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3D Printer yet?

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--- Quote from: metrologist on May 11, 2022, 09:10:19 pm ---Did I miss where we are printing our PCB traces by now? I know conductive filament exists but last I read it wasn't a suitable replacement for copper traces.

--- End quote ---

Around a year ago nothing I have seen shows much progress on it as an option.

Yeah; same with the PCB mill options out there aside from LPKF, which are just ridiculously priced for any hobbyist use.

Everything I've found that's affordable is just low-precision CNC mills for acrylic, etc repurposed... and IMO, they just can't make a clean, precise cut in a PCB. At least not clean & precise enough to work with common SMD parts, which is of course what we'd most want the process for. And none of them have a complete ecosystem including all the peripheral bits like vias, etc known to work rather than "you figure it out for yourself" options from multiple different vendors.

I suspect a real CNC mill... even a small one, will probably be my next rabbit-hole... *sigh*

*drowning in sawdust*

Boring Mundane Everyday Print #312: Meanwell PSU Endcaps   

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I've had this ugly-ass Meanwell 24V PSU on my desk ever since the original power brick from my 32" Cinema display kakked. I finally got tired enough of looking at it to do something; I decided to whip this out so I could put it away.

Design is thin enough that I can stash it under the CPU, but my desk has a shelf underneath, so I wanna put it there. Endcaps are a press-fit, and allow for use of a salvaged C14 socket and DC power cord from an old AiO PC. And I finally found a use for Deans' connectors that doesn't make me wanna cringe.  :-DD

This is actually part 1 of a bigger project; if part 2 is successful, I'll update with more pics.

Printed on my CReality CR-6SE in Inland Brand black PLA+, 0.28LH, 60mm/s, 210°C/60°C Bed, flow 110%, no adhesion/supports, infill set manually to 1.5mm Grid, 1.12mm top/bottom, 0.8mm wall thickness. Otherwise all Cura defaults for CR-6SE profile. Print time 7.5 hours, 98 grams filament total.


Boring Mundane Everyday Print #313: Camera Battery Door Bungee Bits  >:D

Fusion360 Online 3D Viewer

"heh-heh... he said bungee bits... heh-heh... heh-heh..." :P

I had the idea for this while fumbling with my poor old Sony DSC-H2 to take pics for the print above; I've had this camera for over 10 years and I just can't seem to give up having it on my bench for stuff just like this. The optics on the thing are world-class; it takes amazing macro pictures right up to the point of hitting the lens with the subject, and taking pics on the bench, the fact of only being 6MP is actually a help rather than a hindrance. Means I can often post without having to resize.  :-+

That said... it has suffered being right next to the ol' BumbleButt dwagon for a decade... it's been knocked off onto the floor a time or three, and this family of cameras is known to have a failure where the catches for the battery door break, and the bit that breaks is part of the battery box inside the camera.

A fair assache to fix; and yes, I have toyed with the idea of modeling and printing a replacement battery box, or at least some little bit to patch the thing.

So I've been using the thing for over a year with a piece of masking tape holding the battery door shut... but today I realized I could replace the tape with a gumband stretched between a screw in the base and the strap loop. So I worked these bits up real quick to make that happen.

I'm dead chuffed with the results; short of actually fixing the battery door like it came new, this is pretty much as easy to use as it can possibly be. Friction keeps the loops of the gumband from falling off the screw, and the hook is captive so can't fall off. Definitely puts my old beast back on the "good enough to use everyday" side of the bench.  :-+

This is my first successful attempt at printing a working thread; the hole in the camera base is 1/4-20 UNC x 7mm deep. For those who use Fusion360 in metric like I do, you start out with a 6.35mm cylinder the length you want the thread in mm; once you select the cylindrical object, the thread tool becomes available in the CREATE menu.

I've never actually tried before, as it has taken me a while to get to where I know how to prep rod-shaped structures with any real integral strength; today I used a couple tricks developed while figuring out how to print DeadPool-icorn...

