Slic3r

Almost four years ago, I started my 3D print career on a Leapfrog Creatr. Nobody beliefs me when I tell this machine is still producing great prints. Last week, the first structural problem arrived: the fans became noisy and after some time stopped turning. A little push made them run again, but still very noisy and after some time they stopped again. I mailed Leapfrog and they will sent me new fans. After almost four years of daily use, the fans are finished: seems normal to opqrstu3D, as long as this robot still prints cool stuff.

So, for the moment no printing and some time left to publish a new post. This time about Slic3r. Opqrstu3D uses this slicer because it came with the printer. It’s free software with many options and it’s great. I am an experienced user, but the possibilities are almost endless. By changing Slic3r settings a 3D printer can produce dramatic changes in it’s endproduct. It started with my invention of ‘infill only’, resulting in ‘un3Dprinted’ lights.

thrill © opqrstu3D 2016

Next, I learned about modifying meshes, or using several infill patterns in one layer, a vey graphic kind of 3D printing. You can use different patterns in different densities to create unexpected (un3Dprinted) prints. I used this technique to create a 3D printed Picasso:

Abstract Painting 26, 3D printed by opqrstu 2017

To get this, Slic3r needs to know which part of your drawing gets which pattern and density. You transport this information to Slic3r by using multiple STL’s. If you want five different patterns in your print, you have to feed Slic3r at least six STL’s. To get these STL’s you have to do six drawings. It is a complicated and time consuming method, BUT great results. If you want to know more, follow this link: www.3ders.org

‘Modifying meshes’ works in horizontal direction. This is an awesome tool to create 3D printed graphics, but for my lights, I need to modify patterns in vertical direction.

Slic3r is a great tool, but comes with minimal information about it’s possibilities. I knew there must be a way to change patterns vertically. It took some time to get it right. It is almost like ‘modifying meshes’. Here, you use the STL’s as a part, instead as a modifier. Confusing maybe, but that’s the way it is. I cannot present a link to check this out, because there isn’t. The do this at home, you have to try and fail, try and fail and try.

Modifying infill patterns vertically ©opqrstu 2017

14 piece print

Many times people asked me if I can do multi-coloured 3D prints. I tell them it’s possible, but I will not do this. My robot has two print heads, so it can do two colours in one print, but the print quality does not meet the opqrstu3D standard.

Last week I had some spare time and used it to think about a way to print multi-coloured thingies. It took some time, but in fact the solution is very easy: design a model in parts and print the parts in different colours. To construct a light of fourteen 3D printed parts opqrstu3D used a primitive Japanese wood joining method:

© opqrstu 2017

Strong and stable fit, no screws or glue needed (even when printed on Infill Only settings). Each part can be printed in a different colour, but on this project opqrstu3D used a basic colour scheme: blue, yellow and red to create a Rietveld (Dutch designer) Light.

opqrstu3D Rietveld Light © opqrstu 2017

If you wanna see it moving around, manipulate this:

Lotus

3D printing allows you to design and manufacture your own lighting: create your own atmosphere by saving money and energy. An example: yesterday at noon opqrstu3D wanted to have a light based on a Lotus Flower. I opened SketchUp, started thinking and drawing …. Two hours later I was satisfied and decided to print the first prototype …. 2h:56m:28s later the robot finished it’s print job in red 3D4makers PET-G:

Lotus © opqrstu 2017

So, there was an idea and five hours later there is a product: 3Dprinting rules. Combined with other materialised ideas, this is what’s happening in the opqrstu studio today:

Lighting © opqrstu 2017

opqrstu3D update

Today, I realised not everybody follows Instagram. So here’s an update about opqrstu 3D design and printing activities. Not blogging saved a lot of time to design and print. I am no writer, so composing a piece like this takes about three or four hours. Last month, I used these hours to design some great new and cunning thingies.

design & 3Dprint © opqrstu 2016
design & 3Dprint © opqrstu 2016

We like to combine 2D and 3D and did another Roy Lichtenstein artwork in 3D. This is ‘Masterpiece’ and it’s awesome to see how the robot printed text, you can even recognise the font opqrstu3D used in SketchUp: comic sans! Next, 3D4makers asked the robot to test some new PET-g colours; orange and purple; it printed some wonderful and perfect infill only bracelets. We also checked out very small detail printing: a 150 mm long T-Rex:
ddb
Amazing details again, this time in 3D4makers PET-G Gold. The Xmas tree was printed because it’s the time of the year. The triplets light is printed because 12 volt LED lighting is what opqrstu3D is really about. I am still prototyping this standing light and the blog will continue and keep you informed about the future of DIY 12 Volt (save energy) light design.

