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  1. I was trying to save this all up for a single Show Off thread, but it's been gnawing at me to show everybody what I've got in the works. I can't recall if it was a thread here or something at ReaperCon that got me started thinking about trying to print a paint shaker. Jay's thread on a 3D printed painting mini-station (link here) sort of kicked me into gear that I needed to get on this. Spent a couple of evenings working up the mechanics of this, and got Version 01a of the shaker. It was never bound to be printed like this, since this was just proof of concept. I'm using my company's high powered CAD software (allowable for non-commercial, personal use during non-working hours) rather than the free solid modeler I've got on my home computer since it actually has kinematic simulation (translation: you can move things). This shows that there's a drive gear (the bigger one) spinning the shaker gear (the smaller one), which drives a shaker stick on a peg on the base. It's getting a 1:2 ratio, so every turn of the big gear moves the small one twice. I've also got the limitation of my printer's capacity, which restricts how big I can make these things. It's meant to be hand held and powered. I then decided to try Version 02, to try out a different shaking scheme. There's no pictures of Version 02. Failure it was. Show it, I shall not. Version 03 was the "to the printer" version, and spent last Saturday working it up. Never knew how much my eyes could cross trying to decipher gear design equations. Fudged a lot of it. I'm neither going for high speed or super strength, so I'm crossing my fingers that nothing breaks once it finishes printing. The two images above show it with and without the shaker box cover. I was wracking my mind trying to come up with some way to physically constrain the paint bottle, and as usual, simpler is probably better. Just a sliding cover going over the box. The box is at an angle to the stick (although it is all one piece) because I wasn't going to be able to push the base any further out. It just barely stays in the printable area. I've no idea if this will actually work or not, but I figured I'd at least show the work. I've already got the cover (shown below) and the drive gear handle (should've been taller) printed out in black. The shaker stick/box is printing out now in white, and the two gears will be printed out in red. I've got blue and green I could use to separate the gears better, but don't want to make it look like a clown outfit. Those little strings of plastic are from when the nozzle moved from one side to the other, as the PLA just sort of oozed out. They broke off easily and I'll have to see later if I need to trim them a bit more. This piece is pretty thin, and is 3.5" tall. A bit of a nail biter while it was printing. Didn't know for use it would be able to do something so thin and tall. Actually had trouble getting it off the tape, so I was relieved that it stuck so well. I'm going to change the drive gear a bit, putting some big holes in the main body to drop the amount of plastic that needs to be used. The shaker box uses 13.43m of filament, which calculates out to around $1.73. I suppose that's not too bad, but that gear will be either that or double. Can't let me print something that's sub-optimal, so I've got that little work to do.
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