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Wireless Phone Charger - 3D Printing Build

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

This is a super easy and useful build. I saw this Qi wireless charger on adafruit.com and decided to design a 3D printed enclosure for it. It's a relatively quick print and easy assembly and obviously very functional if you have a compatible phone!

What You Will Need

Any/all necessary protective equipment.

*Links provided are affiliate links if used to purchase something may provide Adylinn Studio a small commission.

3D Printed Parts

(~6 hours @ 60 mm/s) 

  • Filament choice not all that important. I used ABS which was easy to sand and paint.
  • 0.2mm layer height.
  • 25% infill.
  • Support not required.

Finishing 3D Printed Parts

  1. Remove any support material if it was used.

  2. Sand the printed parts using 150 - 400 grit sandpaper until smooth.

  3. Use Bondo spot putty to fill in any remaining surface defects. Once dry, sand until smooth.
  4. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust.

  5. Apply 1-2 coats of primer.

  6. Lightly sand down dry primed parts with 600+ grit sandpaper

  7. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  8. Apply 2-3 coats of spray paint to the two outer pieces. Let dry. 

  9. Apply 1-2 coats of clear coat.

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Assemble the Charger

  1. Start by placing the top of the charger upside down. Insert the wireless charging base plate into the cavity with the coil facing downward (pointing toward your phone when oriented correctly).

  2. The add the 3D printed plate on top of the charging base plate with the notches pointed up toward you as you assemble. Optionally you can glue this into place.

  3. Finally add the PCB board with the ports facing outward in their respective slots.

  4. Glue the base to the top.

  5. Plug in a micro USB charger and enjoy!

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Thanks for taking the time to explore the project, I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to hear your feedback and see pictures of your build! 

3D Print Your Photos - Lithophane Tutorial

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

Creating a lithophane or 3D Printed photo is actually a very cool little project. I have seen them around and decided to give it a shot myself and gift some of these to family. 3D Printing your photos can be accomplished in 5 easy steps. First you will need a digital image you want to print and some translucent filament (white PLA works really well).

Head over to http://3dp.rocks/lithophane/ to get started.

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Step 1: Upload Your Photo

Start by clicking on the Images tab and uploading your image. Keep in mind different pictures will yield different results - its best to choose an image with high contrast. Once you have uploaded the image, head back to the Model tab and refresh to see your image converted to the 3D model.

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Step 2: Choose the Lithophane Shape

Next you will want to choose the shape to print the image onto, I found the outer curve shape to work really well. Once selected, click refresh.

Step 2 - select lithophane shape.png

Step 3: Adjust Image / Model Settings

Click on settings to adjust image and model settings. I simply converted the default settings from Negative Image over to Positive Image and added a border, but feel free to experiment here.

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Step 4: Refresh and Download STL

Head back to the model tab and refresh one last time to review your model before downloading.

Step 4 - refresh and download stl.png

Step 5: Slice and Print

Import your STL file into your slicer of choice and I recommend printing with the following settings:

Layer Height: 0.1mm
Infill: 100%
Print Speed: 20-30 mm/s
Brim: 10-15mm

Step 5 - slice and print.png

Finished Product

The print ends up looking somewhat like a very bad print of the image but when you put it up to a light source its truly remarkable how much detail is captured. I was blown away by this photo of my daughter even though the shadow in this picture was not ideal.

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5 Reasons to Use Fusion 360

Duncan Smith

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I have been using Fusion 360 for the past 2 years as my primary 3D modeling platform and I really like it and recommend it. I currently use Fusion 360 for all my designs that get exported as STLs for 3D printing and soon I will be using it to generate gcode for CNC as well. 

Here are five reasons you should considering using Fusion 360.

Lightweight, but powerful

When I first started to learn how to design I used 123D Design which was a super basic CAD program by Autodesk that has since been retired. 123D Design was a super basic CAD program that was so approachable that I was able to get up and running with my own designs in no time.

