3D Printing

If some tech journalists are to be believed, it is only a matter of time before we all have 3D printers in our homes. I’m not convinced that there are many times when you need to print a simple object, but I recently thought of one. There is a 3D printer at work and I thought I’d give it a go.

I have a rear light that attaches to the seat post of my bike. Unfortunately the seat post is not vertical and so the light ends up pointing towards the ground. I’ve previously solved the problem by wedging bit of rubber under one edge of the light but I thought I might be able to 3D print a better solution.

The image below shows the software I used to design the object – I got the dimensions and angles from the bike specifications.

Describing the object 'in code'

Describing the object ‘in code’

The software exported a 3D object fie that I then imported into the 3D printer software. The printer software translated the object into a set of movement instructions for the print head.

This software creates the printing instructions.

This software creates the printing instructions.

The printer starts to follow the instructions.

The printer gets to work.

The printer gets to work.

The 3D printed object is very light but quite tough.

The finished item.

The finished item.

Here it is on the bike, ensuring the light is level.

A perfectly level rear light.

A perfectly level rear light.

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