Category Archives: 3D Printing

Embedding Nuts for WORKING Tap Handles!

For this video, I get to share a fun project I did for a new brewery called Heroic Aleworks! You can find them at http://www.heroicaleworks.com

The owners of Heroic Aleworks, don’t just consider themselves brewers, but nerds as well! As a great compliment to their very geeky tasting room (they even have a bathroom painted like a tardis), they have 3D Printed Tap Handles.

This is a great illustration of the “rapid product development” 3D Printing is touted for. They approached me on a Tuesday and we had working Tap Handles by Friday!

To make the tap handles functional, we embedded a standard 3/8″ nut into the print itself to screw onto the keg hardware and that’s where the project got fun!

This video talks about how thinking about the printing orientation ahead of time impacted the design, particularly with the consideration of the hole for the nut.

Nut Animation - Step3

It also goes over my multiple processes in Simplify 3D and my custom starting and end scripts (same old, same old– very similar to what was used for embedding mirrors and the multi colored Gyro Cube).

Design Notes:
Final Dimensions for my Hole for 3/8″ Nut – 15mm x 17.8mm x 9mm
Final Dimensions for Octagon Hole for Bolt – 11mm Diameter

Custom Ending Script for my processes:
G91 ; relative mode
G1 Z100 ; lift 100mm

Custom Starting Script for Third Process
G90 ; absolute mode

Custom Starting Script for Final Process (After Color Change)
G92 E0 ; zero extruder
G1 E25 F225 ; purge nozzle
G92 E0 ; zero extruder
G90 ; absolute mode

Thanks for watching!

Wishing You Many Fails in 2017!

When we are pushing the limits, we are going to encounter fails. But through failure comes knowledge and at times, it even brings about extra creativity. On that note, I hope 2017 brings you many fails!

In December, I did a last minute contribution to the A Pyro Design Maker Coin Holiday Tree. In my coin, I wanted to celebrate the failures that comes along with learning 3D Printing. I call it, “From Failure Comes Knowledge“. This video details the inspirations behind the coin, a little taste of the modeling in Blender, and the [embarrassing] two fails I had printing it.

The From Failure Comes Knowledge Coin on Thingiverse:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1936616/

Check the makers who have already made the coin!

Jim at Another 3D Printing Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgXpTIrI0KK8_wXMcHLA1fw

Matt at How I Do It https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJTkCgyQbUU2kpiwhrbLK_A

And of course, Travis and Heather at A Pyro Design
https://www.youtube.com/c/Apyrodesign

Other Models Mentioned in the Video:
The famous 3D Benchy
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:763622

Drooloop Flowers http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:240158
Furry Vase http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1800503
Furry Christmas Tree http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1941557

Thank you so much for watching. Have a fantastic 2017!

Slides for 3D Printing and Crafts Presentation

Last Thursday night, I had the delight of participating in a Meetup with the Delaware 3D Printing Group. The event was hosted by Printed Solid. The group was kind enough to let me yammer on about my 3D Printed Crafts. :) I very much enjoyed chatting with other printing enthusiasts and left the event invigorated. I should make it a point to do an event like this every November when the fatigue that accompanies Cyber Week looms in my brain. :)

For those who missed it, I do have all my slides up on SlideShare.

Using Inkscape and Tinkercad to Customize Halloween Pendants

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

My very first Thingiverse upload was glowing pumpkin pendants/pins for kids.  This video hits briefly on how I print these via Multi-processes in Simplify3D (Spoiler alert – they are three separate prints).  It will also show you how you can import in the pendant template into TinkerCAD and quickly make your own customizations.  Finally, have a drawing you want to use?  I’ll go over using Inkscape to make a SVG file from a black and white image/photo/scan that you can also pull into TinkerCAD to “carve” your pumpkin.
All the pumpkin models, including the template are up on Thingiverse at:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1074202
Need help with Simplify3D Multiple Processes?  I learned from THIS Joel Telling video:
https://youtu.be/ZHe2_h1nQG4
TinkerCAD is free with nothing to install– http://www.tinkercad.com
Finally, Inkscape is also free and can be downloaded at http://www.inkscape.org.
The Starting and Stopping Points of My Processes
0 – 1.5mm – Black or Green
1.5 – 2mm – GlowFill
2mm – rest – Orange

Z Endstop Hack for the MakerGear M2

As some background information, the way the MakerGear M2 Homes its Z axis is it has a bolt on the platform that raises and lowers your bed.

