3D Printed Mounting Brackets

Brackets are pretty boring, I know, but being able to 3D print exactly what you need, for just a few cents, just makes good sense (see what I did there?).

I wanted to mount a LED strip underneath my kitchen bench top, but also wanted it to run off batteries so I didn’t have chunky cords to plug in for power. The set that I ended up buying had a battery pack which needed to be mounted along with the strip, as well as a remote. One option would be to use double sided tape, however, this would make accessing and changing the batteries painful. So, a simple bracket was needed. While doing this, I also decided to mount the remote so it wouldn’t get lost.

Like many of the projects on this blog, the entire process from CAD to finished 3D printed parts only took a few hours. Solidworks was used for the CAD modelling, while the brackets were printed on a Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus in PLA. A couple of screws up into the bench top and job done. Secure and out of the way, but easy to remove the remote and battery pack when needed.

If you’re interested in more quick projects like this, check out my special friction hooks or hex business card holder tiles.

– Posted by James Novak

X-Men Cyclops Goggles – COMPLETE

20150717 Cyclops Goggles

As featured on Pinshape’s ‘Pick of the Week

After what seems like months, finally I’ve found time to photograph and share my X-Men Cyclops goggles, which I created for a costume party. You can catch up with the journey in my last post 3D printing them, or the first one designing them by clicking the links. You can also download these exclusively from Pinshape – just click here! [**2022 update – now available for free direct from me**]

For the first time, because of the work involved in creating these, and the fact I just think they’re really cool, I’ve put a small price on these at $4.97 to download. To date I’ve given all my models away for free, but at some point it’s important to give value to a design. I’m not interested in making money on these, just to add a sense of value for the time and effort involved in creating something like this, which is designed to print on a small desktop 3D printer like my Up! Plus 2 in 4 pieces. I have designed in special locators to make assembling and gluing very easy, and also nice and strong.

20150718 Cyclops Novak

If you have a close look at the design you will probably notice a few interesting things:

  1. The smooth surface finish. This was achieved by spraying multiple coats of a putty undercoat and sanding back to remove the ‘layered’ effect. A final colour was then sprayed on top, with the black details painted by hand. You can see how the layers stood out when the first undercoat was applied in the image below – often these are much less noticeable in the white ABS plastic!
  2. The red visor is not 3D printed – it was cut from a folder and is translucent enough to see out of.
  3. LED’s – yes everything’s better with LED’s! While only glued on roughly, at night, and at the party, they looked pretty awesome (although I felt pretty weird after seeing nothing but red while wearing them!).
  4. Foam was glued into the ear pieces to create a firm fit. As mentioned in my first post designing these, I used a previous 3D scan of my face to get the dimensions right – however knowing that I wanted to share them on a site like Pinshape, I kept the design simple in its details so that it could fit anyone. Obviously we all have differently-shaped heads, so it’s never going to be perfect for everyone, so tweaking the print with something like foam might be necessary. You might also need to scale the print depending on your head size – the critical dimensions are on Pinshape.

2015-07-07 16.15.48 smallOverall this is a really fun design that I hope a few people get some enjoyment from making. Cyclops isn’t the most exciting character in recent movies, but as a kid, I loved watching the cartoon version where he wore these style of goggles. Bring back that version of Cyclops I say! If you make these and wear them to a convention or party, please post images on Pinshape so I can check them out!

– Posted by James Novak

Arduino 102

150329 Arduino ProjectsFinally another chance to spend some time learning my new Freetronics Eleven (aka. Arduino). Some of the basics are starting to sink in, the project guide that came with the kit is actually quite good at explaining the reasons why certain things must be done for both hardware and software. The projects pictured above are:

  1. Project #4: using a light sensor to dim an LED.
  2. Project #6: controlling a servo.
  3. Project #6 Customised: adding an LED that turns on when the servo spins in one direction, and off in the other.

Again not the most exciting projects, but at the moment it’s all about making sense of this ‘new world.’ I have included the code for the custom project #6 if you want to build it yourself.

int led = 13;
int delaytime=5;
int angle=0;

#include <Servo.h>
Servo myservo;

void setup()
  pinMode(led, OUTPUT);

void loop()
  while (angle <=180)
      angle = angle + 1;
      digitalWrite(led, HIGH);
  while (angle > 0)
      angle = angle - 1;
      digitalWrite(led, LOW);

Happy hacking!

– Posted by James Novak

Arduino 101

150324 Arduino ProjectsFor something new outside the normal 3D printing stuff I post here, I have now started experimenting with the Freetronics Eleven Kit (essentially an Arduino). This has been something I’ve wanted to try for a long time now, and I’ve finally found an excuse through my PhD research to make time to learn about the electronics and coding of this system. Admittedly I feel like a child when it comes to my knowledge of circuits, so I’m starting out nice and simple!

Pictured above are photos of the first 3 projects supplied with the kit:

  1. Firstly creating a basic LED circuit with coding to control blinking.
  2. Controlling 8 LED’s and using coding to control a ‘scanning’ effect progressing through the LED’s.
  3. Adding a button to allow pausing of the LED’s during scanning (reminds of of arcade games where you have to stop the lights in a certain spot to win a prize).

Now I admit it’s far from exciting like a robot would be, but for someone with no electronic skills it’s a great way to get started with an understanding of both circuitry and coding. As a designer used to using 3D modelling tools to produce what I imagine, using text-based code to control this is quite a side-step, requiring a new way of thinking. But what I like about the Arduino is the community surrounding it – there is a tutorial and free code for almost anything you need to create. I don’t know how well I’ll pick it up, but it’s great to begin learning something totally new! Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be some 3D printed enclosures or something coming very soon.

– Posted by James Novak