tense fabric onto it with the bulldog clips. Press the fabric on the tape to achieve maximum stickiness. Now that the surface is well fixed I can decrease the distance between extruder and plate and print safely.”

What a cool result!

3D printed sneaker

Troy from Fab Lab Cascina visited the Recreus HQ facility, where they create FilaFlex (a flexible TPE filament for FDM printers). He wanted to create a 3D printed shoe!


“I used a specialized piece of software called Delcam CRISPIN as it is uniquely created for making shoes. […] The Crispin software is uniquely capable of adjusting a nurb based shoe model to a 3D scan. With this basic model for a shoe created, I imported the STL to Cinema 4D to use some of the techniques that I learned while doing the scan and print project.”


“It took all night (17 hours) to print, but the final product is visually great, although this iteration of the shoe is a failure due to the problems in the Engineering aspects of the shoe.”

Although he says that it was a failure, he mentions that after Fab Academy he will write a shoe slicer!

3D printed high heel

Francesca Mereu remixed a high heel:


“I took an old model of a high heel that I had saved in the past and I tinkered to modify with MeshMixer. MeshMixer has a lot of tools. I used specials brush from sculpt, drag brush and inflate brush, and the result was good.”

The print is a scale, since it would be larger than the build plate. Perhaps with Troy’s future shoe slicer, and Francesca’s interesting design, these high heels could be made to custom fit a foot!


Fab-Bs by Lina Monaco from Green Fab Lab.


“This week’s goal is to 3D print something interacting with bees. The idea is to create ‘design-seeds’ to put in GreenFabLab’s beehives and let the bees complete them.”

Lina used the Modela to scan one of the sides of a piece of honeycomb at the max resolution. A 15x25mm piece took 20 hours to scan!


She then created her own design based on the 3d tessellation. The resulting print was a little over-scaled, but verified that it could be printed on a Form Labs printer.

More Projects

These were just a few of the really cool projects that everyone made. You can follow what the students are making here. Go to a few random pages and see what people are up to! Perhaps it will inspire you for a new project too.

Stay tuned to the Make: blog for the next installment in this series about machining and moulding!

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!


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