Above it, just beneath the X-axis rail, is a switch that triggers when there is contact.

When the printer is homing its Z axis, it raises the bed until the bolt triggers that switch. At that point, the printer considers itself a Z-Home.

MakerGear has some great videos for the maintenance and setup of your machine, including how to do your Z Endstop calibration! Basically you raise your bed until a business card can just fit under the nozzle and then you raise the bolt to ensure it trips the switch at that exact height.

Disclaimer– I love my MakerGear M2 profusely and I will continue to love it profusely. That said, I find the bolt awkward and tough to raise.

One day I needed to update my Z Endstop application and I struggled getting that bolt to do my bidding.

“If only…if only I had something to stick on top of this bolt to make it taller.” I thought.

It turns out I did have something, something that was already a part of my 3D Printing arsensal– Painter’s Tape!

I cut out little squares of painters tape, made a tower, put it on top of my bolt. I fine tuned the tower’s height until my nozzle was a business card height above my bed. BAM! ZEndstop calibration!

Honestly, I never expected this solution to have the staying power it has, but I continue to use it to this day! I was worried about the repeatability of the Z-Home, that there would be variances in run to run in how the painter’s tape compresses, but it has proven to be consistent and reliable. I have also been shocked (SHOCKED) that it weathers travel well.

I have found this painter’s tape hack to help speed up my process of switching nozzles. When I switch to my 0.5mm nozzle for woodFill, I just have to add or remove squares of painter’s tape and I am ready to print.

Not For You?
If my painter’s tape hack is not for you, there are other options in calibration your Z Endstop for the MakerGear M2. This video by MakerGear shows you how to do it the “right” way. In addition, you can print a tool to make that bolt adjustment less awkward.

What in the World Has Vicky Been Up To?!!?

I’m back with 3D Printings after a bit of a hiatus and I have a lot to catch you up on!

Printed Solid Grand Opening!
A freaking wonderful, invigorating event. Joel Telling’s overview of the event can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnZqMnokjpw

What does TGAW stand for? That is answered in Joel’s interview with me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REvIWbER_Gc

Anglerfish
Blog post with more details on the creation of my bronzeFill/GlowFill Anglerfish. I do have one more if you happen to covet one. 😉
http://tgaw.com/wp/?p=307

Bow Ties!
I’ll work on a video about their design in Blender and the attachment design in OpenSCAD. It’ll use words like “Texture”, “Baking”, “Displacement Maps” and “Boolean Intersection”. In the meantime, I do have some listed on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/VickyTGAW

Land’s End Gazebo
The real live gazebo in Sayville, NY can be found here http://www.landsendweddings.com/

Geocoin
Check out the AMAZING family I am designing for. You couldn’t get better inspiration than that!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znnSSlJF79w

Make Your Empty Filament Spools into a Shelf
As promised, the model is up on Thingiverse as well as the original OpenSCAD code.
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1677024

Print in Place Gyro Cube!
Wanna beta test my version of the Gyro Cube on YOUR printer? Lemme know!

Thanks for watching! Happy Printing!

Princess Vicky Does a Cold Pull [on the MakerGear M2]

I’ve led a bit of a charmed 3D Printing life.  I’ve had my bobbles and frustrations, but overall, I have been floating by with relatively few worries, a happy little 3D Printing Princess without a care in the world.  La la la la la.

And so it happens I have never ever done a cold-pull.  Well, until recently.

I purchased a bag of used extruder/hot ends from another MakerGear owner.  They arrived with eSUN Cleaner Filament in them and a note to do a cold pull when I was ready to use them.

Now, I know roughly what a cold pull is… and the term is a little self explanatory.  Though one could also argue the term “sweet tea”  is self explanatory as well and I thoroughly baffled a waitress in upper Michigan once with that beverage order.

When it was time to use my “new” nozzles, vaguely knowing the concept of a cold pull wasn’t going to cut it.  I needed some specifics.