Fusion 360 is approachable and lightweight like 123D Design in terms of not overwhelming the user on the interface and knowledge needed to get started. This was the primary reason that transitioning into Fusion 360 was so smooth. You are presented with a small-ish set of options and you can model with a limited set of tools and functions. 

Although it feels approachable and lightweight, it is also very powerful. There are so many different features and tools at your disposal as well. There seem to be several different tools that can get you where you are going in your design process. Ultimately, I found Fusion to have the perfect balance between a 123D Design and Autodesk Inventor.

 Credit: Autodesk

Credit: Autodesk

Multiple Workspaces

Fusion comes loaded with several workplaces that allow you to switch between any of them to complete your task. These work well with one another and allow a rich set of additional tools should you need them.

Currently, you have at your disposal:

  • Model workspace to create and design solid bodies
  • Patch workspace to repair surface geometry
  • Sheet Metal workspace to design specifically for sheet metal
  • Render workspace to generate high detail renders of your designs
  • Animation workspace to create animations of your design and/or the assembly process
  • Simulation workspace to simulate stress and failure of your designed parts
  • CAM workspace to generate toolpaths for CNC manufacturing
  • You can convert your sketches or animations into formal drawings using the Drawing workspace
 Credit: Autodesk

Credit: Autodesk

Cloud-Based

Since Fusion 360 is a cloud-based software package, you get various benefits. Here are the two I find highly beneficial personally.

  1. Your designs are synced and so if you have multiple computers you can access your designs on each one seamlessly.
  2. The software is updated constantly. The Fusion 360 team seem to always be improving and adding new functionality to the program and in the last 2 years, I have seen countless changes and improvements to the functionality and experience. 
 Credit: Autodesk

Credit: Autodesk

Free to Use

Fusion 360 is free to use for Students and conditionally free for hobbyists. The Start-Up / Enthusiast Licenses are free to use if you are a small business making less than $100,000 (USD or equivalent) per year OR if you are a hobbyist using the software for non-commercial uses. You can learn more about this here.

Excellent Tutorials and Resources

Fusion 360 has a great set of learning resources available both on their website as well as various other platforms providing unofficial and free tutorials and guides. One of my criteria for choosing a new software is ensuring that adequate training material is available and Fusion 360 material does not disappoint. The official training is more than adequate but there are many YouTube videos offering more specific tips and tricks so you should never feel like you won't be able to get up to speed.

 Credit: Autodesk

Credit: Autodesk

Links

Download

Learn

Note - this is not a sponsored or promoted post, I am just a huge fan of this software and highly recommend it.

Modular Wristwatch - 3D Printing Build

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

I have always wanted to create a 3D printed watch but I never took the time to research what components would be required and where to buy them, that was until Lulzbot posted an almost fully 3D printed watch. I essentially took the bill of materials from that build and designed my own modular watch version and here it is. I wanted to be able to swap out the designs and colors relatively easily. For the build, I have created 3 outer watch case designs and purchased 2 watch bands along with 3 printed parts that can be all different colors which allows for a ton of different combinations.  Note- this is more of a concept build at the moment, next steps will be testing and seeing how it works with daily wear.

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What You Will Need

Any/all necessary protective equipment.

*Links provided are affiliate links if used to purchase something may provide Adylinn Studio a small commission.

3D Printed Parts

(~3-5 hours @ 60 mm/s) 

  • Filament with high quality surface finish.
  • Highest resolution layer height. I printed at 0.06mm on the Ultimaker 3. 
  • 50-100% infill
  • Support required for the outer case, however, by adjusting orientation you might be able to skip. Face and Watch Base does not require support. 
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Finishing 3D Printed Parts

  1. Remove any support material if it was used.

  2. Sand the printed parts using 150 - 400 grit sandpaper until smooth.

  3. Use Bondo spot putty to fill in any remaining surface defects. Once dry, sand until smooth.
  4. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust.

  5. Apply 1-2 coats of primer.

  6. Lightly sand down dry primed parts with 600+ grit sandpaper

  7. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  8. Apply 2-3 coats of paint. I used standard spray paint for the colored pieces and an airbrush for the metallic looking paint. 

