Most of my “active-retirement” fun-time is spent in designing “JUNQUE” for 3D printing. That’s not being very active physically, but it is a good mental challenge.
I highlight the term “designing” because the actual printing process is really not where I have much creative and active control. The computers are automatically in charge of the hardware, once I initiate the print program.
My duty becomes to watch and make sure all has started properly. I can “tweak” a few settings, but mostly my involvement after that is little more as a machine and process monitor. Often, I go get a good nights sleep.
I can claim I made the finished object. As in saying, “Look at what I just made!” But I know it was the automation of the printer that actually did the tangible making.
This is no different than many other creative activities. Such as baking cookies. The oven is much like the 3D printer. Put in the raw materials (part of the design process) and the oven converts the goo to a finished edible cookie!
OK. Now I understand. I did make that plastic part, because I was involved in the total process. I took a concept (idea) and turned it into a tangible item. I programed the 3D printer to do work I can not physically do myself. Like heating cookie dough to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. There is an automatic temperature and time control on the oven for that part of the cookie making process. The 3D printer is a bit more complex, but is just an automated tool in the total creative process.
Ah-ha! My “big picture” activity is not a “machine operator”. My hobby is NOT just 3D Printing. Same as a pastry chef is not just an “oven operator”.
What I do is tangible three dimensional design and creation. I have another blog that covers that concept. I call it the Dimensional Art Studio. This covers all my 3D art “bases”.
I don’t produce much (if any) two dimensional 3D art. That’s a flat drawing, because of drawn perspective, looks three dimensional. I draw like that but I don’t usually produce finished display art. Maybe later… Ha!
I know schools are not really teaching 3D Printing. They teach 3D design that is then produced with 3D printing. The difference is between doing a specific job (print machine operator) or, creating a career as a dimensional design engineer. By the way, a hobby is like a career one is willing to become involved with, for fun without pay…
Some careers start as a hobby, and become full careers. The secret in all careers, is to not loose the fun.