MakerBot Dad – Princess Funnel!

Over the weekend my wife was using a wine funnel to add plastic beads to a small knit toy for my daughter.  Of course my daughter was more interested in the glass wine funnel than anything else.  Rather than have her play with glass, I suggested we design a funnel together and print it on the MakerBot – in her choice of colors.  Red, fluorescent red, yellow, green, pink, blue, black, white – oh, what’s that?  You want PINK? 1

Open Sketchup, create the funnel…  “That looks like a dress!”  Hey, it’s a funnel for her, so – why not?  Add two handles in a vaguely arm-ish shape.  “A head!  She needs a head!”  No problemo.  I opted to place the head/princess hat inside the funnel.

Finished assembled Princess Funnel

Finished assembled Princess Funnel

A little sanding, string removal, and reaming out the funnel with a drill bit and it was ready for prime time.

Her response? “Why does she have a head?”

Design tips:

  1. If you’re going to add a tall thin part to a design, consider placing it inside a larger part or near an equally tall part.  Putting it inside a larger part will conserve plastic because it’s sitting on a piece of the print raft that would otherwise be useless.  Also, the raft won’t have to be larger to accommodate the extra piece.  Lastly, putting the smaller thin and tall part inside another part will give it a chance to cool while the printer works on surrounding areas.  This will give you a better overall print quality on the small part.
  2. If there aren’t any other tall thin parts, another trick is to add a duplicate of the part farther away on the raft.  You’ll waste a little plastic and time creating a duplicate part, but it will again give the small parts time to cool before the next layer goes down.

Dad tips:

  1. I try to have my daughter help as much as possible in the design process.  Ask her what it looks like, what it should do, how you should change the design.
  2. You should definitely try out any design changes/suggestions from your daughter that will absolutely result in a mess of a print.  The results will be funny and can sometimes still end up being an amusing piece.  Getting her to figure out why it didn’t work is also a lot of fun and a learning experience.
  3. Also, I tell her the robot won’t start until she yells, “FIRE THE MAKERBOT!”
  1. I’m shocked!  Shocked to find you want to have it printed in pink. []