  9. Apply 1-2 coats of clear coat.

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Watch Assembly

  1. Heat up a soldering iron. Place heatset inserts into the back of the outer case holes (2). Using the soldering iron, press down lightly on the inserts until the sink into the hole and end up flush with the surface. 

  2. Trim off the end of the watch movement as we will be adding an extension and finally the crown. 
  3. Using a microfiber cloth, pick up the watch glass and place into the outer case being careful not to touch the face with your hands. Push into the slot until it sits flat. 

  4. Place the watch movement into the watch base. 

  5. Add the watch face onto the watch base and make sure the movement piece is poking through the face so you can apply the watch hands. 

  6. Install the hour hand and then the minute hand onto the movement through the watch face. 

  7. Place the outer case over the watch base, be sure to feed the extension for the crown through the hole before you secure the two pieces together. 

  8. Once the watch base and outer case are in place, screw the 2 pieces together using the M2 screws. 

  9. Add the crown to the extension and set the time.

Thanks for taking the time to explore the project, I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to hear your feedback and see pictures of your build! 

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Magnetic Knife Rack - 3D Printing Build

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

Time to hit the kitchen with a nice little knife storage upgrade! We were using a standard knife block on the counter but I have always liked the idea of a magnetic knife rack on the wall, so this month I went to work designing a 3D printed version and here it is. Its a combination of 3D printed components, magnets, a walnut veneer strip, and a food safe wood finish.

What You Will Need

Any/all necessary protective equipment.

*Links provided are affiliate links if used to purchase something may provide Adylinn Studio a small commission.

3D Printed Parts

(~20 hours @ 60 mm/s) 

  • Filament choice not important
  • 0.2mm or greater layer height
  • 15-20% infill
  • Support may be required depending on orientation of the parts

Finishing and Assembling 3D Printed Parts

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  1. Remove any support material if it was used.

  2. Sand the outer body parts and the front facing (bottom) strip on the base plate parts using 150 - 400 grit sandpaper until smooth.
     
  3. Use adhesive to combine the 3 outer body parts together and then the 3 base plate parts together. 
     
  4. Use bondo spot putty to fill in and hide the seams. Once dry, sand until smooth.
  5. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust.

  6. Apply 1-2 coats of primer.

  7. Lightly sand down dry primed parts with 600+ grit sandpaper

  8. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  9. Apply 2-3 coats of white paint to the planter.

  10. Apply 1-2 coats of clear coat.

Final Assembly and Installation

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  1. Cut the veneer down to a strip 15.5" x 3.5".

  2. Use food-safe wood finish and apply to veneer strip
  3. Use adhesive to glue the veneer strip to the assembled baseplate. It should align with the bottom strip of the baseplate.

  4. Use a hot glue gun to glue the magnets in place. It might be worth marking the locations of the knives and gluing the magnets in those locations for even spacing if not using bar/strip magnets to span the entire width. 

  5. Adhere the baseplate assemble to the wall using screws.

  6. Install outer body cover over the baseplate assembly.

  7. Add your knives and enjoy your new magnetic knife rack!

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Thanks for taking the time to explore the project, I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to hear your feedback and see pictures of your build! 

Concrete Planter - 3D Printing Build

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

I wanted to update the planter I had in my office-- its basic and white and not of my own creation and that was going to change this month. I am really into concrete these days and it looks great on a white desk so I designed the planter to be either 3D printed or made out of concrete using a 3D printed mold. I will cover instructions for both methods below. The planter is specifically for a fake plant, and not intended to keep any real plants alive. 

What You Will Need

Any/all necessary protective equipment.

*Links provided are affiliate links if used to purchase something may provide Adylinn Studio a small commission.

