Oct 10, 2017 | By Tess

With summer having quickly retreated to give way for a cool fall, we can’t imagine we’re the only ones who are starting to go into hibernation mode. Fortunately, we’ve got some great DIY 3D printing projects that will keep us busy over the the chilly autumn season. From a handy 3D printed spool for 3D pen users, to an adorable 3D printed JOY controller, to a voice-controlled lamp, there’s something for just about every maker on this list.

3D printed ‘Mini Spool’ for 3D pen

Edmonton-based Thingiverse maker BManx2000 has created a novel little device that is sure to pique the attention of any makers whose portfolio of 3D printing technologies also includes a 3D pen.

The device in question is a “mini spool system” which is designed to be attached to the end of a 3D pen and which can store small lengths of 1.75 mm filament. The ingenious mini spool seems like the perfect alternative to having filament cumbersomely sticking out the back of your 3D pen.

The 3D pen spool is made up of a handful of parts which can be 3D printed without supports, with a resolution of 0.3 mm, and a 20% infill. Once the individual parts are 3D printed, BManx2000 suggests assembling the pieces and welding them together using your 3D pen.

It should be noted that the clip part of the device, which secures the spool holder to the 3D pen, was designed to fit the maker’s generic 3D pen model. “I invite owners of other 3D pens to design their own spool holders and post them here as remixes,” says BManx2000.

If you are a 3D pen artist or simply use the handheld tool to repair or connect 3D prints, you can find the files for the spool holder here.

3D printed JOY Controller

There is little doubt that some of the coolest 3D printing projects we’ve written about have come from the Ruiz Brothers over at Adafruit. By combining 3D printing with simple electronics and Adafruit components, the prolific pair have created some truly memorable makes.

On that note, let’s look at a recent project uploaded by the Ruiz Brothers and Phillip Burgess: an adorable 3D printed game controller called JOY.

The smiley game controller, whose casing is made from 3D printed parts, is a USB controller that incorporates your basic joystick and four action buttons, which can be mapped to keyboard letters for customized controls.

To make the Kawaii-inspired game controller you’ll beed a few components (in addition to your 3D printer): an Adafruit Feather M0 Express micro-controller, some 8 mm soft buttons, a thumb joystick, a 1.44 TFT Display color screen, a slide switch, and a 500mAh Lipo battery. For the assembly you’ll also need some soldering equipment, wires, and screws.

The JOY controller consists of about a dozen 3D printed components, which are to be 3D printed in different colors (some using dual-extrusion printing) and are designed to snap together—meaning that assembly of the 3D printed parts should be pretty straightforward.

As the tutorial reads: “Main two-piece case snap fits together. The left and right pads are friction fitted into the top half of the case. Various details are a combination of securing with adhesives and 3D printed via dual extrusion. Most of the electronic components are secured to the top and bottom half of the case with machine screws.”

The Ruiz Brothers estimate that the project can be completed in two to three hours, so if you have a free afternoon, this could be the perfect project to undertake.

You can find the full and detailed build instructions (including electronics and wiring steps) here.

3D printed ‘OKAY’ monophonic synth

A San Francisco-based maker going by the moniker “oskitone” has designed and built a pretty nifty synth instrument using 3D printing technologies and simple off-the-shelf electronic components.

Dubbed the “OKAY Synth,” the 3D printed instrument takes its simplicity in stride and offers a fun and DIY way of making electronic tunes.

As the maker explains, “With a name like ‘OKAY’ you might guess that functionality is intentionally limited. There’s just one octave of keys, a volume/power control, and an octave rotary switch to select from six different octaves. But what the OKAY lacks in features, it makes up for in accessibility; it uses standard, off-the-shelf electrical components and can be put together in about an afternoon.”

The project is similar to oskitone’s previous F0 Synth, only instead of using a wooden casing, it is made entirely from 3D printed parts which were designed in OpenSCAD and printed on the maker’s Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer.

