Mouse Ears Defeat Corner Curling Monster

Posted by on Friday, February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Mouse Ears Tabs by Zach

Once upon a time, far away in the country of Brookland, in the non-coexistent special universe of the Greater New York Area, there lived an engineer called the Zach. The Zach worked in a little Botcave, had a tremendous number of interesting hoodies, and a deep love for both cats and music that induces physiological experiences.

The Zach’s favorite thing in the whole world was to to print out objects on his 3D printer, without using rafts. But one day, the Zach experienced corner curling for a few of his key parts. “Oh, no!” said the Zach. “I must find a solution.”

He found a solution: he added tiny one-layer disks to the offending corners of his model and ran it through the belly of the klein-bottle skeining monster deep in the heart of the Botcave.

The Zach’s friendly MakerBot 3D printer creature constructed the model again — and this time no curling! “Look, mouse ears!” the Zach said. He now proceeds to snap the ears off and clean up the corner of his model with a little knife. And if we are very patient, very soon we might see what the Zach will do with his little model….

The End.

Tagged with , 10 comments

10 Comments so far

  • Chooch
    February 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Is there a designing for 3D printing repository, where all the little tips and tricks like this are/could be posted?

    I think it would be useful for designers to post up all their best practices for designing for 3d printing, so designs get better or dare I say it…standardized.

  • Peter Hillier
    February 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Often it’s found on the particular blogs. Like how this tip zach got from Forrester higgs’s blog. I think that the reprap site has a page full of info like this, I just can’t remember the link.

  • Matt
    February 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Aggregating these kinds of things is actually tricky — the systems are always changing, the problems do not sit well in any hierarchy, the tips are co-emergent and often (micro)culturally specific in inflection. ‘putting them somewhere’ is a tough computer science and social / web collab question well worth solving. The only tool that feels right for this would be something like a tiddlywiki, but those are difficult for multiple users. Typical wikis would go fallow too quickly unless eagerly gardened. And pointers back to origins would need to be comfortable plural and free from petty fiefdoms. Heck, i’m going to start mining these for a tiddlywiki and will look forward to better solutions how to do this work! (cause these tips are the good stuff, and feed my problem-solving instincts)

  • MakerBlock
    February 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    @Chooch: The other guys are right that it’s tough keeping up with and organizing this kind of data. However, we make a point of tagging posts like these with “design tips” which makes them pretty easy to track down.

  • Tim1986
    February 26, 2011 at 1:57 am

    I love the prose in this piece! Well done!

  • hybot
    February 26, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Mouse ears specifically would be a great skeinforge plug-in, or arguably an option in “raft” — they are a type of mini-raft — where SF would detect outside curves and add the ears for you. Corner curling would seem to be a general enough FDM problem to warrant it. I don’t know enough about skeinforge, or python, to attempt this myself.

  • Chooch
    February 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Yeah, you guys are right, you really only need to remember 3 things anyways:

    -The 45 degree rule ( May eventually be a thing of the past with PVA support material! 😀 )
    -Small holes should have a 0.1mm slice if you don’t want to ream
    -Mouse ears around corners, help prevent corner warp

  • makeme
    February 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Do these mouse ears snap off, or do you have to cut them off? They look pretty firmly attached.

    You can use smaller objects to tack down the corners of larger objects.

    Surrounding the corner with a little wall also prevents curling, and doesn’t need to be removed from the object (tho it does use more plastic).

    You could also just round the corner off.

  • Matt
    February 27, 2011 at 11:22 am

    @makeme – the ears snapped off pretty easily – and any part that didn’t snap off could be quickly trimmed down with a deburring tool or sandpaper. Essentially, these little tabs add a minute amount of post-print fuss while ensuring that the part achieves the intended footprint. And you’ll notice that the little line trace around the border of an object is an option in Skeinforge now.

  • tmophoto
    February 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm


    dont forget to look at the corners/holes of this part. there is a post around here somewhere about using non circular holes/ hole with a line/tiny gap extending to the edge.. it really works. check out some of the things zach uploaded to thingiverse (nema 17 mount)


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