posts tagged with the keyword ‘3dprinting’

2019.03.03

reprap-prusa-i2

I built my first RepRap back in 2012, and it worked for a few years, and things broke, and I usually fixed them, but when I got my Maker Select Plus I sort of pushed the old RepRap off into a corner. I eventually loaned it to someone at Milwaukee Makerspace, who promptly broke it, and then I repaired it (again) and got it working, a bit…

To be honest, the machine is quite a mess, but I’ve decided to stop being sentimental about it. It’s existed for a while now as a “This is how we used to build printers!” example, but I decided that the time has come to take drastic measures, and it’s all coming apart.

Over the years I’ve managed to scrounge up some nice components for a new build. Some 450mm lead screws from an unnamed medical facility, some 12mm x 720mm smooth rods from an old laminator, etc. Couple that with the donor parts from the old RepRap and I’ve got most of what I need to build a new machine.

RepRap v07

The one thing I don’t have is extrusion for the frame, but Mark (of SoM and UMMD fame) does. He’s got a pile of 40mm Aluminum extrusion which I might acquire to start on this new RepRap journey. (If I do not acquire it, I may end up going with 20mm extrusion. Not ideal, but possibly more affordable.)

I won’t go to the lengths that Mark has in building his heavy-duty industrial-style printers, but I’m headed in that direction just a bit. I’ve looked at the Wilson TS, other T-slot designs, and any other printer using Aluminum extrusion, and I’ve got a rough design figured out. I may try to used machined parts rather than printed parts where I can (meaning where it’s practical and affordable.)

I’ll probably stick with a 200mm x 200mm heated bed for now (since I’ve got two of them) but since I have the long lead screws already, I’ll be shooting for a 200mm x 200mm x 400mm build volume. Quite a bit more Z than the 180mm of my Maker Select Plus.

While I want this to be an economical build, mostly by using components I already have, I’m not trying to build a super-cheap 3D printer. I considered buying a second printer, but the pile of parts and a mostly functional donor machine convinced me to go the route of designing and building my own. Plus, this means I’ll have a printer to experiment on while still having another that actually works! (In theory, anyway.)

2018.12.10

little-hands-01

I’ve been prototyping a little helping hands thing using some 3D printed parts and miscellaneous hardware, mostly #8-32 nuts and bolts, and a few springs.

little-arm-model

The 3D part is pretty simple, a cube with two holes. It’s based on my Camera Accessory Mounting System (CAMS).

little-hands-00

First version… still figuring out how to connect everything…

little-hands-02

Springs for tension were added, but I might try using small wingnuts to adjust tension as well…

little-hands-03

Tiny zip ties hold the alligator clips in place. They can still rotate freely and are somewhat tight…

little-hands-04

Hard to see in this one, but I stacked two blocks on top of each other to allow rotation in both directions. I’ll keep working on this to see where it goes.

2018.11.28

press-knob-model

You may remember that I recently printed a press. While the press works quite well, the one thing I didn’t like about it was the fact that I needed a screwdriver to adjust the tension. That was a quick fix though. You see, I am not a newbie when it comes to knobs.

I had one other issue when assembling my press. While it calls for M5 bolts, I only had M3 and M6 on hand, so I did what any Imperialist would do, and used non-Metric hardware. A #6-32 bolt is smaller than a 5mm bolt, but it’ll do.

You can see above the quick model I made in OpenSCAD. The idea was to built a knob in two parts around the head of the bolt. A nut tight against it would keep it from spinning loose. (We just need to finger tighten it anyway, not torque it down hard.)

press-knob-01

Here is out bolt, nut, and two printed parts ready for assembly.

press-knob-02

We put the bolt through the hole in the bottom. It needs to be screwed in as it’s meant to fit tight to give it a little more “bite” into the plastic.

press-knob-03

There! Screwed in all the way. (Not pictured: the power screwdriver I used to drive it in all the way.)

press-knob-04

Now we put the nut on. You can spin this all the way to the end so it’s up against the plastic.

press-knob-05

Once the nut is at the end I hold it with some pliers and gently tighten the screw by hand. (Not pictured: screwdriver I used to tighten the bolt.)

