Replicating and Printing an Object in CAD

June 9th, 2012


CAD drawing

My DIY slider needs a standard 1/4” bolt to mount, but the one on my tripod was too short so I took some measurements and printed another plate. The plate is a quick-release clamp-on type, which is relatively small and easy to print.

Original object

Normally with art sculptures, the object is scanned with a 3d scanner then cleaned up in a CAD program. The plate however is very geometric and ‘boxy’, so I modelled it directly. The CAD package I use is Rhinoceros 4 because it is free through my school.

CAD model

CAD outline

Base profile of the plate.

Base profile extruded and the clamp profile drawn.

Side view

Clamp extruded and chamfers added.

printing in ABS

I used ABS for this instead of PLA because it is supposedly better for mechanical parts. What surprised me was how much it shrunk. The whole thing shrunk almost 2mm (~3%), which made it a little loose on the tripod. If you are designing something for ABS, remember to calibrate your skeinforge settings or scale your stl file before you print.

Printed object

Finished print off the printer.

Comparison between old and new

High resolution images available here on Picasa.