Adventures in 3D Printing

Sparafucil3

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I have spent the last couple of days installing the auto bed-leveling and adding in the glass build plate. Those changes required flashing the firmware. I had then had to "dial back in" the printer to get at least the same results I was before the install. The biggest challenge was re-establishing "Z0" (X == left/right, Y == front/back, Z==up/down). If Z0 is not properly established, the nozzle drags on the bed (too low) or the filament dispenses too far away to properly "squish" on the first layer leading to failed prints. This proved to be a little trickier than I expected but once I understood the problem fully, was not too hard to dial in. My printer is back in operation, the diag cube I am using prints well again. I am now experiementing with a couple of complex prints which require supports to see how well I can do. -- jim
 

Sparafucil3

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I think I have my issues sorted. The 20mm cube I use for reference is back and dialed in. Turns out I was printing a little on the cool side making it unlikey the parts of the print would fuse together. With that sorted, I have moved on to something a little more fun. It will take me a couple of days to print all the pieces. We'll see how it turns out. First layer going down. Looks good so far. The red-light is from the auto bed-leveling system. It makes things a bit easier once you get it sorted out. Any guesses on the print? -- jim

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Sparafucil3

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If you're wondering, the total print time on this turret will be about 3 hours, 45 minutes. -- jim
 

Philippe D.

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I too recently got my own 3D printer - Prusa i3 Mk3S; a rather pricy printer (800 euros if you order it as a kit), but gives really nice prints. Made in the Czech Republic. It took roughly 6-7 weeks from me placing the order to the kit being delivered, then it took me a weekend to assemble the printer (I'm not very good with my hands usually). Believe me, having this fine machine deliver nice prints almost from the first time, when you've been the one assembling it from a bunch of motors, screws, plastic pieces into a full machine... is pretty impressive!

I've been experimenting with two variants that pretty much copy the original Raaco A75/A78 inserts: one with 5x7 compartments for Infantry-sized counters, the other with 4x6 compartments for Vehicle-sized counters (closely based on the file that was posted here years ago; I remade mine from scratch though). With my current parameters, the inserts will hold stacks of up to 13 counters: good for infantry (2 compartments will hold a full set of 26 counters for squads, for instance), typically too much for ordnance and vehicles. I might move to 2/3 height: this should be enough for most types of vehicles and guns (1/2 height might be a tight for for 6-deep stacks, as I use 1mm for the bottom).

One thing I'd like to find a solution for is something that will prevent stacked inserts from sliding laterally. Raaco inserts have small round "feet" underneath, but this won't print as the bottom has to be as flat as possible so it will lay on the print bed; I'd have to print tiny feet and glue them on.

I'm not sure if I will use my printed inserts for the system counters: this would make it possible to have a compartment for each single information counter, but will make accessing them harder.

Cost-wise (discounting the cost of the printer), each replacement for an A75/A78 insert will use around 40g of filament, so with 25 euros per kg this is about 1 euro each (this isn't cheap filament; I know you can find much cheaper stuff). For 2/3 height (so you'd stack them 3 deep in an Organizer instead of 2 deep), the slicer says it would use 27.6g of filament.

I'll be happy to share my source files, or STL files for individual models, if anyone is interested. I am using openscad, an open source modeling software that lets you describe your model as a program (this means I can make variants just by changing a few parameters). I posted a crude picture in the "Today in ASL" thread.
 

Philippe D.

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(continued)

Another thing that might work would be to make counter boxes, complete with a sliding lid, that would fit in the very nice MMP game boxes. Hmm, that might be my next modeling project - should not be too difficult.
 

Philippe D.

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Here's a view of 3 2/3-height inserts for 5/8" counters: the whole French OB of vehicles and ordnance holds in what will take 1/8 of a Raaco Assorter, with individual compartments for each different counter (EXC: I think there's one AFV with an optional MG). Lend-lease vehicles will have to live somewhere else.

Stacks up to 8 counters hold in the inserts, and that would probably be enough for the whole OB if it were not for the Dinant HASL. Come to think about it, I might move the surplus to another insert, that would make room for the missing 5/8" concealments - will think of it when I clip the whole thing.

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(Sorry for the low-quality picture; the forum decided the original was too big a file)
 

fenyan

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I would be interested in your 2/3 height 4x6 STL file if you could share.
 

Sparafucil3

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One thing I'd like to find a solution for is something that will prevent stacked inserts from sliding laterally. Raaco inserts have small round "feet" underneath, but this won't print as the bottom has to be as flat as possible so it will lay on the print bed; I'd have to print tiny feet and glue them on.
I don't claim to be a printing expert, but I don't think there is a printed solution to this. The "feet" on normal inserts are part of the extrusion. If you tried printing them, you would have to choose from two less than ideal choices (as I understand it):

1) Print the insert "feet-down". This would force you to build with supports the depth of the feet but across the whole bottom of your printed insert. Pulling off these supports would be painful. You could try printing without supports if your printer is able to bridge the gap. You could try printing the first 10 - 15 layers to see how it does to know if it would work without bridging. I would expect this to fail spectacularly, but at least it would fail early.

