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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).

 

Version_01a_zpshaduvvze.png

 

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.

 

Version_03_zpsqnco7tzx.png

 

Version_03_no_cover_zpswzgiidcc.png

 

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.

 

20b7b525-b3c6-4044-9d47-ee275d728d40_zps

 

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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Looks sweet, if you don't like shaking bottles.

 

Perhaås you could build a paint shelf, with a shaker built into it?

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There were several here on the forums and at ReaperCon who had fashioned paint shakers out of electric knives and such. One person I talked to had carpal tunnel, so it hurt to shake the bottles. I've pondered what it would take to make this powered by a Drexel or drill. But that's a different project.

 

Just shake the whole shelf at once? suppose it could. In that case, might as well make one that fits in a five gallon bucket. Then just take it to a paint shop once a year and get everything all shook well all at once. ;)

 

The paint box came out with no problems last night, and the cover in the picture fits pretty tightly. First couple of times on and off were very stiff, but its easier now. Have to see what types of oil are compatible with PLA. Figure that will be needed for sure on the gears, after a little wear-in first.

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That is all kinds of awesome and goes a lot along the lines of what I am thinking to do as a paint shaking station... ideas, ideas... would love to see it when you are done!

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Got a lot of things printed, and learning some design stuff. First off, got the shaker stick/box printed off, and a paint bottle fits, and the cover works!

 

Shaker%20Stick_zpsh9fmsp0n.jpg

Shaker%20Bottle_zpsigdxjpmj.jpg

Covered%20Shaker_zpsh6ujec7a.jpg

 

Then got the the drive started printing as soon as I got home, so I wasn't up until past midnight like yesterday waiting for prints to be done.

 

Drive%20Gear_zpsujul5oy5.jpg

Drive%20Gear%20Assembled_zpsf0hwq2se.jpg

 

Now, it did NOT assemble right. Luckily, I didn't press the handle onto the gear enough to break anything before I figured out what was wrong. That peg that sticks up from the gear is meant to squish together, then snap into place. To ensure that it can, I took a slice out of it that made the squished size less than the diameter of the handle. The handle, btw, needs to get a lot taller. It's just finger tip high, but I think I mentioned that already. Anyway, that works for one direction, but NOT along the slice itself! It's still just as wide when squished as when not.

 

I've shaved off those little ends for the shaker gear, printing out now, and updated the drive gear. I haven't decided if I'll go ahead and make the handle taller and keep calling it V03, or roll revisions to V04. Not that it really matters to anybody here what I call it. Gah! It'll be V04. Can't have a print job sitting out there without a "released" version to it.

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Something I thought of today was using the printer to print out armatures for sculpting. TaleSpinner was showing to make a pseudo skeleton in one of the Sculpting threads, and it popped into my head that I could put models of bones together, fuse them in the overall assembly into something that could be printed, then sculpt over that. Won't make me a good sculptor, but I could see that being very handy for rapidly making a group of similar figures. Soldiers, guards, etc. Each would be positioned differently, and so the sculpting could be shortcutted.

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And it's done! Spent 9 or 10 hours printing out yesterday, and I swear it was cursed. First, somehow the filament got knotted around the spool while it was printing. Which means it's going to break something unless I got it untied somehow. Got several meters unspooled so I could try to figure it out... when the filament broke in two! I had time, and my first thought was to feed it in manually once it got to the end of the piece. Which worked fine, but caused me quite a bit of worry that I would miss that time and it would just start printing air. So that got solved.
 
Then, the print started peeling up from one side, which got worse until towards the end when it finally leveled off, more or less. I was worried that the gear wouldn't have any clearance, but measuring it this morning showed that it would have 1mm of space. Good enough for a prototype! And here it is:
 
Base_zps9rbavfgk.jpg
 
Now, cleaning it up revealed an immediate issue. That second peg, for the shaker gear, actually cracked while I was cleaning little strings of plastic from it. That's not good. Version 4 (the releasable one) will have that much thicker, similar to the peg that was on top of the shaker gear. That one worked okay, but I'll be making it bigger as well.
 
