Here’s a handy tip from Ed Nisley’s Softsolder.com blog for the common desktop 3D printing trip of splitting non-flat object in half and then pinning the parts together:
I’ve been working on an object (more on this later) that requires precise alignment of two parts that capture a nut deep inside. This calls for alignment pins, similar to the ones I used for, say, the Triple-Cylinder Thing.
The general idea is to design holes that fit the pins, then locate them at the parting line of the model, where they’re subtracted from the solid and appear in exactly the proper places when the model splits for printing. You slather solvent glue on both halves, jam pins into the holes, slap the parts together, and clamp until cured. Works fine, I use pins all over the place.
The gotcha of using just a (polygonal) cylinder as the hole: if you glue one end of the pin at a time, a small rim of dissolved plastic may form around the pin at the surface. That can bond the two halves together or prevent them from joining properly after being disassembled.
…The secret to making the gutter work: offset the second layer by half the thread width, so that it’s reasonably well supported on the first layer. If you don’t do that, the inner layers simply drop down through the hole and fill the gutter. Even doing that, notice the distortion of the first few layers inside the hole.
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!