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Archive for the ‘3d Printer hacks’ Category

[Ty Palowski] doesn’t like folding his many shirts. He saw one of those boards on TV that supposedly simplifies folding, but it does require you to manually move the board. That just won’t do, so [Ty] motorized it to create a shirt folding robot.

The board idea is nothing new, and probably many people wouldn’t mind the simple operation required, but what else are you going to do with your 3D printer but make motor mounts for a shirt folding machine. The folding board is, of course, too big for 3D printing so he made that part out of cardboard at first and then what looks like foam board.

The side “wings” were easy to manipulate, but the top fold required a little more effort. The machine still requires a manual fold at the end and, of course, you have to put the shirt on the right way for things to work out.

Honestly, we aren’t sure this is a very practical project, but we still enjoyed the idea and we can’t deny it seems to work. We don’t think there’s much torque required so we wondered if some beefy RC servos would have been just as effective and probably a lot easier to work with. Still, just about anything that could move would work. You could probably even use a spring and a solenoid to get the same effect. There’s not much build detail, but we think you could figure it out using whatever motors you happen to have on hand.

If you find laundry too time-consuming, there’s always Eleven. If you want a better folding robot, you’ll have to put in some serious work.

When it comes to cleaning your hands, [Arnov Sharma] is not messing around. He built an automatic soap dispenser using ultrasonic sensors, a stepper motor for activating the pump, and 3D printed components for housing a bottle of soap – a spectacular display of over-engineering. At least he won’t be needing to stand in line at the supermarket for motion detection soap dispensers anytime soon.

Initially, he had the idea to build the dispenser using a common servo motor-based method.  This would involve activating motors to push down on the plunger for the soap bottle to dispense soap. Instead, he for a different approach that ended up being fairly straightforward in theory, although the execution is pretty involved.

Model of the soap dispenser made in Fusion 360

He started off by 3D printing the compartment where the soap bottle would sit and the structural support for the Z-axis rail that would be pushing down on the soap bottle. It’s similar to the type of linear actuator you might find in a 3D printer or PCB mill, where a motor controls a rotating screw that moves the carriage across a belt. (We presume the linear rail came first, and the ultrasonic soap dispenser second.)

In this build, there are two additional rods added to help support the lever pressing down on the soap dispenser.

 

The setup is controlled by an Arduino, which triggers the movement from the linear actuator if it receives a signal from an ultrasonic sensor. He’s added the model files and Arduino code for other makers curious about building a similar project. Check out his video for the soap dispenser in action – the stepper motor definitely makes for a much more powerful plunge than you might expect.

When it comes to cleaning your hands, [Arnov Sharma] is not messing around. He built an automatic soap dispenser using ultrasonic sensors, a stepper motor for activating the pump, and 3D printed components for housing a bottle of soap – a spectacular display of over-engineering. At least he won’t be needing to stand in line at the supermarket for motion detection soap dispensers anytime soon.

Initially, he had the idea to build the dispenser using a common servo motor-based method.  This would involve activating motors to push down on the plunger for the soap bottle to dispense soap. Instead, he for a different approach that ended up being fairly straightforward in theory, although the execution is pretty involved.

Model of the soap dispenser made in Fusion 360

He started off by 3D printing the compartment where the soap bottle would sit and the structural support for the Z-axis rail that would be pushing down on the soap bottle. It’s similar to the type of linear actuator you might find in a 3D printer or PCB mill, where a motor controls a rotating screw that moves the carriage across a belt. (We presume the linear rail came first, and the ultrasonic soap dispenser second.)

In this build, there are two additional rods added to help support the lever pressing down on the soap dispenser.

 

The setup is controlled by an Arduino, which triggers the movement from the linear actuator if it receives a signal from an ultrasonic sensor. He’s added the model files and Arduino code for other makers curious about building a similar project. Check out his video for the soap dispenser in action – the stepper motor definitely makes for a much more powerful plunge than you might expect.

Mankind will always wonder whether we’re alone in the universe. What is out there? Sure, these past weeks we’ve been increasingly wondering the same about our own, direct proximity, but that’s a different story. Up until two years ago, we had the Kepler space telescope aiding us in our quest for answers by exploring exoplanets within our galaxy. [poblocki1982], who’s been fascinated by space since childhood times, and has recently discovered 3D printing as his new thing, figured there is nothing better than finding a way to combine your hobbies, and built a simplified model version simulating the telescope’s main concept.

The general idea is to detect the slight variation of a star’s brightness when one of its planets passes by it, and use that variation to analyze each planet’s characteristics. He achieves this with an LDR connected to an Arduino, allowing both live reading and logging the data on an SD card. Unfortunately, rocket science isn’t on his list of hobbies yet, so [poblocki1982] has to bring outer space to his home. Using a DC motor to rotate two “planets” of different size, rotation speed, and distance around their “star”, he has the perfect model planetary system that can easily double as a decorative lamp.

Obviously, this isn’t meant to detect actual planets as the real Kepler space telescope did, but to demonstrate the general concept of it, and as such makes this a nice little science experiment. For a more pragmatic use of our own Solar System, [poblocki1982] has recently built this self-calibrating sundial. And if you like rotating models of planets, check out some previous projects on that.

If you want to take beautiful night sky pictures with your DSLR and you live between 15 degrees and 55 degrees north latitude you might want to check out OpenAstroTracker. If you have a 3D printer it will probably take about 60 hours of printing, but you’ll wind up with a pretty impressive setup for your camera. There’s an Arduino managing the tracking and also providing a “go to” capability.

The design is over on Thingiverse and you can find code on GitHub. There’s also a Reddit dedicated to the project. The tracker touts its ability to handle long or heavy lenses and to target 180 degrees in every direction.

