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3D Printed Object Gallery

This page will show some of the objects, both successes and failures that I produce with my 3D printer(s!).


posted 1 Dec 2014, 11:28 by Colin Bell   [ updated 1 Dec 2014, 11:28 ]

...for now anyway. I've moved the last couple of months worth of posts over to the blog section of the site, as my gallery entries were becoming more blog like rather than just being a proper gallery. So, to make my maintenance, and your finding stuff on the site a bit easier I'll be posting only in the blog section from now on.

I've left the gallery posts intact in case people have links to anything.

Remote Control Stand

posted 22 Nov 2014, 13:07 by Colin Bell

I thought I'd have a bash at designing a remote control stand myself using 123d Design. The resulting model isn't bad, however being ever critical of my own work, and a complete newbie to creating 3D models, I can see many areas for improvement.

The model certainly does it's job, and houses the four remotes that previously cluttered my living room. However, I'm not happy that it's not as universal as I would like, meaning that if I get a different type of remote for the TV for example, there's a chance it won't fit and I'll have to redesign. I also managed to somehow cock up the resting angles - the remotes at the back lean slightly more than the ones at the front. This was actually a concious decision at the time, however in reality, I don't like the aesthetic.

The four rings are meant to be rests for the remotes and do actually do the job. I printed them as separate objects so that I could play with colour mixing, and also so that different designs and shapes could be interchanged to change the look, and and provide specific support for a strange shaped remote for example. As they are, they work fine with all of my remotes, so I'm unlikely to change them for now.

The model is designed with two large cavities in the bottom - the idea is that some ballast can be added to give the model some weight (some heavy coins hot glued in place worked very well, bringing the final weight of the model up to about 0.4kg, which works very well stopping it flipping over when a heavy remote is put into it), or potentially to store a few spare batteries. Also of course, it reduces the amount of plastic required, which turned out to be a key move for me as this is not a quick model to print.

The final finishing touch was covers for the bottom cavities, and some spare low profile sticky-backed draft excluder I had left over to use as non-slip feet.

The model was printed on my trusty Printrbot Simple Metal, using FL33 Gold PLA for the main model, and FL33 Red PLA for the accessories at 215c on a non-heated Kapton covered bed with a light coat of glue-stick. 

In total, printing at a 0.2mm layer height took around 13 hours for all parts. I played a little with the Slic3r settings on this one to reduce time and filament, and used the 'Only infill when needed' option, and a 10% fill density with a honeycomb pattern. These choices reduced the printing time by almost 9 hours! 

The top/bottom layers patterns are  'archimeanchords' for a change. This took ages to slice, but produced a nice result. As this is quite a transparent material being used, I could have just used my standard 'rectiliniar' pattern to be honest, as it doesn't really stand out at all, and is somewhat overwhelmed by the infill underneath. If I do use this pattern again, I'll make sure to use 5+ solid top and bottom layers to make it worthwhile!

The 'Only infill when needed' option produced a very strong print, even at only 10% infill. The only issue I had with this option versus the test prints I did previously, was that with this option the top rear of the case contains no infill support at all, and had a gap which separated the top from the adjacent side wall. Fortunately, I was able to join this easily using just hot air so it's not at all visible now and hasn't affected the structural integrity of the model.

The model is available on Thingiverse here in case anybody would like to grab them.

YouTube Video

Hanna model - I continue to be amazed by the capabilities of the Printrbot

posted 16 Nov 2014, 06:11 by Colin Bell   [ updated 16 Nov 2014, 06:12 ]

So my previous 0.1mm model looked good...so the only thing to do was find a way to push the Printrbot even harder, and drop the vertical resolution down even further to 0.05mm (that's just 50 microns of layer height folks!). I honestly thought that the printer would just choke at this, but as can be seen here, apart from taking ages to print, it handled it flawlessly. The resulting model feels very smooth and ridging is virtually non-existent.

The model shown here isn't completely cleaned as yet, I just pulled it off the bed and broke away the support material - some very careful sanding is going to be required to get the best out of this model which I haven't had time to complete as yet.

For some reason she ended up with a hole in the top of her head - I think I may have forgotten to change the Slic3r parameter for top solid layer. 

