Designer of the Month: Tanya Wiesner

Designer of the Month: Tanya Wiesner

Pinshape 3D printing designer, Tanya Wiesner, walks us through the process of trial and error behind her move from 3D design to 3D printable design and gives some advice to other makers and designers on how to make better prints! 

twiesner_Headshot_No Background 

Pinshape: Your 3D designs tend to be interesting characters with a lot of personality – what inspired you to create this style of design and where do you find inspiration for the characters themselves?

Tanya: Most of my designs posted on Pinshape so far started out as random 2D doodles on paper and then were fully developed in Zbrush. Design influence usually comes from my current monthly infatuation. Sometimes my designs are influenced from the latest song I have stuck in my head, latest video game or movie I’ve enjoyed, a holiday, or by something interesting I found online and posted to my Pinterest board.



You have some great images of your printed designs in your portfolio. Do you have your own printer or do you usually order your 3D prints commercially?

First few months into my dive into the 3D print world I didn’t own a printer. Made learning how to design for 3D printing a bit difficult in the beginning (and pricey). I still outsource my multicolored prints commercially, but back in December 2014, I happily purchased a 3D printer from the company Printrbot. Now I am a proud owner of a Printrbot Simple Metal.
What initially got you into designing for 3D printing?
I’ve known about 3D printing for a few years now but actually didn’t start designing for it right away. It wasn’t until after I was asked to check out Pinshape a few months back that I saw 3D printing has come a long way and was becoming more affordable that I started looking into it further.
Out of my 10 plus years working as an artist, I was extremely happy to finally have access to a cost effective alternative medium for some of the work I do out in the real world.
sqweeb doe
Do you have any advice for other designers who are trying to get started in 3D printing?
3D printing holds a lot of potential from creating decor, life hacks, tools, jewelry, molds, artwork, etc. I myself am still learning a lot with each new design I make and by studying other designer’s work. So best advice would be is to know your desired materials and the printers you use. And create, create, create. Trial and error is the best way to learn.
My first experiments into 3D printing were epic fails in my book. My daytime job involves a lot of digital 3D work but I found out quickly that what looks good on a computer screen doesn’t mean it will translate into print the same way. Overall size of the the print can affect the details of the design. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a commercially outsourced print back in my early experiments only to notice that the engraved details were gone or barely visible due to my lack of knowledge of the material I had the design printed in. So read up on material guidelines and keep them in mind when making your designs. Those guidelines have good tips to improve design structures as well as improve the overall quality of the final design.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you can pass on to other 3D designers?
1. For smaller printable items, exaggerate the details. For my Zombie Wacom Stand, all details I engraved are about 1 – 2 mm deep or more.
2. For those with their own personal printer,  I recommend always printing with rafts. Rafts have saved my prints from warping at the bottom as well as give the design better adhesion to the print bed.
wacom skull
What design tools do you use most often?
Mostly Zbrush for character design and texture work. Otherwise 3ds Max for rendering and other forms of modeling.
What are your favorite blogs, tutorials, magazines, and other resources to help to keep you up-to-date on design and 3D design? is a great site for news on anything related to 3D. They also have tutorials and magazines with content from other designers that are experienced in their field, so it’s a great resource for those who want to learn some new tips and techniques for 3D in general.
 pug lyfe
Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to share with the Pinshape community?
If you are new to 3D printing or 3D in general, don’t be afraid to connect with other designers and ask questions. We don’t bite, I promise. Most designers are kind and are willing to share their insight and give tips to help a fellow designer out.
Find more of Tanya’s designs on her Pinshape profile and read her tutorial on making killer renders on our blog


Pinshape is a 3D printing community and marketplace where makers from all over the world can find and share their next great 3D print and help each other get the best results from their 3D printers.

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