Monthly Archives: January 2013

Split an STL from the Thingiverse into multiple objects

It should not be this hard to find the answer to a simple problem.

So I printed Tiny Planetary Gears Set http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:23030 and during assembly I broke one of the pieces.  The beauty of a 3dprinter is I can just print another one right? Right! Well with a snag.  Things from the http://www.thingiverse.com come in .stl format which is a final solid object even though most of the files out there are multiple object put together for convenience.   So I just wanted to print one part out of many:

This is how the .stl file looks from the Thingiverse

Origional STL

Origional STL

But I want just one piece from this not the whole thing.  This seem deceptively simple but praying to the google gods, it was a hard won solution and that is why I am sharing.

First of all go download and install http://www.netfabb.com/download.php it has a free (basic) version that will do just fine.

  1. Open the .stl by going to Project->Add Part
  2. Browse to the file an click open Imported in Netfab Studio
  3. Now on the right side of the screen you will see cuts configuration.  Start by slicing in the X direction using the slider bar for X.   Pay close attention to the red intersects that appear as you move the slider. Pay attention to the red intersections
  4. Select a spot that has no intersections and click Execute cut.
  5. Then click Cut
  6. Now notice that you can expand Parts in the context area and select the individual halves you just made.

    Select the new object

    Select the new object

  7. I want to slice again to get just one of these items so I am going to use the Y slider to split it again.
  8. Move the Y slider so there are no intersections then click Execute Cut and then Cut.
  9. Now I can select just the one part I want.

    Now I have just the part I want

    Now I have just the part I want

  10. Ok great! Now lets print it.  Right click on the part and select Export part->as STL

    Export it

    Export it

  11. Give it a name and click save
  12. Now we can open it with MakerWare and print it.

    Let print it

    Let print it

That wasn’t so hard after all why did it take so long to find the answer?  Who knows?  Hopefully this saves someone the several hours (and downloading several programs) it took me looking for the answer.

More Printing

I have been printing more (after work).  I updated the MakerWare Version 1.1.0 (http://www.makerbot.com/makerware/) and the MakerBot to firmware 7.0.  The firmware has an updated slicing engine which my first impressions it appears be over all more efficient as they claim.  It is certianly much faster at slicing.  I did not time how long it took before but now its almost instant.  Previous to this release the printer for swing back and forth between multiple objects on the when printing.  Now it will stay on one object and print an entire layer of the object before moving on to print and entire layer on the other object.  It does seem to print a bit slower on the outer layers of the objects.  I am not sure that I can recall if it did this with the previous layers or not.  I would assume that it is printing in finer detail on the outter layers so this is definately a good thing.

Here are some more things that I have printed:

Raspberry pi case 1h 35min (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:24945).  I decided to change filiment color this is called Icicle Blue http://store.makerbot.com/filament#pla. It warped away from the build platform for some reason. But it turned out ok anyway. Not sure if it was the new filament that did not stick quite as well or what. More printing with this filament might reveal the answer.

Pi case - With Pi

Pi case – With Pi

Pi case - With Pi

Pi case – With Pi

Pi case - With Pi

Pi case – With Pi

Pi case - Top and Bottom

Pi case – Top and Bottom

Pi case - Assembled

Pi case – Assembled

Arduino Case http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20739 to protect the Uno http://arduino.cc/en/Main/arduinoBoardUno

Arduino Case Top And Bottom - Assembled

Arduino Case Top And Bottom – Assembled

Arduino Case with Arduino Uno inside

Arduino Case with Arduino Uno inside

Tweezers http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:25587 and Nautilus Gears http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27233. I printed some mechanical things to see how the printer does. The Tweezers work well. The points don’t quite stay lined up as well as I would like though but are useful for soldering SMDs. The gears work just ok they don’t really snap together as well as I would like but I am sure that a dab of glue will solve the problem to hold them together better.

Gears and Tweezers

Gears and Tweezers

Plastic Spring thing http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39963.  Wanted to see what happens when the printer needed to bridge a gap with plastic. You can see that the outer edges have plastic that spans a good 3/8 inch. The detail is lost in my crummy
photos but you can see that it did impressively well spanning with no support.