Inside the 3D printed casing—which cleverly opens up like a box—is a relatively simple electronic assembly that consists of an LM555 timer (the “heart of the OKAY”), a CD4040 ripple-carry binary counter/divider, and an LM386 power amplifier.

The various components are distributed into four small PCBs, each with a different role. They are: a power bus, which switches and distributes power from the 9v battery to the other PCBs and LED; a timer and divider PCB which acts as an oscillator and frequency divider while providing a 12-octave output; the keybed PCB which activates the keys and sets the LM555 timer’s frequency; and the amp component, which is basically your run-of-the-mill headphone amplifier circuit.

The synth does have some limitations: it is monophonic (meaning that only one note can be played at once), analog (which limits the type of sound emitted), and has a square-wave output (meaning it has a “hard” sound, which oskitone says is good for bass lines and chiptune music).

Still, the instrument’s simplicity is part of its charm. And besides, we think it sounds pretty great in the demo videos.

If you want to make your very own OKAY synth, you can find all the files on oskitone’s Thingiverse page here.

3D printed desk lamp with voice control

Forget about clap-on clap-off lights, you can now make your very own voice controlled desk lamp courtesy of Polish maker Nikodem Bartnik.

The smart lamp, made up of 3D printed parts, not only turns on and off by voice command but has a built-in robot which allows it to move around as well. Bartnik says he was inspired to take on the project after being frustrated with having to move his lamp around constantly when he was soldering.

To make the desktop lamp, you’ll need a short list of parts, including an Arduino Uno module, three servo motors, a lamp, relay, bluetooth module, cables, and four 3D printed components which make up the frame and shade of the lamp. (The STL files are downloadable for free, though they feature Bartnik’s watermark. You can purchase the files for under four euros without the mark, however.)

When assembled, the Arduino Uno essentially controls the lamp’s movement through the three servo motors. For the voice control feature, the lamp has been connected via Bluetooth to a voice control Android app.

In other words, when the user speaks into the smartphone, the words he or she says are translated into serial commands which are sent (via Bluetooth) to the lamp, which acts accordingly.

The lamp is programmed to respond to certain commands, including rotation (simply say “clockwise” or “counterclockwise” and then the number of degrees you want it to move); forward and backwards movements (say “Front” or “Back” with a degree); and up and down (following the same format). You can also, evidently, turn the lamp “On” or “Off.”

In the video demonstration of the robotic voice controlled lamp, it does seem like a useful tool for soldering or wiring applications. We are, however, slightly less convinced about using it as a reading lamp or everyday-use desk lamp because of the buzzing sound the motors seems to emit.

Still, Bartnik’s 3D printed lamp is a great DIY project and certainly has some room for remixes and updates! See the full tutorial here.

3D printed GameCube Classic Mini

In the spirit of re-releasing vintage and classic video game consoles in miniature formats, maker “Sparrows89” has designed a 3D printable GameCube Classic Mini. Not just a quirky prop to ogle, the 3D printed mini console is designed to fit a Raspberry Pi B+ module for serious gameplay.

“This should be a fun and easy print,” explains the maker. “With even moderate settings it should only take a day or two of printing until it can be assembled. This has also been made to fit a  Raspberry Pi B+, meaning you could easily turn it in to a Retropie console as well.”

The GameCube Classic Mini casing consists of almost a dozen 3D printed parts which can be printed without supports (except maybe for the IO cutouts and screw recesses), at 0.2 to 0.25 mm resolution, with 10 to 15% rectilinear infill.

If you want to match the maker’s own color scheme, you can do so easily, as the parts can be printed separately using different color filaments.

For the console’s assembly, Sparrow89 suggests installing the Raspberry Pi B+ using four M2.5 screws (5 mm long) and three M3 screws (16-30 mm long). “Everything has been modeled so you can self tap by pressing in firmly when initially putting in the screw, but if the M3 screws are difficult, there’s ample room to use a tap,” the maker adds.

All the files for 3D printing the console can be downloaded from Thingiverse here.

 

 

Posted in Fun with 3D Printing

 

 

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