a glob of nerd­ish­ness

Printing my first part

published by natevw on Subscribe

Since putting my Printrbot to work in September, I've printed many things:

All of these were from files others had made and posted online. Transmitting just the bits to wherever the atoms are needed is incredibly nifty, and it's neat to even see hardware companies get involved with its potential.

But it was really rewarding to finally sit down last week, and work at some 3D modeling software long enough, to print my own design! I used SketchUp to draw out a simple but effective version of a microwave turntable coupler that was missing from Room to Think's microwave:

SketchUp screenshot First iteration on printer New part in microwave

It took a bit of iteration, especially with my calipers left at home. Since I couldn't figure out how to adjust things like a circle radius that won't just push/pull I actually started from scratch each time, but it was good practice and it's reasonably fast to draw out new parts.

(It certainly must be rapid prototyping when it is easier to just try a couple prints than get decent measurements!)

This type of thing might be a better fit with OpenSCAD for easier adjustment, but the SketchUp files and an STL export are shared on Thingiverse in case anyone else ever needs one close to this size/shape — it's a lot cheaper to print a second copy, once the unpaid CAD work is done!

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