For a while, we’ve been thinking about upgrading our photo setup. We take most of our pictures with our phones, for convenience, but it’s difficult to get nice pictures of small, 3d-printed models this way. Using a ‘real’ camera helps, but for really nice pictures you need a light box. This is essentially a box-shaped diffuser that gives you a nice, even, white background with uniform lighting. Rather than paying a lot for a commercial one, we decided to give this DIY Light Tent project a go.
“A lithophane (French: lithophanie) is an etched or molded artwork in thin very translucent porcelain that can only be seen clearly when back lit with a light source.”
3D-printed plastic works fine, too. There is an excellent post on the RepRapPro blog describing the whole process from start to finish. This was something we just had to try ourselves, of course.
We’d been reading about this technique called ‘vapor treating‘, that is supposed to smooth out the surface of prints. Bathing them in vapor of a solvent would blend the ridges so typical of 3d printing, so that the part would look almost injection-molded. This looked like something we’d like to try ourselves.
Different plastics require different solvents. The solvent for ABS plastic is acetone, which is both widely available and not too toxic. We have a lot of pieces lying around from semi-successful ABS printing experiments which are perfect candidates for some smoothing.
We really like this new purple filament, so we’ve decided to keep printing more purple thingies. And of course, we had to print this…
We’ve just got some new purple PLA and after doing our usual test (lego block printed correctly) we’ve decided to go for something else. And here it is, our new cute friend
We bought some wooden filament and it’s finally here. So today is wood printing day!
We’re still figuring out what are the correct settings for this filament but it looks so sexy in our printer that we wanted to share a picture of it.
We’d been having some problems with our 3D printer, where at seemingly random moments, it would miss a lot of steps (up to 5mm!) on the X-axis. I suspected that the belt was too loose, which was the case, but when I tried to tighten it, disaster struck:
For the last month we’ve been printing with the laptop attached to the printer, what we found pretty inconvenient because it takes a lot of space on our table.
Some weeks ago, we’ve heard about Octoprint, a web based print server ready to plug in a Raspberry Pi with any distro that has an http server installed. It looks like a great idea, but we found something even better: Octopi.
Octopi is a distro based in Raspbian with the octoprint server setted up, basically plug and play. So we took one of the Pis that we have around and, I have to say, intalling it couldn’t be more simple!