3D Printed Surfboard

You whippersnappers these days with your 3D printers! Back in our day, we had to labor over a blank for hours, getting all sweaty and covered in foam dust. And it still wouldn’t come out symmetric. Shaping a surfboard used to be an art, and now you’re just downloading software and slinging STLs.

Joking aside, [Jody] made an incredible surfboard (yes, actual human-sized surfboard) out of just over 1 kilometer of ABS filament, clocking 164 hours of printing time along the way. That’s a serious stress test, and of course, his 3D printer broke down along the way. Then all the segments had to be glued together.

But the printing was the easy part; there’s also fiberglassing and sanding. And even though he made multiple mock-ups, nothing ever goes the same on opening night as it did in the dress rehearsal. But [Jody] persevered and wrote up his trials and tribulations, and you should give it a look if you’re thinking of doing anything large or in combination with fiberglass.

Even the fins are 3D printed and the results look amazing! We can’t wait for the ride report.

Shaka.

Maker Builds a 3D Printed Camera Battery Emulator

Philip Crump

Philip Crump

Philip Crump is a recent graduate of the University of Southampton with a BEng in Electronic Engineering who’s also into amateur radio, electronics, and programming.

While his full-time gig is as a Lead Hardware Engineer at Telemetricor Limited, he’s also a Volunteer RF Engineering Consultant for Southampton University’s UOS3 Cubesat Project. Along with all those pursuits, Crump is also a photographer who needed a camera that would operate in the low temperatures environment encountered at altitude.

But here’s the problem: Crump was disappointed when he did cold-temperature battery tests with his Canon SD1000 camera. It seems once the batteries in the camera were chilled, they’d only operate for some 34 minutes at a time versus the nearly five hours they’d function at room temperature.800px-20150113-somakeit

So Crump used 3D printing to build an alternative power supply solution that would work in icy temperatures. His Canon SD1000 doesn’t accept being powered up via its USB port or provide additional accessory sockets, but fortunately, the camera’s battery door does include a hole for wiring. So Crump built what he calls a “fake battery” for the camera which uses a DC supply. As the balloon which would carry his camera aloft already includes a battery pack, Crump’s plan was to tap into that source to power his camera.

That led the designer to create a 3D printed battery emulator that takes the place of the stock battery pack. Bare contact wires inside t300px-20150113-print2-printerhe holder run out of the camera and then to a voltage regulator which converts the six-volt output of the balloon battery pack down to the 3.9 volts his camera needs to operate correctly.

Crump says one major challenge of the project was to be certain that his design worked to make a reliable connection with the battery contacts deep inside the camera. His answer was to build a 3D printed, battery-sized holder that would fit snugly in the limited space available.

He got in contact with the guys at So Make It, a Maker and Hackerspace in Southampton, who let him usea Lulzbot Taz and print the model he created in OpenSCAD. You can check out Crump’s solution and find out where to get the files at his website, philcrump.co.uk.

Have you heard of, or created yourself, a solution to a problem with an existing product using 3D printing? Let us in on your solution in the 3D Printed Camera Battery Emulator forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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[Via: HackaDay]

Father Creates Incredible 3D Printed Star Wars Rebels AT-DP Helmet for Son

Jon Watson's 3D Printed Star Wars Rebels Helmet

Jon Watson’s 3D Printed Star Wars Rebels Helmet

Star Wars is a franchise which has been around for over three and a half decades. Just when you think it may begin fizzling out, something else pops up even more impressive than we have seen before. George Lucas was incredibly brilliant in his creation of Star Wars, but even he could not have had any idea how successful the franchise would end up being. 1977 was the start for Star Wars, with the original film debuting on May 25 of that year. 2015 brings the latest film to us, in the form of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With two more films already planned for 2017 and 2019 (Star Wars Episode VIII & Star Wars Episode IX), we certainly won’t see the end of this epic series anytime soon.

It’s not just movies that have garnered the attention of Star Wars fans however. There is memorabilia, trade shows, and even a CGI TV series called Star Wars Rebels. The series, which is set approximately 15 years after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, takes place in a time when the Galactic Empire is securing its control of the galaxy. The series has gained quite a following, and also doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

For one little boy in Missoula, Montana, all he wanted to be for Halloween was an AT-DP pilot from this very Star Wars Rebels series. Unfortunately though, he could not find a helmet anywhere. This is when his father, Jon Watson, stepped in to lend a helping hand in a major way.

“I almost just bought him a Storm Trooper helmet, but he had a specific helmet in mind,” Watson tells 3DPrint.com. “It was an AT-DP pilot helmet he saw on the show Star Wars Rebels.”

Off the print bed

Off the print bed

So, Watson decided to take things into his own hands, and design the helmet for his son from the ground up. It took him about four days to create a 3D model of the helmet using Autodesk 3ds Max, by referencing images he found on Google and looking at stills from the show. Once the model was created, Watson began taking the steps needed to 3D print it.

