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Versatile Filament | Hackaday

Flexible Filament | Hackaday

Master of 3D printed robots, [James Bruton]plans to do some autonomous rover projects in the future, but first he needed a modular rover platform. Everything is cooler with tank tracks, so he built a rover with flexible interlocking sections of track.

The rail sections are printed with flexible Ninjaflex filament. Each section has a tab that can be passed through two adjacent parts. The ends of the tabs protruding from the inside of the rail fit into slots on the drive wheel like gear teeth. This prevents the track from slipping under load. The Ninjaflex is almost too flexible, allowing the rails to stretch and almost climb off the wheels [James] plans to experiment with some other materials in the future. The chassis consists of two 2020 T-slot profiles that enable convenient assembly of the wheel bogies and other components.

The interlocking rail pieces

For the first driving tests [James] built in two completely overloaded brushless 1500 W motors that he had on hand and that he would like to replace with smaller DC motors at a later date.

A standard RC system is used for control, but it is not an easy way to control a skid steer vehicle. To solve this, [James] added an arduino between the rc receiver and the motor controller. It converts the PWM throttle and flasher from the transmitter and combines them into differential PWM outputs for the two controllers.

Continue reading “Modular rover platform rolls on 3D-printed flexible tank rails”

What’s stopping people from playing music? For one thing, it’s hard. But why is it difficult? In theory, it’s because the theory is confusing. In practice, this is mainly due to accidentals or notes that sound sour compared to the others because they are not from the same key or a complementary key.

What if there were no omens? Instruments like this exist, like the harmonica and the autoharp. But none of them look as funny as [Bardable]’s Starshine, the instrument that should be played by everyone. The note keys on the outside are arranged and programmed so that [Bardable] will never play off-key.

We love the game controller form factor which was also a functional choice. On the side facing the player there is a PSP joystick and two potentiometers that you can use to get your thumbs out. The twelve buttons on this page perform various functions such as selecting the button and the type of dial depending on the position of the rocker switch. A second rocker leaves [Bardable] Go up or down an octave on the fly. There is also an OLED that shows everything from the note played to the positions of the potentiometers. If you want to know more [Bardable] made a subreddit for this and other future instruments and has a full tour video after the break.

If this beginner-friendly MIDI controller isn’t big enough for you, check out Harmonicade’s array of arcade buttons.

Continue reading “Starshine is a MIDI controller for the musically shy”

We all know people who are trapped in aging bodies and cannot do all of the things they used to do. It’s easy to accept that you may never move small furniture on your own again, but losing the ability to do something as simple as separating the pages of your newspaper to read on is an end of the fun.

When [Randomcitizen4] visited his grandma over the holidays, she mentioned problems with it, among other things. He turned on his printer and went to work designing a device that would allow her to return to the fun pages. This simple gripping mechanism uses elastic bands for tension and flexible filaments to keep the paper firmly in place. The jaws are in the open position by default, ready to grab newsprint. By gently squeezing the handles, the top page is pushed back from the stack, creating a gap for grandma’s fingers. You can see a demo on page 32 after the break.

Although the device works in some books and magazines, he wants to improve the design of the handles to make the device more universal. [Randomcitizen4] says he’s tried a few things already, but we wonder if a more complex surface pattern could do the trick – maybe less like fins and more like a tire tread pattern. All STLs are available if you want to try it out.

If Grandma’s newspaper is ever out of stock, she should still be able to read it on a tablet or e-reader. Maybe then [Randomcitizen4] can build some kind of remote-controlled page turner for them.

Continue reading “Printed separator separates printed pages”

You might not think of using the word “rigid” to describe most 3D printer filaments, but most plastic filaments are quite stiff over a short length and stiff enough to be pushed into an extruder. Try the same with a softer plastic like TPE and you may find yourself looking for this modified Bowden drive for elastomeric filaments.

The idea behind the Bowden drive, preferred by some 3D printer designers, is simple: clamp the filament between a motor-driven wheel and a tension pulley to slide it through a tube into the hot end of the extruder. But with TPE and similar elastomeric filaments, [Tech2C] found that the Bowden drive on his Hypercube printer was causing jams and under-extrusion artifacts in finished prints. A careful analysis of the production drive revealed some weaknesses, e.g. B. how much filament is unsupported on the exit side of the wheel. [Tech2C] The drive has been redesigned to close this gap and bring the opening of the exit tube closer to the drive. The standard drive wheel was also replaced by a wheel with a smaller diameter and more aggressive knurling. Bolted to the stepper, the new drive delivered remarkably improved results – a TPE vase was almost flawless with the new drive, while the old drive had numerous blobs and artifacts. And a pull-back test print showed no PLA covering at all, which means the new drive isn’t just good for the soft stuff.

All in all, a great upgrade for this versatile and hackable little printer. We have of course seen the Hypercube before – this bed height probe with SMD resistors as strain gauges is connected to the other end of the Bowden drive.

Continue reading “A better Bowden drive for floppy filaments”

Shoes may seem simple at first, but they are actually quite complex. It is quite difficult to create a comfortable shoe that can go a full day without blisters and can cope with the stresses of running and jumping, etc. Is it possible to use a 3D printer to create a shoe that can do all of that?

[RCLifeOn] discovered these sneakers from [Recreus] on Thingiverse and decided to print them at home. While [Recreus] recommend printing the shoes in Filaflex material. In this setup, one shoe was printed from thermoplastic polyurethane and the other from Ninjaflex. As two filaments that are well known to be pliable and flexible, the difference in the end portions is actually quite significant. The Ninjaflex shoe is significantly more flexible and cushions the foot better, while the stiffness of the TPU shoe for ankle support is better.

Our host then takes the shoes for a long distance through the forest, battling dirt, mud and other undesirable events. However, both shoes can withstand abuse [RCLifeOn] states that the Ninjaflex shoe is much more comfortable and forgiving for extended periods of wear.

We’ve seen other 3D printed shoe hacks too – like these nifty lace locks.

A group at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany investigated a strange idea: to use 3D printing material not just as a material, but as a machine itself. What does that mean? The clearest example is the one-piece door handle and bolt, 3D printed on an Ultimaker 2 with pink Ninjaflex. It is fully functional but has no moving parts (other than itself) and no assemblies. In other words, the material itself is also the mechanism.

The video (embedded below) shows some similar concept pieces: door hinges, a pair of pliers, a pair of walking legs, and a pantograph complete the bundle. Of course, the objects are not designed for durability or practicality – the “pliers” in particular seem a bit absurd – but they show different views on the idea of ​​using the material properties of a single piece as a functional machine for yourself.

Continue reading “3D printed door lock has a moving part – itself!”

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