Plastic Spring

Plastic Spring

Plastic Spring

Plastic Spring

Plastic Spring

Plastic Spring

 

TrH Meter Kit – Part 2

I was able to obtain another MAX7219 chip for testing purpose and my problems were solved.

Working better

Working better

Working better

Working better

Working better

Working better

Working better

Working better

All of the segment light up correctly.  The one that was sent was definitely faulty.  I contacted the author of the meter and he offed to send me a replacement (when he is back form a conference).

Over all I like this kit it was relatively easy to put together and it has usefulness beyond honing my skills with soldering.  If I had to point out any negatives I would say that the components could have been tightened up to make the overall dimensions smaller.  This is a minor issue since I don’t really have any size constraints.

New Printer Has Arrived!

Printer is here

Printer is here

Very exciting! The unpacking was easy and I think it’s a bit over kill to have the details that the instructions do for just unboxing the printer. 2013-01-07_17-26-52_286 2013-01-07_17-25-56_869 2013-01-07_17-19-35_75 2013-01-07_17-29-37_317

Once it was unboxed leveling the build platform is quite easy and quick. Easiest of all the setup is feeding the filament in.  Initially when I select to read from the SD card to do a test print I got a SD read error even after reseating it.  I popped in my PC and it read fine then back in the printer and it read fine as well.  Odd but I’ll call it a fluke.  First print was one of the examples on the card and it came out quite nice and had no issue.

2013-01-07_18-42-26_552

first print

first print

Next I went to the fantastic Thingiverse to print this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:38712. Probably not the best choice for my second print though.  I think I got a bit over zealous and tried to print the whole thing all at once.

cube gears

Shortly after the start the pins popped off the platform one by one and I canceled the print.  After trying again with the same result I separated the pieces out printing the main parts first. This took quite longer than I expected. It too about 4.5 hours using the recommended setting of the author.

2013-01-08_01-52-12_439

Once that was done (finally) I could focus again on the pins and center.  I tried tweaking the shells and infill settings and it failed again.  Then I actually looked up what you are supposed to do and quickly found the raft check box which easily solved the problem.

2013-01-08_02-10-19_167 2013-01-08_01-51-35_34 2013-01-08_01-51-22_121

failed print scraps:

2013-01-08_02-04-07_429

Some interesting things about the printer that I did not expect:  It plays a satisfying tune when it is getting ready to print and completed printing.  The lighting on the inside changes colors when the head is heating indicating the tempature.

Color changing on heatup

Color changing on heatup

Color changing on heatup

Color changing on heatup

All in all it’s fantastic to see object emerge from this thing.  More post to come…

 

TrH Meter Kit

I ordered this kit https://tindie.com/shops/rajbex/pre-order-trh-meter-kit-3/ from tindi a few weeks ago and decided to assemble it while waiting for my printer to arrive.

TrH Meter Kit 2013-01-06_11-38-33_427

Assembly went fine and the instructions http://embedded-lab.com/blog/?p=6958 are easy to follow.

Once I powered it on however I ran into an issue.  When power is applied all of the seven segment displays light up all segments: 2013-01-06_13-13-28_629But as soon as it starts reading tempature and humidity none of the bottom most segments are working

Bottom segments not workingObviously it should say 25°C.  The only thing I could think is to reseat the ICS but no dice. I am not really sure where to go from here.  I posted http://embedded-lab.com/blog/?p=6958#more-6958 to try to get help and any help is appreciated.

MakerBot Replicator 2 Shipped

W00t! I got a notification that my new printer has shipped. I ordered it on Nov 13 and received the tracking numbers on Dec 31st. FedEx does not have a status change that they received it yet and it says the estimated delivery is today January 2. That would make it 6 weeks 6 days considering that when I ordered they said the lead time was 8 weeks.
Just like me people are really excited to get the printer. Here is a thread on how long it is taking people to get their printer: http://groups.google.com/group/makerbot/browse_thread/thread/b3427ad059f9c23a/459436af7f6cd1f1