“It took another few hours to prepare it for printing,” explained Watson. “Making sure pieces were separated so they would fit on the printer, making sure the model had a nice smooth inner surface, and also making sure it was solid, as to not create errors when slicing.”

Primed

Primed

It was then off to the printer for Watson’s design. This was a very time consuming process, as it took over 100 hours to print out the entire helmet on his Type A Machines Series 1 3D printer. The helmet itself, the face mask, and the lower rim of the helmet, each took about 36 hours each to print out. The little round ear pieces that are attached to the helmet were cut out on his CNC router, and the lenses were cut from cheap goggles that Watson purchased from Walmart.

3D printing the helmet was not the final step though. Once printed, Watson had to take many steps to post-process it, in order to make it look as similar to its counterpart from the TV series as possible.

15_finished

“The way I smooth out the surface is [with] lots of coats of high build filler primer. Then I sand it back down until I hit the plastic, and then primer again until smooth,” he tells us. “This works better and is easier than just sanding the PLA. PLA does not sand well. You really have to wet sand it for best results. The final paint was Krylon Fusion satin white and satin black.”

As you can see in the photos, the helmet turned out better than anyone could have expected, and Watson’s son was obviously very pleased with the results.

What do you think about this 3D printed helmet? Would you have done anything differently? Discuss in the Posted on Categories 3D Printing NewsTags , , , , , , , , Leave a comment on Father Creates Incredible 3D Printed Star Wars Rebels AT-DP Helmet for Son

Pakistani Students Create 3D Printed Mobile Obstacle Avoidance Robots with Help from LearnOBots

learnobots3From my talks with several CEOs of large 3D printing companies, one topic always comes up, one that many of these companies are very passionate about. That topic is 3D printing in schools. It is inevitable that 3D printing will make its way into schools all around the world, but the question that remains is, “when?” Many schools in the United States, Europe, and Asia are already implementing 3D printing into the classroom environment, but the one major obstacle that still remains is that of utilization. How do educators build lesson plans and curricula around the technology in a way that will benefit students not only today, but in the future as well?

Pakistan is an up-and-coming nation when it comes to education. The country still maintains a very high illiteracy rate, but those numbers are tarnished by the older generations. School-aged children have a literacy rate almost twice that of their parents and grandparents.

learnobotsMany schools in Pakistan are really beginning to do an excellent job at modernizing the education system. Schools are beginning to focus more on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curricula, and in doing so, technology has become a big part of education. One research company in particular, called LearnOBots, seems to be at the forefront of introducing technology into the classroom environment, and 3D printing is a big part of their ideology.

“LearnOBots was founded to inspire Pakistani kids towards STEAM education,” explained LearnOBots’ co-founder Shamyl Bin Mansoor to 3DPrint.com. “We use open source software and open source hardware to create products that we use to teach kids about STEAM. In Pakistan buying toys, tools and electronics that are usually imported is very difficult for most people as it is usually expensive due to additional import costs and tax. Our goal is to make technology and tools accessible locally so that we can inspire kids through Maker Education. 3D printing is helping us build these tools locally instead of mass manufacturing or importing from China.”

3D printing is huge for LearnOBots, and is increasingly so for Pakistan as a country. LearnOBots has teamed with schools to offer interesting workshops for educating children using 3D printing technology. While LearnOBots offers five different workshops for schools, including construction of LEGO Mindstorm Robot kits, the assembly of electronic snapcircuits, and the creation of solar houses, 3D printing also plays a major role. Two workshops in particular are based around 3D printing, one being a workshop on creating 3D printed mobile robots.

learnobots5Using a RepRap Prusa i3 FFF-based 3D printer, LearnOBots 3D prints a mobile robot from Thingiverse. Then they add Arduino to it, as well as several sensors. This goes along with a curriculum that they developed which teaches kids the basics about robotics and electronics.

“We also teach kids 3D modeling, using TinkerCad from AutoDesk,” Mansoor told us. “There are a number of useful tutorials that help the kids in quickly grasping concepts like creating basic shapes, moving around in the 3D environment, handling the camera, etc. The kids then design their own model which they 3D print on the printer. Our goal is to promote a local maker community that not only uses 3D printing, but [also] learns to make stuff, and as a result learns all about STEAM.”

The latest project was the aforementioned 3D printed mobile robots which are constructed to work their way around obstacles. After building and programming their robots, students race them to see whose can get to the finish line first. See video below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xMUO4S2L2M?rel=0]

This provides students with a means of education that is both useful and fun at the same time. It should be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years, as Pakistan’s school system is definitely improving, thanks in part to workshops like those provided by LearnOBots.

learnobots2

What do you think? Should more schools around the world be utilizing 3D printing technology like LearnOBots is doing in Pakistan? Discuss in the 3D Printed Mobile Obstacle Avoidance Robot forum thread on 3DPB.com.