Category Archives: 3D Printing

Nexus 7 NFC Extender

Design files for this project can be found here

Here’s a project that I worked on a few years ago that I keep forgetting to publish. At the time, the old card swipe entry system to my graduate lab was getting in pretty old, so we wanted to revamp it with modern technology. Instead of granting entry via the magnetic card on the student ID, we wanted to have a wireless solution that could easily be updated in the future. The solution involved a Nexus 7 mounted in the window of the door, connected to a wireless router that controlled a solenoid within the door, and individual NFC tags to grant access for each user.

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A Guide to High Quality 3D Prints

This is NOT a guide for those who are new at 3D printing!
My Simplify3D profile can be found here while calibration STLs can be downloaded here

THIS GUIDE IS NOW OUTDATED WITH THE RELEASE OF SIMPLIFY3D v3.0
Please reference Simplify3D’s troubleshooting guide instead.

Getting a perfect 3D print is notoriously difficult, even with a fairly expensive top-of-the-line consumer printer such as the Ultimaker 2. While there are some very good guides out there (see IRobertI’s guide in particular), many of these guides don’t go beyond the basics for calibrating a 3D printer. To address this, I’ve decided to write up a fairly comprehensive troubleshooting and optimization guide tailored for the Ultimaker 2 with Simplify3D (v2.2.2) as the slicing engine. Most of the information in this guide however can also be applied to other 3D printers. All of the following notes and tips are derived solely from my experiences. Detailed macro photographs are provided to back my observations and also serve as a comprehensive visual aid.

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Handheld 3:1/4:1 Planetary Gearbox

Design files for this project can be found here
Parts have been designed to be 0.3mm larger. This should be taken taken into account when printing.

Here’s a gearbox that I made for testing purposes back when I was designing my improved filament extruder. Comprised of ten parts, this low-tolerance gearbox is spec’ed to have no backlash between the gears if properly printed. If the annular gear is held, the sun gear and carrier will rotate at a 4:1 ratio. If the carrier is held, the sun gear and annular gear will rotate at a 3:1 ratio. For more information on 3D printed gears and/or epicyclic (planetary) gearboxes, see the bottom of my post on the NEMA 17 gearbox project page.

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Improved Ultimaker 2 Fan Mount

Design files for this project can be found here

One of the often overlooked issued with 3D printing and hot-end design for filament extruders is the cooling mechanism that helps to solidifies the filament after extrusion. Nearly all designs utilize one or two axial fans attached on the sides of the extruder to cool the material after it is extruded. While many of these designs work fairly well, none of these designs are tuned to allow for high print consistencies when fan and print speeds are rapidly changing. Here’s my attempt at designing a fan mount for the Ultimaker 2 that tries to keep the hot-end nozzle’s temperature consistent regardless of changes in the fan or print speeds.

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3D Printed Precision Paste Dispenser

Design files for this project can be found here
3/16/2015 – Revision C update
6/25/2015 – Download link for my custom software added

Here is a design for a precision paste dispenser that I’ve been working on for the last few months. The goal of this project was to build a solder paste dispenser with a focus on consistent performance, 3D printable design, and minimal use of extraneous parts. While other designs exist (see here, here, here, here, or here), none of the existing designs are capable of low-volume paste dispensing at a consistency required for surface mount parts. These existing implementations are inherently limited by their design: they all use basic pneumatic or belt driven systems that simply don’t offer enough control. Commercial solutions certainly exist (see the Nordson’s EFD series, Fisnar’s PDV-1000 and RV5000DPM, IntelliSpense’s Auger Valve system, Techcon System’s TS7000, and Nordson ASYMTEK Spectrum II) but they usually run well into thousands of dollars ($5k+) for a basic system.

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