Making a Name for Myself with Ultimaker


I’ve been spending more quality time with my Ultimaker 3D printer. Making designs from other people is kind of fun, but I really wanted to design and build my own components. So tonight I fired up Autodesk 213D beta and had a go. Turns out to be quite easy and fun. The Autodesk program is quite easy to drive, although it definitely has the feel of beta software, with the odd crash and lockup here and there. You also have to sign into the Autodesk site and the default is to publish your designs for everybody to see, which worried me a bit, particularly as the first design I did was the one above….

It proved quite easy to draw some text, extrude it into 3D and then connect it to a block. The 123D program can export to STL files and I used the Cura program to create the file of printer commands.

Tonight I actually got around to building up the UltiController part of the system which allows me to print objects without needing a computer. I just put the design files onto an SD card, pop the card in the controller and set it off. The printer is behaving itself at the moment, with no leaks (reaches out and touches convenient piece of wood) and did a pretty good job. My first attempt got the size a bit wrong and tried to print one that was a bit large, but I re-rendered the design in Cura with a scale factor of 0.25 and got the result above, which is around half an inch on the long axis.

The next step is to design and make some plastic components to mend the piano, at which point the printer will probably have paid for itself…..