We’re all familiar with supply chain issues as they relate to chips and DIPs, but anyone who has requested an estimate for home improvements lately knows that the problems extend to things like plywood, and probably tile, marble, and Formica. Faced with adversity when it came to renovating the kitchen, [3DPC] decided to have a go at 3D printing custom countertops instead of buying tile.
Since grout isn’t required here but is ultimately expected, [3DPC] beveled the edges of the tiles in order to allow for decorative ‘grout’ filler pieces that provide a nice contrast. That high-gloss shine comes from a combination of printing onto glass, the direction of the layer lines, and the resin sealer that [3DPC] hired a professional to pour. Because of these factors, the tiles have an increased transparency that makes them look super cool. Be sure to check out the brief build video after the break.
To be fair, this is not [3DPC]’s first 3D-printed home-improvement rodeo — he has already saved tens of thousands of dollars by printing instead of purchasing. For this particular project, [3DPC] calculated a total cost under $400 — a fraction of what a professionally installed countertop would have cost. We wonder how much he’ll save on tiling the bathroom, which is already in progress. We can’t wait to see it!
Are you still without a printer? Might as well make one that can use trash. Or if you already have a printer, just make filament from recycled plastic. It’s all here among the 2022 Hackaday Prize Round 2 winners; just let your imagination wander.
For quite some time now we’ve seen people casting their own countertops and other surfaces out of cement. It’s a combination of mold-making and surface finishing that produces a smooth and durable surface at quite a low cost, if you don’t factor in damage done to your back when lifting the thing for installation.
This offering is a little bit different. [Elliott Spelman] built his own touch sensitive cement table top. When you place your grubby hands on the polished surface, a loop of neon lighting is switched on. This is thanks to a 4:1 mix of quick setting cement and iron oxide powder. Bare copper wire was laid around the edges of the surface to be encased by the cement for making connections later.
There were some sad moments when [Elliott] was removing the cast surface from the mold. He ended up cracking it and suggests others be liberal with their use of both wax on the mold before casting, and patience in removing the cement afterward. We might also suggest a strengthening agent like fiber reinforcement. The edges and surface can be sanded to the finish desired and in this case, attaching table legs was easy since the wooden underside of the mold remains on the bottom of the cement.
The neon lighting adds a retro touch to this build. It’s sad to see this technology dying away, so a resurgence of artisanal neon is great in our book. [Elliott] found a Bay Area arts collective called the Crucible which does a lot of art glass education to help him make two hoops of glass tube and fill them with the appropriate gasses. A capacitive touch sensor (once Atmel, now Microchip part) AT42QT2120 (datasheet) monitors the wire coming from the slab and switches the power supply for the tubes using a combination of relay board and Arduino Uno.
We find the prospect of positional sensing in doped cement fascinating. Anyone have ideas for adapting this technique so that a more long and narrow slab could have positional awareness within, say, a few inches? Let us know in the comments.