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3D Printer prep - ideas for plastic parts you wish they made?


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#21 rtrski

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:20 AM

Printer finally arrived. Got its software configured and after a couple false starts have the print head moving in X and Y freely and the table in Z. Haven't calibrated table to extruder distance yet.

The downside - no filament to print with! My order is backordered. Will probably put in an order from somewhere else this weekend so I can get started sometime next week.

Google/Trimble Sketchup may not be a very functional 3D modeler. Watching the how to videos it seems great, but in action, trying to do things like produce a conical hole in a solid seem to result in a lot of missing faces or other errors. Perhaps clean-able, but I'm looking for other 3D modeling options. Found links for a couple other inexpensive 3D cad tools...well, relatively. AutoDesk has 123D, which is (or appears to be) free, so far just downloaded and watched one of the videos but haven't installed yet. Not sure I like what I see, its another 'easy peezy sexed up fast interface' (why does all modern software UI seem crafted for the computer gamer or touchscreen / tablet set, and sacrifice precision and utility??) but might have some of the same issues I'm having with Sketchup. Alibre personal-edition looks like a really well-rounded parametric 3D modeling suite...but at $200 it better be, I really didn't want to spend that much. They do offer a trial so I'll probably download and get myself hooked.

Open to other suggestions. "Real" CAD suites like AutoCAD Inventor, Solidworks, Pro/E, etc. are just out of my price range for home use.

First project will probably be something simple (after a couple calibration parts): a tamp stand for our espresso maker portafilter and handle. Basically a small table with a conical and half-cylindrical depression cut out the top and thru-hole for the nozzle so you can tamp the puck without it rocking all over the place. Shouldn't require much precision. After that , start thinking my way thru camera-related parts I want.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#22 Poliwog

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:47 PM

For 2D CAD work try DraftSight, its free.

http://www.3ds.com/p...sight/overview/

For 3D CAD, I use Freecad open source software, its also free, but lacks good documentation.

http://sourceforge.n...jects/free-cad/

For what its worth, I tried Alibre Personel edition. You do not get the sheet metal section with the personal edition, it is an upgrade from the $200 you just paid for the personal edition.

I had a Windows Vista Business crash on me during a Winodws Update.(Go figure!) Anyway, Alibre will not start now because of the operating system re-install and customer support has failed to respond to my inquiries for the last two weeks, even though thier website promises a reply in 24 hours.

That's just my personal experience, your mileage may vary.

Personally, if I had to do it all over again, I would keep my $200 in my pocket and just download FreeCad.

I am starting to like open source software more and more these days.
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Nikon D2x, D7000, Aquatica D2x, AD7000, SunStrobe 200 x2, Inon Z240 x2, TLC Arms

#23 rtrski

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

Whoa - thanks for the link to FreeCAD. That looks like it just might be the ticket.

EDIT - Ouch, man that code looks good, but is buggy and clunky. Probably took me 3-4 tries to figure out the right sequence to not have 'holes' in my resulting solid, but I think I finally got the tamp stand designed. Thanks again for the suggestion though - I'm sure I'll slowly ramp up on the learning curve and it does seem like a very capable product for free. Some unreliability is the price you pay for not paying a price. Posted Image


TampStand_v002_RocketEspressoGiottoPremium_1spout.JPG

Edited by rtrski, 03 November 2012 - 05:25 AM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#24 Poliwog

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

Wow, looks like you're a pretty quick study to get that far.

Glad you like the program.

As you said, a little buginess is a small price to pay for the program.

I just found a shared open work space in a neighbouring city that features a 3D printer (Reprap), cutting laser, and I believe, cnc machine, so I will be accelerating my learning curve very soon.
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#25 rtrski

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:43 PM

I do electromagnetics for a living, using a program called HFSS (High Frequency Structure Simulator). Front end is a 3d CAD package that uses solid primitives, Booleans, revolutions and extrustions, etc. to generate the model, and its all parametric with a 'history' tree as well. So I'm familiar with the concepts, just have to adjust to another modeler's way of doing things, and avoid automatic habits. You should hear me cursing going between HFSS and AutoCAD at work (and yes, I considered using those, but doing too much 'personal modeling' at work is a good recipe for getting into trouble.) Usually the 3D view manipulation shortcuts are the hardest habits to switch back and forth between, FreeCAD's middle-wheel-down then leftclick and drag is a bit of a pain compared to to the Alt-Leftclick-drag rotation I'm used to for example.

Still, thanks again, very much, Paul.

And in another touch of irony, I put in an order for ABS filament from a second source on Friday, got shipping notice, and then got the shipping notice for the backordered filament from Solidoodle today. Hah. So next week might have first part pix to show, then on to pertinent (camera/dive related) designs!

Edited by rtrski, 03 November 2012 - 12:43 PM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#26 davelew

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:55 AM

Why not to print an underwater housing? Has anyone tried?


There are some 3D printers that use a laser to selectively sinter titanium or brass powders into a solid metal of any shape, and then let you shake off the excess powder that wasn't sintered. Those would probably be interesting for camera housings, since the sintered metal is strong and watertight.

The main issue is that 3D printing doesn't leave smooth surfaces, there are voxels (the 3D equivalent to pixels) around 0.1mm or .004". For many uses those voxels are OK, but that sort of rough surface tends to cause problems with o-rings and sealing-- think of lots of sand on every o-ring surface, and what that would do to seals over time.

#27 rtrski

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

Well, it took some dialing in but the printer is finally functional. Made my first 'real' part (by which I mean, not just a part to improve the functioning of the machine itself, like a filament guide arm, hubs for the filament spindles to hold skate bearings and improve the filament feed, flange-mount end pieces for the PVC filament spool support piping, dial plunge-gauge mounting to the print head...) today.

It's pretty simple - just a contoured slipcover for a Manfrotto/Gitzo tripod QR plate so you can leave the QR plate on the camera and not suffer the pains of those wedge points in the webbing between your thumb and forefinger, should you like to use your left hand to support under the body as you finger the lens zoom rings. (Out of housing, obviously.)

http://www.thingiver.../thing:35316 - Unfortunately I printed in a rather Canonesque red. I have a nice high visibility Sony-like orange spool, but the red was already all rigged up so I just went with it. Posted Image

EDIT LOL that link above is bad, but it's so funny I left it in there. Correct link here:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:35316

I'll probably more or less retire from posting in this thread and let it fade into the memory hole, but will post new DIY threads with specific subjects as I start churning out parts to try and make photographic life easier.

Edited by rtrski, 21 November 2012 - 05:35 PM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...