Dec 7, 2017 | By Tess

We've got four pretty superb DIY 3D printing projects for you to check out this week, including flame throwers, RC LEGO cars, low-cost 3D printer mods, and antenna trackers.

Fun DIY 3D printing project #1: 3D printed wrist-mounted flame thrower

If you have dreams of becoming a superhero of sorts, or are even just a pyromaniac, this DIY 3D printing project is definitely for you. The make, designed by Youtuber RCLifeOn, is a wrist mounted flame flower which, in addition to not being too complicated, actually works!

Of course, before we get into the project, a big disclaimer is advised. This is a flame thrower! You could seriously injure yourself or someone in your vicinity while using it, so be cautious.

The wrist-mounted flame thrower consists of three main 3D printed components: a flexible plastic glove (which was custom designed to fit RCLifeOn’s hand), a hard plastic forearm shield (also custom fit), and a butane canister holder, which sits just above the forearm.

As the maker explains in a Youtube demonstration, he did face a few challenges in the design process, as the initial prints of the glove did not turn out well and the first butane canister holder was not strong enough to be assembled properly. After a few tweaks, however, the parts were printed and ready for the next step: electronics.

In addition to the 3D printed parts for the flame thrower, RCLifeOn required a battery, servo, ESC (electric speed controller), Kanthal wire, receiver, transmitter, wire and connectors, a butane canister, and a tube, to carry the butane from the holder to the front of the glove.

These parts are assembled behind the butane canister and are setup in such a way that the ESC is connected to the battery and to a receiver. The receiver, for its part, is connected to a transmitter, which receives input from the user and triggers the device’s function.

When activated, the servo motor pushes the canister forward into its 3D printed case, which releases the fuel through the metal tube down the forearm. When the fuel reaches the end of the wrist, it is ignited by a heated coil of Kanthal wire (which is also controlled by the transmitter), and voila: you’re throwing flames!

You can see how well the 3D printed flame thrower works in the video above.


Fun DIY 3D printing project #2: Remote-controlled 3D printed LEGO Go-Kart

Readers will surely be familiar with the giant 3D printed LEGO Go-Kart that maker Mantis Hacks created some months ago. The Go-Kart was made entirely from 3D printed LEGO blocks which were scaled up by five times (as large as would fit on Mantis Hacks’ 3D printer).

Since unveiling the impressive make, Mantis Hacks says he was asked repeatedly whether the 3D printed Go-Kart could be turned into an RC car. The answer apparently is yes.

As the maker explains, not only did he add motors and remote control capabilities to the 3D printed LEGO Go-Kart but he did it in full LEGO-style, recreating original motor housings made by LEGO (scaled up by five times).

In a Youtube post, the maker takes the 3D printed LEGO Go-Kart out for a spin and, after a few unsuccessful tries (parts need to be glued and zip tied to keep from falling off), it works beautifully.


Fun DIY 3D printing project #3: Easy mod turns low-cost 3D printer into PCB laser etching system

This next 3D printing project might only be relevant if you’re using a low-cost Cetus3D printer, but it is worth checking out nonetheless.

Marco Reps, a Youtube maker, recently shared how he, almost unintentionally, transformed his entry level Cetus3D 3D printer into an effective PCB laser engraving machine. The results of the simple modification are pretty impressive.

The project began when Marco Reps set out to install a heated print bed onto his $300 Cetus3D printer. When he removed the base cover of the 3D printer, however, he noticed an unused transistor which was wired to an extra connector on the machine’s print head. Determined to figure out what the mysterious transistor was for, the maker contacted the printer manufacturer and discovered that the part was intended for an accessory which could be controlled by G-code.

Pleasantly surprised, the maker changed his project entirely and rather than install a heated print bed, he set about making a UV laser module for the printer. For the modification, Marco simply used parts he had on hand, including a low-cost UV laser module, as well as a 3D printed holder for the laser which secured it to the print head.

In testing out the new laser module, Marco found that the cheap mod was actually able of producing some pretty accurate parts, including etched PCBs with 0.2 mm traces. And though the results weren’t perfect, the maker was more than satisfied with the PCBs he created and is now planning some additional changes to improve its accuracy.


Fun DIY 3D printing project #4: DIY AZ/EL Antenna rotator with 3D printed parts

A popular German maker by the username Tysonpower has released a tutorial for building a low-cost (under €150) antenna tracking device with the help of 3D printed parts. The project came about after he could not find an affordable antenna tracker for his satellite dish.

He explains, “After some search I found the Satnogs Project and the Tracker they developed. I then started designing a rotator that follows the same principal as the Satnogs one, but with bigger and stronger stepper motors and a smaller overall size.”

The resulting device is a sturdy contraption made from a 2020 aluminum extrusion main frame, an axis made from 38 mm diameter aluminum pipes, two ball bearings, a 3D printed adapter for the aluminum pipes, and 3D printed mounts for the bearings.

Tysonpower did face some difficulties with the 3D printed parts, as the mountings could not withstand the weight of a 1.2 m dish, though he says the structure is suitable for smaller antennas such as a Yagi or a small dish.

“I tested my DIY sat tracker on a 70° NOAA pass and it worked great with my DIY VHF carbon Yagi,” he explained. “There was also a steel bracket and a 50 cm long aluminium tube mounted to the elevation axis, as you can see in the video. The weight was not a problem at all an WXTrack controlled everything as it should.”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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