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Anyone got a 3D printer and want to make my life better?

 
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I want this!  
https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/gadget/magic-acorn-needlecase



 
r ranson
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or maybe this!  It's got Blinky from the Simpsons!

https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/gadget/fishes-needlecase

 

 
 
r ranson
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so how does it work?  Does the printer use different colour plastic or do we have to paint it?  

How much would something like this cost to make (minus the cost of the machine)?
 
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r ranson wrote:so how does it work?  Does the printer use different colour plastic or do we have to paint it?  

How much would something like this cost to make (minus the cost of the machine)?



I do have a 3D printer! Imagine a very thin cake layer built from the bottom up. So in 3D printing a thin plastic is built up layer by layer and can come in different colors. The 3D printer I have uses PLA plastic and I have not used from a number of years. I think the cost would be a few US dollars because of the size. For a 1kg roll of printer filament is about $25 USD. I am still working on some issues with the printer I have and can not make things at this time.
 
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From #2 Son:
1. The base colour a printer uses is based on the colour of filament that you buy. Very few printers print multiple colours (at least at the home level).
Thus, most people would print in the colour they've got and then paint it.
2. The "pattern" (downloaded file) is about $2.50 Canadian. The filament cost is minimal. The electricity cost is noticeable as 3D printers are power-hungry, although in this area, electricity is relatively inexpensive.

So to print just one, you'd be looking at about $4 Can or less. The more you want, the more the file cost is distributed, bringing the costs down per each.
 
r ranson
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I would want 3 - 5
one for me, two for Christmas gifts.  two more to give away later.

Can't think of anything else I would want to 3d print, so can't justify buying a new toy.  

I'm guessing the other big cost is time?  How long would this mean the machine can't be printing other things?  Do they take 10 min?  An hour?  36 hours?
 
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Someone more skilled than me could probably turn and then carve the acorn out of wood fairly easily.

Looks like a fun project for future me.
 
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L. Johnson wrote:Someone more skilled than me could probably turn and then carve the acorn out of wood fairly easily.

Looks like a fun project for future me.



Wood would be amazing.  Do you think the thread spool with needle storage is tureable?  
 
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We probably wouldn't need the thimble - this is a pretty personal item and works well in metal.  

Painting might be fun.  I've always wanted to try painting minitures.  
 
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r ranson wrote:
Wood would be amazing.  Do you think the thread spool with needle storage is tureable?  



Definitely! I have a turned needle holder. It's just a simple tube with some brass threads (as in screw thread, not yarn) pressed into the body and the lid. I've seen boxes with screw-on kids that don't use brass - the screw thread can be turned too.
 
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Two types of thread being discussed make this a little wonky... haha

If the cap screws on it will have screw threads. These are made with screw taps in the appropriate diameter, nothing particularly special.

I think you could pretty easily do a friction fit cap too though.
 
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Check your local library; many of them now have 3D printers you can use for a tiny fee. Or a local makerspace. Since you’ve already identified the file you want to use, it’s pretty easy to get a cost estimate.
 
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Along these lines, can anyone recommend a good introduction to scanning / pattern design process for 3d printers?  I have access to a printer at work and want to copy a specific thing I own.  Any good tutorials and/or software to start with?  Many thanks!
 
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Morfydd St. Clair wrote:Along these lines, can anyone recommend a good introduction to scanning / pattern design process for 3d printers?  I have access to a printer at work and want to copy a specific thing I own.  Any good tutorials and/or software to start with?  Many thanks!



My husband is using FreeCAD to design things to 3D print. He has also scanned his own images into the program to pad out to 3D. He watches tutorials on YouTube and reads the FreeCAD forums to learn how to use the program in general and what he wants to do specifically.
 
Katie Nicholson
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I love it! I may ask my husband if he can make one for me with his 3D printer. Obtaining filament of the proper colors might make it cost prohibitive, however. I think he just has black right now so it would cost a lot to get set up to do the project, though the filament wouldn't go to waste.
 
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Katie Nicholson wrote:I love it! I may ask my husband if he can make one for me with his 3D printer. Obtaining filament of the proper colors might make it cost prohibitive, however. I think he just has black right now so it would cost a lot to get set up to do the project, though the filament wouldn't go to waste.



I wonder what kind of paints one needs to paint the plastic.  It might be fun to try.  I haven't painted anything more interesting than a wall since art class.  
 