Some of the parts you must print are specific to your latitude to within 5 degrees, so if you live at latitude 43 degrees, you could pick the 40-degree versions of the parts. So far though, you must be in the Northern hemisphere between 15 and 55 degrees.

What kind of images can you expect? The site says this image of Andromeda was taken over several nights using a Soligor 210mm f/4 lens with ISO 800 film.

Not bad at all! Certainly not the view from our $25 department store telescope.

If you’d rather skip the Arduino, try a cheap clock movement. Or you can replace the clock and the Arduino with yourself.

What is part way between a printed circuit board and a rats-nest of point-to-point wiring? We’re not sure, but this is it. [Johan von Konow] has come up with an inspired solution, 3D printing an Arduboy case with channels ready-made for all the wires. The effect with his 3DPCBoy is of a PCB without the PCB, and allows the console to be made very quickly and cheaply.

The Arduboy — which we originally looked at back in 2014 — is a handheld gaming console in a somewhat Gameboy-like form factor. Normally a credit-card sized PCB hosts all the components, including a microcontroller, display, and buttons. Each has a predictable footprint and placement so they can simply be wired together with hookup wire, if you don’t mind a messy result.

Here the print itself has all the holes ready-created for the components, and the path of the wires has a resemblance to the sweeping traces of older hand-laid PCBs. The result is very effective way to take common components — and Arduino pro micro board for the uC, an OLED breakout board, and some buttons — and combine them into a robust package. This technique of using 3D prints as a combination of enclosure and substrate for components and wiring has an application far beyond handheld gaming. We look forward to seeing more like it.

[Via the Arduboy community forum, thanks [Kevin Bates] for the tip.]

We’ve noticed a rash of builds of [ FedorSosnin’s] do-it-yourself 3D-printed mechanical keyboard, SiCK-68 lately. The cost is pretty low — SiCK stands for Super, Inexpensive, Cheap, Keyboard. According to the bill of materials, the original cost about $50. Of course, that doesn’t include the cost of the 3D printer and soldering gear, but who doesn’t have all that already?

The brains behind this is a Teensy that scans the hand-wired key matrix. So the only electronics here are the switches, each with a companion diode, and the Teensy. The EasyAVR software does all the logical work both as firmware and a configuration GUI.

If you look at the many different builds, each has its own character. Yet they look overwhelmingly professional — like something you might buy at a store. This is the kind of project that would have been extremely difficult to pull off a decade ago. You could build the keyboard, of course, but making it look like a finished product was beyond most of us unless we were willing to make enough copies to justify having special tooling made to mold the cases.

PCBs are cheap now and we might be tempted to use one here. There are quite a few methods for using a 3D printer to create a board, so that would be another option. The hand wiring seems like it would be a drag, although manageable. If you need wiring inspiration, we can help.

For ultimate geek cred, combine this with Ploopy.

[Will] wanted to build some animatronic eyes that didn’t require high-precision 3D printing. He wound up with a forgiving design that uses an Arduino and six servo motors. You can see the video of the eyes moving around in the video below.

The bill of materials is pretty simple and features an Arduino, a driver board, and a joystick. The 3D printing parts are easy to print with no supports, and will work with PLA. Other than opening up holes there wasn’t much post-processing required, though he did sand the actual eyeballs which sounds painful.

The result is a nice tight package to hold six motors, and the response time of the eye motion is very impressive. This would be great as part of a prop or even a robot in place of the conventional googly eyes.

While the joystick is nice, we’d like to see an ultrasonic sensor connected so the eyes track you as you walk across the room. Maybe they could be mounted behind an old portrait for next Halloween. Then again, perhaps a skull would be even better. If you want a refresher about servos, start with a laser turret tutorial.

This servo/gear reduction was assembled with almost all 3D-printed parts. Apart from a brushed 36 V DC-motor, a stainless steel shaft, and screws for holding the servo together, the only other non-printed part is the BTS7960B motor driver.

Some interesting stats about the plastic servo – its stall torque is about 55 kg/cm, reaching a peak current draw of 18 A when using a 6s LiPo battery outputting 22-24 V. The shaft rotates using two 20 mm holes and lubrication. (Ball bearings were originally in the design, but they didn’t arrive on time for the assembly.)

The holes of the gears are 6.2 mm in diameter in order to fit around the shaft, although some care is taken to sand or fill the opening depending on the quality of the 3D print.

This isn’t [Brian Brocken]’s only attempt at 3D-printing gears. He’s also built several crawling robots, a turntable, and a wind up car made entirely from acrylic. The .stl files for the project are all available online for anyone looking to make their own 3D-printed servo gears.

How do you know if your 3D printer bed is levelled? Oh, don’t worry – you’ll know. Without a level bed, filament won’t stick properly to the build surface and you’ll run into all sorts of other problems. Knowing how tricky it can be to get the bed just right, [Antzy] built a tool to help.

The device, which he calls the FS-Touch, is based around an Arduino Pro Micro fitted with a force sensitive resistor. This allows the distance between the bed and nozzle to be measured based on the force read by the resistor when placed in between the two.

Using the tool is simple. First, the bed is brought roughly into alignment using the typical paper method. Then, a reading is taken from one corner of the bed, and the measurement saved for reference. The other corners can then be set to the same level, with the aid of LEDs to guide the user in which direction to turn the adjustment knobs.

Measuring force in this way has the potential of being more repeatable than the somewhat difficult paper method. It promises to ease the task for users that may be struggling to get their bed in proper shape. Of course, automated bed levelling makes things even easier again. Video after the break.



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