Friday, April 12, 2019
Do you 3D print?
Other items around the shack could be accessorized and made more convenient with various gadgets and gizmos.
For example, an Anderson Power Pole adapter for my KX2. Or a tray to hold the two muffin fans that I use (trayless for now) on top of my Anan-10e and Hardrock-50.
Or a tilted base for the KX2 or my soon-to-be-here mcHF transceivers.
So I believe 2019 is the year to get going with a 3D printer.
Some of these items mentioned above can be purchased; some can be downloaded and printed and others, unique to my application, can be designed in TinkerCAD and then printed. Other ideas are here.
3D printing has been around in an affordable way for hobbyists for roughly 8 years now. During that time, the price has decreased and the quality has increased for entry level printers that are capable of producing excellent results.
With YouTube as my Elmer I've narrowed the search for my first printer down to two models: an Ender E3 or a TEVO Tornado (pictured above).
Both seem to be highly regarded by people who've been 3D printing for years.
As a ham, most of the items I'd want to print would probably qualify as beginner projects: a square or rectangular box with the appropriately sized and located holes to house QRP kits, antenna tuner kits, etc. But check out these printed boom-to-element clamps designed to convert a PVC pipe and some wire elements into a VHF Yagi. Or a QFH for satellite reception.
I've already designed a few in TinkerCAD even though I knew nothing about the program a few weeks ago. The easiest way to learn it is by downloading an existing file (from Thingiverse) and then practice modifying its dimensions, hole diameters and placements.
After that, it's a small step to design from scratch - we're just talking about a box here after all (for now). This tutorial describes all the steps needed in 20 minutes.
15 April, UPDATE:
A Tornado arrives in Texas...