Tuesday, June 10, 2014

First Printed Item

Here are some photos of what the toolbox from the previous post looked like when printed on a Makerbot Replicator 2.  The engraved writing came out pretty well, but the embossed writing on the inside of the lid was a bit ratty.  The guy managing the printer says that was largely because he chose to build with supports, and the letters are at a 45 degree angle, so each letter has its own mini supports which were not really easily removable.  Doing the as a separate piece in the next iteration so that the letters would be straight up and down will probably be more successful.  Also printing the whole thing a bit larger would probably help.



When originally printed, there was a lot of support material holding up the lip of the open lid.  It was too thick to just snap off, so I borrowed a friend's Dremel tool to take it off. 




In this photo you can see I got a little too aggressive and sanded off some of the material that was supposed to be there (bottom right).  I also tried some fine sand paper to see if I could smooth out some of the banding from the print; this caused the ugly marks you see below.  According to a site I found, this is one of the differences between using PLA and ABS filament.  The Makerbot uses PLA only.  ABS is supposed to be easier to sand, and can also be finished using acetone.



I've iterated on the design a bit, but been unable to print it at work, as the Makerbot is out of commission due to a failed temperature sensor.  Hopefully it won't be long until the Felix 3.0 is up and running so I can print at home.