The (Prusa) Blob

It’s been just over a year since I got the Prusa MINI+ 3D Printer and besides a few minor hiccups at the start it’s been a great experience. I’ve printed hundreds of things without issue in the last 13 months. Sure, there have been a few failures, but they’ve been pretty minor… until now.

A few weeks ago I had some issues printing because I’m in Wisconsin and it’s winter and it gets cold in the basement. If the printer sees a low temperature it assumes something is wrong with the thermistor and won’t print. It’s a safety feature, and probably a good one (though I would like a way to override it.) My “manual override” involved running a small space heater in the tiny room the printer is in. It works, and It’s usually not so cold I need to do it often.

Now, I know a lot of people who get a printer post online immediately “What upgrades should I do first?” and that makes sense if you get a cheap printer where costs were cut. But hey, this is a Prusa! It should be good out of the box. In fact the only modification I did was to add a silicone sock around the heating block to prevent a big blob of filament sticking in the event of a failed print.

So when it was really cold, and the printer wouldn’t print, and I was using the space heater… guess what got the printer printing reliably in the cold. Removing the silicone sock.

No sock, no problem, right? I started a long print and went to work. During the day I checked the camera that points at the printer and noticed the plate had moved. Argh. It’s happened before, so it’s usually just a failed print.

I checked again later and the plate was gone… It was probably thrown free from the printer. No a disaster, but annoying for sure. But wait… can you see it?

I found the plate on the floor and a bunch of useless plastic. Oh, and… The Blob!

Dammit! I heated up the printer and got the large blob loose, but it was all over the place. I grabbed the heat gun from my soldering station and (somewhat carefully?) heated and removed as much plastic as I could. Did I slightly deform the printed fan duct? Yes. Is there still plastic on there. Indeed. Did I put the silicone sock back on, but have to cut it to get it over some of the stuck on plastic. Ugh. Yup.

I haven’t done a full tear-down or clean-up but it’s printing again, and prints look fine. At some point I should probably get it cleaned better… or, you know… buy another printer. ;)


Sink Tool Holder Plug Repair

We have this sink organizer thing that holds a sponge, a bottle of dish soap, a scrubber, etc. and there’s a little plastic plug that goes into a drainage hole in the bottom of it. Well, there was, but it wore out and broke, so I made a new one.

I modeled one in OpenSCAD based on the measurements of the broken one…

Then I used that to difference it from a block to create a mold I could 3D print using PLA plastic. (I did consider printing in TPU but I had to do some other silicone casting as well so I went this route.)

Here’s the new plug made from silicone. It’s pretty simple, nothing fancy, so I assumed it would work just fine.

Here it is stuck into the hole. It’s flexible so it squeezes in just fine…

Here’s a view from the top where you can see the plug in the hole. Again, a simple project. I’m hoping it holds up because another cast I did with this silicone came out a bit weird.

In this closeup image you can see the lines in the piece caused by the 3D printed mold. They don’t matter for this sort of thing though. (I probably didn’t print the mold at a high resolution.)


Super-Boring Sanding Block

My friends, this may win the award for the most boring 3D printed object ever. It’s a block. To be more precise, it’s a sanding block. You wrap a piece of sandpaper around it and you sand wood. That’s it. Yes, from the man who brought you the 3D Printed Shim, it’s… Block.

Although, to be fair, this is not a Useless Object&trade, as I actually use it. It probably sees more use than a 3D printed Grot or Grogu or whatever is in fashion nowadays… If you’re interested in my perspective on printing things or using a block of wood or something else, I wrote a whole post titled Printing versus… Not Printing? you might enjoy.

Anyway… gotta run, I’ve got some sanding to do!

Sorry, I’m not even gonna spend time uploading this one. There are hundreds of better ones out there or you could probably type cube([90,70,35]); into OpenSCAD and make your own.

(Although I do recommend MCAD‘s roundedCube instead.)


Hygrometer Desktop Stand

You may remember my Hygrometer Filament Roll Holder, well the hygrometers I got came in a two pack, so I had another one so I made a little desktop stand for it.

After using OpenSCAD for over a decade now it’s become pretty easy to just kick out simple objects like this. (It helps that I already had some of the dimensions from the other holder.)

The slot in the back allows access to the F/C button on the back of the hygrometer to switch the thermometer between Fahrenheit and Celcius.

You can get the STL and .scad file from – Hygrometer Desktop Stand. Print it if you need it!


Corners for (Hot) Glass

My uncle is a pretty awesome guy, and every year or so he says to me “Hey Maker! I got something for you to make!” and then has a request that is typically some sort of home improvement project. The last one I wrote about was cutting down some fan blades. He never seems to want a MIDI controller… that’s sort of my area of expertise! Anyway, this time he wanted something to hold four pieces of glass upright to put around his fire pit. Fire what now?

I explained to him that I wasn’t really a metal fabrication guy, and said I’d think about it. I though of using some pieces of 80/20 extrusion since it has slots, and using set screws to hold the glass in place. I did one test and did not like this idea. I asked him how hot the glass gets and he said it probably wouldn’t get too hot, as it was more of a wind barrier thing than a full-on heat guard, so I figured I would 3D print them with plastic.

I designed some short test pieces in OpenSCAD, then did some full size prints once I had the pressure fit just right. Oh, I also learned quickly to wear glove when handling glass. I cut up my hands a few times at first. (Nothing bad, just little slices here and there.)

I delivered the 3D printed parts to him and showed him how to assemble things. (Telling him to wear gloves!) I also gave him a spare/fresh set of corners, since the slotting in and out of the glass may have loosened the pressure fit a bit. (There are some small “friction bumps” on the inside of the channel that will get worn down after enough slotting in and out.)

I’m interested in hearing about how they perform. I could always reprint them in PETG or maybe even ABS if needed, since those should hold up to the heat a bit better than PLA will.