press-knob-06

Now we snap the top part in place and that’s about it. I was pleased that both the Prusa i3 MK3 at work and my Monoprice Maker Select at home did a great job of printing these parts and they fit together perfectly.

press-knob-07

That’s it! Tiny knob is assembled. That was pretty easy, and it works quite well. I am pleased.

press-knob-08

In my mind, the beauty of a 3D printer (like any tool) is that it can help you solve problems. This may not be world changing, but the fact that I can solve a problem by making a computer drawing of an object and then telling a machine to “print out” that object is still some sort of magic. But as the saying goes “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” So, yeah…

2018.11.04

printmaking-0999

I came across this DIY Printmaking Press from the Open Press Project and since I’ve always been a fan of printmaking I thought I should 3D print a printing press on my 3D printer so I could print paper on a 3D printed printing press.

printmaking-1007

The (3D) printing went well, and all the pieces turned out good. I did add support to the rollers, to ensure they’d print well without sags. The one piece that is weird is the roller pin, which seems too small. It falls out a lot and doesn’t fit tight in the roller or the roller wrench. I may design a new one that fits snug.

printmaking-1009

I also did not have any 5mm bolts of the right length, so I used 6-32″ bolts. I’ll have to glue in the nuts so they don’t fall out, but that’s pretty minor. I’d also consider using hex head bolts and 3D printing little knobs to put on the heads so you can adjust the pressure without needing a screwdriver.

press-assembly

I did not have any press blankets, so I used some foam rubber sheets I had on hand. It seems to work okay. I may ask my printmaking friends for some scrap blankets.

printmaking-lc

For my first printing plate I grabbed a vector image of Makey and laser etched it using 3mm Baltic Birch. (Sidenote: LightBurn is awesome.) I did not seal the wood as I was anxious to make some prints!

printmaking-1010

This is a small press, and my plate was 57.5mm x 65mm. This might be a good press for making business cards or maybe printing stickers. The nice thing is that since it is so small, it’s portable, and you can make a lot of tiny prints for pretty cheap.

printmaking-1011

printmaking-1012

This was a fun little project and I’m guessing the cost of making this printing press was maybe a few dollars worth of filament and hardware. The press blanket is probably the more difficult thing to get cheap, though perhaps an alternative like some thick felt (or layered up thin felt) could be used.

Happy Printing!

2018.08.12

3d-printed-mold

I bought a water bottle about two years ago after my old one was stolen (I know, who steals a water bottle!?) While the new bottle was much better, since it was insulated and could keep water cold for more than a day (with ice added in) one of the things I didn’t like about it was a small rubber ring used to seal the cap. The rubber ring had a split in it (maybe to assist with the seal?) and it was difficult to clean, and eventually it broke from attempts to vigorously clean it.

smooth-on

I replaced the sealing ring by 3D printing a small mold and then casting a replacement using Smooth-Sil™ 940 silicone. The silicone is a two part mold, with a volume of 100:1 for part B to part A, which is why you get a giant tub of silicone along with a small bottle of whatever the red stuff is.

ring-and-mold

This was my first silicone casting at home for a personal project. I’ve done casting at work for prop making, but this time I didn’t have a vacuum chamber, and I was doing a tiny part all by myself.

silicone-ring

So how did it turn out? Pretty good! I used a digital scale and filled a cup with 10 grams of part B, then added 1 gram of part A and mixed it all up with a popsicle stick and smeared it into the cavity of the 3D printed PLA mold. I let it sit overnight then used a sharp knife tip to pry it out. There was a thin skin around the piece but it peeled right off.

cap-with-ring

So how does it fit? It’s good but not perfect. If I make another one I may decrease both the inside diameter and outside diameter. It could fit a bit more snug, and it could have just a wee bit more clearance when inserting into the bottle. (I’m guessing between 0.1mm and 0.2mm, maybe)

I’ve got plenty more silicone, and it is food-safe, so I want to experiment with making some food molds, and yeah, I’ll probably 3D print the objects to create the molds from, taking a page from Anna Kaziunas France.

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