3D Printed Parts (Choose 1)

Concrete Mold (~9 hours @ 60 mm/s) - follow option 1 instructions

  • Filament choice not important
  • 0.2mm or greater layer height
  • 10% infill (I chose fast honeycomb pattern)
  • Support not required

3D Printed Planter Only (~11 hours @ 60 mm/s) - follow option 2 instructions

  • Filament choice not really important
  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 20% infill 
  • Support optional
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Option 2: Creating the Concrete Planter

  1. Gather some cups of water for the concrete mix, I used slightly less than 2 solo cups of water.

  2. Start by mixing the water and concrete together in a bucket or container of your choice. I like to mix a full cup of concrete with a quarter cup of water and slowly add more to the mixture. 4 cups or so of concrete should be sufficient. You want the consistency to be a little more liquidy than cake batter so add the water slowly if its starting out too liquid.

  3. Mix thoroughly.

  4. Spray inside of mold with cooking spray. 

  5. Pour concrete into mold. Be sure to fill to the top edge.

  6. Shake the planter gently or use an orbital sander to vibrate the sides of the mold to release any bubbles in the mold. 

  7. I sprayed a small piece of scrap wood with cooking spray and set it on top of the hole so the base would be flat. 

  8. Let the concrete harden over the next 48 hours.

  9. At this point you should break apart the plastic mold to retrieve the concrete. This can be a little tricky - I used a box cutter blade, and a few other hand tools to break apart the plastic. Try not to put too much force on the concrete as it might chip or break.

  10. Once your concrete planter is out you can paint or use as-is. 

  11. Add your fake greenery of choice and enjoy!
     

Option 1: Finishing 3D Printed Planter

  1. Remove any support material if it was used.

  2. Start by sanding down each outer portion of the printed parts – starting with 120 and slowly progressing up to 320 (or higher if desired).

  3. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  4. Apply 1-2 coats of primer.

  5. Lightly sand down dry primed parts with 600+ grit sandpaper

  6. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  7. Apply 2-3 coats of paint to the planter.

  8. Apply 1-2 coats of clear coat.

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Thanks for taking the time to explore the project, I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to hear your feedback and see pictures of your build! 

Modern Walnut Wall Lamps - 3D Printing Build

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

This design came about from the desire to clear up some space on my nightstand. I wanted a lamp but I didn't want to take up my precious space and so designing modern wall lamps was an obvious choice. Here I combine a simple cube type shade - 1 part opaque, 1 part transparent. I have used Philips Hue light bulbs to have some smart control over the lighting, however, the light kit I used has a simple toggle as well. The shade is then mounted on a peice of walnut wood for a nice modern look. 

What You Will Need

Any/all necessary protective equipment.

*Links provided are affiliate links if used to purchase something may provide Adylinn Studio a small commission.

3D Printed Parts

Opaque Shade

  • Low warp filament recommended
  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 15% infill
  • Support not required

Light Fixture Bracket and Optional Drilling Guide

  • Filament choice not important
  • 0.2mm+ layer height
  • 10% infill
  • Support is not required

Transparent Shade

  • Clear or transparent, low warp filament recommended
  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 10-20% infill (infill pattern and % may vary how it diffuses light)
  • Support optional
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Finishing 3D Prints

  1. Remove any support material if it was used.

  2. Start by sanding down each outer portion of the printed parts – starting with 120 and slowly progressing up to 320 (or higher if desired).

  3. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  4. Apply 1-2 coats of primer.

  5. Lightly sand down dry primed parts with 600+ grit sandpaper

  6. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  7. Apply 2-3 coats of paint to the opaque shade. I chose a matte white paint.

  8. Clear coated both the opaque shades and the transparent shades.

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Prepping Wood

  1. Cut 2 squares - roughly 14.5 inches on each side.

  2. Do some light sanding to your desired smoothness.

  3. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  4. Use a stain of your choice or linseed oil and apply to the front and sides of the wood. 

  5. Once dry, clear coat. 

Assembly

  1. Use drilling guides to drill holes in the wood.

  2. Glue light fixture into the opaque shades.

  3. Use hot glue and glue the light kit into the light fixtures.

  4. Run wiring through the hole in the shade and line up the shade onto the wood.

  5. Screw shades onto the wood and optionally use glue to further secure them. 

  6. Install light bulbs.

  7. Add your wall hanging hardware to the back of the wood.

  8. Add the transparent shade to the top of the opaque shade.

  9. Install screws into the wall where you intend to hang the lamps.

  10. Plug in lamps, and enjoy!

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Thanks for taking the time to explore the project, I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to hear your feedback and see pictures of your build! 

