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SNAKEZ

by muzz64, published

SNAKEZ by muzz64 Aug 10, 2016

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Summary

Snakez are a super bendy flexible fun print-in-place design. They should be ready to wriggle straight off the build plate (as soon as the raft is removed). No support required and they don't use much filament.

People can't believe he range of movement in these prints. Snakez can be twisted and turned in all directions... even curled up in the palm of your hand. This one piece print will amaze people at what you can do with a 3D printer and clever design.

In addition to being super bendy and flexible Snakez also feature retracting fangs. They move back and forth in a channel but will not fall out.

But most of all Snakez are fun...

Five .stl's have been provided. One is straight (approx. 177mm long). The other has each section curved to help it fit on smaller build plates (134mm long). The third is a Key Fob version that has been shortened by 5 links (118mm long). This makes it more practical / usable as the reduced length helps avoid it getting tangled on other things and / or broken. The fourth is the 'Long Snakez' file which is approximately double the standard Snakez length so a 'long 350mm. The print length is just 144mm as it is curved quite tightly... this should print okay on most well set up / precise machines and users of good slicing apps but it may result in fused joints on some machines.

The last option is the 'Circle Tight' version which is made to print on very small build plates. The length is he same as the regular 'Snakez' file but the file is curved to a greater degree to form a half circle and minimise the print area required. However, that also means clearances have been slightly reduced which could cause issues on less precise/accurate machines. This has been test printed and worked fine.

Print lots of Snakez in you favourite colors. Fun little creatures to place around your house, office, workshop or even in your car.

Snakez make great little gifts as well. They don't use much filament but the print time is longer than many other small prints due to the detail in the linkages etc.

Snakez are an easy print. Raft is recommended but do not use support as this could fuse linkages so they won't move after printing Using 3 shells and 50% infill is also suggested to ensure the fine linkages are strong and will withstand a life of being wriggled.

Print lots... have fun with your Snakez and post images!

Please refer to the instructions and images for additional information.

Note: If you like this check out the rest of my fun and practical designs. Below are links to several similar fun designs:

'FISH FOSSILZ' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1276095

'Bugz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1904654

'Z-REX' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1594269

'Ratz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1532944

'Sharkz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:910216

'Crocz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:941177

'Eaglez' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:963892

'Catz' http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:988088

Print Settings

Printer Brand:

MakerBot

Printer:

MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation)

Rafts:

Yes

Supports:

No

Resolution:

Standard / 0.20mm in PLA

Infill:

50% with 3 shells to make the fine linkages strong


Notes:

Recommend using Raft for easy and safe removal from the build plate. Do not use support as this could stop the model from moving after printing.

Suggest using 3 shells and 50% infill to ensure the linkage is strong so your Snakez won't break easily.

Choose the right file... two .stl's have been provided. One is straight (approx. 174mm long). The other has each section curved to help it fit on smaller build plates (134mm long). .

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Fantastic design work on the joints! I printed the long "coil" one scaled down to 90% without raft (and of course without support) and it came out 100% perfect and movable right from the printing bed. I use an ender-2 with additional cooling fan, printing at 0.2 mm with 60mm/s using blue PLA filament.
Will try filament change during printing the next time and post some pictures then!
Thank you so much for sharing!
Nick

Pleased you like my Snakez... they're fun and impresses everyone that sees them with what you can do with 3D printing.

Yes you are absolutely right. This is the reason why my colleague kept my first print...

So here is the multi-color-one:
https://www.thingiverse.com/make:433509

;-)

SNAKEZ

am new at this printing thing. Must say this is a great design for showing what can be achieved. Great design. Thankyou. Worked well on my Prusa i3 mk2

amazing print! very good design, worked right away after popping it easily off the raft. I tried some at 2.0 speed and they still work perfectly! in fact, I tried making super small ones, at 50% size, also at double speed, and those work well too. very happy with how these turned out.

I'm kinda obsessed with these for some reason and I'm printing out my 5th one now.Thanks for the post

Pleased you like your new obsession!

Heey !
One of my favorite prints !
Thanks :)

where is the long snakez file?

