Shop by Category
My Wife received a soap holder (and a fancy bar of soap) for Christmas that looked like it was made by dribbling loops of plastic in a pattern to form a mat, then die-cut into the final shape. I saw this and thought it was interesting and wondered how well I could do something similar with a 3D Printer. While I hesitate to call it "3D Printing," it was done on a printer.
Here's the original - it felt like it was made from some sort of TPU (thermoplastic urethane) or something with similar properties.
Here it is with a bar of soap on it for scale.
Its purpose is to let the moisture drain away from the soap so it doesn't sit in the water and dissolve or stay mushy.
To try making my own version of this with a printer, I modeled up a rectangle of appropriate dimensions in OpenSCAD, exported my rectangle as an STL, pulled it into Slic3r and started tweaking. I'll jump straight to what (more or less) worked.
LOW speed - 7mm/s but might be able to go faster with higher temps 0 perimeters (or shells, depending on your software) 0 top and bottom solid layers (I only wanted to print the infill) 10% honeycomb infill (I'll come back to this) 245C extruder temp (HOT to make sure it flows) Extrusion multiplier of 2.5 Appended to the end of the start g-code: G1 Z12; raise the nozzle by 12mm G92 Z0; set this new position as the Z-home, or 0-refference for the z-axis
The idea with these settings was to print a ways above the print bed so the plastic would noodle down onto the bed to form the object. The low speed was needed to allow it to fall (not quite drip) rather than being pulled taught. The high extrusion temp made sure its viscosity would be as low as possible, also aiding in making sure it would lay down rather than trying to bridge. The extrusion multiplier here was critical, in that we really need more plastic coming out than would trace the path formed by the extruder - it had to noodle out down below and create little swirls to give the right texture.
The infill pattern mattered quite a bit. I experimented with a few options here and found honeycomb to be the best option. Octagram spiral and hilbert curve were not "connected" enough - each layer didn't interconnect enough with the others to give the part much structure. Rectilinear, linear, and concentric were just too regular to give the right kind of pattern.
In playing with the settings over a few different attempts, I had this result, which wasn't at all what I was going for, but was interesting - this was honeycomb, but with too little height on the nozzle with the infill too sparse.
Here's the final result with the settings from above.
And for comparison, here it is with the same bar of soap on it.
It's not a masterpiece, but it was an interesting experiment, and the result does serve the same purpose as the original just as well. I do think a patterning of the loops more similar to the original could be achieved with more careful settings. I also let this "print" longer than I had intended, which made it taller than the original.
In rearranging things in the yard, we had these old solar path lights that needed to be moved, and which were due for some refurbishment. We pulled eight of them and discovered that four were without the stake at the bottom. I decided to design and print some new stakes for the lights before redeploying [...]
It's been one month since we launched 5 Dollar Filament™ and we have been overwhelmed by the 3D Printing community's response. Our mission to bring high quality American made 3D Printing materials and colors for only $5 a spool has resonated with people. Reading your feedback on our Adv. Ingeo PLA formula and beautiful colors makes [...]
Achieving and maintaining a level print bed on your 3D Printer is of paramount importance. High quality prints and reliable printing depend on a level bed, particularly at high resolutions. In this post we'll explain why it's so important, how to achieve it, and what you can do if you just can't get there with [...]
Acetone has been used for some time to treat ABS parts, either by polishing, vapor smoothing, or even using it to stick parts together. Likewise, Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) has been used to the same effect with ABS. We found Tetrahydrofuran (THF) to be the best option in our assessment, but be warned that there [...]
This is just a quick post to share our experience with Aqua Net hair spray as a print-bed adhesion enhancer for 3D Printing. We certainly didn't come up with the idea of using hairspray on a 3D Printer, but have been giving it a go and wanted to share."How do I get my prints to stick [...]
Keeping your plastic dry is critical. It greatly improves both printer reliability and print quality. A week ago, we announced our reusable indicating silica gel desiccants, along with some other products. While we mentioned in the product description that you can dry these out in a microwave to reuse them, we thought we'd give a [...]
While a vast improvement over previous extruders, the MK7 can still prove challenging for those wanting to get started with PLA. However, while PLA is more picky in the settings surrounding how it is printed, its benefits over other printing materials make getting over the calibration hurdle well worth it. It has little to no [...]
Dec 5, 2012: Please note that this is a legacy post. It contains outdated information and will not be updated. These days there are a number of personal 3D Printers to choose from. Personal, hobby, open-source, accessible, desktop, or whatever else you want to call them; they are a new breed of 3D Printers. A [...]
You have a 3D Printer, or maybe you want a 3D Printer. Maybe the only thing stopping you from acquiring a 3D Printer is that your significant dearest is unconvinced of your NEED for a 3D Printer. And if you're really lucky, maybe the dial on the clothes dryer has just broken. Well if you [...]