As you are aware, I think everyone should have a 3D printer. At the same time, I believe that 3D printers are worth more than just being used for printing objects from Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory or Yeggi. Don’t get me wrong, these sites are amazing and worth the time to go in and look around. But they don’t make you need to learn something new i.e. “designing” your own parts for your own specific needs. It also means that you won’t nurture your own imagination without thinking about things that you could print.
With this is in mind, I have decided to blog about the different jobs I use my printer for. They can be big or small jobs. They can be for myself or someone else. I might have overheard someone talking about something they need or something that isn’t working now. This is all about turning a 3D printer into a small “problem solver”
If I find that I am doing a job that is putting my 3D printer to work to let’s say “earn its living” so to speak. I will blog about what it was that I fixed and how I fixed it.
Let’s set up the criteria for the posts. First off, they must be aesthetically pleasing. If for instance something in broken or snapped, it’s no good printing off a massive piece of plastic and sticking it to what’s broken like using a “splint” type of a fix. Because that’s not a fix and it doesn’t stretch you to learn any type of design work.
Second, it doesn’t have to be within NASA tolerances. I used to work in a factory that built 40ft trailers. If you had a part that wouldn’t quite fit, you used a blow torch to trim it down, so it did fit. Then if it needed some more “encouragement” you would strike the living daylights out of it with a hammer. The only caveat to this is that it must be neat and not look like it doesn’t fit.
Thirdly, if it’s an internal part it can look a little “gash” an English term meaning it works but it doesn’t look particularly pretty. If it’s out of sight then it’s out of mind. If the fix works and allows either the person I am helping to carry on using the object or allows me the same I have successfully created a solution. In my eyes anyway.
Finally, it must be safe. Anything I fix must be safe for intended use once I have finished. It must be tested to make sure no one will be harmed by my work.
I will score each thing I make out of four things. First off “cost” was it a total waste of plastic, was it worth the time I took to print the part. Then “Time wasted fixing it” how long did it take to go from broken to fixed and working?
For instance, I may have fixed something that was broken but if that fix took me 25 hours, and the part only cost a few quid/dollars/yen/euro then it will get a low score and be deemed a Total Waste of Plastic. Because I might as well have gone out and brought a new one.
One more test for anything that gets mended is the “pride factor” How much pride did I get out of achieving a satisfactory fix? Pride can override cost and time taken because pride is very important part of fixing stuff.
I will list everything that falls into this category as “print my life” search for this category to find out what else I have been doing apart from just writing about 3D printers.
If you have done anything along these lines or made something that makes something else better. Drop me a line with the details and I will share it here. Hope to hear from you soon.