Wednesday, 31 May 2017

PiKon:- Touch Screen and Raspberry Pi case

Aussie Facebook 3d Printing site:-

The PiKon Telescope:- Designing and 3d printing a case for the Raspberry Pi 3 and the touch screen I bought to use with it.

As always, I'm driven mainly by cost, but also a philosophy of keeping it simple, just so using the final product doesnt require more than two hands, to use it.

This is the screen I decided on after watching this video.
How to setup an lcd touchscreen on the Raspberry Pi - portable Raspberry Pi 3
and he has another one with audio here

Here is another similar aproach that was suggested by YT thats worth

cut and paste into Youtube so the video gets its credit there and not played in here.

Here is the screen on Amazon:-

Here is the camera thread insert.

As usual the design process started with a sheet of A4 paper, pencil, ruler and vernier calipers.

The software I used to design this in, was Fusion360..........I need the practice in this package just to get used to the completely different approach to design you need to use when moving from a 3D Package like 3ds Max.

It isnt as "free" as I'm used to and doesnt appeal to my artisitic side but offers other useful approaches that force me to think a lot more about my choices rather than design by muscle memory......but oh it's so slow, compared to what I am used to :-(

The second thing I did was to scan the touchscreen so I could import it into Fusion360. I forgot to flip the image though and paid for that by having to go back in and so I decided start over again so I could add the 1/4inch 3/8 camera mount insert.

This is how the image is imported into Fusion but needs to be flipped over so the cable is on the left, because when making it in Fusion you are working from the front of the case to the back or working up into the positive "Z Height" ......if that makes sense. :-)

As it is here you would be working from the back to the front.

Here are the stl files for 3d printing. Download the STL Files here
Please note they are optimised for my printer and conditions but should work for anyone. My settings are:-

Sliced in Simplify3d.
Printied in PLA @ 210 degrees Hot End 70 degree bed 
(Its winter here)

0.4 Nozzle

0.2 layer height
4 top layers
3 bottom layers
3 outlines/perimeters
20% infil
Support yes

The printed version in these pictures is my second  6th print to see how my measurements were going. Were the mounting holes lining up. Were the holes that allow access to switches and other bits lining up?

I'm now reprinting a 6th itteration of it after adjusting the......everything! I have designed the back and will take pictures as it comes off the printer. I'm hoping for a friction fit to hold it in place.

I should have included a place to hold the little plastic pen that comes with the screen and modelled something or somewhere into the case to hold it, but I can always use my fingers and also have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse as well so I'm spoilt for choice and it's not really an issue. :-D

The back Lid friction fits nicely, I added some slots to get your fingernail under so you can pry it off. It might need redesigning in the future because if you take the back off enough times or the plastic warms up the fit might become lose over time. I just realised you could just extend it in z height so there's more that fits inside the case and more to friction against the sides.

The final product in these pictures and the video at the top is version number "7"

Here is everything together so you can see it all at once.
Touchscreen and pi in case. Cheap 12000mah 2amp power supply. Wireless keyboard and mouse combo.

Had I the money I would have gone for a 7 inch touch screen @800x600 as long as it could be run off the power supplied from the pi like this one. I lack the electronics savy to know any better than this so forgive my ignorance if I've said too many funny and silly things :-) As this it to be connected to the telescope I want to make sure I can manipulate the screen in as many ways as possible in the dark and not worry about misplacing the mouse for example.

When I've had a chance to use this outside with the 1 metre camera cable, I'll revisit the design to see if the case can be mounted to the leg of my tripod or another cheap camera stand. Ideally I'd like a cable connector joiner-extender-for-raspberry-pi so I can join and take apart the cable in the middle so the case isnt connected to the telescope permanently, which would make transporting things a lot eaiser.

The tripod.

I finally got around to using some pvc pipe and adapted the pikon pieces to suit the new size.
It's winter here so I'm waiting until it warms up before I head outside to do all my testing. :-D

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

3d Printer Ukulele Hanger

Hi made a video to show how to use the uke hanger and to satisfy an obligation to Michael at 3dfilles who supplied the great filament.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Some Blender tips

If your are using Blender to make stl's for your prints then consider activating the "Mesh 3D Print Toolbox" in preferences.
The plugin can be download here.
The little white arrow pointing to the right is a drop down that should also give you access to the documentation for it as well.

Click for a bigger version

Dont forget to save your settings!

Click for bigger version

Once its activate you have access to the "Check all" and "Make Manifold" button which can help you make sure your models are water tight.
Once you're finished you can then set an export directory and export your file as an STL ;-D

Monday, 20 March 2017

Coin caddy

Here is my version of a coin caddy. It is losely based on one that someone asked if I could model. My changes are enough to avoid copyright but I also do not wish to tread on toes. I bought one of theirs as well and while its really quite a good design, some of the coin slots have shrunk on manufacture and are a little tight and obviously you cant change the amount or denomination of the coins.

