Archive for January 2017

Using a 3D printer to refine a design

Creating isn’t always a one-shot process.

When I first conceived my 3D filament sizing set up, the bent piece of metal through which the filament ran to ensure there were no lumps that could jam the 3D printer seemed a simple yet elegant solution.

After using it for a while – and catching my coat on it, as you’ll hear about in the video – I realized there was a better way ….

This video explains what I came up with and how I used my 3D printer to create, then refine the design:

‘Novelty’ 3D-printing filament has real applications

3D-printing ColorFabb ngen_flex-rubber filamentNot everything I create on my 3D printers is artwork. I’ve written before about using my CAD software and 3D printing other things – it’s super handy for making parts as well as other items simply for fun.

That includes the cool design I came up with for a Farkle board.

As with most things, after I used the farkle board, I began to see some ways to improve the design. PLA resin creates a hard, stiff surface, so I added a padded bed to the first boards I printed.

That helped, but I wondered if I could eliminate the need for the padding while still getting a quiet, controlled throw of the dice by printing the design in rubber.

Fortunately, the Dutch filament maker ColorFabb offers a rubber filament called NGen_FLEX (usually called “Ninjaflex”) in 3 millimeter, perfect for my 8-foot-tall Gigante 3D printer ….

3D printed rubber farkle board - Kevin CaronThe print went remarkably smoothly. Most important for a piece with such a big footprint, the filament stuck to the print tray beautifully.

The only oddity was lots rubber “boogers” throughout the print. I think they were caused because, as often happens, the print head made some odd passes, repeatedly printing non-existent corners of the board before going around. That certainly contributed some of the slubs.

The aberrations were easy to cut off with my flush cutters, though – those little cutters are a truly handy tool to have around when 3D printing!

I found some purple dice with white dots, making it look like I’d actually thought through the color scheme – LOL.

Before we knew it, we were playing Farkle with a surprisingly quiet board that had just the right amount of bounce.

Of course, now that I have a little experience with this filament, I’m dreaming about what I can do it with it artistically ….