Edit 6/30/2017: This new stencil holder was designed with this butterfly in mind!
--End of Edits--
Why did I put "NEW" in the filename and title? Because this is the first of the next-generation handle! The previous handles weren't attached properly. In Fusion 360, there's apparently a difference between mirroring an object, and mirroring within the sketch. Mirroring within the sketch seemed to work tons better for this application. It allowed me to "Join" the handles rather than make them new bodies or components. This way, the handles are a part of the geometry of the stencil, rather than being separate entities. I guess if you wanted to make the handles a different color or material, it might be better to have them be separate, but my guess is, most people don't care what their stencil looks like, as long as it makes pretty-shaped powdered goodness on top of their coffee (or cupcakes, or whatever!)
So yes, new handles, much more sturdy and connected, and very similar in size to the old-style handles. But I've also added one more thing: a little identification icon on the handle, opposite to the hanging hole. Neat, eh? This will help you locate the stencil you need a little easier, especially if they're in a stack. But also, tomorrow, I will be sharing something cool that will make this new "system" a lot cooler. Tomorrow!
I will be re-releasing new versions of the previous stencils with the new handles, and probably re-working the sizes of the cut-outs to make them more consistent. Hopefully I can keep the icons looking good and visible on the handles, even though the size is smaller.
As always, please let me know if you need a different size stencil and I'll go back and create a special set of STL files just for you! Well, and everyone else who might want them, too. Unless you pay me. You can totally pay me for an exclusive size or shape. Laughs Anyway, enough talk about money. Let's talk about custom stuff and ideas: if you have an idea for improvement, please let me know. I'd love to try it out if it's awesome! Also, I have a fairly decent eye and mind for coming up with stencil silhouettes, but everyone I know has shocked me with their own ideas! So please, if you'd like to see a stencil made, just send me a comment, private message, or if you want to give me details with pictures, just create an I Made One and we can talk about it there.
Lots of talk today about the stencil itself, but not much about the butterfly! My wife (shown) had a sip of her coffee after I'd made her a cup using the five-petaled flower on top. She had sipped a little, and the design "squinched" over to where she was drinking. The top petal became the butterfly head, and the other four petals became the wings! She sent me a picture and said "You totally have to do a butterfly!" So I did. Yay!
There are other awesome butterfly vector images over on the Noun Project, and some of them might actually work as stencils, so we'll see.... It's a fantastic resource, so you should go check it out at some point: https://thenounproject.com/
Here are all the previous stencils:
Smiley Face: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2400553
Five-Pointed Star: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2395326
Five-Petaled Flower: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2396760
Peace Symbol: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2402130
(As noted somewhere above or below, I will be retrofitting all of the above stencils with the latest handle technology: sturdier connection and raised identification icon!)
IMPORTANT STUFF TO READ
Leveling is SUPER important for this print. There are finer than usual "points," which I tried to make less pointy in Illustrator, but they still hang out their by themselves. Also, the first layer/bottom of the hanging "hole" in the handle sometimes gets drawn, and then curls up, and floats away, or whatever. Make sure you have proper bed adhesion.
Lastly, because there are fine details in this stencil, you should make sure the print cools properly before attempting to remove it from the bed, but also, make sure you work your print removal tool all the way around the perimeter of the print first, before sliding in toward the center and lifting up. With some prints, just slam-jamming it is fine, but with this print, you WILL break off the antennae or the abdomen.
You've been warned.
How to Use
A couple things I learned recently:
If you're going to be using this in a food environment (which I highly recommend you do!) there are considerations you may not have taken into account.
1) Make sure you are using a food-safe printing material. ABS is toxic, and you should not be eating from/off of it, nor letting it come into contact with your mouth, according to a few sources I read this week. Only PLA appears to be non-toxic, but there are also concerns with micro-particles, etc. ABS creates toxic micro-particles, whereas PLA releases non-toxic micro-particles. There's a growing list of food-safe PLA materials, and even one that I read about that is dishwasher safe, or at least warmer-water safe, with similar characteristics to ABS. So...to recap: make sure your PLA is food-safe. Avoid ABS if this will be coming into contact with food, or someone's mouth.
2) I don't know much about what happens when you slide the in-fill up to 100%, but I generally print my prints 30% or lower. You know this means that the inside of the print is going to have a cool pattern of fill and air/holes. The print surface itself appears to be porous. When I quickly wash these stencils, or pretty much anything else I make, I can usually "shake" water out of the prints for what seems like ever. This is not surface water - this is water that gets "inside" the pores. Someone did a microscopic study of 3D prints with relation to food use, and it was fairly disgusting. A breeding ground for bacteria. Ick! If you're making these stencils for yourself or your family, your mileage may vary, but your partner or kids probably aren't going to sue you, or shut your coffee shop/restaurant down if your stencil makes little Timmy sick. He probably sits around eating boogers all day anyway, so how would we know? Health inspectors, on the other hand, DO know. They have all sorts of ways of testing in the field, and in the lab. If someone gets sick and reports food borne illness to them, you can be certain they'll be inspecting these stencils. If they're bacteria-infested, you're going down...downtown, baby. Don't lose your clean bill of health, do something simple: spray the print's surface with food-grade coating like polyurethane. If you'd like to read more, here's a link: https://pinshape.com/blog/3d-printing-food-safe/
So after you've made your print food safe (or not), it's easy to use these stencils:
1) Put coffee in vessel
2) Shake up your creamer a lot, so it's bubbly
3) Pour creamer over coffee slowly, so it stays at the top
4) Leave very little "headroom" at the top - maybe 1/4" or less?
5) Place stencil over the top of the vessel
6) Lightly sprinkle the powder of your choice over the top of the stencil
I like to make sure I sprinkle over the entire stencil, that way I know I'm getting into all the nooks and crannies. Don't sprinkle too far over the edge of the stencil, or you'll make a mess, but do try to get close. Also, remember that you want to sprinkle the powder lightly, not heavily, unless you really want a heavy coating of powder. That's all a personal choice. I find a lighter coating 'sets up' better, and that allows for the vessel to be moved to your subject ("Here's your coffee!") with fewer smearing incidents. Plus, the top layers of thicker powder may not hydrate at all, so your subject may inhale powder and sneeze, which would be hilarious to watch, but probably sucky to experience. Light powder seems to avoid all these pitfalls. Plus, why waste powder?
If you're a fan of visual learning, here's a favorite video of mine:
Fusion 360 and Simplify3D
Once again, Fusion 360 to the rescue! As I mentioned above, I learned that it's better, in the case of this stencil, to create the handles within the sketch itself, and mirror there, rather than mirror the handles as bodies/objects/components. When I brought this back to the bare-bones sketch, and added the handles there, everything just seemed to fit into place. Now, the handles are an integral part of the main stencil body, so they don't fall or break off, which is nice. Cleaner that way.
I, of course, use Simplify3D as my exclusive slicer and dicer. It's pretty awesome that way.
Lastly, I transfer my G-code over the air using the Toshiba AirPrint module. It makes me happy. I just wish I had a way to delete/rename files without bringing the SD card upstairs and plugging it into a computer. But perhaps someday, this will work! If anyone has a FlashForge Creator Pro and needs help setting up the Toshiba AirPrint with their Wi-Fi network or device, shoot me a private message.
Stencil Butterfly Image Attribution