3D Printing tools!

So over Christmas, I got a 3D printer (PrintrBot Play). It’s a simple thing and I wanted it to see what the big fuss was about.

It seems like most people use 3D printers to make toys, but that seems like a waste.

I originally looked at using one to create project enclosures (which I may still do); however, I realized that I could use it to make hard to find parts.

For example, late last Summer, I purchased a set of studio strobe lights. These lights had a different mount on the bottom of them (compared to most modern ones).

I was thinking I was going to have to make a stand for them and go to Home Depot to get a steel rod and a sheet of aluminum to cut pieces out, but then I realized that I could just make an adapter to fit on a tripod.

Now, since this is a unique object, there wasn’t going to be one made already that I could download and print. So, time to get creative!

I wondered what I could use to make models with and then it hit me: Blender!

I’ve toyed with Blender before, but to call myself any good at it is a real stretch. Luckily there are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube.

The first couple are okay, but the real meat comes in video 03.

Anyway after an hour and a half of work (if you know the program it certainly can be done in like 15 min tops) I was able to get my mount.

I exported it as a .stl and then I had to figure out how to create gCode from it (which is what the printer itself uses).

PrintrBot recommend Cura, but that doesn’t support OpenSuSE. Thanks to alien, I was able to convert it to an RPM (58MB) , which can be installed using rpm or zypper.

The PrintrBot Play is not listed in cura, so after talking to PrintrBot support:

Is you dont want to do this, take the option for Printrbot Simple Makers and then change the Z height in the Machines Settings to 130.

Make sure the start GCODE has;
G28 X0 Y0
G28 Y0

After doing that, I’m getting my mounts printed and they seem to be good to go!

Happy Hacking!

Minor grammar corrections and more tags.

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