4 Printer Upgrades That Powered Up My 3D Printing

Duncan Smith

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I wanted to share a few of my favorite upgrades I have made over the years and how/why it has improved my experience and quality of my prints.

Simplify3D

One of the early investments I made was in Simplify3D. After watching a few reviews and doing some reading, I basically impulse-purchased this software. At $150 that seems like a silly decision in retrospect. I can happily report that I get every bit of value out of this software and have seen consistent and great new features/changes to the software as it has been upgraded.

I love this software so much for its incredible feature set:

  • Customizable supports is fantastic and as I’ve mastered 3D printing I have relied more and more on these custom supports. Custom resolution (size), custom placement, infill and dense layer settings all roll up to be extremely useful – especially with the types of designs I create and print.
  • Variable layer settings allow different settings at different points within the print. This is more of an advanced setting but absolutely useful in the situations it makes sense to use.
  • Multiple processes allows me to print several parts at once with all different settings. Because my Taz 5 is so reliable and I know I can let it sit for hours and hours and not have to worry about it, I will load up the bed and print away and this setting allows me the flexibility to print all pieces at the settings I would as if I were printing them individually.

These are just a handful of the settings I love about Simplify3D and I recommend this program to anyone that can justify the price tag.

CHECK IT OUT HERE.

PEI Bed Surface

Going from a simple heated glass bed on my Robo R1 and the hassle of the painter's tape/hair spray I wanted something better. Lulzbot ships their printers with a PEI sheet which is basically a no maintenance print surface and works amazingly well. The only issue I have had with this surface is that over time bubbles form between the glass that causes layer adhesion issues. I solved this by buying a thicker PEI sheet and have not had any more issues and I continue to benefit from the near perfect performance of this surface. At less than $50 this is well worth your time.

CHECK IT OUT HERE.

E3D v6 HotEnd and Titan Extruder

I have always been a fan of E3D since I first tried their products and continue to be impressed with the quality, level of support, and overall reliability. I was intrigued by the idea of being able to print flexible material without opting for Lulzbot’s expensive printhead solution and knowing E3D I knew I could expect great results at a much lower cost. I have really had excellent results printing with these 2 upgrades. If you are interested in this and don’t have either, they have a combination package called Aero which combines both into a smaller footprint.

I did struggle to get the 2.85mm filament to work with the Titan and ended up going with the 1.75mm version instead and have been very pleased. If you are using 2.85mm and want to stick with that size I would caution you with that and recommend you do a little research before buying.

CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Enclosure

I knew that I wanted to print in ABS in order to do things like solvent welding (instead of gluing), I liked the option of acetone smoothing and finally, ABS is just an easier material to finish. My issue with the open design of the Taz 5 was terrible bed adhesion, warping, and layer splitting. Adding an enclosure solved all of these issues for me and I've been printing with excellent results using ABS ever since!

As you can tell the theme here is consistency, reliability, and flexibility. As I’ve become more advanced in my abilities it is now a requirement for me to have the flexibility I want. There are other modifications I would love to make to the Taz to fine tune it but as I’ve learned it’s best not to bite off more than I can chew.


Share with me your favorites upgrades/mods you have made to your printer. I’d love to see what has/hasn’t worked for folks.

3D Printed Speaker Eggs Build

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

A DIY speaker build has been something I have wanted to do for a very long time and I’ve finally crossed that off my to-do list. This build was very challenging, the design work was fairly extensive and required many small modifications after the fact (rest assured the uploaded files are the best versions), the print time was extensive and having a good low-warp material with good surface quality is key, the finishing I chose to do was excessive but I really wanted that exact look, and finally the wiring was a bit over my head initially BUT all-in-all I learned so much during this build and am really happy with and proud of the result.

