3D print meeting wrap-up, June 13, 2016

We had another good 3D print gathering last night. New members Bosco, Che, and Dan attended; visitor Tony was investigating AMT, and veteran Enric brought along his latest work.

We started with a printer run through for the newbies. Che picked out a cool little Minecraft sword that we found on Thingiverse. It’s compatible with Lego characters, and is small enough to afford instant gratification.

Dan has begun working with Solidworks recently and has already modeled some impressive parts. He was off and running immediately. Dan, can we convince you to write up a project post with more detail? All members can post on the new AMT website! The parts look really interesting, and the post would be good reading even if the project is incomplete.


Enric as usual brought along one of his recent Arduino projects; LED lights for his roller skates. Enric makes custom cases for the electronics; this one fit neatly right under the skate. Enric, we’d love to see project posts from you too!


While Dan was printing away, the rest of us ducked into the classroom, hooked up the projector and brainstormed about design. I had an idea for a little bracket to hold a mirror behind my old camera so I can see the screen and shoot selfies. We got the design done, but by then it was a bit too late to print it out.


So, I just attempted to print it on my own printer. Unfortunately it got knocked off the build platform when it was about two-thirds done. <sigh> Next time I’ll use the brim feature to hold it on better.


Still, enough of it printed to enable me to test it out.


There are a few issues I want to fix before reprinting:

The raised boss in the middle was intended to accommodate a woodworking-style blind nut, so that the bracket could be mounted to a tripod. It has pointed teeth which are ordinarily driven into the wood to keep the nut from turning.


We modeled slots for these teeth, which turned out to be a bit too small. Holes often have to be enlarged for 3D printing; I thought I’d done so, but evidently not enough. Also, the teeth on the blind-nut aren’t perfectly straight, so they probably require a bit of wiggle room.


We modeled a simple hole in front to mount the camera with a screw, which I immediately found annoying. A knob would be much more convenient, preferably one that’s somehow captured with the bracket so it doesn’t get lost.

But, the biggest problem is that the geometry turned out to be all wrong. When the camera is framed properly, the mirror is hidden behind it. If I turn it enough to see the screen, the camera points at my bellybutton.



So, it still needs a bit of work. Maybe it would work better if the mirror was positioned to the side of the camera rather than above it…? Anyway, I’ll keep after it and post an update.