Prusa Mendel 3D Printer
Page 18
Think it, draw it, print it in 3D.

Ron's Spool table.

October 30, 2011

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Wow! Thingiverse made my Dishwasher silverware rack repair a featured thing within and hour of it's upload!

This is what the spool hack looked like. It was just the PLA spool laid on my wife's lazy susan.

It worked great, for a hack, but she wants it back.

A quick trip into Solidworks and I modeled a minimalist lazy susan I call the spool table.

The top is designed to mount to the existing holes in the bearing. It has a hub that is a very loose fit into the center hole on the spool from Ultimachine. It needs to center the spool, but not to a great tolerance. As it was printing, I realized I was wasting plastic and printing time. It didn't need to be solid.

So the base reflects some design changes. Less material and time, plus a redesign to eliminate fasteners.

I used 6-32 screws and cut them to length with this very handy electricians tool. It shears from 4-40 to 10-32, and the great thing is, it straightens the cut thread so there is never a threading problem.

You can buy screws cheaper by the hundred and just cut to the length you need. No need to stock a bunch of different lengths.

Now if I had a cheap tool like this for metric!

The shortened screws are just threaded into the plastic, no nuts required.

Here is the base showing the plastic mounting studs. The idea was to use a soldering iron to flatten the plastic "rivets" after installation.

Things seldom go as planned the first time. The studs were a little too large. I trimmed with a hobby knife until they went in the holes.

This is the second base. I broke a stud off the first one. When I reprinted it, I made them smaller. I still had to trim a little, but it was because the spacing was a little wide. This worked out as it is a tight fit and I didn't have to heat the soldering iron or smell the burning plastic.

A couple of the screws could have been a tad shorter, but this just helps it grip the spool.

And this is the finished project. It took longer to write this than it did to make the spool table.

(Now you can buy it! )

THIS THING ROCKS! Uh, not the spool table, it's rock solid.

By the way, I found a couple of ways to print multiple parts.

First, Solidworks CAN save an STL of separate parts. You make an assembly and when you save it to STL, there is an option to save as one part. I have yet to print from it, but I'll let you know how it goes.

And in Pronterface, there are settings in the skeinforge section to combine multiple copies of an STL into a "print bed" or a "plate".
This is nothing more than an array of the same part in a grid. Then you save this plate as it's own STL file.

Pronterface saves the G-code and when you want to print, just load the G-code. It's much faster than loading the STL every time.

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