The model was quite interesting looking even with support on it - made it look a bit Sci-Fi I thought!

YouTube Video

Tablet Wall Mount

posted 16 Nov 2014, 05:47 by Colin Bell

Nothing special, but very useful.

Model available here.

YouTube Video

PLA Z Quality on the Printrbot

posted 16 Nov 2014, 05:41 by Colin Bell

I was quite inspired by the resolution I was getting using nylon as a print material, so decided to do a Z quality test in PLA at 0.1mm to see if it could keep up with the big boys.

The model I selected is a nice arty piece from Thingiverse, simply called 'Female in Water'. I know I could get an awesome print if I printed this on end, so was contemplating building some sort of raft, but then I thought why not just print it flat and see how it comes out?

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the resulting model - of course the layer lines are visible, however in this case I think they actually enhance the look of the model, making it even more ethereal. The detail on the top layers is very nice, brining out a lot of detail that I didn't really expect to see, especially in the face of the model. These little thunbnails don't really do the detail justice, so if you're interested, click on any of them to view the full sized pictures.

YouTube Video

Twisted Heart Vase

posted 16 Nov 2014, 05:12 by Colin Bell   [ updated 16 Nov 2014, 05:13 ]

This is a nice model made up up heart shapes stacked and twisted.

The model was printed in Taulman 618 Nylon at 245c, with a layer height of 0.1mm on a glue stick covered unheated Kapton tape bed on a Printrbot Simple Metal. 

The model is available at Thingiverse here.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm getting some burned stringing, but this proved very easy to clean up with a scalpel and didn't detract from the model once tidied up.

YouTube Video

First Adventures In Nylon

posted 14 Nov 2014, 16:09 by Colin Bell

I've had a couple of rolls of Taulman 618 nylon sitting around since before the Huxley gave up on me, and I'd
been inspired by RichRap's videos and blog posts about colour dyeing and printing with it. Some of the models
he'd produced looked absolutely stunning, and now I have the Printrbot dialled in reliably and have a spool 
holder that manages loose rolls, I had no more excuses but to try it.

I started off by pulling the filament out of the pathetic excuse for packaging that Taulman shipped it in - as
I said, I've had it a while so I hope they've had suitably poor customer feedback on clamshell extra-sized bubble
pack that I got it in and now ship on proper reels. After untangling the inevitable mess, I separated out a couple of 30m 
lengths and used RichRap's method to colour one batch in Orange, and the other in Teal green. I did the split 
method only dying half the reels so that I could get the nice graduated stripe effect you see in the pictures.

The first thing I printed was a gunny sack 
using the Teal variant. I printed it at 0.2mm
layer height, 3 top/bottom and outer shells, 
at 245c on my usual bed of Kapton tape and 
glue-stick. I was stunned at how well this 
model came out - the nylon gives it a really 
slippery organic feel, which lends itself nicely
to portray fabric type textures like in this model.

The only issue I had was that the model stuck so
well to the bed, that I partially broke the top off
when I pulled it off. You can only see the break if
you physically bend the top portion of the model 
away from the main 'sack', but as a display piece
this doesn't really matter to me. I'm not actually sure
at this stage how to go about joining nylon, so it'll have to stay as it is.

The next model I tried was a rescaled version of 
I decided to up the ante a bit and increased the
resolution to 0.1mm layer height. Apart from taking a 
bit longer to print, the PB handled this well and the 
resulting model is excellent. I only printed a single wall 
on this model, so it's very flexible, and no amount of 
bending or crushing has caused any de-lamination, and 
it happily springs back to it's printed shape.

I'm finding that Nylon models are very easy to clean up 
following printing, requiring only a sharp scalpel and some 
needle nosed pliers for the most part to remove any strings.

I think I'm actually printing a bit too hot at 245c, as some of the 
stringing is burned, although this could be where a string has 
been picked up and wiped onto the nozzle where it cooks for a while 
before dropping onto the print. I'm reluctant to drop the 
temperature too much though as I'm getting incredibly good 
layer bonding, so I'll have to experiment slowly with changes.