Disclaimer

Because speakers and sound quality, in general, is important to many people I want to preface that I am no speaker design expert, the opposite in fact so I cannot guarantee the design or sound is optimal, and I say that because this is a BIG project and quite expensive at that, so I don’t want anyone to put in this amount of work and be disappointed in the result. I think the speakers sound good but I am no audiophile and the speakers are brand new so not the best time to judge. I used several online calculators to help determine the speaker and crossover design so I did my due diligence on the design part as best I could. Anyway, with that out of the way here is how it was done.

What You Will Need

Any/all necessary protective equipment.

*Links provided are affiliate links if used to purchase something may provide Adylinn Studio a small commission.

3D Printed Parts

Print time is roughly 160 hours for all 8 pieces @ 60 mm/s. The difficulty I would classify as intermediate for the printing and advanced for the wiring/assembly. 

Enclosure Top, Base and Ring Print Settings

  • Low warp filament recommended
  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 50% infill
  • 4 outer perimeter shells
  • Support is required (I was able to increase angle to 60 degrees from 45)
  • Raft required 

Front Speaker Panel Print Settings

  • Low warp filament recommended
  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 50% infill
  • 4 bottom layers
  • Support optional
  • Raft not required required
  • Brim optional

Finishing 3D Prints

  1. Remove all support material and rafts.

  2. Start by sanding down each outer portion of the printed parts – starting with 120 and slowly progressing up to 320 (or higher if desired).

  3. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  4. Apply 1-2 coats of primer.

  5.  Lightly sand down dry primed parts with 600+ grit sandpaper

  6. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe down sanded parts to remove any dust

  7. Apply 2-3 coats of paint to each component. I chose a glossy white paint for the top, metallic silver for the ring and speaker panel, and used a brown undercoat for the hydro-dipped base. The base was then dipped in a burlwood pattern. See my hydro-dipping guide here for instructions on how to apply this type of finish.

  8. I clear coated each of the parts – glossy clear coat for the top, speaker panel, and ring and a matte clear coat for the wood base.

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Wiring and Assembly

  1. Review the pictures and wiring diagram and lay out the components to understand where they go prior to gluing or wiring.

  2. Glue crossover components to back panel inside top according to pictures. I used a combination of glue and hot glue.

    Tip - Do not wrap the crossover component wires to one another until you have the wiring ready to be soldered as to make sure you have a good connection for all points (I made the mistake of wrapping the crossover components together first and it made the wiring later much more difficult due to the rigidity of the inductor and capacitor wires).

  3. Get the wiring into place according to the wiring diagram and confirm everything is in the right place and you feel confident you understand where each lead will go.

  4. Combine all leads correctly and solder together.

  5. Install the tweeter and speaker into the speaker panel. I used glue first and screws for the speaker.

  6. Install the speaker binding posts to the bases.

  7. Use sealant to seal the binding posts to the base – apply both inside and outside.

  8. Wire the positive and negative leads to the corresponding locations on both the tweeter and the speaker. Solder the connections.

  9. Wire the amp wiring inside the speaker enclosure to the binding posts and solder the connection.

  10. Glue the ring to the base. Use a sealant to fill any seams.

  11. Glue the speaker panel to the top enclosure, then use the sealant on the inside seams.

  12. Glue the assembled top to the base assembly. Pre-apply the sealant where it makes sense to try fill any seams. The sealant I used, applied white and dried clear so I filled all out seams with the sealant then wiped off the excess.

  13. Wire amp speakers to binding posts – ensure the negative & positive as well as the left and right are all correctly wired.

  14. Plug in amp power, turn on, and enjoy!

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Thanks for taking the time to explore the project, I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to hear your feedback and see pictures of your build! 

3D Printed Watch Case Build

Duncan Smith

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Introduction

This build is an easy project that adds a little style to your watch collection. This is a simple 2 watch design using simple components and 3D printed parts. 

What You Will Need

Any/all necessary protective equipment.

*Links provided are affiliate links if used to purchase something may provide Adylinn Studio a small commission.