I just tried printing this, but was forced to stop the print part way through because the extruder kept running right over the raised curves it was trying to print. Any idea why this is happening?

That has to be a machine setup / levelling issue. I suggest checking that before looking for anything else.

Well, just tried printing it again, and this time all the edges curled up, so the extruder went and ran over those raised edges. I let it just keep printing though, and eventually the edges just got ran over enough that they flattened out. So... mission success (kind of).

Amazing creature! Thanks!

Pleased you like my Snakez... just take care not to get bitten!

This is one of my kids favorite printed toy, I have printed sharks fob key chain, but this is the most fun thing they had. Thanks for making this "SNAKEZ" and thanks for make it free to download.

Pleased to hear everyone like these fun prints...

These are super fun muzz!

The fob version of Snakez printed very well too.

My daughter asked me to make it shorter so when it is connected to her car keys it wouldn't brush against her knees. I tried simply shortening the X axis and printed it out but she informed me what she really was hoping for was to keep the snake fob the same, but remove three links from the middle. So I tried using TinkerCAD however when trying to import the snakez fob TinkerCAD indicates that the mesh is too big, limited to 300k triangles.

Would you be willing to give me a suggestion on which method or program I might try?

Thank you for sharing all your wonderful designs!

That will make it very short, and it's not as simple as just cutting 3 out in one area as they are almost all slightly different sizes... it's tapered. Anyway, I've modified a file to have three less links. Message me your email address and I'll send it through... hopefully just what she wants.

my XYZ da Vinci miniMaker has trouble print the long file. if you need more info ask me.

Sorry to hear you're having issues with this print. Unfortunately not all machines print the same so while this has been printed lots of times by other members with no problems we need to find a way to resolve the problems you're having.

I assume you are printing in PLA and following the shell and infill settings recommended. ...

You didn't provide any details of the issue however you can try rotating it on the virtual build plate before slicing it. This will change the tool path which may help. You can also uniformly scale it up by say 5% which will change a lot of parameters applied to the print.

I hope this helps. .. all the best

made some for my daughter, she is in heaven with these things...
thanx!!

Really like this! You do great designs but this one stands out even so.

I have big problems with warping on the small side bits - it seems no amount of cooling is enough. Nozzle hits these high spots and will knock a section off the build plate. Not really bad adhesion when you can hear the contact from across the house. :-P Gives me a low success rate.

Anyway, a suggestion: Make the tongue just a bit easier to remove, or print without it, and then have a separate printable/insertable tongue (sloped back so it snaps in?). The tinsy bit of color might make it look pretty good without requiring dual extrusion. And a FOB version even shorter would be good - maybe pull 2 or 3 segments?

I fought with this exact same issue this morning and figured out it was actually caused by over-extrusion. I think because different colored filaments can extrude at quite different rates. So you can either calibrate your e-Steps for each filament brand/color, or just adjust the flow rate by eye from the controller. I went down to 95% and it started under-extruding so maybe bump it down 1% at a time. If you get the right flow before those tips build up too high, they will smooth down after a few more layers. Hope this helps!

HI Abe

Thanks for your message... sorry to hear you are having issues. These files have been designed to print well on almost any machine and using almost any slicing app (i.e. the angles and clearances designed in are conservative) and the fact is thousands of people have printed these with no issues including the tongue sliding in/out. As I'm sure you've seen there's loads of photos of peoples prints showing Snakez that are great results. Keeping it all as a one-piece-print also ensures it won't just fall apart.

For these reasons it sounds like either your slicing app or machine is the problem here. Build plate adhesion is obviously critical to great results so that is something you need to get sorted. If your nozzle is hitting the print you either have a slightly warped build plate or you need to change your levelling and increase the offset. Insufficient clearance is a killer of print-in-place output. It can fuse things together and, as you seem to be facing, create movement that causes other issues. My immediate suggestion is re-level your build plate and increase the clearance quite a bit (...but not too much that the new layer doesn't adhere well to the layer below it).

