Inside 3D Printing Sydney

160429 Inside 3D Printing Sydney

I just wanted to quickly put the word out about the Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo happening in a couple of weeks in Sydney. Keynote speakers are Ian Gibson, Head of School at Deakin University, Fred Fischer from Stratasys, and neurosurgeon Paul D’Urso from Epworth Hospital. I’m also excited to be speaking at the conference on a topic called Gamification of CAD: Engaging Consumers Into The Design of 3D Printable Products which will show some of the developments around turning the 3D modeling process into more interactive and game-like experiences that anyone can pick up and understand. I will also be using some examples from my own work which I’ve previously posted here, including the Wiiduino which uses Wii nunchuck controllers to customise a 3D model in Rhino. Should be a lot of fun if the demo works! Come along and say hi 🙂

But as always with these events, I’m most excited to wander the exhibit hall and speak with people about materials, printers and all things nerdy! My last experience at RAPID was just awesome, so much to learn and so many people doing interesting things.

If you’re interested in attending I have a discount code for the 2 day pass, just use the code SPEAKER40 to get 40% off your ticket! You can thank me later. Hope to see you there.

– Posted by James Novak

Wii Nunchuk Controls 3D Printer

Yes it’s as simple as the title says; I can now control the movements of my useless Solidoodle Press (and probably almost any other 3D printer) using a Wii Nunchuk!

Don’t ask me why. It’s more of a personal challenge to see if it could be done, and now that it can, I have a few fun ideas for this. The whole thing was surprisingly simple, and builds upon some previous work where I used Wii Nunchuk’s to customise a 3D CAD model, and of course my work using Rhino CAD software combined with the Grasshopper and Firefly plug-ins. In simple terms, I’ve managed to convert the X and Y signals from the Wii Nunchuk’s joystick into the X and Y G-code commands used by most 3D printers. It’s a little clunky, but at the same time it’s pretty cool to directly control this machine.

With a couple of buttons on the front of the Wii Nunchuk it won’t be hard to add some extra functionality to this, although my intention is certainly not to try printing plastic using this controller, there’s just no real reason to. You will just have to check back in later to see where this experiment goes!

– Posted by James Novak

Wiiduino – Coming to Design Philadelphia

20150829 Wii Arduino

I just like saying the name… Wiiduino!

My last post showed a video of my experiment modifying and controlling a 3D CAD model using nothing but Wii Nunchuck controllers plugged into an Arduino. Click here to take a look. The image at the top left is the circuit used for that experiment, which is great for prototyping, but definitely looks a bit rough to be part of an exhibition coming up at Design Philadelphia in October. So of course it’s no surprise that 3D printing was my logical next step!

Last year I 3D printed a cool baby NES Nintendo enclosure for a Raspberry Pi B+, and wanted to create a similar enclosure for this project. Firstly I simplified the electronics as much as possible, and stuck the Arduino to a breadboard to create a compact little unit. Next I dusted off the calipers and got stuck into 3D modelling the enclosure around the electronics using Solidworks, ensuring to allow plenty of clearance around the 3 plugs I needed to access – the Micro USB and the 2 Wiichuck adapters. A bit of text and some ventilation holes inspired by the original Wii console, and voila!

Unfortunately the bottom part lifted a little in the corners while printing on an Up! Plus 2 3D printer, which meant the internal dimensions aren’t quite right. I had to file a few millimeters off the top of the plug holes to compensate, but you’d never know. Of course the raised text has been painted to bring it all to life, and there is 1 hidden screw holding it all together.

And with that I officially christen this enclosure Wiiduino, long may you entertain and inspire 🙂

– Posted by James Novak

Baby Nintendo for Raspberry Pi

2015-01-03 NintendoFor those of you growing up in the 90’s like me, this 3D print will bring back some great memories! Except this is the baby version downloaded for free from Thingiverse (click here to download the STL files for yourself), designed as an enclosure for a Raspberry Pi B+.

In yesterday’s post I shared some of the details of my print settings and discoveries 3D printing this design. Since then I couldn’t resist adding some painted details to really re-create the look of the old NES console. The black was done by masking off the appropriate sections and spray painting, while the red lettering was done by hand with a fine paint brush. Can’t wait to give this to someone in my family who just got the Raspberry Pi B+ for Xmas and will love this case!

– Posted by James Novak