Peter recently shared with us his success in printing with flexible filament as well as new adventures in RC airplane building and repair.
It is time to re-caulk the shower stall so I wonder what tools I could 3D print to help with that job. Since the first step is to remove the old caulk, let’s start with that. Home Depot has a plastic tool.
I don’t need to buy that, I can make my own. But this gives me an idea for my first design. Next let’s see if there are any caulking tools on Thingiverse.
Search results for the word “caulk”
No tools for removing caulk so I will design one using TinkerCad.com. A handheld tool that can dig out caulk along the tile on one end of the tool and a flat end tool to get under the old caulk. Later, we will look at what other caulk related objects appeared on Thingiverse.
First iteration only took 47 minutes to print.
Using the first tool, I discovered it was too short and the end was digging into my palm since I had to apply force when trying to remove the caulk. So for the second iteration, I made the tool longer and tried to round the end part that would be touching my palm. The red version took one hour and 18 minutes to print.
Pointed end for digging out old caulk
The Thingiverse search results came up with plugs/caps for the tube mostly and some organizers to keep the tubes in order. There was no reason to 3D print a plug because there is nothing as perfect and simple as a roofing nail to keep caulk out of the tip and plug the end nicely. So I ignored those items on Thingiverse. I wasn’t organizing the workbench with several tubes of caulk so can skip those designs. But what was left was the smoothing tools. To be honest, this was kind of my first caulking job so I watched youtube videos before I started the project. The smoothing tools did come in handy to have. I would still wet them first as I would have my finger to go over the seam. But I was glad I didn’t have to use my finger and had the tool instead.
So in the end, having a tool like a 3D printer to print other tools does come in handy. You won’t be seeing the results of the actual caulk job. It’s too ugly. That’s not what I want to share for this project. As far as lessons learned and how I would do the job differently next time, I would a) keep the tip of the caulk tube smaller and b) wipe away the lumpy caulk immediately and try again.
The pointy ends held up fine. The slanted ends were starting to wear.
My name is Gail Jo and I LIKE TO MAKE STUFF.
I joined Workshop 88 in December of 2016. I have been 3D printing since June of 2014. I have worked with machines and computers my entire career.
3D Printed Coasters
Coasters are one of my specialties when it comes to 3D printing. So once I got my hands on the Workshop 88 logo, I just had to make it into coasters. The challenge was how to print with 3 different colors. It helped to have a dual nozzle 3D printer. I started with white filament and when the blue 88 portion started, it was time to pause the printer and change the white filament to red.
I wish I had more pictures of the cookies I made, but fortunately they were eaten. The cookies, not the pictures.
Since there was so much work involved in the post production to add the logo, I started with the Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough cookie dough in a roll, rather than make cookie dough from scratch.
This was an attempt at a cookie cutter. The 88s were just too complex to release the cookie dough. I 3D printed about 6 other variations, changing the size and design.
For the red, upper crown part, I attempted to color the dough with red food coloring. And then I froze the dough to try and make it stronger and easier to work with. I also added red sprinkles to the top part. This made the 3D printed part more of stencil to hold them in before baking.
The final version ended up acting as a stencil for spraying on the blue color of the logo. Notice the top part, the red part was covered, so that the spray would not cover that part.
Be forewarned, the spray went all over. You may not see it at first, but wipe the area and you will discover it. Find a good place. But in the end, using the spray and the stencil produced the best results. (The color mist was available at WalMart.)
Making a Workshop 88 Sign
Workshop 88 has been known to be a bit difficult to find. So I thought I would make a sign to put out on Pennsylvania Ave during open houses to help people find the workshop. If you wonder why I didn’t just go buy one, then you do not think like a maker.
Iteration 1 – Laser Cutter
I thought it would be nice to use the Laser Cutter and some poster board to create the first sign. This would keep the sign light and I wouldn’t have to manually cut out a bunch of letters. I used foam board from Dollar Store and poster board I had lying around. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about what would happen on the rainy Thursday nights the sign would be out so I continued creating. Also, I discovered the logo I was using was the older version. So I ended up putting the sign on the glass of the door of the workshop so that if any visitors stopped by when nobody was around, they would still be notified to come back on a Thursday evening.
Iteration 2 – 3D Printed Parts on Yard Sign
Of course, I went straight to what I know, and attempted to 3D print out all of the parts of the sign. This of course made the sign quite heavier than it needed to be. Not the mention the coats of paint I added to cover up the original sign. But I did learn a few techniques along the way. I think I got better at printing flat letters inside a flat layer. I also learned that my 3D printer could use some design improvements, or precision improvements, but that is for another day.
