Jacob's 3D Printing Adventures

Not pictured - Tardis gears, Tardis, more gear cubes, an elephant, another elephant, another mini disney castle, light switch covers, shower knob covers, a turtle, an architecture model for a friend, and probably a lot more.

September 15 - Single piece iris box. You rotate the outer ring to open/close the blades on the top. I ended up giving this to my friend Sarah because I don't have anything to put in it, she keeps her rings/earrings beside her bed in it.

September 7 - Custom grill knob replacements for my dad. Our grill has only had one working knob for a few years now and we just swap it between the two dials to change them. I 3D modelled the knob and printed two replacements

September 6 - Added new lights to the 3D printer. I used two arrays LED's from 12V led strips. The strips are wired in pairs in series, because the power supply on the printer only outputs 24V. These panels are connected to a 5V relay connected to the Raspberry Pi, and I can turn the lights on and off through OctoPrint from my computer or phone.

September 1-5 - More grids. I printed 4 black grids (and 2 more that failed), and one blue grid. The black won't let light bleed through like the white does, which should result in a more crisp display. These things take about 8 hours each to print.

August 18 - Toilet paper roll holder. The guest bathroom in the apartment has awkward toilet paper placement so I decided to find and print a better holder. I used double sided tape to attach it to the wall.

August 14-16 - Grids for Tiger Countdown project

August something - aperture overlay for dslr camera lens. I can put this over the camera lens and then the bokeh will be whatever shape is in the cutout.

August something - Mini Disney Castle

August 3, 2017 - Little Mermaid Lithopane. This turned out so much cooler than I was expecting!! It looks pretty boring normally, but when you put a light inside it the picture becomes clear! It is made by printing the dark parts of the picture thicker than the light parts. Then the light shines through the bright parts of the picture more than the dark parts.

August 2, 2017 - Arduino Mega case. Once again, I'm trying to find alternatives to hot glue for my projects.

August 1, 2017 - Soldering Fingers. This is a little thing that is designed to hold two wires in place when I solder them. I have a "third hand", but I thought I might as well try this out to see if it works better.

July 30, 2017 - Cooler shroud. The cooler on a printer is a fan that blows onto where the plastic comes out. The plastic can do bridging better when it is cooled down immediately after exiting the extruder. The stock cooler that comes with my printer isn't very effective, and only blows from one side. I printed a cooler that will blow air 360° around the extruder, and hopefully help my print quality. Fun note - I started this print from my phone while I was at the beach:)

<Pics to come>

July 29, 2017 - Disney castle cookie cutter. I found a cookie cutter model in the shape of the Disney castle, and thought Courtney might like it. It's surprisingly flimsy, probably because I'm using PLA as my plastic and not something stronger like ABS. Fun note - I started this print from my phone while I was at the beach:)

<Pics to come>

July 27, 2017 - Disney castle top part. Since the previous Disney castle print didn't succeed for the last 1.5 inches or so, I decided to just print the top part and glue it to the first castle print.

July 26, 2017 - Printer upgrades. I did the MOSFET mod to my printer, which is where you change the circuitry that heats up the bed for the printer. With my new MOSFET module it should never catch fire, which was a concern previously. I also installed a relay that will switch 24V DC for LED strip lights I'm going to add to the printer.

July 18-21 - Disney Castle. My friend Courtney lives in Florida and loves all things Disney, so I wanted to print some Disney things for her. I found a 3D model of the castle online, and I printed it with dimensions 6" by 5" by 6" tall. It took 82(check this) hours to finish. Unfortunately, the printer messed up a few hours before the end, so I had to print the top part separately.

July 16, 2017 - Problems. Filament stopped extruding in the middle of a print, possibly due to my retraction distance being too high. Then the print was practically fused to the build plate, and I had to use a heat gun to remove it. I'm going to try printing with the build plate at a much lower temperature next, around 40°C instead of 60°C.

July 16, 2017 - Painted a tiger. This was my first attempt at painting a print, and I'm surprised at how well it turned out!

July 15, 2017 - Octoprint setup. I spend 4ish hours setting up Octoprint to run on a Raspberry Pi. Octoprint allows for remotely viewing the temperature and progress of the printer, along with streaming video while it prints. Anyone can actually view the stream at jakabo27.hopto.org:1997 (except Lauren apparently).

July 17 update - I set up an OpenVPN tunnel to my network, and I can now control everything about my printer from anywhere! So I can easily stop a print from work if I see it's going badly. Next I need to figure out how to control a relay from the pi so I can kill power to the printer in case of a fire.

July 14, 2017 - I get some paint! I decided it was time to start trying to paint things I print. I got a few paints at walmart, and some more at Michaels. I know I don't have any painting talent or skill, but hopefully I can learn.

July 13, 2017 - Blue Cube Gear. I scaled down the gear cube by a little bit to see if it would work smaller. I also printed it in blue, because why not.

July 12, 2017 - Mermaid 1. My friend Courtney Lanasa asked if I could print her a mermaid, and I happily did. This first print didn't require any supports, but also doesn't have a ton of detail. It turned out looking really nice, and since it's in blue I don't think I'm going to try to paint it.

Total time: 6 hours

July 10-11, 2017 - Seahorse gears. My friend Alexa Sebestyen said her favorite animal/creature is a seahorse, and I found these seahorse gears that look pretty cool. I printed the four parts in three separate prints. The last part I used the Brim setting using IIIP software, which attaches an outer skirt to the model on the first layer. That wouldn't be a problem to cut off for a simple piece, but for the gear it was annoying to use an exacto knife to cut it all off. These gears don't work nearly as well as the nautilus gears. They don't stay together. Oh well, I tried.

