While people have been finding ways to generate mesh prints via Python scripts to generate tool paths and OpenSCAD tricks, here is a handy way to produce one quickly and easily taking advantage of tools build in to Slic3r.. Via QueLab.net:
…Basically we are going to take advantage of Slic3r’s “support material” function to get our screen. Export your’ model to an STL and load it into Slic3r. Note: you must use Slic3r 0.9.8 for this, 0.9.9 and above will generate a raft under the support material and the mesh won’t come out right.
In Slic3r’s “expert mode” navigate to “Print Settings” and then “Support Material”. Make sure “Generate support material” is checked. Change “Pattern” to honeycomb and set the “Pattern spacing” to the diameter you want the holes in the mesh to be (I use 2.5mm in my example).
Now navigate to “Infill” and change “Fill density” to 0. This will ensure that the actual mass of your object doesn’t print leaving only the honeycomb support material for the printer to work with.
Export your model to gcode and print it. Your printer should now print support material for a non-existent object, leaving you with a nice honeycomb mesh of support material behind….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!