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ChatGPT: How the language-learning AI can assist in the creation of 3D printing design models

ChatGPT is a new, highly-advanced artificial intelligence program that is designed to answer questions and respond in a humanlike manner. It is trained on a massive dataset of text and as such is able to answer questions asked in natural language. In addition, it’s capable of generating code based on specific requests.


Is OpenSCAD an accessible program?

For 3D models that are used for 3D printers, OpenSCAD is an open-source program used to create models. The program uses a programming language to describe and assign the dimensions of the 3D model the programmer desires. This is in contrast to most CAD software, which has a more beginner-friendly graphical user interface.


Because of its complicated programming language, inexperienced users of OpenSCAD may not know how to use the program to create a desired model. The programming language can take a lot of time to learn, which highly decreases the accessibility of 3D printing to those who may want to use it.


How can ChatGPT help?

Because of its ability to write code, a relatively new feature of AI language learning models, users, even those with no experience, can prompt ChatGPT to create lines of code for OpenSCAD. Nick with Raise3D sought to answer this question, and see what the capabilities of ChatGPT are for programming a 3D model for print. Check Youtube tutorial below:


What can ChatGPT actually do?

Nick first asked ChatGPT to create a model of a hydrogen atom, with one nucleus and an electron. ChatGPT failed to do so. Next, he asked it to create a double helix, but there would be errors in the code that Nick prompted for ChatGPT to fix. Eventually, it managed to create a model that worked, but the end result was far from the original request.


Nick then asks the AI to generate a model for a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone stand. As a more creative and open-ended endeavor, ChatGPT was still able to use the phone’s dimensions to create the model. The model itself, however, was not usable, and still needed a lot of work.


Yet, after some tweaking and adjusting, Nick was able to get ChatGPT to get a requested model of a T-shaped jig fixture with a cylindrical hole cut out. In addition, the model created could then easily be uploaded to a secondary program for users inexperienced with programming to adjust.


What does this mean?

ChatGPT is still in the early stages of capability for its OpenSCAD programming, and still requires extremely specific requests to complete a task. In addition, it requires adjustments, and isn’t the best at answering requests that require creativity, like the phone case.


However, during Nick’s testing in which he asked ChatGPT to fix certain error prompts, ChatGPT was able to immediately identify what the error was and where it was. For a new user, it could take hours to identify a single problem, but ChatGPT is able to do it nearly instantaneously.


Printing the Final Design

Nick used a Raise3D Pro 3 model with the Hyper FFF upgrade, allowing a print time that is three times faster that of the Raise3D Pro 2 model while still maintaining high precision. In this way, through using ChatGPT, models can be designed and fixed quickly while also being printed at a moment’s notice.


What is ChatGPT’s potential in the future?

ChatGPT’s potential to generate code for 3D printing is impressive, and with more work, it could be a valuable tool for beginners to get started with 3D printing. Currently, however, it could be a useful tool for already-experienced programmers to know where an error occurred in the code for a 3D model in OpenSCAD.