Friday, November 4, 2016

My new toy

I've acquired a 3D printer (a used DaVinci 1.0a, hacked by the previous user to have custom firmware), and I've been having fun with it. I still don't have the ideal printing parameters figured out (ABS works OK, but PLA is dodgy, because the printer wasn't designed for it--I had to add a heat sink to help it), but I'm learning how to design 3D solid objects.

I've been finding graphical 3D design tools like Sketchup and Fusion 360 highly unintuitive--maybe with more practice I can improve--but I've also come across OpenSCAD where one uses a simple programming language to code shapes, and that is much more intuitive to me. Last night I designed and printed a super-simple collimator box for the laser collimator for my telescope. Rotating, drawing and dragging faces would have been a big nuisance, but it was a simple bit of code, and it's easily customizable for other dimensions of laser.