It’s hard to earn money in 3D printing, because 3D printing is a much too slow production method. What do you do when you do not sell products?
Well, today I upgraded an old light system. This system was made for old fashioned, environment unfriendly, light bulbs. It’s too difficult to build a 12 volt trafo in this system, so I use an energy saving 220 volt light bulb to light it. But these bulbs are a too big for this system, so I need a new light shade to dim and upgrade the ugly light of energy saving light bulbs. In SketchUp, opqrstu3D customized an earlier light shade and printed it ‘infill only’. Creatr printed a beautiful light shade on an 5 hour print job. The print turned a lost light system into a trendy and friendly energy saving light. Instead of earning money, 3D printing saves money and energy!
Today three years ago, a Leapfrog Dual Creatr arrived at the opqrstu studio. It took almost nine months to tame this robot. These were heavy times and if you want to know more about this frustrating experience, get a free download of this story at iTunes. But a tamed 3D printer does not exist without problems like clogged nozzles, jammed fans and Z-axis problems. This robot will never be plug and play. It’s a T-Ford and we are looking for Tesla. Not only the printer is far from perfect, so is the software. Opqrstu3D uses SkectchUp, Repetier and Slic3r. They do their job, but there’s lots of room for improvement.
Anyway, today is a day of joy. Against all odds and beyond expectations, after three years of almost daily productivity, our robot is still doing what it has to do: producing (almost) perfect thingies. In ‘Hat trick’ it starts with three separate shapes which grow together to build one light shell (without problems). A wonderful birthday treat! Next, it printed this new study of a three parts ceiling light. It’s an improvement of FullMoon: two colours and a constant voltage LED driver instead of one colour and a constant current driver.
After three years, the opqrstu3D print experience is alive and kicking, but as a blog it’s a bit finished. We discussed and solved almost all problems a starting 3D printer will encounter, there’s noting more to say. Meanwhile, it’s 2016 and there’s a new kid on the block called Instagram. A great tool to follow the future of the opqrstu3D print experience: @prdcz.
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.
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:
Opqrstu3D 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’.
One of the first lights opqrstu designed and printed on infill only settings was 3Dreamz. Creatr printed it on a Leapfrog PLA (2013). Today, my robot re-printed this ‘old’ light on a ‘new’ filament: 3D4makers PET-G (titanium). Modern opqrstu lights use LWW to connect a LED light bulb to 12 volt, so I adapted the original 3Dreamz to LWW and here’s one of the big advantages of 3D printing: it’s easy to change and print an old model in a new future.
Opqrstu exposed it’s 3D prints at K= galerie, Amsterdam.These days are gone.
Sadly, todays K= is too old fashioned to expose and sell 3D printed products.
3D4makers has a new filament: PLLA. It’s a PLA that might be used in new medical applications like tissue engineering. Tissue engineering is a domain in medical technology and has emerged as a promising alternative approach in the treatment of malfunctioning or lost organs where patients are treated by using their own cells, grown on a polymer support, so that a tissue part is regenerated from the natural cells.
JP Wille, the founding father of 3D4makers asked opqrstu3D to test PLLA in infill only settings. Meanwhile, Slic3r updated their infill patterns with a pattern called ‘3D Honeycomb’. This new infill pattern should, in theory, provide maximum strength in all axes while using the least amount of material to do so. Today opqrstu3D tested PLLA on ‘3D honeycomb infill only settings and the results look very promising. The prints are light weighted, very strong and looking real clear. The cube is a tissue engineering test. As the pict also shows; PLLA is also a promising filament for non-medical prints.
Tissue engineering has nothing to do with boats and ‘kroonsteentjes’, it’s about growing animal/human cells in biodegradable materials. To demonstrate the possibilities of PLLA on infill only settings, I downloaded the model of an ear and a nose by addamay123. Creatr printed slightly adapted versions on PLLA, 3D honeycomb infill only.
As a blogger, I use writing and pictures to present my adventures in 3D printing. Today it’s time for something else: The first opqrstu3D vlog. I am not very happy with the quality of the movie, but it presents an additional look at 3D designing & printing your lights. Enjoy.