Mine doesnt spin like theirs and it has printable coin holders so you are not forced into a limited number of coin slots as you can print more of one denomination as you wish. I seem to end up with a lot more 10 cent coins than anything else so I just print more of them and less of the $2 coins for example. I allowed for a blank coin holder that can be modified to suit coins form other nations but dont think I will release the files other than on the "3d Printing Australia" facebook page.

I downloaded a coin sorter from thingiverse for coin sorting but find if I just empty my wallet of the coins and jut put them in the slots each day, a coin sorter is now unnessesary. :-)

The lastest design itteration of this, allows you to store a spare coin holder in the centre hole if you need to. STL not available.

This is the older itteration of its design and the newer one has improvements but I couldnt be bothered to print it to take photos or screen shots from software :-)

Each coin holder has marker for coin amounts or milestones so you have some idea of how much you have saved of each coin but only in the Aussie holders, you would need to modify the blank one to suit you own currency.

Green coin Holders, Glow in the dark Blue base all pla.

Update I got around to printing the new version of the coin holder.

Shower Bracket

I finally got around to making a bracket to hold my Shower caddy? and non fogging mirror for shaving. The mirror has slots on the rear that allow warm water to get to a sponge like material keeping the mirror warm and preventing  it from fogging.

Its a simple design of an "S" shape that allows it to hook over the top of the glass shower wall and the bottom hook playing double duty as a hook to hang the old fashion ugly wire caddy? and some forks to allow me to slip the suction cup on the mirror on and off to allow me to hold it under warm water so it doesnt fog up and then easily replace it. The suction cup was unreliable at best and I didnt trust it to hold.

Here is the stl if you want to save some time making one yourself or want to modify it to suit your own needs.

I know its something anyone could whip up but thought I'd show and share it anyway. The forks are angled forward to help point the mirror straight out or slightly down. I also kept it under 150mm so I didn't have to think about it fitting on my 220 x 220 bed. Most slicers will allow you to scale it length ways if you need it longer.
Since this post I have had to redesign the bracket because the sharp angles made the thing break. Here is the new design. STL

Monday, 30 January 2017

Filament strength as it applies to my Ukulele Hangers

I just ordered one of these cheap luggage scale to weight my ukuleles UkuleleAquisitionSyndrome
Aliexpress luggage scales
I have 4 uke's so my condition isn't that bad :-) But I am trying to test pla and petg plastic for use with my hangers.

I have tested in the past with the things I had on hand, but inspired by Tom's filaween series, I want to establish some constants with a set of scales. They don't need to be seriously accurate but hopefully consistent.
My earlier testing can be found here :-

From left to right in the above photo we have some GITD Blue from

Next the two are in a nice red from
I will say here that there was a larger range of colours but I had to redesign my hangers as printing in a slightly lower temperature caused weak layer bonding and this caused them to break, so I'm reprinting in the new design. There were some in The3dprinter white but I had to throw them away along with the others in favour of the new design and will re print in white later on.
These colours were supplied by Dion for me to try out and I'm more than happy with his filament and indeed with all the Aussie supplied filament.

None of the filament was to blame for the breaking it was my desire to run a little cooler for a better finish that was to blame for the layer bonding failure. (Wont be doing that again!)

The black ones are in the 3dfillies pla (They are all pla btw)

Michael from 3dfillies was kind enough to send me some of their PETG Squeeee! to try out, so expect some feed back on my series of ukulele hangers in petg and their ability to hold ukuleles (Strength test) soon. I'll wait on the luggage scales before testing these PETG filaments for their ability to hold a precious ukulele away from harms way.  Hopefully it wont be 40 days before I can begin lol

I'm running a tower temp test on some yellow pla from 3dfillies right now however!

My photos don't really do the colour justice but it has a slightly translucent appearance

and the translucency is apparent under my led head light surround I now use on the frame rather than fitted back around my hotend...............just lazy is all :-D 

Here are the temps from bottom to top. The recommended temperature range is 195 - 210c 

Ever since my belt adjuster broke I'm having some issues with it cornering, I suspect the Y axis though, as it has some slop in it I cant remove without a complete tear down.

The 3dfillies yellow pla seems to handle this temperature range really nicely and in the photo the little black dot represents the Y front of the print for later use as diagnostics and so I don't lose orientation. I'm going to try 200c for my next print of a uke hanger as it seems the nicest quality form the test. Very happy with this yellow and their black is great also.