Posts Tagged ‘mendel’

Printing Plates

Posted by on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
Prusa Mendel Cupcake production files by kliment

Prusa Mendel Cupcake production files by kliment

A “printing plate,” sometimes referred to as a “production plate,” is the practice of organizing the pieces of a multi-part print so that several parts will fit onto a build area.  They help streamline printing and production by reducing the number of separate printing tasks.  Organizing your multi-part print onto plates is a relatively easy design trick for improving your speed of production.  Here are a few tips in case you’re doing this:

  • Draw a square or rectangle the shape of your build platform into the design.  Try to organize your parts onto that square1 and delete the square when done. 2
  • Start by placing the largest piece onto a square, then adding the largest piece you can manage to the plate.  Add as many little pieces as you can around the larger parts.
  • If you are printing slot-together parts, you can safely mirror or flip the pieces.  Once printed, they’ll be functionally identical whether they were printed face-up or face-down.
  • Packing parts together can actually reduce warping and curling.  You may find that the extra parts will either provide apron-like mechanical advantages by holding down corners or thermal walls.
  • If certain parts need to be printed multiple times, put them with other parts that need to be printed multiple times.  In the case of Dino-Girl’s spidersaur, it has two different kinds of legs – four identical long legs and four identical shorter legs.  It also had a body panel and a fang part that needed to be printed twice each.  I created one plate with a long leg, a short leg, and the body panel and another plate with a long leg, short leg, and the fang part.  If you print each of those plates twice, you end up with four long legs, four short legs, two body panels, and two fang parts.
  • Ask for help!  I had a lot of trouble organizing the last five parts onto the fifth printing plate.  I enlisted the help of two other Thingiverse citizens, Syvwlch and Renosis, in organizing this plate.  They each solved it in a nearly identical fashion in far less time than I had spent trying to figure it out.
  • Use a stepper extruder.  If you’re packing parts in closely together, you’re going to want the kind of fine-grain control a MK6 stepper extruder can provide.

What other tips do you have for creating printing plates?

  1. Or rectangle []
  2. Ed of suggests using a matrix of small cubes. []
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Birdfeeder by araspitfire

Printed birdfeeder by araspitfire

Printed birdfeeder by araspitfire

I like this birdfeeder design by araspitfire for repurposing, recycling, and of course, for using 3D printed parts.  It looks too large for printing on a MakerBot Cupcake or Thing-O-Matic, but from the way it is displayed, I think it’s a pretty safe bet the birdfeeder outer ring can be printed on a RepRap Mendel.

I’ve got some family who live in Michigan.  One year for someone’s birthday we bought a hummingbird feeder online and had it shipped to us in the Bay Area, so we could gift wrap it and send it to him.  Now, take a moment and ask yourself – what would be funnier than a hummingbird feeder with a carbon footprint going all the way back to China?

Answer: A hummingbird feeder made in Michigan, shipped to California, only to be shipped back to Michigan.

Imagine if a loved one had their own 3D printer, you could just e-mail them a digital file of a lovely design that you thought they would enjoy – rather than shipping something from their home state/country, wrapping it, and shipping it back to them.

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Spreading the word, one whistle at a time

Shooting for 300

Shooting for 300

Josef Průša is giving a talk at the TedX event in Prague on November 20th.  You may recognize his name from his contributions to the development of the next generation RepRap printer, the Mendel.  Josef has been working to simplify the parts and reduce the print time for the parts necessary to create a RepRap printer.  In order to demonstrate the possibilities of DIY 3D printing, Josef is looking to give away 300 printed whistles at this event.

As of yesterday, Josef still has 250 more whistles to go.  Can you help Josef spread the word by sending him some whistles to give away?

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How To Print Moving Parts With A MakerBot: Bearing Contest Winner Announced

The winner: twotimes' Mendel-inspired x and y carriage lowrider

Thingiverse user twotimes won pattywac‘s contest a few weeks ago on the best 3D printed object requiring bearings. Users submitted more than a dozen proposals on how to get 3D printed objects moving with bearings!

These were the guidelines:

1. Needs to be printable on a MakerBot
2. Needs to use bearings in some way
3. Post submissions on Thingiverse by 5pm cst Sunday, Oct 3
4. Post a comment to this thing with a link to your submission
5. Seriously anything that uses bearings in some way…..

Congratulations, twotimes! According to pattywac:

He didn’t win my vote because it was a replacement and improvement part for the Makerbot, but because he made something that people really liked (average rating is 5/5) and because of the dedication he showed in revising the design so many times to make sure it was 100% usable.”

Check out all the incredible designs users submitted, and print them out yourself on your Cupcake CNC or Thing-o-matic.

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