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Trilobite articulatum

by AuntDaisy, published

Trilobite articulatum by AuntDaisy Aug 9, 2012

Featured Thing!

Description

An articulated Trilobite to print and assemble. (If you like Trilobites - have a look at 4MULE8's beautifully organic Comura Articulatum thingiverse.com/thing:60521 )

Unlike the fossil ones you see in museums, you can have fun flexing and rolling this trilobite up - bit like a woodlouse (or pill bug.) It makes a satisfying clacking noise if you ripple the segments.

You can make baby trilobites by using just the smaller body sections. Whole trilobite families, or even armies, can be yours for the printing.

This creature is very inquisitive and can often be seen peering over people's monitors or shoulders.

Jasonwebb has done a short video (with sound) showing it moving vimeo.com/47692125 and Busybotz has kindly included it in one of his excellent 3D printing videos youtube.com/watch?v=LGNg37Fc584 (starts at ~3:08) and 3dprintblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/3d-printed-parts-assembled-and.html (starts at ~1:45).


I'm thinking about other designs of body (with spikes), head (more plate-like, and with more spines) and tail (spikes, and more spikes). Comura looks fun en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WLA_hmns_Trilobite_Comura_sp.jpg

If you're interested in trilobites, Richard Fortey's book "Trilobite! - eyewitness to Evolution" ( amazon.co.uk/dp/0006551386 ) is a great read; and I found trilobites.info/ fascinating, especially the eyes section trilobites.info/eyes.htm

I've included a photo of the fossil trilobite that gave me the idea to make a stylised, flexible version.

Recent Comments

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ABS on a Reprap Pro Medel 2 shells 15% infill. Worked a treat with a little adjusting needed on the head pins.

I printed one out of ABS on a Lulzbot Taz 2 (Slicer/Pronterface) with 2 shells, 20% infill, and the pins are nice and snug. It takes quite a bit of force to fit the sections together, but once assembled, move smoothly. This thing is so cool. Love it. Thanks for making it.
The bottom half of the pins on the head printed a little sloppy (no support), but I used a very thick ABS slurry to build them up and smooth them out, and that worked great.

i like it but I only printed 1 section of segments so I have to re print 2 sets of body segments.

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Instructions

Print "Trilobite Head 2", "Tail" and TWO lots of "Body" (8 body segments arranged in a row). On our Replicator, 20% infill and two shells (to make the pegs stronger), with ReplicatorG defaults worked well. Apart from the head, none of the parts need a raft (they're all flat on the underside). On the head, only the two pegs might need support.

Note: If you're printing in PLA (or on a Replicator 2), try the STLs in "Tighter_trilobite.zip" - there are a set of test peg/sockets to print in "pegs_test.stl" [Thanks to dethcookie for help with testing.]

It's probably best to print as scaled in the STLs - which gives a width of ~8cm and a total assembled length of ~17cm. You can print smaller and larger, but the joints may need a little fettling.
Note: Different colours of plastic might give loser/tighter joints - on our replicator, ABS orange/white/black were fine, ABS pink was looser but held together.

To assemble:
Let the parts cool down; then starting with the tail and one set of body parts, clip in the smallest body part, then the next biggest, etc... Repeat with the second set of body parts in reverse order (i.e. biggest to smallest), and finally the head. If you want to swap them around, the parts should unclip (carefully).

Note: I've also included the eight individual body parts in a ZIP; and STEP and Parasolid versions of the whole trilobite (just in case someone wants to add more spines or fiddle.) NB the STLs are 1.5x scaled up from the other models.

For laird, I've also added just the peg-and-socket part - ready for exciting spikes and other paraphernalia to be added... The curved surface is the top.