For that, Google and this comment from user insta on the MakerGear User Forum helped guide my way.   Here are my steps on the MakerGear M2:

  1. I unplugged the power to everything on the extruder I wanted to remove– my thermistor, the heating block, my 40mm fan, my 50mm fan.
  2. I got out my Allen wrench and removed the fans and the filament drive.
  3. I plugged in the thermistor and the heating block of the new nozzle.  Holding it by the groove mount (I couldn’t get it in the Filament Drive until I removed the eSun filament), I used Simplify3D to heat the nozzle to 240 degrees.
  4. Once there, I pushed the eSun filament with my hand and confirmed it was coming out of the nozzle.
  5. Then I turned off the heat and watched the stats in Simplify3D.
  6. I watched, waited (and regretted not having a better way to hold the nozzle) until the temperature hit 90 and then I tried to pull the filament out by hand.  I actually did not succeed until the temperature hit 80 and I had some help with pliers.  Then the filament pulled out and was the most lovely little, clean whisker.
  7. Once the nozzle finished cooling, I slipped the groove mount into the filament drive and assembled everything back together (Being careful to make sure the 50mm fan goes into Fan 0 and the 40 mm fan goes into Fan 2)
  8. And after that I checked my Z-End Stop calibration by Homing the Z-Axis and checking with a business card.

What I’ll Do Differently Next Time

So…. I had the foresight to grab a pair of needle nosed plyers with the intent of holding my hot end by the groove mount while it was hot.  Know what I didn’t do?  Test those plyers to make sure they’d be able to get a good grip on that rounded surface.  So I ended up holding that thing with my bare hands.  It was do-able.. but did get uncomfortable at times.  Next time I will be better prepared.  If not better plyers, then gloves.  : )

 

 

 

Resuming a Print (After Turning Off and Moving the Machine)

axieses

As the Nova Mini Maker Faire came to a close, my demonstration print was far from done. I stopped the print, turned off and unplugged the machine, loaded the machine up into the trunk of my car, drove the 26 miles home (with a strategic stop by Burger King for some yummy yummy Chicken Fries), and set the machine back up at home. A week later, I was ready to start printing again and I wanted to start where I left off. I was able to do so with my trusy MakerGear M2 and Simplify3D. Here’s how!

Homing the Axes
Before I could resume printing, I needed to rehome all my axes so my nozzle had all its bearings, particularly the tricky Z axis. In this case, my print was not very high, so under the Machine Control Panel in Simplify3D, I was able to move the bed around to a good spot for me to hit Home Z without my print hitting the nozzle or the X axis support bar.

Restarting a Print - HomeZ

Homing the Z axis can be trickier with taller prints. Since the MakerGear M2 set its Z-Endstop with a bolt on the side of the bed and it has a removable glass bed, I do have a little “hack”. When resuming taller prints, I remove the glass bed, home all the axes and then replace the bed. Sometimes there is a slight variation with the positioning of the print, but so far it has not been very noticeable in my final prints.

Where to Restart
I know, I know. There are downsides to printing via the USB cable. An upside though– in Simplify3D, you have a continuous update of exactly where the nozzle is, most notably how high it is in the Z axis. In the case of my Maker Faire print, I was the one that stopped the print, so I was able to note and record the exact Z position I stopped off at. That meant I knew exactly what height I wanted to restart the print at.

Restarting a Print - Noting Stopping Point

Sometimes I don’t have that kind of information at my disposal. The other week, I had a filament tangle. I returned to my print to find the printer had been printing nothing for who knows how long. In those cases, I use the Jog Controls tab in the Machine Control Panel to do some sleuthing:

I start with my nozzle way above the print and I lower the Z position until I get close. The closer I get, the smaller the increments I move down, until I am using the -0.1 Z button. When I feel I am pretty much there, I pick an inconspicuous spot on the print and move the nozzle on top of it to make sure the nozzle is just barely above my print. I have found that sometimes touch is easier than sight, so I use a handy dandy business card to gauge the distance. Once I’m satisfied, I only have to refer to the positioning information in Simplify3D to get my Z startng point.

Resuming the Print
Next I tell Simplify3D where it needs to start printing. I do that under the Advanced tab and setting the Start Printing At Height setting.

