Last month we saw a lot of people 3D printing the hairy lion. That inspired me to design a complex looking tool holder, but with an easy way to 3D print out the model and some easy re-shaping of the tentacles after printing (using hot air for thermoforming).
Hairy Lion model by Primoz Cepin
The hairy lion is a good example of re-forming thermoplastic into a different shape after first printing in a much easier model, that's more optimised for the 3D printing process.
I made a video about the design, and how to shape 3D printed parts after 3D printing below -
You can also find this and more on my YouTube channel in HD over here
After printing, shape the legs into interesting positions by using a heat-gun. This is Colorfabb nGen material, great for thermoforming. PLA is also very easy to form using hot-air or hot water.
The metal plate shown above is simply being used as a heat shield so the tentacles bend exactly where I want them and the body is not deformed.
You may need to do a little more bending once fitted to make sure tentacles are not in the way of the 3D printer moving parts.
A 3D printed clip allows you to slide the Octo-Tool holder onto the machine.
You just need to slot the clip into the TAZ 6 20mm aluminium t-slot section on the left hand side.
You could add many other tools and upgrades to your machine this way.
You will need to remove one part of the TAZ 6, just to allow the clip to slot in. Be careful not to loose the t-slot nuts, they do enjoy slipping down the aluminium channel sections. Use blue-tack to hold them in place.
The top tool holder can also be printed and fitted, if you would like to have a different top tool holder, then feel free to alter the Freecad model included with the Youmagine link below.
It can be fitted using the existing bolts, just loosen then a little and slot in the top tool holder.
Add tools and SD cards, and you are all set with even more awesome TAZ 6 3D Printer.
I have posted the design files for these models and the STL's for 3D printing along with advice for assembly onto your TAZ6 are over on Youmagine here
The original original Bucket O' Octopodes (thicker legs) - by moleofproduction can be found here - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8896
2D Scanning for accurate 3D models
One tip I didn't talk about in the video above is an easy way to make shapes for tools like the Pliers.
I have used this method many times and it's a great way to ensure existing objects fir into 3D printed parts.
Take a 2D scan or a good photo, or the object. Then just load (import) this image into your CAD program and scale to a known dimension of the object. For this set of pliers, I measured the distance of the middle round section and scaled the image so that dimension was correct. then you know you are at the correct scale for the model.
It's then just a case of tracing around the image and producing a plane you can extrude, to form an indent for the object. You can round corners and add grip points as I did in the top tool holder.
I have replaced all manner of objects using this method, from shower mounts to kitchen utensils, just from simple 2D scans using a flat-bed scanner.
I hope that was useful, do comment and please subscribe to my YouTube channel for more 3D printing adventures soon.
Files and designs shared on YouMagine - https://www.youmagine.com/users/richrap
Files and designs shared on GitHub – https://github.com/RichRap
Files and designs shared on Repables - http://repables.com/u/richrap/
My Youtube channel is here, all 3D Printing and Hi-Def video content.