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Friday, January 17, 2014

Learning CAD and Trying to 3D Print

I made it back up to the Milwaukee Makerspace after two weeks.  I worked on projects at home last week.  Today, I wanted to do some 3D printing.  I started off trying to print a base for a raspberry pi.  The work kept getting messed up before the raft was finished.  I think the print bed needs to be resurfaced.

I gave up after an hour and started printing chess pieces for the wobbly chess set instead.  The print run will probably take over six hours to complete. Unfortunately, I could not stay at the space until 2am, so I left the machine printing.  I hope if completes.

While the printer was running, I decided to try making a very simple CAD drawing.  At the Makerspace, we have tool holders that are not ideal for the smaller screwdrivers we have in the electronics lab.  I thought I would make a simple rectangle piece that was solid except for holes for the screwdrivers.

I created the drawing in LibreCad and saved it as a DXF file.  Next, I tried to figure out how to convert a DXF file to STL.  Google Sketchup will supposedly do the conversion but only if you have the Pro version.

I read that Blender will do it so I installed that on my Linux laptop.  However, Blender would not open my DXF file.

That's pretty much as far as I got tonight.  Not very exciting but being a Maker takes a lot of patience and persistence.