Other things to check / try is to use Raft if you haven't been... that increases the footprint of the print so aids adhesion. You can also re-orient the design on your sliders virtual build plate as that will change the tool path and can help with issues like this. You can also try scaling it up a faction (as long as your build plate will take it) as that will increase the contact area on the build plate... but again this is assuming your levelling / clearance is correct.

One more thing that can cause he issues described is if your build plate springs are too weak and allow it to sway when printing out towards the edges. I use build plate stabilizers on my Replicator 2 and 5th Gen Replicator to effectively lock the build plate after levelling. Do a Thingiverse search on my designs for this as it explains the principal. They won't work on your machine but at least you will get the idea.

Hopefully this helps... I think it is a matter of sorting things your end rather than changing something that works well for most others. The great things is that getting this resolved will help with all your other prints.

All the best

I really appreciate the well thought out response - but I'm afraid I wasn't totally clear. I will admit that a raft helps with the problem, and there seems to be no limit to the amount of cooling which helps - the issue is small amounts of warping on the outer rear edges of each segment, about ~1/3-1/2 of the print height. The issue is the small amounts deposited can get warm and stand up. When the next layer tries to print, it can catch, hitting the part quite hard.

On other models I've had luck adding supports for trouble areas, it can help to keep cantilevers in place. If that makes any sense, one could add small pillars designed to break off at the corners.

I should probably lower my print temps there - but if you wanted to play around with the approach, feel free! If you have models I could tweak them!

Lastly: There's very little force on the tongue and I doubt you'd have any trouble with it if attempted.

Again, it's a really great model! Thanks for sharing it!

That explains it a bit better... the issue will be due to the shallow angle required to print from the base up. That does need good cooling to achieve a clean finish in those areas... the problem is a lot of machines fans are not directly onto the nozzle as they need to be. A large part of the cooling is lost. On my MakerBots there is a duct that blows directly onto the nozzle from a close range.

Anyway, the possible solution is to change the angle applied in the lower part of the print by simply cutting 0.5 - 0.75mm off the base. That way the initial angle would be more vertical. However, if you cut too much away the linkages would be weak. Unfortunately this does sound like a machine issue. Editing the file may help but there are trade-offs.

i need an obj for a remix I want to make

could you make this a modular thing so I can make like 5 different prints and put them together to get a 10 foot snake?

Unfortunately that's not readily possible due to the way this has been designed and needs to print. It's also a scale thing. Yes the joints could be adapted to be two piece links (open with a closure fitting to be pushed in/snap closed but at this scale it would be fiddly to do and I suspect many people would struggle with the detail required to make this work effectively. Glue is the only other way... but you could readily print the exiting file. You could cut off the head and also the last few tapered tail sections then cut a section away just enough to link it onto another open length/end... then rejoin with glue (or use a 3D printing pen. So possible in these ways but not easily as deigned parts.... but if I think of a way I'll post it.

I've seen in other models, instead of making the break at the pivot, make it in the "thicker" meat (middle part) of a section..

These are great, but I have a printer with a small build volume. Any chance you could make a smaller (and/or shorter) curved version? I'd love something as close as possible to the regular-sized one but to fit within a 10cm diameter build area - preferably no key fob loop/hole in the tail, but I'll gladly have it if it's the price that must be paid for a version which I can print without having to scale it down ;-)

I've edited the file as requested and uploaded it as well as added notes in the overview about it... download the 'Circle Tight' version. I test printed it today and should work out fine...

All the best

Thanks, that worked perfectly for me! Being full size also means that the tongue works (though it was slightly fused with the mouth - but easy enough to clear up), which is nice - the tongue wasn't even visible in my earlier (scaled down) attempts.

Vary please do hear it worked for you....

I'll have a look at it but I won't post it as it may cause issues fusing on some machines. Message me your email address. Thanks!

Can you scale it down?

I've tried a few different scales in order to fit it within my printer's small build volume. The curved version (snakez_circle.stl) works mechanically down to around 85% for me (though I got some messy truncation as my printer couldn't quite cope with the length), but any lower and I start getting fusion between the segments - so I definitely agree with muzz64 (though of course YMMV depending on printer etc).

