Mar 26, 2016

Homebuild Smoothing Tumbler for 3D Printed Parts

Mancave developed this simple to build tumbler for smoothing 3d printed parts. It works best with metallic filaments like Bronzefill and simillar. It tumbles the part with small screws giving it shiny and smooth surface.

Here is the build and operation video:

Here is the video of Coperfill skull being processed and polished:

Shiny and smooth skulls:

Meet the RepRap AtomX

Cliff has decided on the name for his new machine: it is AtomX.

Here is the pre-assembly video:

More details and files to build it can be found at:

Mar 17, 2016

Help Cliff name his new RepRap!

Cliff is in action again!!! Swedish 3d printing guru designed a new small RepRap and he wants YOU to help him name it! Live him a comment under a video with your idea.
The no-name RepRap is a interesting looking machine that has many 3d printed structure parts that can be produced on a standard sized printbed.

Cliff is well known for his Fubot i1 and Funbot Pro.

Aluminum Sand Casting 3D Printed Nose Ring

It's a nose ring. Get it? NOSE RING...
David Kent Watson 3d scanned his face, 3d printed his nose and used lost PLA casting to make it in aluminum. Cool project. I would wear that ring.

Here is the ring being sand casted:

Project homepage with much more details:

Mar 7, 2016

Detailed Ultimaker Troubleshooting Guide

If you own an Ultimaker or a simillar machine, you will find this very detailed troubleshooting guide very useful. It describes all possible problems and how to solve them.

Here is an example of "Pillowing", problem I didn't even know existed:

Full guide can be found at:

Mar 6, 2016

High RPM 3D Printed RC Brushless Motor

Here are two DC brushless motors 3d printed for RC cars applications. They reach 36000 RPM and 42700 RMP.

Here is the first version which exploded due high RPM and centripetal forces of magnetic mass:

Here is improved version that reaches even higher RPM:

You can learn more at:

3D Printed PICK Smart Glasses Frame

Hyeon Han from South Korea developed smart eye glasses frame with 3d printing shell. He named it “PICK glasses 3.5”.
It features a very small custom PCB (45mm x 10mm), Arduino, vibration motor, acceleration sensor, serial port (TTL), battery charger and Bluetooth 4.0. There is no description of what it actually does but if you have a platform you will find a purpose :-)

Han's blog with project description:

For a MUCH more cyberpunk project take a look at:

Improve your Car's Fuel Economy with 3D Printed Vortex Generators

Vortex generators are small vanes that are mounted on various vehicles, mostly aircraft, to improve their aerodynamic performance. In theory they could be installed on a car and improve the fuel economy and increase MPG (or lower the liters per 100km for us Europeans).
Since they are easy to make and design, there are several 3d printable models. They are also very cheap so you can make dozens for a few dollars.

Samm Shepard 3d printed vortex generators and made road tests with good results. He also explains a science and aerodynamic principles behind it.

He used the F86 vortex generator:

Kyle also does a great job in simplifying the science behind it and also has real-life tests with positive results but claims they are only useful on high performance cars.

Autospeed magazine did some testing and achieved positive results in 2006:
Vortex generators on cars can achieve measurable, scientifically proven improvements in car aerodynamics – reducing both lift and drag. The Lancer Evo is probably the shape of things to come – expect vortex generators (of whatever design) to be used on new cars, especially to improve the flow around corners towards the rear of the body.
Positive gains can be achieved only by practical experimentation. That’s the downside – the upside is that the vortex generators are easy to temporarily stick into place with masking tape, and just as easily removed if they are not achieving the desired results. They’re also cheap enough that buying ten or so for experimentation is a good investment.
But they did have some negative results if they were placed on wrong places.

Source links:

GFY racing uses 3d printed vortex generators on race cars:

One of the commercial vortex generator producers, AirTab, did some testing and they achieved significant improvements on trucks. Due to their box shape, their aerodynamics is very bad.

Several research papers, like this one by MIRA show that the fuel savings can reach up to 3% with installed vortex generators.

There are simillar 3d printable models like this one:

Here are vortex generators mounted on a Sprinter van:

And user experience of RV owner:

Since vortex generators are easy to 3d print and easy to install and uninstall they could be great gadget to experiment with and see if you can save some fuel.

Wikipedia page:

If you want to learn more on how to increase fuel efficiency of your car and get more MPGs here is a modder community with tons of useful posts and articles:

They use 3d printers also to make custom car parts:

... like this custom shift knob with engine cut off switch:

Mar 5, 2016

Homemade Jet Engine with 3D Printed Parts

This guy made a desktop jet engine made with many 3d printed parts and burning chamber made from refractory cement molded with PLA 3d printed mold. He also used a skateboard bearings, sheet metal and an electric starter, all powder with lighter fluid!?

Here is a video of the engine running and being taken apart:

Here is a test at 40k RPM:

Project homepage with complete construction manual book to be released:

If you think its very hard to make a DIY turbine jet engine you will be surprised that it was done many time even from junkyard parts like this one:

Stay safe!

Tribed Print Bed Autocalibration

Jeremie Francois developed his own method of automatic print bed leveling and calibration by using some force sensors, Arduino to communicate with modified Marlin firmware and three Z-axis lead screws.

Here are videos of his set-up in action:

Project homepage with detailed guide:

The project is still in development and further improvements are expected.


FSR sensor on the bottom plate next to a Z screw

You can learn more about Force Sensing Resistors here:

Smoothing 3d prints with thermal transfer tool

Justine shows how to get a smooth surface on your 3d print with some help of thermal transfer tool which is somewhat simillar to soldering iron. It is used mostly by woodworkers to etch or scorch a pattern with heat into the wooden surfaces Results look good.

This thermal transfer tool has a larger round surface 

Trinus 2-in-1 3D Printer

Trinus is a new 2-in-1 solution with option for user to mount 3D printer or laser head.

Tech specs:

  • Print Volume: 120mm x 125mm x 125mm
  • Print Speed: up to 70/mm
  • Minimum layer height: 0.05mm(50 micron)
  • Print Material: 1.75mm PLA,  ABS
  • OS Supported: Windows, Mac
  • Conectivity: USB, SD Card (autoprint)
  • Power consumption: 60W
  • Weight: 9.8kg

For more see:

It will be on Kickstarter soon, you can get if for 199 USD as a super-early-bird offer.