Thursday, June 15, 2023

3D Printed Block of Chain


3D Printed chain length

This was a 3D printing test for an articulated chain layout. It used gray UV cure, water washable print resin. The design for the chain is continuous, and already linked together. The pieces are close enough in proximity to get lightly fused, so as to be easily snapped apart after curing. This single level was printed in about 20 minutes. At this particular scale, 1 level made a chain about 60 inches in length. If increased to multiple levels, it could allow a block of chain potentially 100ft long.

Chain strands model layout

Single Level

Unsnapping fused elements

Final released links


The links were heavily fused in this test, likely from overexposure. Printing did come apart without breaking. A few links cracked, and there were chips and pits where the thick material was snapped apart. The links are strong enough to work with for miniature models. 

This trial used no supports and although convenient, there were side effects. The base points fused well, but the base layer thickness created difficulty unsnapping the links. Also the reflectivity of the steel base-plate creates distortion in material exposure of early features.

Overall a successful test with some further tweaks needed to improve the outcome. We will continue with variations of this experiment, maybe with slight layout adjustment and supports. Also find out how it scales.

Next Steps:

  • Adjust exposure time and print settings
  • Support the base layer
  • Test other possible layouts
  • Determine how small it can scale
  • Attempt to add several more levels

Thursday, June 1, 2023

All in one PC rebuild

 HP All-in-one had broken screen, but this salvaged LCD Works.  It was a touch screen, but now it will just be a plain non-touch panel. Making it fit is going to be the main challenge. The system is functional, but the platter hard drive was replaced with a 1Tb SSD.

Testing a salvaged LCD Panel,
Miraculously compatible cables!

Do not accidently mount the screen upside-down.

3D Printed structural non-solid

The LCD will be mounted to a wood back panel, that fits inside the computer where the old touch screen was seated. It just needs some spacers for the cables. For this, some non-solid spacers were 3d printed and fixed on the back, then mounted on the wood panel. This just might work.

Spacers ready to mount
Project in progress...

Inside view: small hole cut for video power access.
SSD dropped into place. Such a tiny motherboard.

Next Steps:

1. mount screen
2. measure and design side brackets
3. drill case edges to line up with the screen mounts\
4. work the cables into place and plug in.
5. screw mount screen and figure out final trim for screen.

Once the spacers are mounted to the panel and ready to install, a few more 3d printed brackets will be required. The LCD has screw holes on the sides which can be used to mount into the plastic edges of the case, where new mounting holes can be drilled. The 3d printed brackets will go along the sides of the screen with screws to enable removal and maintenance.

There are holes to allow the video and power cabling to go through, but the next challenge will be to wrangle the stiff video cable in a way that will not kink or obstruct the components.

When everything is mounted and plugged in, there is a bezel from the salvage LCD that may be able to be used to give it a cleaner look instead of bare metal around the edges. it may not work without modification, due to the (pending, 3d printed) mounting brackets.

cables connected ok, and LCD dropped into place.
from here we can see the webcam being obstructed.

all in one with extra large screen

the bezel still fits nicely.

An unforeseen issue is the popup webcam on the top. it cannot see over the larger screen. The cam can be detached and remounted on the new screen.

1. installing windows
2. updates and drivers
3. attempt webcam modifications
4. prepare screw fixture plan and secure the new screen assembly.