Posts Tagged CNC

Check Your Zero

A recent OpenSCAD mailing list discussion started with an observation that the dimensions of printed parts were wildly different from the numeric values used in the OpenSCAD program that created the STL. Various folks suggested possible errors, examined the source and STL files to no avail, and were generally baffled.

Finally, a photo conclusively demonstrating the problem arrived:

Caliper - digital vs. analog scale

Caliper – digital vs. analog scale

Note the difference between the digital readout and the analog scale printed on the body.

Turns out it’s his first digital caliper: he simply didn’t realize you must close the jaws and press the ZERO button before making any measurements.

We’ve all been that guy. Right?

FWIW, our Larval Engineer can probably still hear me intoning “Check your zero” every time she picks up a caliper or turns on a multimeter. Perhaps she’ll think fondly of me, some day. [grin]

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Kenmore Progressive Vacuum Tool Adapters: Second Failure

Pretty much as expected, the dust brush nozzle failed again, adjacent to the epoxy repair:

Dust brush adapter - second break

Dust brush adapter – second break

A bit of rummaging turned up some ¾ inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe which, despite the fact that no plumbing measurement corresponds to any physical attribute, had about the right OD to fit inside the adapter’s ID:

Dust brush - PVC reinforcement

Dust brush – PVC reinforcement

The enlarged bore leaves just barely enough space for a few threads around the circumference. Fortunately, the pipe OD is a controlled dimension, because it must fit inside all the molded PVC elbows / tees / caps / whatever.

The pipe ID isn’t a controlled dimension and, given that the walls seemed far too thick for this purpose, I deployed the boring bar:

Dust brush adapter - reinforced tube - boring

Dust brush adapter – reinforced tube – boring

That’s probably too much sticking out of the chuck, but sissy cuts saved the day. The carriage stop keeps the boring bar 1 mm away from the whirling chuck.

Bandsaw it to length and face the ends:

Dust brush adapter - reinforcement

Dust brush adapter – reinforcement

The PVC tube extends from about halfway along the steep taper from the handle fitting out to the end, with the section closest to the handle making the most difference.

Ram it flush with the end:

Dust brush adapter - reinforced tube - detail

Dust brush adapter – reinforced tube – detail

I thought about gluing it in place, but it’s a sufficiently snug press fit that I’m sure it won’t go anywhere.

Natural PETG probably isn’t the right color:

Dust brush adapter - reinforced tube - installed

Dust brush adapter – reinforced tube – installed

Now, let’s see how long that repair lasts …

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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TCRT5000 Proximity Sensor Mount

Having a few TCRT5000 proximity sensors lying around, I used one for the Color Mixer so folks could just wave a finger to flip the LED colors, rather than pound relentlessly on the top plate:

Color mixer - controls

Color mixer – controls

The stem fits into a slot made with a 3/8 inch end mill:

Prox Sensor Bezel - Slic3r preview

Prox Sensor Bezel – Slic3r preview

You move the cutter by the length of the sensor (10.0 mm will work) to make the slot. In practical terms, drill a hole at the midpoint, insert the cutter, then move ±5.0 mm from the center:

Prox sensor panel cut

Prox sensor panel cut

A bead of epoxy around the stem on the bottom of the panel should hold it in place forevermore.

The rectangular inner hole came out a tight push fit for the TCRT5000 sensor, so I didn’t bother gluing it in place and, surprisingly, it survived the day unscathed!

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Reticle Guide for Ruler Quilting

I made the pencil guides to help Mary design ruler quilting patterns, but sometimes she must line up the ruler with a feature on an existing pattern. To that end, we now have a reticle guide:

Ruler Adapters - pencil guide and reticle

Ruler Adapters – pencil guide and reticle

The general idea is that it’s easier to see the pattern on paper through the crosshair than through a small hole. You put the button over a feature, align the reticle, put the ruler against the button, replace it with pencil guide, and away you go.

The solid model looks much more lively than you’d expect:

Ruler Adapter - reticle - Slic3r preview

Ruler Adapter – reticle – Slic3r preview

Printing up a pair of each button produces the same surface finish as before; life is good!