instagram 3D

Three years ago, opqrstu3D started 3D printing. Today, I am still using my good old Leapfrog Creatr 2013. And, I still add posts about our 3D print experience. This blog started out of frustration. Today, it’s more or less an opqrstu3D showcase; a pict says it all. That’s were Instagram does it’s thing. In no time, picts go all around the world, only hashtags needed. Opqrstu3D likes this. Follow us at Instagram. More picts, less words.

see you on instagram
see you on instagram

3D electricity II

In my last post, I promised new lights. Today opqrstu3D presents a new 12 volt light system for three LEDs. Printing a new hiding place for the constant voltage LED driver took some time, because I wanted it to be as small as possible. The first print was okay, but too big. I used it to power Three Bells

Next challenge, was to connect the driver to three separate ceiling lights. Here’s some problem solving needed. A small hiding place creates not enough space to distribute three hanging lights; they get far to close to each other. I needed three separate connections. Or, I had to design & print three isles, and that’s what I did. The biggest isle contains the driver, two satellite isles create enough space to connect three lights to one driver, hanging from the ceiling. Finally, opqrstu3D assembled these parts with wires, connectors, screws and some good luck. It was quite a job. This light system contains 16 printed parts, 3 pieces of loudspeaker wire, 10 connectors and 6 small copper screws. The pict says it all:

opqrstu light design © opqrstu 2016
opqrstu light design © opqrstu 2016

3dprototyping

Introducing a first prototyped hiding place for the constant voltage LED driver. Opqrstu3D designed it a bit large to ensure it would fit for sure and it did. Next, it’s time to redesign it as small as possible. That’s why you need a prototype; it shows all ‘wrongs’. I can see and measure new and smaller dimensions and apply them to the next prototype: a perfect hiding for the LED driver. Without 3D printing this prototyping would not be possible without thousands of Euro’s! Meet a siamese triplet and it’s hidden LED driver: ThreeBells.

ThreeBells © opqrstu 2016
ThreeBells © opqrstu 2016

3D electricity

leddriver21Opqrstu3D specialises on 12 volt LED light. Until now, I could only build lights which use over 2.5 watts of power. This, because the smallest LED drivers were constant current. For under 2.5 watt, you need constant voltage. It’s too technical to explain here; read this on Wikipedia if you want to know more.

Some weeks ago, I discovered a relatively small constant voltage LED driver on AliExpress. Normally, you have to buy a minimum of 500 pieces, but this little Chinese princess was available in any amount. I ordered 10 pieces and three days ago they arrived. I tested them and they do what they have to do. Now, opqrstu3D will start building (new) lights based on this new driver. Some of the light shades are already printed and most of them will be hanging from the ceiling like Thrill. All I have to do is design and print a hiding place around the new driver. This print will connect 220 volt from a ceiling to a 12 volt light bulb in an opqrstu3D printed light shade like ‘BellLight’.

BellLight © opqrstu 2016
BellLight © opqrstu 2016

print time

One of the major problems in 3D printing is the amount of time it takes to print perfect things: higher print speeds cause unwanted irregularities. So, when opqrstu3D designs things, I always try the keep them as small as possible. Sometimes this is not an option. Six months ago, I designed and printed GGJK, a wonderful light. A very small LED driver from China allowed me to design a minimal basecamp for this light. This way opqrstu3D reduced print time substantially. But an unforeseen problem arrived on the scene; the basecamp was too small to guarantee stability. GGJK could stand up, but that was it. To build a really functional GGJK, it’s basecamp needed some adaptation. Opqrstu3D talked with Gerard, 12VoltLightDesign, Schoone about this problem and he advised to design a slanting base: the base of the basecamp is big, but it gets smaller layer by layer. I tried and printed a new and very steep basecamp. Without support! Printing this thing plus lid took almost 7 hours at perimeter print speed: 20 mm/sec, layer height 0.3 mm. I am not happy with the increase in print time, but very happy with the new design, because on this basecamp GGJK gained the highly required stability.

GGJK © opqrstu 2016
GGJK © opqrstu 2016