Iteration 3 – Vinyl Cutter
The final method involved learning to use the Vinyl Cutter. It’s a good thing learning how to use new equipment is something I enjoy and enhances my resources for future projects. I was motivated to make another sign because I needed one for the 3D printing class at Workshop 88. This version is sleek and clean since it only provides the information needed. I relied on brand recognition for this version, since “Workshop” is not carved out in the red part. Stay tuned to this blog for more projects using the Vinyl Cutter.
What do you want to make?
Do you own your own business and want to make a few trinkets with your logo? Stop by on a Thursday evening for our open house for a tour and a friendly discussion to share ideas. Thanks for reading.
My son and I were planning a trip to visit one of his friends that was working at a hostel in Bergen Norway. He wanted to bring “them” gifts and give me the opportunity to make something. I was open to the proposal and exuberant with ideas. Did I want to 3D print some stuff and bring it? I have 3D printed plenty of stuff for his friends in the past but keeping in mind I was only bringing a carry on suitcase (wanted to travel light) and Workshop88 recently acquired a heat press, I decided to make bandannas. Bandannas are light and thin and would be easy to pack.
You can learn more about them from their instagram account. NORWAY WHEATIES
But why does it look so strange to have two “n”s in bandanna? Is that spelled correctly? Let’s see what google has to say. Google says the dictionary knows how to spell it but advertisers don’t or maybe they are just going with the most common spelling that is searched. Meaning most people don’t know that there are 2 n’s together. Maybe it looks strange because it is not spelled like a banana.
Creating the Design
At times, people have labeled me as a Graphic Designer. I never claimed to be. But I do enjoy certain aspects of designing and that feeling you get when you just know something is right. So I can be creative, but I still justify it with “creative for a techie”. I was out of town while working on the design so had some time to ponder and try out a few iterations. I offered up a few designs to m son and he picked one. It was ok, but I felt I could do better so I kept thinking. I had an idea but I first had to figure out how to re-create the Wheaties look. I reviewed some Wheaties boxes to see specific visuals from the text. I was using inkscape since I was away from my desktop with my Adobe elements software. This gave me the opportunity to get better at inkscape and learn how to stretch the letters without distorting them too much. Skew didn’t do it. I ended up using Path->Path Effects and adding (click on +) Envelope Deformation. This youtube video on warping helped me accomplish the goal. So building off of the Wheaties cereal logo and doing a sort of flip perspective for the word Norway, I obtained the final design. Adding the year is a good practice for this particular type of memorabilia piece. I did not however, sign the work with my logo which I usually do with my 3D print items.
The Color Scheme
Initially I was thinking I would use white bandannas so the design would be visible but that would interfere with the Wheaties word needing to be white (like on the cereal boxes). Once I got back in town, I started shopping and ended up at Hobby Lobby. They had plenty of plain bandannas to pick from so orange was the best since that was the color of a Wheaties box and one of the Wheaton college school colors. Norway is blue since that is the other Wheaton college color.
Vinyl Cut Heat Transfer
I must admit, it wasn’t easy cutting the vinyl. I had to give myself time and practice to get it right. The N and the O were from a separate vinyl cut because I ended piecing good parts together.
Heat Transfer Vinyl and Vinyl Cutter
When making decals using the vinyl cutter, the letters can be frontwards, as you see them. But when cutting vinyl for heat transfer, the shinny side will be down so the lettering has to be flipped horizontally so it is in reverse. Then the heat press goes over the shiny film (after the extra has been “weeded”). (Weeding is the process of removing the vinyl part that is not needed.) After the first 20 seconds of heat applied, you can slowly remove the clear plastic, without removing the letters if done right.
Tri-Color Applied Together
Even though I was using 3 different colors, none of the colors overlapped so I didn’t have to create a cut out to avoid overlap but I did have to trim the plastics so they all fit together without overlap of the plastic parts. You wouldn’t want to apply multiple color transfer vinyls on top of each other.
Heat press left a dark square but that seemed to go away after a while.
I also made decals for them. They are vinyl cut, weeded and transfer tape applied. So to use, tear off the white backing, apply the sticker and gently rub the letters to ensure they adhere to the surface. Then slowly remove the transfer tape. They are decals because they are vinyl and will work outdoors. If they were made from paper, I would call them stickers.
The trip to Norway went well and they loved their bandannas. I’m hoping they take a group picture with the bandannas so I can post it here. In the mean time, here’s the most picturesque scene I captured on the train going from Oslo to Bergen.
