Faberdashery filament spool

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I love faberdashery filament! It is beautiful (some even sparkles) and it is great to print with. But never, ever, ever try to print with a 100m coil straight out the bag. I tried this morning and spent two and a half hours cursing and swearing as it twisted and tangled. I'd try turning the coiled filament first one way then the other trying to see if it would be less twisted but nothing seemed to help. It nearly drove me insane.

So, before I risked my sanity (such as it is) by printing again, I decided to make a filament spool. I was inspired by the fossil collection that my eldest son had left next to my printer:

A quick web search of local DIY stores resulted in a brief visit to purchase two 30cm Plastic Terracotta Saucers and some M6 80mm Roofing Bolts (with hindsight 60mm bolts would be enough).

The saucers helpfully have octants marked out on the back so it was easy to see where best to drill four holes and selecting fully-threaded bolts meant that I could use washers and nuts from my extensive collection to hold the upturned saucer firmly against the heads of the bolts:

(The observant may notice the [optional] split straws to protect the filament from the thread - a nifty idea taken from thing:16046.)

I then placed the coiled filament on the saucer:

followed by another nut and washer on each bolt, followed by the other saucer - the right way up this time - and yet more washers and nuts.

The result was a filament spool that fits nicely on my existing spool holder:

And so, my sanity saved, I can press on printing parts for my metric cerberus.

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Metric Cerberus delta 3d printer again

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I've made a little more progress with my metric version of the Cerberus.

I've used openscad to modify the bottom tripod brace part to make it fit my 40mm extrusions. The new part has a slightly different "clip" to match the different profile.

It was a terrible job to do in openscad but it fits nicely:

Since I printed another bottom tripod part I now had enough tripod parts (with my earlier top and bottom test prints) to line them up on a 200x200mm heat bed to get an idea of the scale of the finished printer footprint:

My optimistic hopes that the dual 623 bearing carriage would fit seem to be unfounded:

I'll probably try using some washers (or half nuts) to modify the position of the bearings to see if that is enough to stop the PLA touching the extrusion but failing that I'll have to attempt remodelling it.

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Metric Cerberus delta 3d printer

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I've been fascinated by delta bot printers since I saw the first videos of a Rostock. I also seem to enjoy making 3d printers as much as printing with them so I've decided to build a metric version of the Cerberus1.

The original Cerberus uses 1.5inch square aluminium extrusions, 8020 1515lite, which aren't readily available in the UK so I've decided to make a metric version based around 40mm square extrusions from KJN, ITM02633:

Four of the Cerberus printed parts need to fit the extrusion profile so these need to be re-designed to fit. I've created openscad models for the Outer Brace Bottom Bracket, Outer Brace Upper Bracket, and Upper Idler Adjuster Body and pushed them to github. I still need to modify the Tripod Brace Bottom part but hopefully I'll get that done in the next few days. I'm hoping that the dual 623 bearing carriage will have enough slack that it will fit without remodelling but this might be too optimistic.

I've printed a few test parts to make sure they fit nicely on the extrusions:

When the quarter of a mile of filament arrives from faberdashery, I'll start printing the substantial amount of parts.


  1. I actually plan to build two printers - one for me and one for the excellent So Make It maker space in Southampton.
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Halloween: Glow-in-the-dark filament is brilliant

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Glow-in-the-dark filament is brilliant. I got mine from reprapworld.com. Getting the extrusion temperature right so that the filament didn't ooze out of the nozzle all over the place took a little time but it is ideal filament for printing Halloween goodies.

I started with some simple objects from thingiverse. First I printed a couple of glow-in-the-dark spider webs:

Then a brilliant glow-in-the-dark vampire skull:

Then I decided to make a 3d print version of a card that Reuben made at school using a hand print:

I took photographs of their hands with a dark background, traced them in inkscape, scaled them to actual size, converted them to dxf files (using this process) and used openscad to extrude them. They came out quite well and are now hanging under their beds.

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3d printing chocolates (part 1)

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Tonight I completed the first part of a 3d printing experiment to make chocolates. I've been meaning to experiment with a Paste Extruder but I decided that this time I'd try printing with standard PLA filament and then making silicone moulds.

First I printed a few Escher Lizards (scaled by 0.3) like this:

Then I used some Hiflex Food and Skin Safe Silicone Putty Rubber Moulding Paste to make a mould. It was quite a simple process (just knead together equal parts the two components until the colour is uniform) and the printed parts came out quite easily after the mould was cured for just one hour. This one turned out much better than I expected with plenty of detail:

I made another two lizard moulds but they ended up with a few air bubbles (but I'm sure they'll taste okay anyway and I might be able to tidy them up with a knife). My other mistake was using too much putty. I'm sure I can do better next time on both counts.

Now I just need to put them in the dish washer tomorrow before trying to pour melted chocolate into them. Hopefully that will go well but I'll be eating chocolate even if it doesn't so I'll be happy. ;-)

While I'm waiting for my chocolates, I'm already thinking about other things that could be silicone moulded and about other 3d printer-related moulding techniques such as this one I read about earlier today using Sugru.

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