Sharing 3D Printing With Kids

If you have a hobby, it is natural to want to share it with kids. If you are interested in 3D printing, you may even have kids who want to try their hand at printing without prompting. There are a number of “kid printers” aimed specifically at that market. Are they worthwhile? How old is old enough? [Everson Siqueirar] tries out a Kidoodle with this 6-year-old daughter, and the results are good, as you can see in the video below.

Impressively, his daughter [Sophie] was able to set up the printer with a little help. The build plate is very small and not heated. Apparently, a glue stick is necessary for bed adhesion. The printer has WiFi but also has a collection of models you can print without any internet connection.

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If You Want An Expensive Chair Just Print Your Own

The Magis Spun chair is a weird piece. It’s basically a kind of seat with a round conical base that stops it from sitting still in one place. Instead, it rolls and pivots around when you sit on it, which is apparently quite fun. They’re expensive though, which gave [Morley Kert] a neat idea. Why not 3D print one instead?

Obviously 3D printing a sofa wouldn’t be straightforward, but the Magis Spun is pretty much just a hunk of plastic anyway. The real thing is made with rotational molding. [Morley] suspected he could make one for less than the retail price with 3D printing.

With no leads on a big printer, he decided to go with a segmented design. He whipped up his basic 3D model through screenshots from the manufacturer’s website and measurements of a display model in a store. After print farming the production, the assembly task was the next big challenge. If you’re interested in doing big prints with small printers, this video is a great way to explore the perils of this idea.

Ultimately, if you want to print one of these yourself, it’s a big undertaking. It took 30-50 print days, or around 5 days spread across 15 printers at Slant 3D’s print farm. It used around $300-400 of material at retail prices, plus some extra for the epoxy and foam used to assemble it.

The finished product was killer, though, even if it looks a little rough around the edges. It rolls and pivots just like the real thing.

We don’t feature a lot of chair hacks on Hackaday, but we do feature some! Video after the break.

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A small 3D-printed printing press with a print that says THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY BROWN DOG.

Mini 3D-Printed Press Is Sure To Make An Impression

Making stamps out of potatoes that have been cut in half is always a fun activity with the kids. But if you’ve got a 3D printer, you could really step up your printing game by building a mini relief printing press.

To create the gear bed/rack, [Kevr102] used a Fusion 360 add-in called GF Gear Generator. At first this was the most finicky part of the process, but then it was time to design the roller gears. However, [Kevr102] got through it with some clever thinking and a little bit of good, old-fashioned eyeballing.

Per [Kevr102], this press is aimed at the younger generation of printers in that the roller mechanism is spring-loaded to avoid pinched fingers. [Kevr102] 3D-printed some of the printing tablets, which is a cool idea. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that well for some styles of text, but most things came out looking great. You could always use a regular linocut linoleum tile, too.

This isn’t the first 3D-printed printing press to grace these pages. Here’s one that works like a giant rubber stamp.

3D Printing With A Twist

When we think about sending an STL off on the Internet for processing, we usually want someone to print it for us or we want mesh repair. But [Chuck] found an interesting project on GitHub from [Andrew Sink] that will let you add a variable amount of twist to any STL and then return it to you for printing or whatever else you use STLs for. If you don’t get what we mean, check out the video below.

The site that does the work initially loads a little gnome figure if you are too lazy to upload your own model. That’s perfect, though, because the little guy is a good example of why you might want to twist a model. With just a little work, you can make the gnome look in one direction or even look behind him.

[Chuck] shows how to use the tool for artistic effect by twisting his standard cube logo. The result is something that looks like it would be difficult to create, but could hardly be easier. The tool lets you rotate the object, too, so you can get the twist effect in the right orientation for what you want to accomplish. A great little tool for making more artistic 3D prints without learning new software. If you want some fun, you can try the version that uses sound from your microphone to control the twist.

If you’d rather twist in CAD, we can help. If you really want artsy 3D printing, you probably need to learn Blender.

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3D Printing With Sublime Sublimation

[Teaching Tech] got an interesting e-mail from [Johan] showing pictures of 3D prints with a dye-sublimated color image on the surface. Normally, we think of dye sublimation, we think of pressing color pictures onto fabric, especially T-shirts. But [Johan] uses a modified Epson inkjet printer and has amazing results, as you can see in the video below.

The printers use separate tanks for ink, which seems to be the key. If you already have an Espon “tank” printer, you are halfway there, but if you don’t have one, a cheap one will set you back less than $200 and maybe even less if you pick one up used.

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Art of 3D printer in the middle of printing a Hackaday Jolly Wrencher logo

3D Printering: Adaptive Bed Leveling

Have you ever read about something and thought, “Gee whiz! Why did I never think about that?” That was my reaction to reading about a feature commonly associated with Klipper called adaptive bed leveling or adaptive mesh leveling. Too bad I don’t typically use Klipper, but it all worked out, and I’ll show you how it might work for you.

What Is It?

Time to tram your bed!

Once a luxury, most 3D printers now come with some kind of bed level sensor. The idea is that the printer can probe the bed to determine the shape of the build plate and then adjust the build plate accordingly. So if a particular spot on the bed is 0.5 mm too high, the nozzle can rise 0.5 mm when it is in that area. There are several techniques Marlin firmware uses, including what I usually use: UBL. Some people scan the bed once and hope it won’t change much. Others will do a time-consuming scan before each print.

However, adaptive bed leveling is a bit different. The idea is that the printer only probes the area where the part is going to print. If your print bed is 235 mm x 235 mm but your part is 50 mm square, you could just probe the points under the 50 mm square.

This does several things. For a given number of points, there is less motion, so it should be faster. Also, for the same number of points, you will have a much denser mesh and, thus, a better idea of what the bed is at any given point. You could even reduce the number of points based on the size of the part you are printing.

When you think about it, it is a dead simple idea. What’s not to love? For most print jobs, you’ll have less work for the printer, faster prints, and a denser mesh. But how do you do it?

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Adding Texture To 3D Prints

[3DJake] likes putting textures on 3D prints using things like patterned build plates and fuzzy skin. However, both of those techniques have limitations. The build plate only lets you texture the bottom, and the fuzzy skin texture isn’t easy to control. So he shows how to use Blender to create specific textures to produce things like wood-like or leather-like surfaces, for example. You can see how it works in the video below.

As [Jake] points out, you might be able to use other artistic programs to do this, but the kind of things we use like FreeCAD of Fusion360 aren’t going to cut it.

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