3d printing for unobtanium parts

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A couple of weeks ago I decided to buy a 3d Printer Kit from Prusa Research and put it together.  You can read more about that on www.nanohawk.com where I focus on electronics.  One of the great uses for a 3d printer is printing hard to find parts.  These plastic/rubber sockets are a perfect application.

I’m using a $600 printer, $18/lb plastic and free software to model them.  I’m currently printing version 19 trying to get the dimensions just right.  In the photos above I show version 13 in PLA a starch based biodegradeable plastic.  I want the final part to be in ABS, and didn’t realize it shrinks a few percent when printed.  🙁  So now I’m working on adjusting that out.  It takes about 45 minutes and costs around 15 cents to print one.

I have more than a few parts that are hard to get or out of production on this bus.

Here are some photos of the lead up to the photo above:
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An ABS version being printed

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The assembled printer


A drawing from Autodesk Fusion 360, which is free for hobbyist and startup use.


A rendering from the same program

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versions 1 through 12…. they don’t always turn out so great…..unobtanium-gcode

A rendering from Simplify 3d which is the software that transforms the drawing into “g-code” that the printer understands.unobtanium-v10

Another rendering.  There is a torus or donut shaped ring visible.  I moved it further down to retain the ball.

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Another picture of the 3d printer, fully assembled.

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