3D Printed String Vase Shows What’s Possible

Overhangs are the bane of the melty-plastic 3D printing world. Often, we try to avoid them with creative print alignments, or we compensate with supports. However, [3DPrintBunny] decided to embrace overhangs in the extreme in the design of her creative 3D-printed string vase.

The design is intended to be printed with a larger nozzle, on the order of 0.8 mm or so, at a layer height of 0.6 mm. Under these conditions, the printer nozzle bridges the gap between the vase’s pillars with a single string of molten filament. With the settings just so, the molten filament stays attached during the bridging operation, and creates a fine plastic string between the pillars. Repeat this across the whole design, and you get an attractive string vase.

Amazingly, [3DPrintBunny] didn’t have to do any fancy slicer tricks to achieve this. Stock slicer settings got the job done just fine, and she reports that the model should print on most FDM printers. For her own examples, she printed in a special silver/bronze dual color PLA filament.

It recalls us of efforts to create synthetic hair-like fibers by taking advantage of stringing in 3D printers. Video after the break. Continue reading “3D Printed String Vase Shows What’s Possible”

The Prints Don’t Stop With This Prusa I3 MK3 Mod

One of the issues with 3D printing is that when a print is done, you need to go back and pull the print off the bed to reset it for the next one. What if you needed to print 600 little parts for whatever reason? Most people might say get lots of printers and queue them up. Not [Pierre Trappe], as he decided that his Prusa i3 MK3S+ would print continuously.

The setup was dubbed Loop and consisted of a few parts. First, there’s an arm that sweeps the build plate to clear the printed pieces, a slide for the pieces to descend on, and a stand for the printer to sit on that puts it at an angle. The next step is to modify OctoPrint to allow a continuous print queue. The slicer needs to change as [Pierre] provides some G-code to reset the printer and clear the print.

We were especially impressed with the attention to detail in the documentation for this one. There’s extensive guidance on getting the bed adhesion just right, as you can’t have it come off mid-print, but you need it to detach cleanly and easily when the arm sweeps across the bed. Calibrating that first layer is essential, and he provides handy instructions to dial it in. Additionally, temperature and material play a crucial role, and [Pierre] documented the different materials and temperatures he used while developing Loop.

While continuous belt printers are arguably the “correct” answer to the question of printing 600 little parts, they come with their own baggage. Being able to pull off something similar on a printer as reliable and well supported as the Prusa i3 makes for a compelling alternative.

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Wonderful Foldable Printable Dodecahedron

Debra Ansell of [GeekMomProjects] fame came up with a neat, 3D design that prints flat and then folds up into everyone’s favorite Platonic solid: a D12.

Why would you want to do this? Well, folding up your 3D prints gives you a third dimension “for free” without using all that support material. Here, all of the outside faces of the dodecahedron are printed flat against the build plate, which is probably the nicest side of your prints. And embedding LEDs in the resulting shape would probably be easy because they’re all in plane. And speaking of LEDs, we kinda expected to see them here, given Debra’s motto: “LEDs improve everything” — that part is up to you.

Debra notes that she likes PETG instead of PLA for the extra strength in the thin-printed hinges, and we’d bet that your printer’s tolerances will need to be spot on for the clips that hold the whole thing together. (We’d be tempted to apply a little super-duper glue.)

As always with Debra’s projects, there’s some creative solutions on display here that’ll help you out whether you need a D12 or a D20, so give it a look!

Thanks [Peter] for the tip.

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3D Printer Helps Make A Neat Lyric Video

These days, it’s a lot easier to get attention online if your lovely music comes with some kind of visual accompaniment. Of course, shooting a full-scale music video can be expensive, so lyric videos have become a more affordable, approachable avenue that are growing in popularity. [prash] whipped one up recently with the help of a 3D printer.