Depending on your slicing app and machines accuracy / precision you may get away with scaling down 10 - 15%. However, if you go too small the designed in clearances will be reduced and the parts will fuse so it won't break free and move as it should...

I hope this helps... and good luck with it if you do scale it down!

Thank you! This was a blast to make.

Pleased to hear you like my Snakez... they are fun!

I assume you've also seen my Fish Fossilz etc. I have quite a range of creatures that move...

Could you make a file of this with a reeeaally long snake?

The long version already posted is petty long already..... even longer if you scale it up. The ability to make it longer comes down to build plate size. You can only coil the snake a certain amount and be confident all the parts will be free to move when it's printed. Yes it could be made longer but it would need to be printed on a machine with a larger than common build plate. I try to keep my posted files to those that most people will be able to print... how big can you print?

for some reason I'm having problems even opening the key fob version in my printing software. I'm using a CUBE 3. with its cube print program. I might just be because its to big but my pad is 152mm and should fir the shorter version. any idea?
Edit: can't even add it to my library anymore. no idea what the issue is. maybe a slice problem?
Edit2: can't do any of them might be my pc or the snakes.

Sorry to hear you are having problems with these files... I've run them through my mesh checker and all are reported as good meshes with no errors. As you can see by the photos on the design page I've printed a lot of these myself with no issues as have lots of other Thingiverse members. On that basis it has to be a slicing app and/or computer issue.

With files like this there is a lot of detail with fine curves / angles / clearances that some slicing apps struggle with. That is the most likely problem... otherwise it will be that your computers graphics capability is too limited. Even on the short Key Fob Snakez there are lots of small interlinking parts. That is what some software can't deal with... my MakerBot software deals with this without any issues and I believe the same applies for users of Cura or Slice3R. Maybe worth seeing if you can try this alternative (I believe both are Free).

I hope this helps...

It didn't work muz64 your advice didn't work. I am highly disappointed that the fangs didn't come out cause i was going to use for a prank but now it is failed. But the rest of the snake was awesome.

Very surprised to hear that... scaling it up uniformly should increase the clearances. Unfortunately I can't help further as it works fine for most people.

Dear Maker. When i printed mine the fang will not stick out or slide. It is stuck in the mouth area. Please tell me how i can get the fangs to work. Very good job. I like how you made this.

Sorry to hear you are having problems with the tongue moving The clearances designed in a fine so not all slicing apps and/or machines are precise enough to deal with this so the parts end up fusing together. However, in most cases it will just be sticking a fraction in a couple of points so, as a suggestion, running a craft knife along each side of the tongue (underside) may clear it or be sufficient to break it free.

The alternative is to scale the design up uniformly by 10% or more. That will increase all the clearances so fusing should not be an issue. I've printed lots of these on my MakerBot's with no issues (as per the images shown) but hopefully these suggestions help.

All the best

Okay, I used a Makerbot Replicator to print it. I tried cleaning the under side it didnt work. But i will try again. Heres an idea you should have the fangs be printed seperatly cause then you just have to place the fangs in the mouth and if it doesnt work then you know that the problem is that their are 3d printed things in the way.

By Replicator ' I assume you are referring to a 5th Generation Replicator... Assuming so are you using the latest version of MakerBot Desktop or MakerBot Print?

Firmware updates made a big improvement progressively over the past year.

As I said before I've never had any problems with this and based on the thousands of downloads plus lots of positive feedback (including many with photos) this isn't an issue for most people. On that basis it's not a file /design issue. It has to be print settings or machine related. Filament condition can also be an issue.

Anyway, when you reprint it try scaling it up uniformly a fraction. Plenty of clearance was designed in to avoid exactly this issue. ...

Most people seem to prefer this type of thing to be one piece because they are easier to print and stay together as one piece.. nothing can fall off.

yes it is and i don't use the latest version of makerbot print. They dont update it where i print my things at. Also Please join my group.

Fangs that slide in and out? Not the tongue?

Quite right... fangs sounds better but it is the tongue that moves

This design is truly brilliant!
Whether or not it was intended by design or just a coincidence, I really like the fact that a piece of 1.75mm filament just fits in the eye holes, so that I can add different colored eyes.
I have already printed a few of them and the "wiggliness" really surprised me.

