|2 Color Maker Faire Robot Coin|
I was there to promote our local Seattle Makerbot/Mendel Users Group (and RepRap) [SMUG(r)], open source 3d printers and users, and our local area Maker Spaces.
From a group of about 30 people, we had 3 design ideas with the Key Fob option seeming to be the most appropriate coming from someone wearing a black Maker Faire Robot T-shirt.
We quickly went over some of the tools that can be used to design, from OpenSCad, Blender, Google Sketchup, Autodesk 123D, to Rhino3d (which is what we used).
Going out to the Maker Faire website, we snagged the Maker Faire Robot image from the main page and saved it to our working folder. Here are the steps we went through:
Open up InkScape, import the low resolution image into a new document, and enlarge it by 10x to fill the page after locking the aspect ratio.
We selected and centered the imported Maker Faire Robot vector to as close to the middle of the coin/key fob as possible.
A 2mm coin this size should print fairly quickly and be strong enough for demonstration purposes, although 3mm would probably be better for strength and durability.
To finish your coin/key fob model, click the 'Perspective' window panel, then 'Shaded view' toolbox from the top window - and marvel at what you've created in such a short amount of time.
The model is done now, but you need to get it into a form that your 3d printer will understand, which means converting it from the NURBS, that Rhino3d is working with, into a MESH .stl file that ReplicatorG can then convert into G code for your printer.
This STL file should theoretically be good to print - just run it through ReplicatorG that is set up to your particular 3d printer.
(For our Maker Faire Robot Coin / Key Fob, this didn't work out to be quite that easy after all, but was able to work it out with some nifty new cloud based tools. SEE BELOW)
Since we had a new handy 2 Color printing Makerbot Replicator available at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire this year thanks to Emmett of Thingivese fame and Makerbot Industries .... we pushed the envelope and decided to go for true 2 Color Printing ( hopefully in under an hour).
|2 Color Snap together hack|
Moving on to converting our model to a 2 color version...
Choose File, Export Selected, name it something like ColorOne.stl. and hit OK on the second dialog. Next, you deselect everything (click any blank spot on the perspective window) and just select the small background disk mesh. Export that as above, but name it '...ColorTwo.stl', and hit OK.
These files SHOULD be done. Run them through ReplicatorG and print....
These should have been watertight meshes, but at Maker Faire, something didn't work right and ReplicatorG choked on them.
Luckily there is a nifty 'Cloud Based' Mesh fixing service on the NetFabb website.
RepG is then able to use the files and print them up on Emmett's new MakerBot Replicator (named Venus).
For our Maker Faire Robot Coin / Key Fob first print quality turned out better overall on the single color version.
It could have had something to do with printing black PLA over clear PLA which may not have bonded well, the singular mesh being more intact, or something gone wrong with the mesh fixing/creation process.
In any case, the 'Experiment' was a success, even though at the event it actually took about an hour and a half to go from Thought to Thing... what with having to Sneaker Net the design files across to the other side of the Maker Faire, and the mesh snafu.
The Seattle Mini Maker Faire Robot Coin / Key FOB design files will reside here on Thingiverse. I'll try and update it with a beefier 3mm version, and beveled version with some draft that could be easily sand cast in metal.