Jay Angler
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r ranson wrote:I wonder what kind of paints one needs to paint the plastic.  It might be fun to try.  

#2 Son uses an acrylic spray paint that says it bonds to plastic as a primer, then uses common acrylic craft paints for the colours.  

However, if it's going to ride around in a pocket or purse, the paint will tend to wear off unless you add a top, clear "hard" coat over the paint. That said, his first reaction to the question was that if it is going to ride around in a purse, he wouldn't bother painting it at all - just leave it whatever colour the filament is!

Filament is available in lots of different colours, so if you want specific colours, he thinks you'd be better to just buy the colours you want. That only works if you print each piece in a single colour for most home-level printers. The acorn version above works well for that, as you can buy just two colours - the base and the "cap", and then choose those colours for the inside bits as well.
 
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Katie Nicholson wrote:

Morfydd St. Clair wrote:Along these lines, can anyone recommend a good introduction to scanning / pattern design process for 3d printers?  I have access to a printer at work and want to copy a specific thing I own.  Any good tutorials and/or software to start with?  Many thanks!



My husband is using FreeCAD to design things to 3D print. He has also scanned his own images into the program to pad out to 3D. He watches tutorials on YouTube and reads the FreeCAD forums to learn how to use the program in general and what he wants to do specifically.



A great place to start is Tinkercad from Autodesk. It's free to sign up and there are some tutorials to get you started. Go to the main page linked above then "Tinker -> 3D Design" and scroll to the bottom to the "Get Started" section. Each of these will walk you through a simple example so you can see how it works. I taught a 7th grade computer class and used this site. All the students were able to design key chains with their name or other simple objects and print them. Freecad works well but is more complicated than Tinkercad. I'd suggest trying Tinkercad first because it's easier to learn and works in a web browser (no software to download and install).

The result of your design will be a 3D design file which is then sliced into layers by another program. This layer file tells the printer what to do. 3D printing is quite slow since each layer is very thin. Check out some YouTube 3D printing videos to get an idea of speed. I don't remember how long it took to print an ocarina but it was probably over night. Large objects can require 24 hours or longer to print.

For the needle case design you could probably print multiples at the same time since they are small. Most of the low cost 3D printers only have one print head (extruder that melts the plastic) so you are limited to one color. Changing color mid-print is possible but more advanced. You can get variegated filament like variegated thread where it cycles through a series of colors.

These designs would probably print with the open (large) end down on the print surface. Each layer would then be a bit smaller as it increases in height. Some complicated designs require printing "support" towers since the hot plastic can't be just extruded into thin air. The support material (from the same filament) is snapped off when the print is finished. The needle holders have a gradual slope that overlaps the previous layer so they could probably be printed without any support.

The threads on the case and cap would be part of the design. The cap should screw onto the case right off the printer. You can print pieces like a bracelet or chain that have hinges or interlock all at once. They can be gently separated once printed to allow them to move like these objects:

Thingiverse (search for fish)

There are a lot of other free designs at Thingiverse.

There are also companies like Shapeways that will make prints to order. Probably spendy, I've never used them or checked on their pricing.
 
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Did this get made for you? I have a printer at the library in hamilton and would be happy to print a few things.
 
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I'm wondering about printing things that I currently use in the garden and feel bad about because they are plastic.  Or maybe making them by hand.

I have read that you can use hemp to make anything plastic can make, and one outfit sells hemp PLA, the "ink" for a 3d printer.  It is compostable, so the bucket/hose/wheelbarrow would not last long, but it would decompose into something nontoxic instead of something problematic.  

Poly pipe, buckets, wheelbarrows--not possible to print in a small 3d printer.  But if I understand the process right, you just pour hot (400 degrees F) PLA stuff into a mold and then wait till it cools.  You could theoretically use another bucket as as mold (a metal one), or two pots.  For a wheelbarrow, a metal wheelbarrow, and for poly pipe it's a bit trickier, but theoretically you could make it in a bunch of lengths.  The material could be heated with a rocket stove.  (No dangerous fumes, as far as I understand, it's all just biomass).

However, pipe is where I really wish society would put some energy into it. I mean, they're already manufacturing the plastic pipes, why not just put that hemp PLA stuff in there instead and control-p print?  
 
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