New toy... 3D printer.

edited May 2013 in General

I've just taken delivery of a Makerbot Replicator 2. Loads of plans for it but rig parts are definitely up there. My insistence on having too many hobbies/interests at any given time means my KAP progress is slow. But on my 'to make' list is a rig for a Nikon D50 I have mothballed.

Related to that, or indeed anything else of use, does anyone have any CAD/.stl files they are willing to share?

I'm currently self learning 3D design software (123d Design etc.) but keen to get printing useful things.




  • I don't have any CAD files to send you, but since you're a multi-hobby kinda guy, I have to toss this out:

    About three years ago I attended a conference for telescope instrumentation. One of the presenters represented the VIRUS instrument on the Hobby-Eberly telescope. The idea with VIRUS was to design a really straightforward, very compact spectrograph, and massively replicate it. They designed the optics to require very loose tolerances on alignment, and designed the cryovessel to only have one o-ring surface. Then the real fun began!

    They 3D printed all the components of the spectrograph, and sent them out to a foundry to be cast. The cryovessel components were green sand cast in aluminum using the 3D printed parts as patterns. The optical mounts were investment (lost wax) cast in Invar, using the 3D printed parts as the wax masters. (At 500C, 3D parts will melt out of a mold just as easily as wax will.)

    When all the bits came back, they machined the o-ring groove surfaces, coated the inside with a really cool Loctite product to make it non-porous for vacuum use, assembled all the spectrographs, and closed them up. Voila: massively replicated spectrographs.

    So when you're looking at stuff to do with your 3D printer, don't feel constrained by the material. You can make 3D plastic parts, but you can also make cast metal parts. For most KAP stuff the plastic parts will likely be the way to go. But if you wind up designing something and thinking, "There's just no way this will be strong enough to support a camera," that may not be an issue.

    Check in your area to see if there's a home shop machinist club. Some of them may welcome a new member with a 3D printer, and some of those may be more than willing to do casting in exchange for having parts made.

  • Chris,
    Let me know offline if you'd like to print either of my designs, shown here:

    The energy harvesting kap rig (very fun to play with if you ask me):

    Or the smart phone kap rig (specify which one you want):

    Neither of the files is fully set up for printing so you may need to set them down on the workplane, rotate them, etc.

    My friend has a Rep 2. He printed the first iteration of the energy rig for me (had it on my desk the morning after I sent him the file at 10pm!). The disk printed without the hole, oddly, but it is easily drilled with 1/4" bit. It was designed in sketchup (kind of a pain to use for 3d printers but good at certain things like rotating the angled surface to create the disk).

    As for the smart phone rig, he had trouble printing the 1mm thick stuff, since the scaffolding to hold it for printing couldn't be removed without breaking the structure. Sounds like a challenge. It was designed with Tinkercad (may it rest in peace).
    You can email me at x@y.z
    Substitute hobbiestoomany for x and gmail for y and z is com.

  • have a look at thingiverse ( Lots of designs there, such as Gopro-cradles.
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