2) Print "feet-up". This would make the supports even worse as they would be inside all of the counter compartments. It would be terrible to get rid of. Alternatively. If you can print without supports (your printer would need to be able to effectively bridge the gap distance of the counter compartment), this would lead to a cleaner print than "feet-down". Sadly, you would have to print 80% of the layers before you would see if it was going to fail. Based on a test print I ran which included a bridge test, I think I could safely bridge for both 1/2" and 5/8" counters. This is the method I would try. I might actually try to do this. If I did it, I would probably not use "dots" like the original Raaco inserts but rather use right-angle lines designed to fit inside the counter tray below it (a little more than wall width away from each corner). That would print more cleanly and likely string much less.

I'll be happy to share my source files, or STL files for individual models, if anyone is interested. I am using openscad, an open source modeling software that lets you describe your model as a program (this means I can make variants just by changing a few parameters). I posted a crude picture in the "Today in ASL" thread.
I would love the files if you can share them. -- jim

PS: I considered the Prusa printer too. Nice printer.
 
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Gordon

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One thing I'd like to find a solution for is something that will prevent stacked inserts from sliding laterally. Raaco inserts have small round "feet" underneath, but this won't print as the bottom has to be as flat as possible so it will lay on the print bed; I'd have to print tiny feet and glue them on.
Probably not worth it either, but would it be worthwhile to print the base upside-down with the "feet" in place and the compartments separately and then glue them together?
 

Sparafucil3

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Probably not worth it either, but would it be worthwhile to print the base upside-down with the "feet" in place and the compartments separately and then glue them together?
That is an option I had not considered but it would probably work too.

If you download and can successfully print this. You can see if your printer can handle the bridging. You can see the bridging test in image two, running perpendicular to the left and right edge. If you can bridge the gap as well as what you see in these images, you should be able to print "feet-up", without supports, and get the feet to print. As I said above, the dots would probably not print all that well, but if you wanted them, I would try to do the size at least 2X your nozzle diameter to, probably more like 3X to get a good print. Again, I am not an expert. I am still learning too :) -- jim
 

Philippe D.

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Probably not worth it either, but would it be worthwhile to print the base upside-down with the "feet" in place and the compartments separately and then glue them together?
I think printing the feet separately, and gluing them, would be simpler. Without the base at the bottom, the compartments would be a bit more flexible, and gluing them to the base along the walls would require some precision work.

You could also try printing two bases, one with compartments and the other with feet, but then you'd have to glue them together, again precisely enough, and possibly end up with a thicker base.

I am including a Zip archive with a STL file for the 4x6 insert with only 2/3 height (15mm), and also the Openscad source file in case anybody is interested in further tweaking. (The whole file is a work in progress; I'd like to round the corners a bit, but what I'm working on is a box with a sliding lid)

Edit: I forgot to add that I'm printing this with a .4mm nozzle, and my slicer profile makes walls .45mm by default for this nozzle, so I'm using wall thicknesses that are a multiple of this. I print with layer height .2mm, so vertical dimensions are typically multiples of this. Adjust as needed, of course. You can probably save some printing time and filament with a smaller base thickness, I am using 1mm but could probably do with .8 or even .6mm.
 

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Sparafucil3

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I just started a print. It will run for just over 3 hours. Thanks again Philippe. -- jim
 

Den589

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One thing I'd like to find a solution for is something that will prevent stacked inserts from sliding laterally. Raaco inserts have small round "feet" underneath, but this won't print as the bottom has to be as flat as possible so it will lay on the print bed; I'd have to print tiny feet and glue them on.
You may want to contact my brother (sdennis), he used to print the feet separately and glue them on when he first started this a couple years ago. He recently found a work around and is now somehow printing them in one piece. Unfortunately I think it is because he got some super fancy new printer, but I'm not sure. I'm completely uneducated in this department, but he's the fancy software engineer and should be able to at least tell you how he did it.
 

Philippe D.

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He recently found a work around and is now somehow printing them in one piece. Unfortunately I think it is because he got some super fancy new printer, but I'm not sure.
If it's because he's using a resin printer, then that's out of my league. Resin printers don't have to print models with a flat or almost-flat base.

Or, he could be using a dual extruder and some different material for supports. Again, that's not compatible with my own setup :)

For those of us with less fancy printers: I have completed my design of an insert with a sliding lid. So far I've only printed them in a very small size to save on filament while experimenting, but I'll try a full sized one tonight. The lid should only take up the vertical space for a single counter.
 

Philippe D.

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Here's a new version: inserts with lids. I am including .STL files for 4 models (4x6 or 5x7, full or 2/3 height), and the .scad source file for customization. The .STL files don't use the option to have some text on the lid, because I don't know what you'd like to write there, but it's in the source file.

I've only printed the 4x6, full height version so far. This will let you stack 12 counter per compartment; I expect the 15mm high version will allow 7. The lid slides easily, perhaps a little bit too much (you can put the textless lid upside down, this seems to increase friction and the smoother side is visible).

I print with a .2mm layer height; using a different layer height might result in the lid not fitting, or sliding too easily (this might also be true if your printer doesn't have the same precision as mine - mechanical fit isn't easy).
 

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