Saturday, March 20, 2010

First complex model: Junior Barrel Puzzle

Today I built 12 more parts for a complete mechanical puzzle. Designed by Matt Shepit, the Junior Barrel has three groups of three movable pieces that can be rotated around the center. It's sitting atop the material block in which the parts were built.

Here's how the block looked before all the support material had been peeled away. The SD300 always builds parts in a "sweet spot" away from the edges of the sheets. The support material has already been peeled out of the channel, leaving the parts embedded in a section called "The cocoon."

I made some mistakes arranging the cuts in the support material, probably because I was impatient to build more models after my first successful build. If I had instructed the machine to put cuts on either side of the post I wouldn't have been forced to carefully peel each sheet off and slide it over the post one-at-a-time like this.

Good practice dictates that you should review all the peeling cuts and adjust them to avoid unnecessary complication, but I hastily started building as soon as I saw enough cuts to free the parts. This caused the printer to waste its time leaving useless, thin layers of wasted support material on the backsides of curved surfaces. It didn't hurt the parts, but I wasted at least an hour fishing out all the bits of surplus material wedged in nooks.

The finished parts fit a bit too snugly for the puzzle to turn freely, but the puzzle is functional enough to turn all the parts...with effort!

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