Here's that nasty peel-up result. If you're not a good 3D thinker, realize that the edge should be flat to the table, not up in the air like that. I seriously considered killing the print and trying again, but I had no guarantee that it wouldn't happen again, it would be the middle of the night before it finished (and because of that knot/spool issue, I'd force myself to stay awake), and I still wouldn't know if the rest of the assembly would work.
 
Base%20Gap%20Edge_zpssmfwhw7t.jpg
 
And here's the entire thing all put together.
 
Base%20Assembled_zpscxjyak3f.jpg
 
Sharp eyed people will notice that the shaker box (the white piece) looks a little different than before. That end next to the bigger drive gear actually hit the handle. That's not good again. But I just trimmed that off with a band saw, and made a note to change that for the final version. Got it to spin around quite a few times after clocking the gears a bit. The white and big red gear still hit, but only when things are out of plane. Making the pegs bigger diameters will help with that, and I'll shorten the pegs more so that they'll  have less clearance and thus room to flop around.
 
I'm also going to improve the gear handle shape, possibly making it a full sphere rather than a cylinder, but I'd still like it open on top because it is possible to disassemble things so I'd like to keep that option open. The handle on the base itself came out okay, but I need to make that along the full length of the handle rather than just the flat area. That was simply being a lazy designer and not doing the work. Granted, it wasn't really needed to test the capability anyway, and so I'm glad I did.
 
I've got a video saving off now that I'll upload so everybody can see it in action. It did break the peg on the base. I'm going to get some countersunk bolts and what-not to salvage it a bit, and I'll give it a good thorough shake-down, hopefully breaking something else on it so I can fix that in the next version as well.
 
For my records, and those keeping score, here's the list of things I need to put in:

  • Shorten the shaker stick to never cross past its own gear
  • Move the drive gear handle inboard to avoid the shaker gear
  • Improve the drive handle shape so it's bigger than just fingertip tall
  • Increase both gear pegs to prevent breaking
  • Round over the base handle
  • Cut out unnecessary material in the base behind the gears (imagine wide spokes instead of solid material; decreases material cost and print time)

I'd also be very curious what other people think might be good for it, and improvements I could make. So fire away with comments please! And here's the video behind spoilers for quick loading:
 



 

Edited by Pegazus
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love to see the video of it in action. 

 

Must have been the base you printing while on G+ the other day.

 

:devil:

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love to see the video of it in action. 

 

Must have been the base you printing while on G+ the other day.

 

:devil:

 

Video posted in an edit of the previous update, and yup, that's what was printing out.

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Just watched.  Once you lock in the gears you should be able to spin it fast which hopefully will shake up the paint well.    Does the travel on the bottle give it enough energy to mix up the paint well?  Especially if it has been sitting for a period of time?

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Just watched.  Once you lock in the gears you should be able to spin it fast which hopefully will shake up the paint well.    Does the travel on the bottle give it enough energy to mix up the paint well?  Especially if it has been sitting for a period of time?

 

Don't really know. I meant the entire thing to be held, and to put the bottle almost vertical, but that's not really possible with it broken the way it is. Once I get it bolted up, I should be able to see if I've got the shaker action that I want.

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Nice piece of kit you have there.

 

Needs oil from the sounds of it.

 

Other than your list of fixes my only even small concern would be the same as robinh, does it have enough travel to get a thorough shaking.

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Went to Home Depot this afternoon to grab two countersunk screws, and after a little drilling and trimming, the shaker was up to running condition. It was a little hard to tell if it was shaking the paints well or not.

 

Until I got to Pine Green during tonight's marathon painting session. The bottle was at the "toothpaste" stage of drying paint. Perfect opportunity to see how well it could actually shake the paint. Four eye droppers of water go in to the bottle, and several minutes of turning the crank, and out comes usable paint! I'm fairly happy with the motion. The bottle has room inside the box, and I think it keeps getting slammed up and down against those walls, which luckily I made thick enough that it is taking the abuse. So that's two motions rather than just the one I planned.

 

I'm going to run with it for a month or so, hopefully finding something else that breaks. Well, okay, no, I'd be happy if it all holds up. But ill give it good time to run and find something else wrong.

 

About my only complaint is that it is a little noisy. Maybe some oil would fix that.

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