The joke is that what do you do with a 3D printer other than print your next printer mod. Or calibration prints. Either way, the entire purpose behind buying a 3D printer was because I’d be a lot more free with printing organizers and stuff, especially rando models on sites like Prusaprinters or Thingiverse or Cults, if I had my own printer.
Simple Pi camera mount and Pi camera wrench
When I got my Ender 3v2, I also got a Raspberry Pi and moved over to using OctoPi fairly quickly. And the first thing I did was print a camera mount for my Pi camera because it’s a simple sort of framework thing and so I wouldn’t feel bad about eventually replacing it with a better mount once I’d figured out what that would be.
The number one reason why I got myself a printer was to make organizers and boxes.
I spent a lot of time looking through the various sites and the LuckyResistor design looked interesting and had some especially interesting design features that I wanted to see printed.
I had printed a ball bearing test so I could test the available clearance. It failed because I was having first-layer issues and stuff, but I decided to try one of these anyway and it printed on my not-really-dialed-in printer just fine.
It’s pretty darn magical, actually. You print it and it’s a snap-shut box!
Even better: It’s made in OpenSCAD, so you can generate arbitrarily sized boxes!
BOSL2 test pieces: truss-bits, screw-joiners, dovetail joints
The BOSL2 library is really promising looking as a way to make shorthand out of OpenSCAD.
One thing that 3D printing leads you to do is print things in pieces and then connect them. Obviously, you can slice an object and just insert pins, but I really tend to think that more carefully designed connectors with dovetails and slots and joiners is going to lead to overall better results. Plus, the 3D printer is perfect for generating those sorts of joiners, so it feels like you are wasting an incredible design feature that way.
The cube truss bits look pretty cool, although I don’t think PLA is the right material for them because everything snapped when I tried to snap it together.
The screw joiners printed perfectly and so did the dovetail joints.
My WIP box design
I used a few of the people’s paramaterizable box generators as inspiration to write one on my own using BOSL2.
I’m not super-pleased with a lot of the attributes yet, but I did discover that BOSL2’s corrugated wall is super sturdy even if you print a 0.8mm thick wall, which has me thinking about thin-wall designs.
Everybody seems to make one of these. Whenever there’s an item, like a filament feed arm, that everybody insists is something you fab, I start to wonder if it’s really necessary or just something that everybody thinks you should do.
What it’s supposed to do is make the filament stop coming into the extruder at such a sharp angle that it wears a groove into it.
It took me a few tries, so I mostly ended up printing it because I could finally make sense out of the situation.
It turns out that the firmware on my printer is a little old and ArcWelder will mostly work except when it triggers a buffer overflow, so I printed it a few times and got weird flawed results before I finally printed it right.
This was designed to be printed for PETG but I printed it anyway in PLA because it looked really close to something that would fill my needs.
The 2 AA battery version printed perfectly, so I got excited and printed an 8 battery version and it didn’t slip-fit at the default slack. I’ll probably revisit it later with PETG.
Custom electronics workbench organizer
I have a set of electronics tools that I use a lot: My little pen-style multimeter, a pair of twezers, a wire-cutter, a wire-stripper, a set of scissors, and a pair of screwdrivers.
I decided making a tabletop organizer for this would really serve my organizational needs, so I designed it real quick in OpenSCAD. It took all day to print, like 12-13 hours, but it printed.
I was asking myself what else would make it easier for me to have an easier time with my electronics workbench and a solder spool holder started to sound pretty reasonable.
There are a bunch of these, but this one is paramaterizable and relatively tiny.
My WIP vase-mode bin
I’m still working on this design. I’d printed a tiny one just to understand vase-mode before I printed the next thing, then I returned it to print a full-size version and it didn’t quite print but it’s still usable.
Vase mode is also magical just because of how fast it prints. Part of why I printed the small one was so that I’d have a tiny little vase mode test piece so I could understand if I’d got the settings right.
I do a lot of photography with flashes, less so while a pandemic rages, of course. After a shoot, I end up with a bunch of NiMH AA batteries in sets of 4 to deal with, and this seemed like a fast-printing magical way to keep them all ready for me to run through a charger.
- The printer calibration is a bit not quite right still. I need to work on things a bit more, but I’m also focused on printing organizers for things that will make my life easier so I got to a reasonable-ish point and then I got tired of dealing with it.
- I only printed one actual mod: The bracket. Most everything else is at least trying
- OpenSCAD is pretty darn nice.