3D Printing a Custom Enclosure

[Update 12/5/2012 - if you're interested in how to design and print custom electronic enclosures, you may be interested to read the tutorial series I'm writing over on Inhale3D.]

Here’s a video that shows how the enclosure for the master timing module of the speed climbing timing system was printed with a 3D printer from Aleph Objects (the AO-100).   

Aleph Objects is a company in Loveland, CO that makes this open source 3D printer.  I first saw it when I was at a Manufacturer’s trade show (AmCon) at which Aleph Objects exhibited the LulzBot AO-100 and thought it was one of the best finds at the show.

The folks at Aleph have been very responsive and helpful as I blasted into this new domain.  I love this printer and it’s already been worth its weight in gold.

I designed the Twin Dolphin master timer enclosure using ViaCAD Pro v8.  ViaCAD can export the parts as .STL files which are then ingested by Slic3r, an open source package that  generates the g-code for the 3D printer.  

For my setup, I’m using the Mac version of both Slic3r as well as Printrun which is an open source package that will handle the control of the printer itself…a fancy printer driver if you will.  It controls the temperature of the extrusion nozzle and heat-bed and also pushes the g-code to the printer.  Printrun lets you jog the head around the platform, do test extrusions and generally manage the printing process once the files are ready to print.

Landon Cox – June 2012

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