Andrew, Dusty, and I are giving a presentation on the 3D printer to the Orrville Exchange Club today at 12:15. We are meeting in the Student Life Building, Room 109 (the lower level, across from the restrooms). You are welcome to come in and watch the presentation if you like. Please join us!
As we learn how to use CAD programs to design objects, our students and staff are beginning to create objects that we can actually visualize and print! One of our faculty has a chair with a missing leg floor protector, so Dusty designed a similar shape in CAD and printed it out…
Next on the print queue for today is an iPhone stand that was also custom designed by Dusty. It is unique in that there is embossed lettering on the -side- of the object, a special challenge for the printer. It will print with temporary plastic “supports” up to the lettering, which are carefully removed after the print.
We are still working on a “word necklace” designed by Stephanie Baker from the Learning Center. She designed the necklace in Adobe Illustrator, then Josh from Technical Support Services concerted it to AutoCAD, then to Creo. Even though we now have it in Creo, creating a STL that the printer can understand is a challenge. Stay tuned!
We didn’t have time to print Dusty’s custom designed door stopper; hopefully we will print the first revision of it today. Dusty also designed a custom iPhone stand for Daniel in the Business Office; it is amazing how quickly he can crank-out designs in Creo. We will print that this afternoon.
Until then, we are being challenged with “taping” our print build plate. This is Kapton tape that becomes sticky when heated. This allows the first layer of plastic to adhere to the print bed. Applying the tape is challenging, as it is difficult to remove air bubbles and prevent creases from forming. But thanks to Will and YouTube, we found a method that may work perfectly; coating the bed with soapy water may do the trick!
This morning’s print job is a soap dish. It is a fairly large design with separately printed “slats” to hold the soap. It should be an easy print, but you never know when working with ABS plastic:
Stop-down to see the printer in action! No plastic was harmed in the creation of these objects.
Today’s printing projects are a Minny Mouse cookie cutter and a custom designed doorstop.
The former was found on Thingiverse and involves two pieces, an outer cutting shell and an stamper that impresses an image on the cookie. The stamper was not printed as shown on the screen, the designer did not extrude the outline properly in CAD. So instead of a frame on a thick substrate, the substrate is cut-out where the frame was extruded from it, making for a difficult print. It’s difficult to explain, but come see how the printer fared!
The next object being printed is a custom design by Dusty. He noticed that the rubber doorstops in our building have a design flaw. The internal mesh eventually cracks loose as the doorstop is flexed. This morning, he designed a new doorstop in Creo. He is printing it right now, so come take a look!
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Things are moving along with the 3D printer. At the beginning of the week, we finished printing the parts for our first model rocket, the engine lock ring and the fins. The rocket is fully assembled now and ready to fly later this semester. Come to A-120 to take a look!
Dusty perfected the art of applying acetone to smooth and “shiny up” our objects. Instead of heating acetone to a vapor, it can be soaked into a rolled up paper towel and brushed onto an object. This saves a lot of acetone and produces similar results. Good job!
Yesterday we printed a difficult object; a coral bracelet. The vertical web pattern seemed impossible to print, but the printer did a decent job of it.
We are currently printing a protective case for a circuit board, a two-part design from Thingiverse. Josh and Andrew is learning how to use AutoCAD to convert a 2D design to 3D, and Dusty is customizing/improving his iPhone stand design. Lots of things are happening in the 3D printer area in A-120. Come and see what we are up to!