Some objects I printed

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The round 12-sided die

A friend of mine, member of my D&D group, asked me, as soon as he discovered that I would get a 3-D printer: «can you print me the intersection of three cylinders?»

New, the resulting object is not exactly easy to visualize, but it's a 12-sided solid, where each side would be a square, were it flat; in fact, the sides are curved.

Obviously there is no way to print an object similar to a sphere on the CupCake: we would need some support material. What we can do, instead, is to print a half-sphere; we print it twice, we glue the halves together, and we get a sphere.

half-die, from an edge
Half of the die, seen from an edge
half-die, from above
Half of the die, seen from above
half-die, from the side
Half of the die, seen from the side
half-die, from the side and edge
Half of the die, seen from the side, looking at an edge
half-die, upside-down
Half of the die, upside-down. It rolls well enough, after a little sanding
half-die, from the top
Half of the die, seen from the top: it's a very good approximation of a circle

Sadly, the two halves have warped a bit during printing, and it will not be easy to glue them in such a way as to keep them "round".

The benchmark piece

Just to try it out, I printed the RepRap benchmark piece.

First problem: the raft wasn't sticking to the build base; solved by keeping the extruder nearer to the base.

I discovered immediately afterwards that the build base was not precisely horizontal; I don't know whether the plastic build base is distorted, or the translation axes are somehow misaligned (hard to believe).

After about forty minutes of printing, I notice that the model is distorted; it happens quite often, but this time it's warping the build base! In fact, I soon had to abort the print: the base had detached from the wooden support that holds it to the Y stage, and the extruded filaments were going every which way.


half the benchmark piece
This is all I could print before having to abort.
warped piece
See how bent it is.
warped piece, from the side
From the side it's even more noticeable.
warped base, from the side
And this is how much my build base has bent…

To do for next time:

  • check the orthogonality of the base
  • use the bolted build base, instead of the one held with double-sided tape

Bolted build base

Seeing the (little) reliability of the taped build base, I started using the bolted one. To make it more robust, I used both wooden plates (by drilling the holes in one of them).

bolted base, for above bolted base, from the side

The whistle

Using the new build base, I printed the whistle (I actually used the cleaned version ).

It came out pretty well, but it does not actually whistle…

the whistle
A bit of excess filaments, but it printed.
the mouth of the whistle
As you can see, there's a lot of "ooze", especially on the inside.
the inside of the whistle
You can just see the "pea".

I should maybe study the effects of the "comb" and "oozebane" settings in skeinforge

The "printruder"

Since the whistle came out well enough, I tried a "hard piece": the "printruder", which is the support part of the extruder, in a printable version.

I have to say that it feels like magic, seeing a printer producing its own replacement pieces!

How did it print? Surprisingly well! I noticed almost no distortion / warping, even with such large pieces.

the pieces of the printruder
Ensemble: all the pieces of the printruder.
idler bracket
Idler bracket. The "bridges" above the central hole are very thin, and protrude a bit, but it's not a problem: there is plenty of space, and the load is toward the opposite side.
motor bracket
Motor bracket
motor bracket
As you can see, there are a few "blobs", but nothing a little knife work can't cure.
the filament hole
The motor bracket includes the hole for the ABS filament: the alignment is perfect.
the base plate
Printruder base plate: I didn't even have to file the dovetail slide.
insulator retainer
The easy part: the support for the insulator and the "hot" part of the extruder.

After printing, I cleaned the holes with a drill; I cleaned the filament hole by hand, with a drill bit, to avoid breaking the plastic around it.

Now I only have to buy the required bolts and bearing, and try to use it.

DatesCreated: 2009-09-07 15:32:20 Last modification: 2023-02-10 12:45:24