One of our members shared this clever painting pyramid model that you can download from thingiverse for 3D printing.
A painting pyramid is used to elevate a work piece off of your workbench after painting to allow the work to dry. These pyramids are stackable, for easy storage between use. Additionally, these are way cheaper to print than to buy in a store.
If you do painting or staining of your projects, you should try out these painting pyramids. Share your work with us – we love to see other people’s projects!
At Workshop 88 a lot of our members create their own designs for things they want to 3D print. But there is a great variety of models designed by other people available for download on thingiverse.
One of our members recommended a phone/tablet stand that prints all in one piece in place:
You can download this phone stand model from thingiverse. There are a few remixes of this thing which you might also want to check out.
Several of our members have had great success with using glass beds to do their 3D printing on. (We even have a tutorial on how to cut glass for those who are interested!)
Recently one of our members shared that one of her 3d prints stuck a little too well to the bed and then the bed chipped when trying to pull the print off.
The filament used was PLA, and the bed was prepped with a bit of hairspray before printing. Other members here at Workshop 88 use isopropyl alcohol to prep their printer beds before printing with PLA.
The advantage of using glass is that the surface is extremely flat and smooth. Just let this be a cautionary tale that there is some risk of chipping the glass if the print adheres too much. But if you know how to cut glass yourself, you can always make a new one!
One of the challenging aspects for getting visitors to Workshop 88 is that our location is not obvious for first-time attendees. We have long joked that if you made it to our door, you must be the type of person who belongs at a makerspace, because sometimes it can seem like you really have to want to find us in order to get to Workshop 88.
Of course, we want everybody to be able to find Workshop 88! One of our members, Gail, has taken the initiative to make some signs for various uses at Workshop 88.
One sign was made with a 3d printed logo and also has solar lights attached to it for illuminating the sign after the sun sets. The other sign was made with one of our vinyl cutters and is used to direct people in for classes.
If you’re in the downtown Glen Ellyn area on Thursday evenings, you are likely to see at least one of these signs welcoming you in to our open house hours. Please stop by!
Last night, new member Julia designed and printed a book ring to help her hold a book open with a single hand while reading. This was a very cool project that went pretty quickly from start to finish. She says she will make some refinements to her design and print a new version soon!
I created a 3D printed customized hitch cover that lights up by incorporating a store-bought brake light hitch cover.
My project started out as 3D printing a trailer hitch cover like the ones on Thingiverse.com. https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=trailer+hitch+cover&dwh=175cdf1d3a762cb
But then I spotted a brake light cover in a parking lot in place of the trailer hitch. I really liked that idea better and considered it as an additional safety feature. The brake light version of the cover wasn’t difficult to find and was about $12.
The brake light was easy to install and connect to the electrical wires, but I still wanted to add my personal spin (customization).
So I 3D printed a cover for the light. You may have noticed my personal logo (mashup of G and J) in place of my picture on my social media accounts.
So of course that is the logo I used for the cover. The logo is the negative (empty) part so the light shines through.
Even though I measured multiple times, I still produced multiple iterations of the printed item. I consider it prototyping, until the item fits and I run out of ideas on how to improve it. I went through 3 iterations for this 3D printed project. I tried rounding the corners of the cover, but that was even more difficult to size to fit over the red light.
The light measured 3″ but the cover ended up being 3.32″ in order to fit over the light.
Since the brake light cover itself runs through the hitch with the lock, I just used zip ties to attach my cover over the brake light. The zip ties will have to but cut and replaced of course, when I actually use the hitch.
Have you tried the measure app? (iPhone) It’s cool how it saves the measurement number in the picture.
For pre-existing 3D printable items (.stl files) that I don’t download from thingiverse.com, I design myself using tinkercad.com. A free web-based, easy to use CAD type software with starter shaped objects to drag and drop. Like the square I used to create the hitch cover. The printed iterations were done on my PowerSpec Pro3D printer. No rafts or supports were needed. I prefer to 3D print items that don’t require rafts and supports since they leave rough edges after they are removed. The print time was 1 hours and 52 minutes for the final version with the 2 inch sides. (deeper cover)
Final 3D Printed Project Dimensions
- 3.32″ square, outer dimension
- .03″ wall thickness
- .21″ side hole opening for larger zip ties (so tie can reach around)
- .14″ smaller holes at bottom for drainage
- 2″ side walls
Do you have your own 3D printing project or want to learn more about 3D printing? Stop by Workshop88 on a Thursday night between 7pm and 9pm to share it with us. Select the date you can stop by and RSVP on Meetup.com