The video is a timelapse of a 3D print, something we’re very familiar with around these parts. [prash] embedded words in the various layers of the objects to be printed. Thus, as the prints are laid down on the build plate, the words are revealed to the camera shooting the time lapse. The scene is further improved by shaping the prints to reference the lyrics of the song, and using attractive infill designs like spirals and stripes. There are even some strategically placed clouds and pretty lighting to improve the effect.

It’s a neat use of 3D printing, and an artful one at that. We’re pretty confident that [prash] has put together a highly unique lyric video, and it’s much more impressive than the dodgy 3D printing [Will.i.am] featured in his not-quite-a-Britney song a decade ago. Video after the break.

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Simple Snap Action Mechanism Is 100% 3D Printed

Plastics are wonderous materials, much loved for their ability to elastically deform and spring back to their original shape. They’re a category of materials perfect for creating things like living hinges and similar mechanisms, and this 3D printed snap action device shows that off admirably.

The device consists of an outer housing, into which two printed springs are inserted. These leaf springs are curved and protrude towards the center of the housing. A slide is then inserted into the housing with a cam in its middle. The cam allows the slide to push past the springs when actuated, while also holding it in place at rest.

As demonstrated the mechanism reliably snaps back and forth between its two positions in a satisfying manner. It’s shown with one side of the housing removed so we get a good idea of how it works. It’s 100% 3D printed, as well. Anyone looking to replicate the design should note the importance of printing orientation, particularly in the case of the spring pieces, which won’t work if layered up in the wrong way.

Overall, it’s a neat design that could prove useful for those eager to build printed switches or other mechanical devices. It’s also simply a great way to learn about 3D printed springs and working with deformable plastic structures. Video after the break.

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3D printed fish leaping through waves

A Crazy Wave Automaton

[Henk Rijckhaert] recently participated in a “secret Santa” gift exchange. In a secret Santa, everyone’s name goes in a hat, and each person must pick a name without looking. Each gives a gift to the person whose name they drew.

Henk needed a gift for Amy, a friend who loves the water and water sports as well as maker-y things.  So he built her a wave automaton — a sea wave and fishies, and documented the build in this video.

The build is mostly plywood and 3D printed parts. We have to  think reprising it in a nice wood and brass would make a lovely project for a hobby wood and metalworker.

The bulk of the project is 30 plywood boards stacked up with spacers. Each board is mounted with a 3D printed stepped bushing on one end that rides in a horizontal slot. On the other end is a 3D printed eccentric riding in an oversized (about 5cm) hole. So the board moves in a circle at one end and back and forth at the other for a very nice simulation of an ocean wave. Continue reading “A Crazy Wave Automaton”

partially finished print, with the embedded animation

Flip Book Animations On The Inside Of 3D Prints

We’ve all seen 3D printed zoetropes, and drawn flip book animations in the corner of notebooks. The shifting, fluid shape of the layers forming on a 3D printer is satisfying. And we all know the joy of hidden, nested objects.

Hackaday alumnus [Caleb Kraft] has a few art pieces that all reflect all these. He’s been making animations by recording a 3D printer. The interesting bit is that his print is made of two objects. An outer one with normal infill that gives a solid form, and a layer cake like inner one with solid infill. It’s documented in this video on YouTube.

CAD model of the stack of frames
CAD model of the stack of frames

There are lots of things to get right.  The outer object needs to print without supports. The thickness of the “layer cake” layers determines the frame rate. I had to wonder how he triggered the shutter  when the head wasn’t in the way.

His first, experimental, piece is the classic ‘bouncing ball’ animation, inside a ball, and his mature piece is Eadward Muybridge’s “The Horse, In Motion” inside a movie camera.

We’ve covered [Caleb Kraft] before, of course. His Moon On A Budget piece is wonderful.  And we’ve covered a number of 3D printer animations. and 3D zoetropes.  We particularly were drawn to this one.

Thanks [jmc] for the tip!

Continue reading “Flip Book Animations On The Inside Of 3D Prints”