Monday, June 4, 2012

My first little 3D part...

Well, I finally got tired of being uncomfortable about the stepper temperatures after printing for a while on my printrbot -> so I decided to make my first printable 3D part...

I got a few nice 40x40 fans (Sunon kde1204pkvx -> nice high air flow (1.6W at 12V rated but I'm running them at 5V -> nothing is using the 5V lines on the supply yet).  I got them from a small local computer repair place for a couple of bucks each... (I always try to support local small businesses whenever possible.  There's also something nice about being able to walk in an talk to someone about something you want to do that isn't a product they normally sell -> these little fans are perfect for this -> the guy had a bunch of them in a box in the back, unmarked for sale.)

Now that I had my fans, I needed to make a part.  I decided to use google sketchup... Interesting program -> at first I couldn't get it to do what I wanted, didn't feel comfortable... but after about 1/2 hour suddenly it all just clicked and for whatever reason I could get it to do what I wanted easily.  Strange learning curve, to change so abruptly, but it's a neat little program once you get the hang of it.  I did have to get a plugin to have it export stl files for pronterface/silc3r.

The bracket simply slides over the side of the larger nema 17 motors (for the x-axis just sliding it on is secure enough).  For the extruder stepper I used a couple of M3 bolts to add a bit more strength (but I'm not certain this is really needed).  The y-axis motor is tucked away underneath so I just ziptied a fan on the threaded rods -> works ok but not as well as these bracket/ducts.

There are small panels near the top that stop the fan from getting to close to the stepper.  When it's convenient to direct a few wires under the bracket there are a couple of slots available, but the spacer panels could be snapped off if necessary depending on how you want to route the wires..

It's not perfect, but it works better than I expected.  My gut feeling was that I would need to put a heatsink underneath, but that ended up not being needed at all.  I wanted to put the extruder fan towards the right side and towards the back, but that's going to take more time to design than I have today... perhaps in the future.  I put it on thingiverse here.  Feel free to download it and change it as needed (it's a simple design but I wanted to get a feel for how thingiverse works).