Bat Mobile

by pasutx, published

Bat Mobile by pasutx Oct 15, 2010

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Bat Mobile by pasutx is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Four bats dangling on a thin threads, creating nice shadows on the wall. The design was inspired by the images made for the unicorn plotter recently on thingiverse. For this bat mobile the same tricks are used to convert a picture into a single line as in the plotter images, but in this case the image is drawn using plastic (PLA/ABS). A total of 5 layers on top of each other gives some strength but leaves a very light object which creates nice shadows. See a very short movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skxY-EhkV6c


IMPORTANT: Before you print the bats from the gcode file you must edit it. The gcode file is created using scripts to convert from an svg to an gcode file directly. The layer thickness is set to 0.3 mm, but parameters like the initial warm up procedure, possible homing, stopping of the heater at the end etc. are NOT included since this is different for each style of printer and for each material. I use a repstrap printer with makerbot electronics and firmware and PLA. Editing is not difficult. Compare a gcode file you have used successfully for some other print and use the header and tail(!) from that to complete the attached gcode file.

Print the bat four times.

The arms of the mobile are pure filament (PLA/ABS). I used PLA; in case the PLA is too curly from being on a spool, you can easily straighten it by putting it in some hot water in the sink and cooling it down on the sink while pulling it straight. When cooled down the filament will be straight.
The 2 arms are connected by a connector piece, the stl is attached below. Print using you own settings. Four connector pieces are printed in one file because the object is so small; choose the best one, it will need some cleaning up anyway. Check the full size of the lowest image on the left to see what it is supposed to look like.

The bats are attached to the arms using some thin thread secured by a tiny drop of glue. I used thin strands of PLA: let the extruder run and manually pull the hot filament out. The faster you pull, the thinner the thread!

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Onnittelut ja hyv
ää halloweenia! :)

Added start and end codes but it went off the platform and had to abort. Can you convert it into an STL files for Makerbot dimensions?

I am still looking for a good way to convert the svg (or gcode) to stl, have not found it so far; will update once I find it... Any suggestions from other people on how to do this? The attached gcode contains coordinates which are all positive numbers between 0 and 100 mm for X and Y. For a small platform like in the makerbot, the extruder should be at 0,0 a the start which is in the lower left corner to allow movement to X=100 and Y=100.

I used an on-line conversion program to convert your svg to a png, then imported it into CorelDraw and had it do a trace and then export it as a dwg, which I imported into Sketchup. Had to do quite a bit of tweaking in Sketchup to get it to see it as a face and then just extruded it a little and exported it as an stl. I'm sure there must be an easier way! I would be happy to post it on here or send it to you if you can tell me how.