Total time: 7ish hours

July 11, 2017 - Figure from Hollow Knight. My roommate asked if I could print a figurine from a video game, and we found models for it online and printed it! It turned out pretty well, with some finishing work. The dremel is great at removing extra plastic and smoothing things out. I did accidentally break off one of the horn things, but I used epoxy to put it back on and you can't even tell it was ever broken. I printed the knight in four separate pieces: head, cape, body+sword, and a circular base (not shown in the pictures below).

Total time: 6 hours

July 10, 2017 - I got a Dremel! Sanding the 3D printed pieces can make them look a lot better, but it is also time consuming because the plastic is surprisingly tough. Today I bought a Dremel with some sanding attachments to help me out. A Dremel is basically a small drill, but which can spin a lot faster with less torque. I think mine spins at 5,000-10,000 RPM.

July 10, 2017 - Seahorse. I asked a bunch of friends what their favorite animal or sea creature is, and I'm going to try to print little figurines for each friend before I see them in person next. I'll probably be seeing my friend Alexa first, and she wanted a seahorse. The seahorse was funny printing because I used supports underneath it, which print looking horrible. About an hour into the print I thought the whole thing was failing because of how bad the supports looked, but it turned out fine

Total time: 4.5 hours

July 9, 2017 - 3D Cube gears. For some reason these parts were really hard to remove from the raft. Once I got them removed I spent about 30 minutes sanding and trimming each piece so they turn well together. I also got some silicone grease from home depot to help them turn.

Total time: 14 hours

July 8-9, 2017 - Rose. This print was printed in two parts, the top flower part and the stem. Both parts came out of the printer with lots of globs or "zits" of extra plastic, which was annoying to cut off with an Exacto knife and difficult to sand. I think lowering the printing temperature might help. I'm still messing with settings for everything. This rose really isn't for anyone (now), but I think it's cool. I'm planning on getting a simple paint set so I can start painting the white prints if I want to. I know I can't paint well, but it will add variety to the prints.

Total time: 13 hours (2 prints)

July 8, 2017 - Light switch cover. The apartment in Greenville doesn't have overhead lights in the bedrooms, but it does have a light switch that controls an electrical outlet. It's such a habit to turn off lights when I leave a room that I kept turning it off, which would then make my lamp (plugged into the electrical outlet) not turn on later when I wanted it to. Initially I had just taped the switch, and that worked fine. However, I found this light switch cover on reddit.com/r/functionalprint and thought it looked a lot better than my tape. This was also my first print using my white filament, it turned out great.

Total time: 1 hour

July 8, 2017 - Arduino enclosure. I use Arduino Uno's a lot, and I usually end up just gluing them to the project without a case or anything around them. I decided with a 3D printer I can change that, so I printed an enclosure/case for the Uno's. It doesn't require any screws to hold it together, it just snaps shut.

Total time: 4 hours

July 7, 2017 - Toothpaste roller/holder. This is designed to squeeze a tube of toothpaste as you use it. Some people use binder clips to achieve the same thing. I didn't design anything I've printed so far, I download everything from Thingiverse.

Total time: 4 hours

July 6, 2017 - I printed some dogs and a squirrel. I don't have any pictures of these, but they turned out well! It was my first attempt of allowing Cura to automatically generate supports. All pieces printed perfectly and I was able to remove the support structures without too much difficulty. I accidentally broke one dog's leg, but it should be easy enough to glue back together. I don't have any pictures of these because I gave them to Cassidy right after they printed.

Total time: 7 hours

July 5, 2017 - Nautilus gears finished. They spin around and it's pretty cool.

July 3, 2017 - Bridging benchmark test. Bridging is when the printer has to put down filament between two points with nothing directly below the filament in the middle. Hence, a bridge. So it doesn't have any supports below it. I found a print that is designed to test the bridging of a printer, and printed it. As you can see below, it came out alright. The first few layers are a little stringy and not attached well, but eventually it bridged successfully. There are settings I can change to try to improve it, and I'll try changing them, but I'm not convinced the printer is reading all the settings I send it anyways...

Total time: 30 minutes

July 2, 2017 - Spool holder. My printer was supposed to come with a metal spool holder on top (to hold the plastic filament), but it wasn't in the box. I thought I would design one and 3D print it. A torturous hour of Solidworks later, here is the model I came up with:

The only downside to the spool holder was that it would take 8 hours to print. I didn't really want to wait that long, especially since without a good spool holder I would have to give it more filament every 30 minutes or so. Instead I waited until I went home for July 4 weekend, and made one out of wood.

July 2, 2017 - Benchy. A benchy is a benchmark print that is commonly printed soon after getting a 3D printer. It helps you find out problems with the printer like layers not lining up, bridging issues, and shows you the fine details the printer can do. As you can see in the picture, my Benchy turned out pretty darn good for just using default settings!

Total time: 1.5 hours

July 1, 2017 - I get my 3D Printer!

I purchased a Monoprice Maker Select Plus. It came in, I assembled it, and after a few minutes of assembly I was able to start printing! My first print was a tiny thumb screw, something that took <15 minutes to print, just to prove that the printer works. It was late and I needed sleep.

<Pictures coming soon>

Jacob Thompson


Clemson, SC

© 2021 By Jacob Thompson

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