I regularly share the MAKE magazine with STEMulate Learning students and educators, as MAKE and the Instructables sites provide excellent alternatives when cost-for-parts starts to make experiments or projects too expensive for school budgets.
This month saw the 42nd issue of MAKE Magazine, which included the annual Guide to 3D Printing detailing the strengths and weaknesses of numerous commercial 3D Printers.
In order to test the various capabilities of each printer, a standard object was used – a stylized Chess Rook. My students wanted to know how well the same model could be printed on the MendelMax2 RepRap printer I had restored to operational status earlier this year.
A simple matter of slicing the STL model into GCode, then copying the GCODE onto our SD card for use on the new GLCD interface, and the model printed relatively quickly that evening.
The Rook shape was sliced at .12mm layer height, 3 shells, and 10% infill using blue ABS filament at a hotend temperature of 220C and a bed temperature of 95C.
The lettering atop the cylinder was difficult to make out due to the reflectivity of the fused plastic, but details such as internal winding staircases are clearly visible on the printed model.
The innermost dual spiral can be clearly seen, and although there was some deflection during print due to the adhesive drag of the melted plastic filament, even at the highest layer (longest extension above the base), the innermost dual spiral remained intact. The spiral staircase and outermost curved outer shell of the Rook’s tower are clearly visible. Even though the test model was branded with Make Magazine’s designation, the print out was attractive enough to be so popular that it was constantly passed around (and occasionally dropped to the floor) with no apparent harm.
This print was made using the MendelMax Cartesian 3D printer.
Once we complete the 3DR Delta 3D Printers, we will test those using this same model.