3D Printing, Christmas, Programming

Today’s Functional Print: Christmas Light Clips

In today’s “’tis the season to be printing” news, I’ve printed replacement Christmas light clips.

single-clip

They took about half an hour to model in OpenSCAD, and each one can print in only three minutes. Their exact design appears to be unique to the decoration that they came from, but these very similar clips sell for $2.99 for a pack of 100, so each clip has a retail value of about three cents.

These were printed for my mother-in-law, so I don’t yet have a photo of them in action, but here’s what the clip looks like attached to a bulb.

clip-on-light

Let’s play “Find the original clip!” It’s in there somewhere.

batch-of-clips

The OpenSCAD script and STL file are available on GitHub.

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3D Printing, Programming

Today’s Functional Print: Cootie Eyes

In today’s “is he posting about Cootie again?” news, I’ve printed replacement eyes for our Cootie game. The eyes are tiny and get lost really easily, so they are a natural candidate for replenishment.

cootie-o-clock

These eyes are so small that I had to dial the print speed down to 3 millimeters per second (from 30 mm/s) so that plastic would have time to cool before the next layer was added and so the motion of the printer didn’t tip over the eye as it printed the top of the peg.

cootie-eyes-in-place

That’s a face that only a mother cootie could love.

The OpenSCAD script and STL file are available on GitHub.

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3D Printing, Programming

Today’s Functional Print: Cootie Legs

In today’s “does that really count as functional” news, I’ve printed replacement legs for our Cootie game. You can’t buy replacement parts for Cootie, so the retail value of these legs is literally priceless.

bulk-cootie-legs

cootie

cootie-legs-closeup

These legs are low-polygon because I’m not yet experienced enough in OpenSCAD to replicate organic shapes. I generated these legs by intersecting the extruded x, y, and z profiles of an original leg, seen here:

original-cootie-leg

The OpenSCAD script and STL file are available on GitHub.

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3D Printing, Programming

Today’s Functional Print: Train Valve Gear

In today’s “how did I ever live without a 3D printer” news, I’ve saved a decades-old toy train from the trash heap by printing a new valve gear for its left side of its wheels. The train is a 1986 model New Bright toy train, and it was destined to encircle our Christmas tree, but a missing piece was causing the front left wheel to get lifted off the track by a dragging piston rod. It took about half an hour to design a replacement in OpenSCAD and an hour to print. Its value is immeasurable.

Here’s the component by itself.

wheel-bracket

And here it is in place:

train-engine

You might not be able to pinpoint it, since it fits so perfectly that it’s undetectable as an aftermarket add-on. Here’s a closeup:

wheel-bracket-in-place

The OpenSCAD script and STL file are available on GitHub.

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3D Printing, Programming, Woodworking

Today’s Functional Print: Shop-Vac Adapter

In today’s “printing meets programming meets woodworking” news, I’ve printed an adapter that allows me to hook up my Shop-Vac hose (1 1/4″ diameter) to my planer’s dust port (4″ diameter). The adapter was designed in OpenSCAD using a module I wrote that can create adapters between two hoses of any size.

adapter-on-bed

This print was also my first time using a cold acetone vapor bath to smooth out an ABS print. A vapor bath melts the edges and ridges in the print, smoothing out the whole thing. Here’s how the adapter looked after three hours soaking in vapor:

too-much-vapor

Whoops! Three hours was too long… although it is very smooth and shiny. I printed another adapter, but this time, I cut the layer height in half, to 0.1mm. This resulted in a much smoother surface that didn’t need acetone smoothing, but it took twice as long to print.

smooth-funnel

The largest available Shop-Vac adapter on Amazon is 2 1/2″ across and retails for $8.37, so this 4″ adapter can be reasonably appraised at $10. Money in my pocket, and it sure beats the duct tape I was previously using to connect the two machines.

The OpenSCAD script and STL file are available on GitHub.

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3D Printing

Today’s Functional Print: Drawer Hardware

In today’s “we’re living in the future” news, I bought a dresser for only ten dollars because none of the drawers slid smoothly, and I printed replacement drawer slides, returning the dresser to a fully functional state. (The original slides that came with the dresser were all broken for unknown reasons.)

The hardware I printed is a suitable replacement for the Rite Track brand Kenlin socket and case runner. Each set’s retail value is approximately $4.90, and because I needed eight of them, I saved $39.20.

This is the socket that attaches to the drawer:

component-socket

It was printed in two pieces and glued together to avoid needing to print excessive amounts of support material.

component-socket-pieces

Here it is in place:

component-socket-in-place

And here’s the corresponding runner that it fits into on the under-drawer metal bar:

case-runner

The SketchUp models and STL files are available on GitHub.

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