3D Printed Parts

Print time is roughly 17 hours for all 3 pieces @ 60 mm/s. The difficulty I would classify as easy for both the printing and assembly. 

Watch Case (decent surface quality to limit amount of sanding needed)

  • Filament choice not really important
  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 25-30% infill (ideally you use multiple processes and use a high infill for at least the first 10mm if you can. 
  • Support is optional depending on overhang performance
  • Brim optional

Cover and Cover Back Plate

  • Filament choice not really important
  • 0.2mm or higher layer height
  • 15-20% infill
  • Support recommended
  • Brim optional

Finishing 3D Prints

  1. Remove any support material.
  2. Sand pieces to the desired smoothness. Start with 220 or320 grit and move up until you have a nice smooth part without visible print lines. 
  3. Wipe the sanded parts with a lightly damp cloth or paper towel.
  4. Apply even and a light coat of primer.
  5. Allow enough time for the primer to dry, then sand lightly.
  6. Wipe the sanded parts with a lightly damp cloth or paper towel.
  7. Once the parts are dry, evenly apply light coat(s) of base coat spray paint.
  8. At this point, you can either finish with a clear coat or you can hydro-drip your parts (you can see a full guide on how to do that here.)

Assembly

  1. Prepare acrylic by cutting to a 3.6” x 4.3” rectangle. I used painters tape, marked the lines, and then cut using a jigsaw.
  2. Slide acrylic rectangle into the back of the cover.
  3. Slide (glue optional) back cover plate behind the acrylic sheet. (For a seamless look, slide acrylic into before finishing the cover and use Bondo Spot Putty to fill the seam and then finish. 
  4. Review how hinges operate and ensure orientation is correct before inserting into all 4 mounting holes.
  5. Now you are ready to wrap your watches around the watch pillows, insert into the case and close the lid. I hope you enjoy your 3D printed watch case!
     

Thanks for taking the time to explore the project, I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to hear your feedback and see pictures of your build! Reach out on social media or leave a comment. If you have suggestions for future builds or improvements to the way the builds are presented please let me know.

     

    Level Up Your 3D Print Finishing Game with Hydro-dipping

    Duncan Smith

    Hydro dipping or water transfer printing is a remarkably simple process in concept and easy to do but technique appears to be the differentiator between great results and mediocre results but there is a limited obstacle to entry and learning to do it well could yield some really great results for finishing your 3D prints. I am going to do a quick introductory guide to finishing your parts using this technique.
     

    What you will need:

    A DIY Dip Kit is a good starting point as it includes almost everything you need to get started.
     

    Getting your part ready to dip:

    Remove any supports from your part and thoroughly sand to a smooth finish. (Sign up for my newsletter to get my free finishing guide). Once you have your part to the desired smoothness, clean your part with alcohol wipes or a lightly damp cloth. 
     

     Sanded and spot putty applied to the remaining defects.

    Sanded and spot putty applied to the remaining defects.

    Primer and Base Coat:

    Once your part has dried completely, spray the part lightly with primer to avoid uneven areas or pooling/dripping of the primer. You may need to do 2 coats to get good coverage (15-20 minutes between coats). Once the primer has had some time to dry, spray light and even coats of paint, again you may need 2 coats to get good even coverage (20-30 minutes between coats).

     Primed and sanded.

    Primed and sanded.

    *Depending on your film, different colors of base coat may affect the final look of your part. Using a more transparent film will yield more dramatic effects. Experiment to find something you really like. When buying a dip kit, you can typically manually choose the base coat color or you can have the company provide a recommended color based on your film.
     

     I used caramel and black to go under the wood and metal film respectively.

    I used caramel and black to go under the wood and metal film respectively.

    Cutting and Preparing Film:

    Cut your film in a size that will be able to fit into your container as well as fully cover the surface area of your object. Review the instructions of the film to determine which side gets placed in the water. I like to use painters tape and tape around the border on the back side of the film as this helps it float and not allow water to run on top of the film. Having your film ready before getting the water to temperature will save you from having it cool down too quickly before dipping.