3D printer design

CAD modelling
University of Toronto
Solidworks (Cad software), Overleaf (Latex)
Collaborated with a group of students for a semester-long project to design and model an original 3D printer. The process required defining a scope, objectives and constraints, comparing alternative solutions and modelling our final design in Solidworks.
Athene is creative, simple and secure. The sphere represents a seamless experience - an attempt to reduce the cryptic nature that naturally runs deep in this space.
I focused on soft edges, rounding the 'a' and 'n'. Created by layering several mesh gradients, the logo's colours are similar to those of a bubble, offering a sense of familiarity.


The process to onboard a new user required a 40-minute, 1:1 video call with a Hestia team member. This process was time-consuming and not scalable.
Craft a journey that efficiently communicates and demonstrates the core value of our product to leave users with a lasting first-impression.
  • Must be implemented within a 2-week time-frame
  • Must be an online process due to social distancing requirements
  • Must not require additional budget allocation

Design Process

1. Design Brief

To verify that the onboarding was a top product priority, a design brief was prepared to explore the problem at hand. The first step was to define the problem – an expansive step. It is important to ensure that the root problem is identified because if not, the rest of the project will crumble, lacking the strong foundational base that keeps it in-line. Even worse, the final solution will be solving the wrong problem.
After defining the problem, the rest of the brief explained why we care about solving the problem now, how we could tackle the problem, what potential solutions could look like, and lastly how we are going to measure success for our solution.

2. Design Sprint

With the design brief in hand, the team was ready for a 1-day intensive design sprint. The team consisted of a product manager, two developers, one content strategist and myself, as product designer.
To help the team align on the problem we were trying to solve, we started the sprint by asking the following questions:
These questions allowed the team to align on the problem, to identify the riskiest unknowns, and to clearly shed light on the points of potential failure. Next, the team moved on to the question: 
Each member sketched a new user onboarding flow and then presented it to the team. The strongest points from each presentation were combined to make the final design. The new user flow was sketched in a low fidelity prototype.

3. High-fidelity prototype

The design sprint established the onboarding flow and steps, which meant it was time to get my hands dirty in the design details. After numerous sketches, abundant research, and several iterations, the final design was prototyped in Figma, design peer-reviewed, and ready to be handed off to development.   

4. User testing & iteration

After the design was handed off for development and the fully functional onboarding was ready, it was time for user testing. The onboarding was tested on people aged 14-60, with most attention placed on the teenagers’ experiences since they are the target end user. We conducted user calls to observe emotional reactions, identify points of confusion, take note of technical bugs, and get a sense of their experience through a series of questions. This process was extremely helpful in correct small issues, ensuring the onboarding was ready for launch.


The launch of the new onboarding was definitely not the last step of the project. Since the onboarding plays such a critical role in long-term user retention, it was very important to continue evaluating its performance, iterating where necessary. We did this in three ways:
1.   New-user research calls
2.   Automated surveys
3.   Retention tracking 


The onboarding allowed the team to kickstart outreach and begin growing the Hestia user base. The onboarding achieved a 91.38% completion rate and allowed Hestia to increase the monthly active users by 80% in the first month of launch. The automated post-onboarding surveys returned an average score of 4.12/5 for ease of use.       

Project overview

The goal of this project was to design an original 3D printer and to showcase the design process in a complete engineering report. The report delineates the printer's functions, objectives, and constraints.

Our design process started with an in depth exploration of the current 3D printers on the market and their respective applications. The use of 3D printers for custom orthodontics is an application that holds great potential in the field of dentistry, but has not been developed in depth. Currently, dental practices are forced to outsource their 3D printing needs or use other methods that are time-consuming and cumbersome. To address this problem, our scope was to developing a 3D printer that can be used in house to provide orthodontists with the tools they need to avoid outsourcing and streamline their services.

The key constraint was that the printer must be a desktop size, and the key objectives were to maximize precision, maximize lifespan and minimize operating cost. Using these requirements, the team created three functional candidate designs: the Digital Light Processing printer, the SLA with static laser printer and the SLA with translating laser printer. A weighted decision matrix was utilized to determine the final selected design, Candidate 3 – SLA with Moving Laser System. This 3D printer was selected for its ease of use, reliability, and excellent precision, which are very important for the printer to be successful in a dental application.

Some snapshots from the CAD model of the 3D printer are displayed below. For a more thorough walk through of this project, please check out the full report here.

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