Restarting a Print - Advanced Tab - Start Printing Height

Finally, I need to give attention to my Starting Script in the Scripts tab. There are steps in the normal start up script I do not want to run. For example, I don’t want to home my axes (G28;)– I already did that manually.  And depending on the object and its positioning on the bed, I may opt to alter other steps that may cause the nozzle to collide with my print. In the case of my Maker Faire print, I made some slight adjustments to the script that has the nozzle go off to the side of the bed to ooze some filament before beginning. I still wanted to do that, but I wanted to make sure the nozzle lifted up high enough (G1 Z10;) to safely cross over my object.

Restarting a Print - Advanced Tab - Custom Scripts

My normal Starting Script went from:

M108 S255 ; turn on M2 fans
G28 ; home all axes
G1 Y50 Z0.3 F9600 ; move forward to avoid binder clips
G1 X205 Z10 ; move off platform
G1 Z0.4 ; position nozzle
G92 E0 ; zero extruder
G1 E25 F225 ; purge nozzle
G92 E0 ; zero extruder
G1 X190 Z0.1 E1.0 F1200 ; slow wipe
G1 X180 Z0.25 ; lift

To

M108 S255 ; turn on M2 fans
G1 Z10;
G1 X205; move off platform
G1 Z0.4 ; position nozzle
G92 E0 ; zero extruder
G1 E25 F225 ; purge nozzle
G92 E0 ; zero extruder
G1 X190 Z0.1 E1.0 F1200 ; slow wipe
G1 Z10 ; lift

 

Of course, your mileage may vary, but hopefully some of this information translates or inspires a technique that works with your printer and slicer. Happy Printing!

Fixing a KidKraft Deluxe Garage Playset with Tinkercad!


Watch or Listen to This Blog Post Above

For Christmas, we got a hand-me-down KidKraft Deluxe Garage Playset.

3D Printing - Elevator Fix - KidKraft Deluxe Garage Playset

Wonderful! There was only one minor issue– it was missing some kind of piece at the top of the elevator. As a result, the elevator did not go up and down. This caused some discontent for my two year old. At first, I would tie a toothpick at the end of the string and that would allow him to raise and lower the elevator for a while… but it frequently came undone. I thought, “Hey. I have a 3D Printer. I had TinkerCAD. I can do a lot better than a toothpick.”

One Saturday morning, the kids and I did just that. Our first step – calipers, which both children love to play with.

3D Printing - Elevator Fix - Calipers

I…uh…. I retook all the measurements for myself after they were done.

Then we pulled up the free and web-based TinkerCAD. As you may know, I do a great deal of modeling in Blender. I have found the colorful interface of TinkerCAD to be much more conducive to “keeping the attention of my kids.” In this case, they sat in my lap and we modeled it together.

The Model
This was a very simple design. We just had three pieces:

  1. A cylinder that I sized to the exact width of the hole we measured in the playset. Usually I put in 0.5mm clearances, but for this, I wanted a snug fit. It would even be okay if I had to force the part in.
    MainBarrell
  2. There was also a second flat cylinder in the bottom. This was to make sure we couldn’t just pull or push the part all the way through the hole.

    StopperCylinder

  3. At the top, I used a tube. I used the Rotate handles (the little arrow icons) to rotate the tube 90 degrees.

    Tip– If you hold down the Shift key while you rotate, you can rotate at 45 degree intervals.

    Hook

Tip: Since I was working with exact measurements, I dragged a Ruler object to my Workplane which allows me to type in the dimensions of my parts.

Once I had all the parts on my workplane, I selected them all and went to Adjust->Align…

Adjust Align

This allowed me to center them all with each other.

Aligning

AlignAfter

Moment of Truth
We made pancakes while the part printed and then we had a moment of truth. I was happy to discover our calipers did not lead us astray, the part fit AND the elevator worked.

InstalledPiece

SaganUsingElevator

Between the pancakes and this toy fix, it was a very productive Saturday morning. My Mom self esteem was at an all time high. Don’t worry– I was back to normal by the afternoon (after unsavory Mom tasks like “saying No” and “wiping butts”). : )

P.S. If you happen to have a KidKraft Deluxe Garage Playset in the need of the same part, it is free for download and use on TinkerCAD!