Comments

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PatG on Mar 10, 2014 said:

ABS on a Reprap Pro Medel 2 shells 15% infill. Worked a treat with a little adjusting needed on the head pins.

jp7189 on Jan 12, 2014 said:

I printed one out of ABS on a Lulzbot Taz 2 (Slicer/Pronterface) with 2 shells, 20% infill, and the pins are nice and snug. It takes quite a bit of force to fit the sections together, but once assembled, move smoothly. This thing is so cool. Love it. Thanks for making it.
The bottom half of the pins on the head printed a little sloppy (no support), but I used a very thick ABS slurry to build them up and smooth them out, and that worked great.

noahcarlton on Dec 29, 2013 said:

i like it but I only printed 1 section of segments so I have to re print 2 sets of body segments.

GregFisk25 on Nov 9, 2013 said:

Any chance of getting the individual sections for the tighter version. They fit perfect on a Rep 2, 20%fill, 2 shells, Makerware standard profile.

But one of the bones lifted, and dont want to reprint the lot.

This thing is awesome!

AuntDaisy on Nov 10, 2013 said:

Hi GregFisk25, I've added the STLs for the individual back pieces. Hope they work okay.

ThePelton on Sep 4, 2013 said:

Fascinating. I had been thinking of making one in wood, myself.

AuntDaisy on Sep 5, 2013 said:

Hand carved or using a CNC milling system? I'd love to see the results - beautifully stained and varnished :-)

IMPRENTA3D on Jul 19, 2013 said:

Very nice :-)

dethcookie on Jun 10, 2013 said:

This is so cool. I printed one out on my Replicator 2x but the pins seem way too small and it keeps falling apart. I tried to tweak the pegs using blender which led to many more problems.

I'm a student so I was able to download Autodesk Inventor which allowed me to open the PERA file, however I am not at all familiar with the software and still can't seem to scale up the pegs so it's a tighter fit.

Any ideas? Would it be possible to make another version with less tolerance so I can get a tighter fit?

I see that you mention different ABS reacts differently, but I've tried 3 different colors and even PLA with the same results

AuntDaisy on Jun 13, 2013 said:

Hi dethcookie, sorry to hear the pegs/sockets are so loose. We have a
Replicator 1 and usually print in ABS, maybe the Replicator 2 and PLA is
producing more accurate prints and my model needs tweeking.

As a
test, I've increased the peg radius from 2.7mm to 2.85 and created a
new set of STLs - they're in "TIGHTER_TRILOBITE.ZIP". (The socket radius
is still 3.08mm.)

You can quickly check if the new pegs work by
printing "pegs_TEST.STL" - it's just four of the peg & socket units
without ribs. If they fit together, then I'd be very grateful if you'd
try a complete print.

Fingers crossed...

premsta on Apr 23, 2013 said:

Is there any chance that those of us without access to a printer can purchase a pre-made one of these from you?

---Prem

AuntDaisy on Apr 24, 2013 said:

I suppose Ponoko is one option, but your best bet is to contact the Makerbot Store, who were selling them:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/b...
http://www.popsci.com/diy/arti...
(We're in the UK and posting to Florida would be slow and probably expensive.)

agepbiz on Feb 19, 2013 said:

Printed this a Replicator 2 (red PLA, 0.1mm layerthickness, 20% infill, 2 extra shell).
The print looks excellent but are way to loose to stick together at all :(

AuntDaisy on Feb 19, 2013 said:

Hi agepbiz.
I printed on a Replicator 1 in ABS with 0.27 layer height - which may have made the parts slightly oversized and he joints tighter.
You could try imitation's excellent suggestion of using a hairdryer to soften the socket (which the peg goes into) and squeeze it a little with pliers. Or, there's Jorlack's suggestion of drilling holes and threading an elastic band through.
Sorry, I really must get this redesigned in OpenSCAD and Customizer.
Good luck.

on Jan 29, 2013 said:

Thanks for the great design!
One issue i ran into was that the connectors were a bit too loose, to the point that two of the segments would fall apart. Heating it up with a hair dryer and making it a bit tighter was pretty easy, though!

AuntDaisy on Feb 5, 2013 said:

Great idea to use a hair dryer - thanks for the tip.
The tolerances on the joints were for a Replicator - I really need to redo this in OpenSCAD to allow tweaking...

