Thursday, August 16, 2012

My 3D Prints Summary #1

     Every once and a while I want to make a quick blog post highlighting some of the things that I've printed using my Printrbot LC 3D printer. These posts will be used to show off the prints that wouldn't be part of a larger project and are mostly just standalone pieces. This is the first of these posts. Check after the break for a more detailed breakdown.

Most of the good stuff I've printed so far

     Two of the first prints I made were Mr. Jaws by Mahoney and Pi Keychain / Backpack Charm by CodeCreations. You can see photos of them on the bottom of this blog post: Printrbot Tip: Leveling the Printrbed. I was excited that my self-assembled Printrbot worked, but I still had to spend more time to calibrate the axes. There was four different things that I printed to do this and you can check those out at this blog post about calibrating a 3D printer.

     I consider this next print invaluable for anyone that has a Printrbot, the Printrbot filament guide thingy by volunteerlabrat. This is a piece that slips over one of the Z-axis smooth rods and guides the filament into the extruder. The original version uses a 608 bearing (like those that came with the Printrbot) to allow the filament to smoothly glide through the guide. After using a bearing for a while, I found it overkill because the filament never actually made the bearing rotate. That may not be the case for you, but I decided to make an alternative. I designed the "Bearing" for Printrbot filament guide thingy by Dillon1337 so you can replace the expensive bearing with a cheap piece of plastic. It does spin, although not as good, but hasn't given me any problems so far.

Filament guide in place

Showing off my bearing

The bearing by itself

     Speaking of essential items for the Printrbot, check out this awesome hack: Printrbot Power Supply mod by Aharn. It's the most simple way of getting rid of all those unneeded wires coming from the power supply. Open the case up and tuck them in. I had planned on snipping off or desoldering the extra wires from the power supply, but if they fit so nicely inside, there's hardly a reason to.

Look how tidy

     The next item I made was meow by cerberus333. I made it to surprise my girlfriend (who is a crazy cat lady) and she loved it. It was, by far, the most fun thing to watch that I've printed so far and I stared at it for the entire 2-3 hours that it took to print. My girlfriend plans to paint it and I'll be sure to post another picture of that once it's finished.


     After that, I printed out a copy of the Parametric Round Box by camperking. I did not modify it at all from the .stl files that were uploaded because the default size fit my needs. Although the lid is supposed to connect to the box with only a tab, that did not work for me. The tab got messed up because I did not set a minimum wait time per layer so when the extruder moved up a layer, the layer underneath it was not dry yet and got squished. I ended up using a spare 8 mm M3 bolt and washer that came with the Printrbot to attach the lid. I'm using the container to organize some washers by their thickness based on the details in my Printrbot Tip: Leveling the Printrbed post. Each compartment holds a different thickness of washer; one each for the common sizes - 1.4mm, 1.5mm, and 1.6mm, and then one compartment holds the ones that are smaller than those, and another holds the ones that are larger than those.

Washers organized by thickness

Easy to spin to the compartment you need

Spin to the empty compartment for storage

     Since I destroyed the lid for the junction box trying to build this project: Automatic Garden Waterer: Part 1, I went to the nearest hardware store to find a replacement. I did find the replacement lid, but it was $10, while the entire junction box including lid was $15. This seemed ludicrous. I bought another cheaper version, but it did not fit well enough, so I returned it. I knew the best way to make a replacement for this box was to make it myself. Armed with a 3D printer, calipers, and SketchUp, I went about designing a new lid. You can view my outcome here: Thomas & Betts E987NR Junction Box Cover by Dillon1337. Unfortunately, the current design has the lip in the incorrect position, but the base and holes work out just fine. As I mentioned on Thingiverse, I have no reason to correct it right now, but I may finish it sometime down the road.

A "good enough" version of the lid

     Of course, the previous lid print was the basis for the control panel on my Automatic Garden Waterer project. That post has a lot of information about the project and the print. If you're interested in any further details with that print, check out its Thingiverse link: Control Panel for Automatic Garden Waterer by Dillon1337.

The control panel as part of the finished product

     I'm currently printing out Filament Spool by Cubic Print and making some modifications to it to better suit my needs. I plan on making a new thing on Thingiverse when it's complete and I'll be sure to post about it on my blog too. For the curious, that post is located here: Filament Spool Stand. In the meantime, happy printing!