Thursday, November 21, 2013

Multidesign Cookie Cutter

Image courtesy of "My MIni Factory"
There is a contest put on by My Mini Factory, to see who can produce the best 3d printable Christmas design.  The key word here is printable.  Most people think a 3d printer can produce anything, they are right and wrong, they are right that they can produce almost anything, they would be wrong in thinking that it can be produced in one part, with no knowledge of 3d printer.  To design for a single extruder 3d printer is quite difficult, your object can have very little overhang or negative space.  I think of them as the computers in the 80's, you can see potential, but it's by no means perfect.

So, anyway here is my entry.  It is a multi-design cookie cutter, basically, what it does it is cut out cookies in different shapes as your roll it along the flattened out cookie dough.  It took me about 3 hours to design.  To make it 3d printable I hat to sectionalize it into 10 different parts, inside of 5 different .STL's.  If I may say so it looks pretty badass, well as badass as a cookie cutter can be...  Any who this beast(yes I just called a cookie cutter a beast, deal with it), weighs around 86 grams, which depending on where you get your filament from, costs between $1 and $4 to make.  It sports 3 different designs, a snowman, a gingerbread man, and a Christmas star.  On their printers's it took roughly 3 and a half hours to full print.
If you would like more pictures, click here and consider making an account and downloading, it would help me win.

Why did I do this?  The grand prize for the item that gets the most downloads, is an Ultimaker.  An Ultimaker is pretty much the best FFF printer around, it is seven times faster than mine has 10 times the build area, and is way more accurate.  Think of my printer as a hoopty car(Im not sure if it is just my family that calls old, broken down cars this, but that is what I mean)  And an Ultimaker is like a nice Suburu.  I really hope I win. I guess in 3 to 4 week I'll know, I'll keep y'all posted on how its going.  I hope you enjoyed this blog post.  As always have a nerdy day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

SacLunch Brunch

Emi, Sky, And I packing sandwich

Well, I decided to do my first blog post that is about something other than technology.  On sunday my friends SkyEmi, and I went down to Salt Lake City to feed those who are less fortunate than us.  It was truly a great experience.  It showed us how others live, and the struggles they go through on a daily basis. It felt really good to be able to help them, even if it was just in this little way. We decided to do it every weekend Here are some pictures, Mrs. Martin.  It was much better than being our usual selectively anti-social selves.  A final note, we are calling our selves the SacLunch Brunch, because we do it at 12:00ish, and they are sack lunches.

The car full packed with all 50 sandwiches
Emi, Sky, and I handing out sandwiches

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Perfect 3d Printer for Consumers

An example of a Delta printer.  Image courtesy of "SolidSmack"

Here is my idea of a perfect 3d printer, targeted at consumers:

It would need to be fast, while remaining cheap.  So, i would ditch the traditional Mendel style 3d printer, and go with the far less popular delta style of 3d printer.  The delta is much faster because instead of moving the whole print tray, or the whole extruder in a linear motion, it sort of swings the extruder around to create an object making it much faster.  It should be able to printer at 200 mm/s maximum.  This allows you to create most objects in less than an hour.  

The print area should be at least 6x6x6 inches.  This is where Deltas are slightly flawed.  Instead of being a square like a Mendel, it has a circle build tray.  So to get a square object that is 6x6 like a Tardis, you would actually need about 8x8. This is not to big of a problem though, it just equates to a larger overall footprint. The whole printer would have a foot print of roughly 14 inch diameter, and 30 inches tall(the way the Z axis is designed, it has a lot of wasted space while the X and Y axis are quite efficient.  

It needs dual extruder. Not for colors, but for support material.  One of the biggest drawbacks of most 3d printers is that they can’t make everything.  If I told someone to design something to print on my printer, it would likely be unprintable.  This is because my printer like most other sub $3000 dollar printers, have a single extruder, so if anything has overhang it can’t print it well, or even at all.  Dual extruder let you print anything because you can put water soluble support material in the second extruder. 

It needs to cost $300, that is the most consumers can probably afford.  I believe that each printer could cost as little as $350 to make. This leave the only way to make a profit, is through material sales. I think that material should cost $40 for .75kilos. It only costs around 3 bucks to make it.  Take into account that most people use about .75 kilos a month, there could be a very healthy profit with the first year (around $400).

It needs to be launched by a big company, such as Google.  This is because a large company is needed to launch a project like this and show all of the world what it is capable of through advertising.  It would also be the first printer to be launched by a large company, this would help instill trust, that it can deliver as promised.  The printer also needs wifi, so you can print while not being physically attached to the printer.