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Octal Tube Base Clamp

One of the octal tubes in my collection has a broken spigot / key post that lets some light in through the bottom of the normally opaque Bakelite base:

Octal socket in CD - LED diffraction

Octal socket in CD – LED diffraction

Perhaps drilling out the base would let more light pass around the evacuation tip, but that requires a shell drill to clear the tip. Some doodling suggested a drill with 12 mm OD and 8 mm ID, which was close enough to one of the smaller homebrew drills in my collection that I decided to see how it worked:

Shell drill assortment

Shell drill assortment

You (well, I) can’t freehand such a hole, particularly with a glass tip in the middle, so I needed a way to clamp the tube in either the drill press or the Sherline. A pad for the clamp screw in a V-block seemed appropriate:

Vacuum Tube Lights - Octal base clamp - Slic3r preview

Vacuum Tube Lights – Octal base clamp – Slic3r preview

The screw hole sits at the 1/3 point to put more pressure near the pin end of the base. Maybe that matters.

The setup looks like this, with a small red laser dot near the front of the base:

Octal tube clamped on Sherline mill

Octal tube clamped on Sherline mill

The tube rests on a random scrap of plastic, with the hope that the drill won’t apply enough pressure to break the glass envelope.

In normal use, the V-block would be oriented the other way to let you cross-drill the cylinder. In this end-on orientation, drilling torque can rotate the tube; compliant padding for more traction may be in order.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist now includes a module that spits out the clamp:

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Kenmore Progressive Vacuum Tool Adapters: First Failure

I picked up a horsehair dust brush from eBay as a lightweight substitute for the Electrolux aluminum ball, discovered that an adapter I’d already made fit perfectly, did the happy dance, and printed one for the brush. That worked perfectly for half a year, whereupon:

Dust Brush Adapter - broken parts

Dust Brush Adapter – broken parts

It broke about where I expected, along the layer lines at the cross section where the snout joins the fitting. You can see the three perimeter shells I hoped would strengthen the part:

Dust Brush Adapter - layer separation

Dust Brush Adapter – layer separation

That has the usual 15% 3D Honeycomb infill, although there’s not a lot area for infill.

There’s obviously a stress concentration there and making the wall somewhat thicker (to get more plastic-to-plastic area) might suffice. I’m not convinced the layer bonding would be good enough, even with more wall area, to resist the stress; that’s pretty much a textbook example of how & where 3D printed parts fail.

That cross section should look like this:

Dust Brush Adapter - Snout infill - Slic3r preview

Dust Brush Adapter – Snout infill – Slic3r preview

Anyhow, I buttered the snout’s broken end with JB Kwik epoxy, aligned the parts, and clamped them overnight:

Dust Brush Adapter - clamping

Dust Brush Adapter – clamping

The source code now has a separate solid model for the dust brush featuring a slightly shorter snout; if when the epoxy fails, we’ll see how that changes the results. I could add ribs and suchlike along the outside, none of which seem worth the effort right now. Fairing the joint between those two straight sections would achieve the same end, with even more effort, because OpenSCAD.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

 

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Inspiron Mini 10 as a 3D Printer Controller

It turns out that the dual-core Intel Atom Inside an old Dell Mini 10 isn’t up to the demands of rendering modern web design; disk I/O speed has nothing to do with the CPU’s (lack of) ability to chew through multiple layers of cruft adorning what used to be straightforward static HTML.

So, equipped with Linux Mint / XFCE, it’s now found a new purpose in life:

SnowWhite back in action

SnowWhite back in action

In truth, an Atom isn’t quite up to the demands of modern 3D printing, either, at least in terms of processing a huge G-Code file into a layer-by-layer path preview. Fortunately, Pronterface doesn’t generate the preview until you ask for it: arranging the UI to put the preview on a separate tab eliminates that problem.

The Mini 10 can dribble G-Code into the printer just fine and looks much cuter than the hulking laptop in the background.

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