Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mods for my New Wanhao Duplicator 7 (D7) 3D Printer

I have some good resin coming for my new printer early this week and have been struggling a little with the sample that came with the unit.  Not to mind, however, as I have used the time to make the printer a little more tuned to me.

The last and best thing that I designed was a base that raises the printer giving the fan more air flow while providing a place to mount the RPi that hosts NanoDLP.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2268534
The RPi is housed in a really nice design also available on Thingiverse.

I did some other designs as well:

Cover for the resin tank.
Spatula based on the one that comes with the printer.
Device to help me level the build plate.
Handles 'cause mine did not have one and the damn thing is slippery.
Feet to raise the printer for better airflow.

All of my designs are licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Eeeh Gads. Another 3D Printer!

I have been thinking about getting an resin based printer for a while but have not pulled the trigger for a number of reasons.  First, I really do not need one!  Second, I have seen the post processing work needed to remove the support structures that are required for this kind of printer and am not keen on them.  Third, I am space constrained in the man cave.  Fourth, they cost a lot of money for something that I really dont need!

As with all things in the technology space the prices, particularly at the low end, are coming down.   There are FDM 3D Printers now available for just a couple hundred dollars.  Entry level but fully capable of doing good prints.  This trend is also impacting resin based printers though until recently the lowest price point has been around a thousand dollars.

Enter the Wanhao Duplicator 7 which is aimed at the bottom price point in the market at 400 dollars.  The printer is extremely capable for that price point though.  The build volume is decent (120, 68, 200), the speed is decent (15mm-35 mm per hour), and the resolution is more than decent given that it can do layers of 35 microns and an x-y resolution of around 500 dots per inch.

And it is cute!  Its small size makes it perfect for the man cave.  I think the printer is a great demonstration of how the Chinese can take a product and develop a low cost version.  The electronics are based on a RAMPS board which is the same thing that drove the 3D Printer that I built two and a half years ago.  Everyone knows what they are and what to do with them.  The motor is the same as a zillion other 3D printers.  The power supply is a standard brick.  The LCD display is repurposed from what had been designed for a tablet.  i'm not sure what the video interface is but I would bet that it was repurposed from a laptop or something of the kind.  It is eloquent in its simplicity.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

3D Printing and Scale Modeling - Recap of Selected Designs

This post is a "work in progress" summary of my favorite of the models that I have done over the past year or two.  Most of these models are available for download on Thingiverse and many have been discussed elsewhere on this blog or have an Instructable available.

One more note!  These are largely bespoke models crafted in Sketchup using its Pro features for solid modeling.  Those features don't make it the best 3D modeling tool out there but they help a lot ... and since I am an old dog that has been using Sketchup for a long time ... anyway ... the models are in Sketchup!


My Model
The Prototype
Curved Railroad Bridge and a Steel Pier
 
Retaining Wall


Concrete Railroad Bridge Pier
Ship - Cheated a little here as my prototype is a model from the Wrightsville Port N-Scale Layout!


Plate and Girder Railroad Bridge - Bridge No. 1276, Sideling Hill Creek Crossing
Bridge Fenders
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Bascule Bridge

Windmill

Bailey Bridge [Thingiverse] [Blog] [Instructable]