First, I used the finest LH in the profile: 0.12mm. Then I set temp up a wee bit over normal for the filament; 205 instead of 200, etc as needed for the particular filament.

After that, I set my infill manually to a very small size... in this case, 1mm in grid or cubic pattern.

And finally... I tell Cura I'm using a 0.2mm nozzle... even tho I'm using the 0.4mm. This makes it slice with a lot more lines, but the extrusion rate is correct for a 0.2mm nozzle; this results in the lines overlapping due to oversized nozzle.

Effect is that outer surfaces are not quite as precise as if printed with a 0.2mm nozzle due to the smearing effect... but it is still far better than if printed using the 0.4mm profile. The adhesion strength doing it this way is phenomenal, because we are essentially making every pass a lap joint rather than layers of butt joints. I can tighten this 1/4-20 bolt as tight as I can hold it between my fingers and it doesn't break. :-+

Printed on my CReality CR-6SE in Inland Brand black PLA+, 0.12LH, 0.2mm extruder profile with 0.4mm nozzle, 60mm/s, 205°C/60°C Bed, flow 110%, no adhesion/supports, infill set manually to 1.0mm Cubic, 0.8mm top/bottom, 0.8mm wall thickness. Otherwise all Cura defaults for CR-6SE profile. Print time 30 min/piece, 2 grams filament total.


Boring Mundane Everyday Print #319:
Battery Holder For Harbor Freight/BAUER Hedge Trimmer   

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So... one of the things we realized this spring is that this property has actual deliberately planted, groomed hedges by the front door... and lots of bushes that need to be kept trimmed away from the house to discourage pests.

A couple weeks ago I picked this up because cheap-cheap; I was looking at used cordless trimmers on CL for $75 and more and just going "No way in Hell I'm paying that..." Well, Horror Fraught popped this in my inbox as a "Global Price Reduction" item (lots of retailers are slashing prices on housewares, since the COVID lockdowns are over, people are spending money going out and on travel instead), then Memorial Day a coupon that brought it down to $37 with tax. SOLD!

I've had it apart for a while figuring out the control PCB; at first I wasn't sure it would work, as the BAUER packs are a "dumb" battery with all the balancing terminals brought out (they copied DeWalt; including their pinout) to the header. But it turns out it is directly compatible with the KOBALT smart batteries as long as you also implement the thermistor circuit; it even appears to be a similar curve to the thermistor Kobalt used.

So once that was established, it was time to make up a battery adapter like I did with my Makita SawzAll shown above; this holder is actually a remix of that one.

Once the part was printed and successfully test-fitted with a battery, it was time to make the contacts. As I didn't have any of the copper bits I used for the Makita adaptor, I decided to use some of this copper door weatherseal, as I have yards of the stuff. It's pretty thin, so even doubled over I was worried about it just collapsing under the pressure of the battery springs. So I cut some little strips with the corrugation going the opposite direction and soldered them in place at the back of the contact to keep them captive. As always, the Metcal takes anything I throw at it in stride.

Next came soldering the contacts to the controller PCB wires; this was a job for the 700°F tip, as one needs to work hot and fast when soldering right on PLA.  ;)

Here it is all hooked up. The controller PCB has a dual interlock to keep you holding the thing with both hands; if either switch opens, it immediately kills power and shorts the motor to brake the mechanism to a halt almost instantly. A bit startling as the sparks do fly at the motor brushes when you let go!  :o

Here it is with the new battery holder screwed down...

And all buttoned up, ready to go to work tomorrow morning!

Printed on my CReality CR-6SE in Inland Brand black PLA+, 0.28LH, 60mm/s, 210°C/60°C Bed, flow 110%, no adhesion/supports, infill set manually to 1mm Cubic, 1.12mm top/bottom, 0.8mm wall thickness. Otherwise all Cura defaults for CR-6SE profile. Print time 3.2 hours, 47 grams filament total.

I fought the lawn and the lawn won...  :P


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