Stem vases are pretty, but a home only needs a few, and I wanted 
to see how nylon stood up against ABS in terms of strength and 
being usable in manufacturing my own parts for things. One part 
I had recently printed in ABS was an extruder handle for the PB, which 
constantly annoyed me because it had some minor but noticeable warping 
due to the fact that I don't yet have a heated bed installed.

I found that the part produced was a better 'feel' than the ABS part, but the 
larger size, and solid infill of 35% I used, produced the same warping as 
the ABS part. My hope is that a heated bed will fix this for both nylon and 
ABS. Given that I prefer the extra flex, and smooth feel of the nylon part, I 
will stick with it for a while - but that damned warping is still annoying me!

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

Printrbot Power Switch Panel

posted 14 Nov 2014, 15:12 by Colin Bell


So one of the things that annoyed me about my Printrbot was the lack of a power switch on the unit, meaning I needed to keep the
external PSU on the desk in order to yank out the power cord in case I needed an emergency stop. Pulling the female connector out
of the side of the printer was problematic if it was running, as its located under the print platform, which is obviously moving most
of the time. I didn't like the thought of pulling the cable to power down if I couldn't get my hand under the platform, so the only
solution was a power switch. Fortunately the wiring on the Printrbot is as simple as on most 3D printers, so hacking in an illuminated
rocker switch was no problem at all. The only question was how to mount it - if only I could create boxes and enclosures...hmm isn't
that why I got into 3D printing in the first place?

I've been playing with 123D Design, a great free CAD package aimed as noob 3D print designers like myself, and I found that it was 
extremely simple to design a basic enclosure which fitted perfectly, met the design aesthetics of the PB, and printed fast. Of course I 

The panel is designed to fit in with the Printrbot aesthetics, and the switch cut-out is sized to fit a basic illuminated rocker switch 

I'll put a blog post up about the wiring in case anybody wants to do the same. 

If you're wondering about the slot on the top...it's there to house the small Delrin spacer supplied with the Printrbot kit - I use it 
to smooth down tape on the build platform and was always losing it!

Universal Stand-alone Filament Spool Holder

posted 13 Nov 2014, 08:50 by Colin Bell

I think that this is one of the most useful things for 3D printing that I've produced to date - my previous spool holder, while 
looking great on top of the PrintrBot, had a number of annoying little quirks, and also didn't easily handle loose filament, of 
which I have a lot in stock.

In addition to a loose filament attachment, the superb design also include printed wheels inside the spindle section, allowing it to 
rotate on the base smoothly - no more tangles on loose or reeled filament!

Printing it at a 20% infill throughout proved to be plenty strong enough even for a pair of full 1Kg spools I sat on it - it still 
dispensed the filament easily without binding or jamming.

The only part that I haven't used as yet is the (green) filament guide which can have a lubricated sponge fitted to clean filament as 
it passes, and also will accept a Bowden tube of either 3mm or 1.75mm. My reason for not using this is that I have the spool sitting 
behind the printer normally, and quite close - I found that feeding the filament through the guide caused it to be pulled up at a 
quite sharp angle which I was afraid would stress the extruder motor, so I just put a couple of simple loop guides on top of the 
Z rods instead. I do want to clean/lubricate the filament going forward, so may look at getting some PTFE tubing to act as a Bowden, 
even though the PrintrBot doesn't use it.

In total, all of the parts took around 20 hours to print over a two day period. I printed them quite slowly as I'm experimenting with speed vs quality currently and wanted a very strong print, which I'm really happy to say exceeded my expectations. The model is available on Thingiverse here.

General print settings were: PLA, 215c, non-heated bed with Kapton tape and a light coat of glue stick, layer height 0.2mm.

YouTube Video

Printrbot Improved Fan Shroud

posted 12 Nov 2014, 12:11 by Colin Bell   [ updated 12 Nov 2014, 12:29 ]

One of the problems I'd found with the recommended fan shroud is that it only cools from one side of the extruder - after printing and installing this I'm getting a much more uniform print (in PLA at least, I don't use fans with ABS or Nylon) and less stringing.

The model is printed in Black ABS at 235c on Kaptop tape, gluestick and used a heavy brim of 5mm. Available at Thingiverse here.

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