Pleased you like my Snakez and that is a great observation about the filament through the eyes. It wasn't intentional but a great tip for others to try as well. Thanks for the feedback.

Posted on the Fossil Fishz one. The FOB one printed great on my new DaVinci Pro 1.0. My son and grand kids loved it. They all want one so printing them each one. Thanks very much.

I would love to see an update with a more tightly coiled snake. Great work as always

A few people have asked that and some have done it. However, the risk with posting that here is some people's machines and/or slicing apps can't handle the reduced clearances that creates and the prints will end up sticking together. I try and ensure everything I post will print okay for everyone...

I fiddled around in mesh mixer to make it wrap for my new Delta Go. I went to post it as a remix, but you have it set to not be re-mixable. Any chance you are interested in taking a look at the stl? I will happily pass it on to you. My mesh mixer skills are piddly compared to coming up with a sweet design like this.

Sorry... posted before reading all the other messages. Your logic is good and your designs are wicked cool. Thanks for all the time you put into them!

Printed two snakez... One at 100% and another at 175%. I have a 10 inch print bed and I think it would be interesting to use that space to print a much longer snake. This would be one of those models that having a customized option would cool.

Due to lots of interest I've added 'Long Snakez' as a file available for download...

I now know what I'm printing tonight. Thanks!

Thanks for your comment... a few people have edited the file to increase the length and printed it coiled up. For experienced people with well set up machines that print very precisely this works fine but for other people the print will end up fused because the coiling reduces the amount of clearance between the parts. This is why I posted a curved not coiled version. The rotation applied in that is about the limit for many people. This ensures most people get the wriggling Snakez they hoped for...

just printed and works fine

You should consider changing your license to allow derivatives. I actually have a complimentary remix I'd like to share.

Due to lots of interest I've added 'Long Snakez' as a file available for download...

I don't see a "long snakez" file. There's "snakez_coil.stl" - is that the one you're referring to? I guess I'll find out, setting up to print it now!

The Snakez Coil is the longer version... have fun with it!

You are welcome to offer my STL if it passes your QC. I've printed it down to 80% in size and kept the articulation in tact (including the tongue). Now my kids want me to print one of every color in the rainbow. lol

Thanks for the offer however the file I've uploaded should be fine for most people including scaling it down a bit. My concern with things like this is that there is a lot of people with machines and slicing apps that won't produce a satisfactory result... not a good situation as the designer (me) bears the brunt of their frustration.. hence the caution and reason I now play it safe with cleaances and add warnings. Thanks again.

Message me your idea... refining this took time to get it moving as it does and to ensure it should print well for pretty well anyone. The linkages also reduce in size toward the tail so the varying scale also affects what you can do. The bottom line is I try and keep things simple as possible, so a fun and reliable print that delivers a good result. There's always more you can add / change but I've learned being too clever at times can result in some people becoming frustrated when they don't get the print they hoped for...

Thanks

why this isn't a keyrings yet?!?!?! :D

I wanted to get the Snakez finished first... I wasn't sure people would want them because of their length. They would be fun but also prone to getting tangled and caught on/in things which could become annoying and the fob could get broken. However, as people seem to want them, to overcome these issues to some degree I will be posting a shortened key fob version shortly.

great!
what is the minimal scaled snake?

I wouldn't go much smaller as the clearances in the tail are fairly tight anyway. On a really precise machine you may get away with 15 % smaller but that would be pushing it.

Muzz, your brain is a very strange place. I love seeing your progression of designs, but am ever hopeful for the next amazing innovation. Where did you ever come up with retactable fangs? Absolutely brilliant.

I would agree....but the poor wife is a computer widow!

Thanks for your message .. although the end result always appears simple getting things like this to work and printable on almost any machine can be a bit like self inflicted torture... but as long as the result is satisfying and they are appreciated it's worth the time and effort.

As for the fangs... I have to work out ways to add features like that... just another self inflated challenge for fun!

Dear muzz64, the results are satisfying and we definitely appreciate it! Thanks for sharing your designs. I agree with everything dataman says.

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