Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

Building From Scratch

My modifications are now complete. I printed a simple height gage so I can easily set my two Z-Axis heights the same. The actual measure is not important. They both just have to be the same.

There are thousands, probably many thousands of ready to 3D print objects available on the internet for free download. I have printed a few of them. I have no problem using that resource. But there is another way to get to a finished print. Since the gage was rather unique, an Idea in my head, I started from there.

I demonstrated the power of the 3D printing concept to my 44 year old son, Steve. He likes technical, the same as I. So I drew the gage in Rhino 3d. I decided to fancy it up a bit because the printer really doesn’t care how detailed the part may be. I added lightening holes and beveled the edges. Then exported it as a .stl file. I looked at it in the “3D Builder” that is free with Windows10. It looked good (see picture) but it reported some error in the .stl file structure which I let it repair. Then I saved it again.

Next I dropped it into Simplify3D where it printed. I think Simplify 3D could have fixed the file errors the same as 3D Builder. Steve watched the whole creation process but couldn’t hang around for the finish of the printing. The drawing and editing was quick. What he saw in about 30 minutes was an imagined concept for a part become a solid reality. He watched the magic CNC moves dancing around for about 20 minutes before he left.

gage FullSizeRender
Rendering from Simplify 3D The part just finished!

 

Another Project

I have the mental concept for a wax chip blower for my Taig milling machine I use for jewelry wax carving. I don’t need water or mist cooling and running the compressor for high pressure air is not very quiet or energy efficient.

I have ordered a miniature 12 volt computer type fan and a 2 amp variable power supply for speed control. I will design a 3D printed bracket to mount it to the Taig milling head and then add a 3D printed nozzle to direct the air flow towards the cutting bit. Very similar to what is on my 3D printer.

 I can easily clear the chips with just a puff of air from my mouth so a full time blower should easily and quietly keep the wax chips clear of the cutting. The chips are heavy enough not to float in the air. I can easily vacuum them up after the piece is finished on the machine.

So I have emagineered another practical use for the 3D printer. I’ll be posting the results in a few weeks at most.

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