Section 3: 3D Prints to Make Your Life Easier¶
Section 3a: Introduction¶
3D Printers are a game changer in the CNC and Tinkerer space. While the artistic prints get all the press, the reality is that these machines are the Yin (Additive Manufacturing) to the Yang (Reductive Manufacturering) of the CNC world. The ability to make complex jigs and tools to assist with the operation of a CNC is invaluable. As an added benefit if a toolpath should can an encounter between an endmill and a jig, your expensive endmill won’t be destroyed as it reduces the jig to chips.
3D models for printing can be made in Fusion360 as well as other CAD tools which is a great way to learn the design side of the platform.
2 of the most popular sites to find premade 3D prints for free are:
Section 3b: 3D Printers¶
The following are 3D printers in common use by members of the community in ascending order of price.
Used printers come up on FaceBook Marketplace, Woot, Craigslist and Ebay all the time. Black Friday sales are also a great time to get a good deal on many brands including Prusa’s.
- Ender 3 Pro
- Chinesium in all its wonderous glory you can regularly find these on sale in low $200’s. Out of the box tuning will be required to get quality prints and most people upgrade various components to improve print quality but it is a great starter printer and you can’t beat the price.
- Crealty CR-6 SE
- Essentially the Ender 3 prebuilt with all the major upgrades the community regularly applies to the Ender 3
- Prusa Mini
- Prusa is a top prosumer brand in the 3D printing area and comes at a premium price. The mini is their latest entry into the field at a lower cost with a somewhat reduced initial cost.
- Prusa IMKS3
- Prusa’s flagship 3D printer that once dialed in is a workhorse. The authors regularly runs 20 hours a day with no issues.
Section 3c: Dust Boots¶
- OffAxis Labs Dust Boot
By far the most commonly used dust boot by community members. It fits right off the printer and gets the job done. Make sure when ordering the hardware from McMaster Carr that you get the 2” bristles.
- PwnCNC Dust Boot v2
The owner of PwnCNC has recently purchased a Mega V and will be updating his design for a clean integration
- MillRight Mega V Kickstart Dust Shoe 2.5” ShopVac Adapter
For those who modified the Aluminium Kickstarter boot to actually be usable this adapter lets you attach it to a standard 2.5” ShopVac hose.
Section 3d: Workholding/Clamps¶
Is there really such a thing as too many clamps? With a 3D printer a wonderland of workholding obsession awaits you.
Section 3e: Wasteboard Upgrades and Helpers¶
- Aluminium support bracket - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sfMcJPVNfyIrnMTqEWTM5n1eYfVPfvOw/view?usp=sharing
For use in securing the MillRight Center T-Track Support as well as add on Aluminium Extrusion more robustly. There are metal versions of these that can also be bought online if you don’t want to use 3D printed ones. <TODO, get permission from John Grissom to post this on Thingiverse>
Section 3f: Limit Switch Alternative Mounts¶
- MillRight Mega V Z Switch Mount
This mount assumes you are using a different limit switch than what came with the Mega V. You would need to solder wires to the NO and GND pins on 1 of the Antrader SS-5GL2 SPDT Long Hinge Roller 1NO 1NC Momentary Micro Limit Mini Switch 3 Pins Pack of 6
- Limit Switch Mount for MillRight Mega V
An alternative to the mounts that MillRight shipped with this design is fully compatible with the switches in the Homing Kit. Print a mirror of it so it can be used on both X and Y switches.
Section 3g: EndMill Helpers¶
- MillRight Mega V touch plate holder and magnetic probe
See the Conductive Epoxy section for some expensive but handy conductive glue as an alternative to soldering the magnet on.
Section 3h: Filament¶
Not all filament is created equally in quality and even high end filament doesn’t work the same on all brands of machines. As with everything test before buying in bulk.
I’ve had the most consistent results on my Prusa IMKS3 using: