Some 3D printing projects *UPDATED august 17th – 2014*

As a Solidworks-addict, in combination with my 3D printing addiction, I have *lots and lots* of ideas,
so after beeing ill for to long, I started working out some of these projects.


1. Hexapod

So, Andy, my hexapod, is finally “up and running”.
I used a BotBorduino & SSC32 to control the servo’s, a wireless PS2 controller to control “the beast”, and a 7.4V LiPo. (I used 4 diodes in serie, to get the voltage down to about 5V Furthermore, I used the LynxMotion Phoenix firmware.

Click here to see a short movie of Andy – the hexapod.

2. Walking minions
I discovered these small walking minions on thingiverse.
After downloading the STL files, I printed them, installed a 2 channel RC receiver, and arduino mini
(with the minion firmware flashed to it), 4 9g servo’s and 3x 1.5V batteries, and “off they went” 🙂

3. Desklamp
We found some Desk lamp files in solidworks format on GrabCad.
I modified it, so I could fit an Arduino mini, an RF24L01 and some FETs into the feet of te lamp, and a luxeon 3W in the head.
I still need to make 2 extra desk lamps, so I can replace our 3 “old” desk lamps with this new ones 🙂

4. Wheelie – selfbalancing robot
Stumbling on a Spanish page, maintained by Julio Jose, I discovered his selfbalancing robot, called “B-Robot”.
Jose made the OpenSCAD files and firmware available on his github. I couldn’t resist in also building one 🙂
I modified the OpenSCAD to my needs, and also modified the firmware,
so I could run it on the (Arduino) hardware I still had littering around.
I’m still waiting on the delivery of some sensors, to finish this robot 🙂

5. Rapiro
What started as as kickstarter project , did go very well for the Rapiro guys !
They needed 20.000 pound, but managed to fund about 75.000 pound.
So, they kept there promis, and also released the “source-files” of the Rapiro.
(ooh well, at least they released the STL files on thingiverse )
They also released assembly instructions, arduino firmware and schematics on the Rapiro website.
I still need to complete the assembly and start programming this little robot.

6. DigiClock – a “robotized” clock
Lightning struck me, after reading about the uArm 🙂
uFactory released the uArm design files in STEP/IGES format on GrabCad.
I downloaded them and converted them to Solidworks.
After thinking what to do with such a “Robot Arm”, I came up with the idea to build a clock with it.
(ooh well, one of my other addictions: building clocks)
So, I started to modify these design-files to fit my needs. In totally, I needed 3 of these “arms” for my clock project:
– 1 arm for the hours interface
– 1 arm for the minutes interface
– 1 arm for the hourly “westminster” chime

The time is represented in HH:MM format, by 4 balls. I designed the balls with 2 numbers on each ball.
The logic behind this, is that at any given time, only one ball for the minutes
and one ball for the hours needs to be replaced to indicate the “new time”.
e.g. for the minutes, 9 and 0 are on the same ball. This means that for the transistions between 59-00 , 09-10, 19-20 …,
the nine needs to be rotated to put the 0 in front, and only the left ball for the minutes
needs to be replaced. Furthermore, every 2 minutes a ball is replaced.
(for the “in between” minutes, the ball is rotated)
The hour-balls logic is a bit more complicated. We also have the 09-10, 19-20 transitions,
but the transition between 23 and 00 is a bit different. the right ball with the three is replaced with the ball with a zero on it.
The left ball does have the two and zero on the same ball, so only rotation of this ball is needed for the transition between 23 and 00.
So, to be able to show the new time as fast as possible, I will use a different arm for the hours and minutes logic.
The 3th arm will be used with a solenoid, to play the westminster chime on a xylophone/glockenspiel.
I bought a cheap xylophone via Ebay in Korea, and designed a new “half round” chassis, to put the metal “notes” on.
This project is currenlty in “printing process”, (first prototype of one of the robot-arms is ready)
but it will take some more weeks before I can start writing the software to control this clock.

7. DigiCube – large 3D printer
Almost all “consumer” 3D printers, do have a build-areae of about 20 x 20 cm. (some a bit larger)
For some project(s) next year, I needed a much larger print-area !
While surfing for such a large printer, I noticed pricing for these devices starting at 4000 euro !
So, the decision to design/create/build such a “large printer” myself, was a fast one 🙂
I started drawing in … Solidworks (what else ? lol) I’m sure I can build this “beast” for a few hundred euro.
Build-area will be about 55 x 55 x 55 cm (a bit more actually), and the main printer dimensions will be 79,8 x 79,8 x 79,8 cm.
(to fit within a 80x80x80 cabinet)
I will use a custom-made heatbed (230V), 8 steppermotors (for only 1 extruder !),
a completely closed acrylic housing, 12x 120mm fans (airflow) and a J-Head extruder.(with 2 extra 35 mm fans)
This printer will probably not be finished before the end of this year, but keep an eye on our blog to follow the progress …


Update – august 15th – 2014
Today I made some modifications to the robotic arms. I had some EL (electroluminescent) tape left, so I decided to embed the digitalplayground-url on the upperside of the robotic arm. I now have “lighted” publicity, for when I take the ball-clock with me to some faires and exhibitions 🙂

For those of you who don’t know what EL tape is, it literally tape, that lights up, when you put electricity on it.
(It’s actually thin copper, coated with phospor)
Check out this wiki-page for more info …

Update – august 17th – 2014
Today I mounted the last pieces together for the ball-holders, and the numbered balls themself are also done. (stil need to print the black numbers to fit on the balls)

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About Kris

I'm born on april 3th, 1974 in Leuven (Belgium). My love of my life is my lovely Christel Pauwels, with who I'm sharing love, my life, a nice house and lots of mutual hobbies and interests. (electronics / (model)trains / travelling / enjoying life / mechanics etc ...)
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One Response to Some 3D printing projects *UPDATED august 17th – 2014*

  1. Robbert Wondergem says:

    Hallo Kris,

    Ik heb met groeiende belangstelling jouw projecten bekeken, en ben echt onder de indruk van je vaardigheden.
    Als er iemand is die mij zou kunnen adviseren bij de bouw van een 3D printer, dan ben jij het wel.
    Om te beginnen heb ik natuurlijk een 3D printer nodig om de onderdelen te kunnen maken, en dacht hierbij aan de K8200 die binnen mijn budget valt.
    Ik zie dat er nogal wat aan gesleuteld zal moeten worden om die perfect te kunnen laten werken.
    Vroeger heb ik veel elektronicaprojecten in elkaar gesoldeerd, ben beroepsmatig met metaalbewerking en later CNC bezig geweest en nu ik met pensioen ben jeuken mijn vingers om weer eens iets te kunnen maken op dit gebied.
    Uit je documentatie maak ik op dat je meerdere 3D printers hebt gebouwd, en mogelijk wel afstand wil doen van de K8200.
    Om met mijn eerste printer al gelijk goed van start te kunnen zou ik het liefst een reeds gemodificeerde printer willen kopen, daarom bij deze mijn vraag of je die K8200 eventueel zou willen verkopen.
    Ik ben dan gelijk goed op weg en kan mijn eigen projecten starten.
    Mocht het niet kunnen, dan heb ik pech en zal het met een K8200 kit moeten doen die ik dan later weer zou kunnen aanpassen en dan misschien af en toe aankloppen bij je voor wat advies of suggesties.
    Zulke mooie dingen als jij er mee maakt liggen voorlopig nog buiten mijn bereik, maar een mens is nooit te oud om te leren.
    Ik hoop wat van je te mogen vernemen, en sterkte met je gezondheid.
    Met vriendelijke groet,
    Robbert.

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