MakerTaylor on Sep 16, 2012 said:

one of the coolest thingiverse items I have seen! Awesome work

Jorlack on Sep 15, 2012 said:

I have tried to print this twice and still can't seem to get the pieces to snap together. However for anyone else with this problem (I'm sure there are a few). I found that if I drill a hole through the center of each piece I can feed a rubber band along the "spine" and that holds it together well enough. I'll finish one like this and post it soon.

Awesome project I hope I can get my printer tuned enough in the future to print it right.

AuntDaisy on Sep 16, 2012 said:

I love your idea of adding holes for an elastic band - I should modify the original parts to add this.

Funnily enough, Rosie
&
amp; I printed a pink
&
amp; black one yesterday (see Made One photo). The black sections are fine, the pink ones are lose. We printed the pink ones first and assembled them while still hot, the black ones were done when they'd cooled down.

Maybe the different colours print to slightly different sizes
&
amp; stiffnesses; I'd guess that assembling while the parts are cold is safest.

Good luck with the printing and thanks for the suggestion.

CodeCreations on Sep 3, 2012 said:

Genius. Just genius. Thank you!

AuntDaisy on Sep 3, 2012 said:

Lovely - I'll have to get our Rosie (8) to try it as well.

CodeCreations on Sep 3, 2012 said:

(btw, I didn't pose that shot -- it was entirely her idea. lol)

RichRap on Sep 2, 2012 said:

Really fantastic model, great job!

I liked it so much it's printed at 200% sized and he maxed out my print area.

I do like to think they were originally shocking Pink and Gold in the wild ;) what a sight!

AuntDaisy on Sep 2, 2012 said:

I love it! Best one so far. :)

Very attractive headware as well.

Busybotz on Aug 29, 2012 said:

This makes a wonderful toy. It is very flexible and durable. Easy to print and assemble. The only printing issue I had was the points on the tail are thin and easily snap off. I like the alternating color idea, and also printed one in silver and blue.

jasonwebb on Aug 17, 2012 said:

I knew this would be articulated, but I didn't realize that each of the body sections are completely separated from each other! As it printed I saw how the balls and sockets fit together, and was very pleasantly surprised at how fun this model is to play with :) Here's a video I made of the motion and sound, in case anyone wants to see it in action: https://vimeo.com/47692125

AuntDaisy on Aug 16, 2012 said:

Oh no. Where's the photo of the huge (2.1x) Trilobite gone? It was an amazing print...

mifga on Aug 14, 2012 said:

I'm totally obsessed with these. They are popping up all over the botcave.

pasquinade on Aug 11, 2012 said:

Printed one of these, unfortunately the parts don't snap together so well as they are very very loose. I guess it must be a problem on my machine (belt backlash?). Otherwise amazing! Will tighten the belts and try again, perhaps at twice the size to mitigate backlash further.

Nice work!

JerZ on Aug 10, 2012 said:

This thing is begging me for a hexapod robotics implant. Awesome model!

smwombat on Aug 10, 2012 said:

OMG! This is wonderful... definitely gonna print some of these. What layer height did you use?

AuntDaisy on Aug 10, 2012 said:

Smwombat - I've just seen your Trilobite 3D scan, http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... - very neat. Did you scan any other trilobites?

AuntDaisy on Aug 10, 2012 said:

I think it was the ReplicatorG default of 0.27mm; although it's currently set to 0.25mm.

Happy printing.

laird on Aug 10, 2012 said:

This is awesome!

laird on Aug 10, 2012 said:

Printed it - amazing design! I love the way the segments snap together, with just the right amount of snap, friction and range of motion. You can do a 'wave' down the body that reminds me of those segmented snake toys we used to play with as kids!

One tricky part, though - the 'tail' prints with vertical horns that come out a bit wobbly, at least with acceleration, though a little acetone bonded them OK. I might try printing them at a slower speed to see if they come out stronger.

But now what I really want to do is design new parts to sna
p with these! Perhaps 'pointy' body segments?

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