I had someone approach me with a little plastic candle holder that has been broken and glued together so many times that it was getting ridiculous. The holder has one leg that slips down between the window and the windowsill and another leg that lies flat on the sill, ending in a circle that holds the candle in place. This is for those fake electric candles, not the burning wax ones.
When I was designing a replacement in TinkerCad, I ran into a couple of interesting design flaws that I wanted to share. So here they are.
- Any layer with open space between it and the layer below need supports added so that it can print on top of something.
- Any object that has a first layer point of contact with the print plate that is too small will be pulled off the printer during printing. To increase the surface area and keep the object on the plate, sidewalks are needed.
Additionally, the direction of the layers is important. I laid it on its side so that the layers are printed left to right and not up and down. I did this because on a prior print with the layers up and down it snapped off wherever I was bending it.
It still splits, if you bend it side to side, but the handling of the candle holder is usually done up and down. So I figured printing the layers side to side would afford the holder a better chance of survival.
And in case you’ve never seen a 3D Printer in action, here’s quick video of this object printing: