Tag Archives: things

3D Printing – Getting What You Need Now

From need to product in less than one hour

From need to product in less than one hour

When people find out that I have a 3D printer the question that I am often asked is ‘why do you own one?’. Usually I tell them that it started as a hobby and to be able to make my own cases for my electronics projects (I have never been very good at buying a box and making it look good by drilling out holes etc!). However over the couple of years I have now owned a 3D Printer for I have evolved that thought. It was personified yesterday while I was cleaning my desk at home…

Yes, I am untidy! My desk often looks like an explosion at some weird combination engineering, computer and plastics factory. On the odd occasion even I get miffed and have a tidy up. While I was cleaning I kept finding SD cards. Having got loads for my camera and RapsberryPi, I needed a way to store them tidily and I turned to the ‘net. Sure I could have brought any number of card cases, but then I looked over at my Huxley which I was sure was bouncing there shouting “USE ME YOU IMBECILE!”. So I hit up Thingiverse and found a parametric SD card holder. Perfect for my needs. I got the Huxley up and running while I carried on cleaning. 30 minutes later it was printed and I was able to store my cards nice and neatly.

So now when I am asked why I own a 3D printer I’ll tell them that story. After all it would have cost me much more to buy a holder that probably wouldn’t have fitted my needs so well and it would have taken me days to receive it. As it stands the print cost me about £1 and took no more than an hour from investigation to final product.

Parametric SD Card Holder

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DSF Build Progress Four

Now that payday has been and gone I have been able to order a few more parts for the printer. Currently the steppers have actually turned up and are installed. I had also managed to get the frog for the Y Axis laser cut with the DSF logo etched into it.

IMG_2760At the moment printing on my Huxley are the Z Axis couplers, pulleys for the X and Y motors and the clamps for the Y axis. I have the belt for the X and Y so once the print has finished I can hopefully get the Y axis installed and ready to go. The electronics have been ordered and should be here is 3-4 days, the psu should be with me tomorrow so once the electronics turn up I’ll get it installed and get the printer moving.

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Dual-Struder Fabricator (DSF)

3D Mockup

For some time I have wanted to design my own printer. Partly so that it will be able to do what I want and secondly for the challenge. Obviously it is much easier these days given the number of designs out there. For my design I had several things that it must be capable of:

  • More than one extruder
  • Use as many of the same vitamins as possible
  • Be simple to construct with the minimum of tools
  • Use as many printable parts as possible
  • No Bowden tube

Now I am not above thinking that some of those ideals may have to be altered but so far, in the planning stage, I think I have hit all of them.

So taking each point in turn:

It currently has space for two extruders – I wanted at least two so that I can leverage Slic3r’s ability to have one extruder for the shell and another for infill. That way I can use Faberdashery’s great colours for the shell and a cheap bulk black or white for the infill. The current extruder/hotend design means that only around 50mm of Y axis is lost when using both extruders.

Each axis uses the same linear bearings, all the printed framework attaches using M4 bolts, bearings used in the belt idlers as used in the extruders and so on. I want to not have a BoM as long as your arm and be able to order from only a few places. Personally I think this is the ideal that will change as the build progresses.

The tools that I think will be needed are screwdrivers, allen (hex) key, wire cutters and a wrench. Again this will probably change as the build progresses.

All structural support parts are printed, only the obvious items aren’t (frame, smooth rods, threaded rod etc).

No Bowden tube for the extruders are used. The current design is for a direct drive extruder – the hobbed bolt is directly attached to the stepper – which reduces the size of the extruder and reduces the need for large gears. The actual reason for no Bowden tubes is purely down to I want to print flex-polyester and I haven’t been able to get it to work through my current Huxley’s Bowden. I am considering having one direct drive extruder and maybe replace the second with a Bowden system to reduce carriage weight. This would also allow for another hotend to be potentially added.

So there is my design. I have put the files up on Thingiverse and have ordered (and received) the extrusion for the frame. I am currently printing out the main frame components to begin building.

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Thing of the Moment – Monitor Wall Mount

Thing of the Moment is where I find something of interest to print, either useful or fun!

Due to work I have not been able to give the time that I would have liked to the site but I am still working on it. I have today’s TotM and a special feature coming soon.

So today’s TotM is a wall monitor arm by makedave. I have three monitors for my computer as I like gaming using ATI’s Eyefinity. At the moment they are a little low on my desk so rather then make a box for them to sit on – I am printing off some wall mounts.

image

Arm under test

The rig is being tested at the moment. My monitors weigh in at a little over 3kg and the dumbbell comes in a 4.5kg. As the arm toke up the weight the were no issues – the arm not even flexing as it was loaded. Once I am happy that they will take the load – I’ll finish the rig to attach them to my desk.

Links
Thingiverse Page

makedave’s Thingiverse Page

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Thing of the Moment – Rostock

Thing of the Moment is where I find something of interest to print, either useful or fun!

Think of a 3D printer and you will probably think of it having 3 linear axis’ x (left/right) , y (forward/back) and z (up/down) . When you want to move in one direction you move the axis that way. It’s simple and it works – which is why all the 3D printers I have seen operate in that way. But does it have to be that way? The answer would seem to be – no. Step in Rostock.

Up and Down
Like a conventional printer the Rostock has 3 axis – but that is where the similarities stop. On the Rostock the axis all go up and down. No left or right or forward or back. The axis are placed on the corners of a triangle and the print head is attached by rods connected by linear bearings on each axis. With the rods using universal joints they have a wide range of movement. To make the printer produce a straight line all three axis move at varying rates and varying speeds. To update the saying – a video is worth a thousand words:

At a Price
So why is it that not all printers are made this way? Well reading up it seems that geometry calculations needed to move the head even in a simple line are complicated. However this method does reduce the number of parts the printer is made from – about 200. It should be easier to build as well.

And I thought my Huxley was hypnotic to watch…

Links
Thingiverse Page
Documentation

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Thing of the Moment – Filament Swatch

Thing of the Moment is where I find something of interest to print, either useful or fun!

Recently I have been printing things for people. One of the problems has been trying to describe all the colours that I have available to print with. Over a period of time I seem to have a large variety from Faberdashery! While going through Thingiverse I found filament frame – by uBlitz – to hold small samples of the filament I have. The original was designed in Solidworks so was a static model – nothing could be changed aside from editing the STL file (I don’t have Solidworks). Then I noticed a derivative – by MarcoAlic – which is parametric using OpenSCAD. The first print didn’t go so well. Although it was set to make 1.75mm diameter holes they just weren’t big enough to hold the filament. The second problem was that the outside wall was just 1mm and Slic3r didn’t like that. In the end I adjusted the OpenSCAD script to reduce the size of the cylinders a little – 1mm overall and entered a filament diameter of 1.9mm. This sorted the problem.

On the whole I think it turned out okay. Now I can simple show people what I have rather then trying to describe them.

Links

Filament Frame Thingiverse Page

Parametric Filament Frame Thingiverse Page

Faberdashery

Slic3r

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Creations Page

Just a short post to bring attention to my ‘Creations’ page on the blog. Here I will be listing my favourite things that I have designed and made. Check out the ‘Creations’ link at the top of the page!

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