Neil's News

3D Printing

12 March 2023

This blog has routinely featured wood working, metal working, and laser cutting, yet for some reason 3D printing has been absent. It's not deliberate. I 3D print a lot of things, but they tend to be smaller projects. So here's a roundup of some recent original prints:

I picked up a used christmas tree stand for $1. It was cheap because the pressure pads that clamp onto the tree were missing. So I designed and printed some new ones. They are supposed to thread onto the stand's bolts, but I don't know how to model threads in SketchUp. So I just held the bolts over a candle's flame, then screwed them into the thermoplastic -- worked nicely.

Files on Thingiverse.

One of Beverly's tenders had 'coal' that was simply scribbled in. She deserves better, so I printed a heap of coal and epoxied it to the top of the tender.

Files on Thingiverse.

Coleman water jugs from the 1980s have a plastic stopper that covers the air vent. The original design of this stopper (left of first picture) features some hard angles where a round profile meets a rectangular profile. Stress fractures concentrate at this location and eventually the stopper breaks in twain. I redesigned the stopper (right of first picture) to have a smooth transition.

However, due to the layered nature of 3D printing, a vertically-oriented print of the stopper might be weaker than desired. So I split the model in half in order to print it horizontally. In the third picture there's an original stopper (white), a vertically-oriented print (pink), and a horizontally-oriented pair of halves glued together (blue).

Files on Thingiverse.

My four ex-Google lava lamps would normally plug into a power bar. But I wanted a cleaner solution. So I built a wooden hexagonal junction box. I chose to 3D print the lid for the bottom of the box rather than to fiddle with increasingly smaller pieces of wood.

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