Adam and I

608 Idler Pulley

by hoeken, published

Adam and I
608 Idler Pulley by hoeken Apr 22, 2009
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608 Idler Pulley by hoeken is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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The original pulley for the MakerBot is made from stacked lasercut wood. You have to glue it together, and it is fairly delicate in transit. This is sort of crappy, so I set out to see if it could be printed. The answer: yes. Yes, it can.

The technique I used was:

  1. Design the profile in QCad to get it nice and accurate (sorry, blender's 2D CAD sucks! Snapping is crucial)
  2. Import DXF into Blender
  3. Select all, join object
  4. 'Spin' around axis.
  5. Win!


Print out and insert 608 skate bearing. You now have an idler pulley.

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Would be a great thing for my Batch XV makerbot if it didn't glob up in the middle :( That would probably be a great idea for Skeinforge... add a feature where it ignores infill when the space is
lt; 1mm.

Isn't there a production-optimized gcode of this pulley floating around somewhere? (my googling skills are failing me)

The precision guide to CAD focuses on snap in Blender a lot:

My take on snap with Blender has been that as long as you can see the 1mm grid lines, everything is fine since the print resolution is only 500um anyway. Of course, Blender really is more of an animation tool than an engineering tool.

I remember seeing a "snap script pack" somewhere. May need to look that up...

However, regardless of tool chains used, I'm really excited to see printed parts begin to form!

You could do the entire thing in sketchup... there's a trick to getting the free version to spit out an obj file.

Hum, need to research that again, been too long.

When I tried Sketchup the snap situation felt worse than Blender by a good order of magnitude or so-- I could do this model in Blender with very little trouble, but I wouldn't know where to begin with Sketchup.

Of course that may just be because I don't know where the tools are...

It's been a while, but I don't remember having any issues with snapping in Ketchup, it snapped to end, middle, center, tangents, grid, all kindza fairly standard CAD possibilities.

So it's a repstrap slowly upgrading itself?

you could call it that. i call it using the right digital fabrication tool for the job =)