Before STL models can be sent to a 3D printer they need to be converted into format recognized by a specific make and model of a printer. This job is usually done by software distributed with a printer. Besides, additional manipulations need to be done: the model must be properly positioned at the very centre of printer’s platform, a raft and supports for some elements of the model must be generated (most of the times they can be autogenerated by the printer’s software), material type, preferable extruder (in case of more than one available), quality and additional 3D printing parameters must be set.
In our case we used FlashForge Creator Pro which has its own tricks to achieve best possible quality. First of all, we came up to understanding that our model should be positioned on its side, sitting on its rear end which contacts with the rear acrylic panel. That way all imperfections caused by the supports will be on the rear side. The model should be oriented as if rotated 90 degrees (as shown on the picture below). That way the left nozzle won’t occasionally interfere with the deposited plastic threads as in happened few times during one of our earlier experiment. It is strongly recommended not to use the second extruder for raft and supports as two plastics simply penetrate into each other during the process and sometimes it just looks ugly.
Both top and bottom shells just off the printer are shown below. Although these two are made of ABS we strongly recommend to use PLA as it shrinks less so there will be less unpleasant surprises after the print. Supporting structures and rafts are not removed yet. The bottom shell already has M3 standoffs screwed in.
The fully assembled device is given below.
Luminardo’s front view can be seen on the picture below. The device is flashed with an Alarm Clock sketch.
Stay tuned, more details are yet to come…