Oct 29, 2017 | By David

Here’s another fun round-up of fun DIY 3D printing projects from a bunch of fun people making their own way in the hobbyist world. This time we’ve got a 3D printed robot that can solve Rubik’s Cubes, an ornate 3D printed speaker, and much more besides.

1. 3D printed Art Deco Speaker

One hobbyist going by the handle of Democracity has married classic product design with the most cutting-edge audio technology, as he modified an Art Deco speaker to fit an Amazon Echo inside it. The vintage speaker was picked up second-hand and taken apart, before being modded with what it needed to be brought up to date.

Good old Thingiverse was the source for a 3D printed cradle design, which was placed in the shell of the speaker and housed the Amazon Echo. A few other extras were added, including an array of blinking multicoloured LEDS. Some speaker cloth was sourced from online marketplace Ebay and glued to the inside of the speaker, and the volume knob was removed to allow the USB cable to be threaded through. There are lots of other similar modified audio equipment projects over on user Democracity’s Etsy store.

2. 3D printed retro computer Raspberry Pi cases

Everyone’s favourite hobbyist computing system, the Raspberry Pi, has been modified in countless different ways over the years, and this is the latest way. 3D printing technology has been used to knock up some pretty authentic-looking copies of classic home computer systems from yesteryear, which can then be used as cases for your Raspberry Pi.

Looking back with rose-tinted glasses on a pre-Windows and Mac era, 3D printing means that we can now bask in the nostalgic glow of the Commodore 64, VIC-20, Amiga 500, BBC Model B, and the Atari ST. These cases are available on Etsy from user RetroPi, for between 20 and 35 dollars. If you really wanted to take things back, you could even find an software emulator for these iconic systems, and enjoy all the things that computer users did back in the day.

3. 3D printed Rubik’s cube robot

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to get my head around a Rubik’s cube. The classic 80’s puzzle block from the mysterious Rubik has been driving people to distraction for decades, with its six faces of infuriating primary color fun. Maybe its time that we passed these relics on to a more modern creation- the 3D printed robot.

This particular robot was made by 3D enthusiasts Otvinta and the 3D design files and instructions were shared on Thingiverse. The robot runs off a Raspberry Pi system, and it’s almost entirely 3D printed. The arms, gears, and most other components were built using a 3D printer and assembled using basic screws and nuts and bolts. The robot is fitted with a camera and basic electronics system, and it has programmed artificial intelligence that enables it to solve the cube from any starting position, much faster than any average human would be able to.

4. 3D printed LED eyes

This project was posted on Adafruit’s site, and it’s just in time for Halloween, which is coming up on the 31st October. If you’ve ever wanted to add glowing eyes to something, now is your chance. Not only is this perfect for spooky dress-up or cosplay, but it could also make cyclists or pedestrians more visible in low-light conditions, such as night.

Inspired by the popular LED eyelashes project, the makers wanted to do a simplified version that would get people in touch with their own DIY capabilities. After soldering them together in a strip, the LED sequins are then connected to a small coin cell break out board with a built-in on and off switch. 3D printing is used to produce a small enclosure and clip to enable the entire circuit to be attatched to things. Let your imagination run wild, stand out in the crowd, and learn a little about circuits and 3D printing as you do so!

5. 3D printed stamp molds

Another project posted on Adafruit shows you how to make your own molds for stamps using 3D printing technology. The materials and technology required for this are relatively basic, but there’s a few little tricks that you’ll need to make sure everything comes out according to plan.

A lithophane generator is initially used to create a 3D map for the design. This translates black and white values into bumps that form the image of the design. Adjusting the settings allows you to invert the design, which then creates the negative for making a putty mold. Silicon-based putty is an excellent adhesive for ink, and it will allow the stamp to transfer ink efficiently.

The actual 3D printing part of the project is quite straightforward, and the guide recommends using PLA filament to make the shape. A handle should also be printed as part of the design, and once this is done all that is required is to fill the mold with putty, and wait for it to set.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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