Ever wondered what you can print on our platform? We’re starting a weekly blog post series to give you a taste of the different goodies you can 3D print, taking our user stories as the starting point. Last week, for instance, one of our Rotterdam-based makers placed an order for a nanocopter frame. We were eager to learn more about the curious thing, so we had a chat with both maker and Hub owner to hear more about their printing experience.
Meet the maker: Martijn Hogenboom
Martijn is a Rotterdam-based maker with an interest in open source technologies. Recently, he’s been experimenting with a Crazyflie nano quadcopter. Martijn was able to order the basic motors and components from Seeedstudio. But he also needed a frame to protect the drone from bumps, and that proved to be a bit trickier to get.
Martijn, what inspired you to build your own quadcopter?
I’ve always been interested in technology and I’d rather try to build something myself instead of buying a consumer product. Why buy your next toy at a shop when you can build it yourself? I bought the Crazyflie kit from Seeedstudio and I managed to assemble everything pretty quickly. Then I went to Bitcraze to find some extra software and hardware options. I found a link to Thingiverse there, and downloaded the frame project. I tried to print the frame through Shapeways, but their printer resolution was lower than the one required for the file. Afterwards, I read about 3D Hubs and decided to try it out.
How did your 3D Hubs experience go?
The experience was good! I uploaded the STL file to the platform (which I got from Thingiverse) and quickly got in touch with Bouke, who runs a local Hub. It was nice to be able to print just around the corner. Bouke was really helpful. He ran prints with different types of materials and tested different cuts to see which one would work best. I was also very pleased to be able to test the final product with him.
What will you use the nanocopter for?
I’m not sure yet.I’ll try a few things with it and see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll put it to good use.
Meet the Hub: Bouke Groenescheij
Bouke runs a Hub in Rotterdam. He’s a self-professed gadget freak with an urge to make things and, occasionally, pull them apart. When he’s not printing orders for the Rotterdam maker community, he enjoys teaching his children about 3D printing.
Bouke, how did the printing process go? Was the Crazyflie frame a challenging project?
The printing process went fine, but the frame is pretty delicate so I wanted to make sure it was in excellent condition. I ran tests with four different settings. The last one came out just the way I liked it, though I think the other 3 will do their job just as fine.
Can you tell us about the different tests? Which one worked best?
Martijn requested this print in FlexPLA. However, from my point of view, this material is way too flexible. So, I ran tests with both FlexPLA and PLA. In the end, Martijn and I both agreed that PLA worked best. Since this piece needed some strength to fulfill its bumper function, my first attempt had multiple walls (the number of outlines before doing the infill). The only downside to that was that there wasn’t enough room to fill in the gap between the walls. The final PLA version was rotated a little bit (30 degrees). It had a single wall, 100% infill, 110% flow (so a little bit more material was added). The FlexPLA version was printed exactly the same, except a little bit slower - with 130% flow and without retraction.
Do you have advice for other printers that want to work with this model?
Yeah, just try it and see how it goes. I’ve printed this one on my Ultimaker, with 0.9mm layers and at a reasonable speed. It is a very fragile piece, so going for 150mm/s doesn’t make sense. And, as always, have fun :-)
Why did you decide to join 3D Hubs?
I loved the concept. Why not help other people and run a 3D print service while my printer isn’t doing anything? Earning some extra money also allows me to buy filaments in other colors. I just bought this orange and glow-in-the-dark colors, it’s Halloween time!