Introduction: Paint or Plaster Mixer Aka Stirrer - 3D AutoDesk Inventor 2012 Files

In case you didn't see it.

My Other Instructable

Now you did.

Well a good hello there again and wow, I'm glad that my project gathered a little steam, 3D printing is an engine and people coming together around projects that manage to actually take real world needs, formulate simple solutions to problems and all in a couple of hours solve them. That's power.

Remember I made it at TechShop SF??? This is a really big step. 

I sincerely hope that everyone reading this who does not YET have access to some of these tools is lucky enough to live near a TechShop. It took a lot of time and shifting for me to focus my scarce resources on joining TechShop, which enabled my learning all that I have to deliver my first tangible. If you knew the percentages I'm talking about (nearly 100%) you'd realize that I was betting it all on a hunch that this place would be a game changer. 

Was it a game changer? OMG yes!

Paradigms have been shifted and mountains have moved in the 6 weeks since I made that choice. 

Now that the stirrer has turned so many wheels I hope that sharing with you the step by step of generating the files will help too. This is absolutely going to look like an unscrupulous plug for TechShop, but if you realize the leverage that Google (Albeit an enormous cash machine for it's stock holders) has given everyday people like you and I in the world of information. Then if not today I hope someday soon you're going to realize the value of empowering everyday people to erase the barriers to entry, the barriers to creativity and the barriers to reinventing yourself, will be just as big.

Step 1: Gatherous Up All Ye Parts

What can you learn in a day?

Before I tell you how easy it is to design in Inventor 2012 take a mouse click detour (right click and open in a new tab) here. Maya is considered by many to be one of the hardest programs to manipulate and with a day and a book I was able to do that.

Inventor is a 1 on a difficulty scale of 1-10 if Maya is a 10. With just a couple simple skills you can complete a prototype the same day you start using Inventor. I swear! I did it and you all saw the finished product.

The best part? Glad you asked. If you're a member of TechShop you get access to all of the Autodesk tools while you're on site, a free class for members in Inventor and a copy of Inventor 2012 with a 6 month license when you complete the class. It's within reach or will be sooner than later if you don't have these resources near you now.

Caution: once you've test driven these software tools, you're going to wonder how you've lived so long without them.

There is good news though, the shapes and methods for this Instructable are simple and can be done in any 3D modeling program that you can get your hands on. So do go ahead and follow the steps whether you're hooked up with the good stuff or not.

More than anything I want you to see how I did this in 5 minutes with:


Oh yeah, the parts:
Software
A computer that the software can run on (I'm going to guess the one you're on will do)

Parts of the layout:
Four Sketches
Four Extrusions (1 is a hole)
One Fillet (applied to 6 edges simultaneously)

Step 2: Keep It All Down the Middle

Make sure that you're keeping everything proportionate to the origin (the middle of the grid).

See that little tiny yellow square? There is the origin.

After you've put finishing affects (is it effects? See I'm not that smart and I did this project) on your part this is going to look strange, but if you've stayed centered, your drawings will be true.

You must be consistent in how you work with your planes. If you get stuck here consult your help files, or drop me a note. I don't want to over complicate the Instructable or try to replace good tutoring videos, but if you're new to CAD this is where you'll most likely get confused.

Just be conscious that you're working in 3D and if this is brand new to you, sometimes you're going to get hung up on the mundane.

My advice, don't stress over it. Be quick to scrap a file and start fresh. A very basic class will do wonders for your skills, I promise.

This is a beginners note, keep your chin up, this stuff is going to be child's play soon.

Step 3: The Fast Rundown

The base sketch is created when you create a new Standard.ipt or Part in Inventor. Starting from the first sketch.

Rec1 - Make a Rectangle

Extrude A
   - Create a new sketch on the widest face of your extrusion 

Recs2 - Make a Pair of Rectangles

Extrude B
   - Extrude the pair of rectangles inversely the depth of Extrusion A

Circ - Create a new sketch on the top of your rectangle

Extrude C
   - Extrude the circle change it to a hole and push through all parts

Rec4 - Make a slim Rectangle on the face opposite the circle

Extrude D
   - Extrude the slim rectangle through just one layer.

Step 4: Make a Rectangle

Remember that all of this can be scaled later, I'm showing you exactly how I did it, no need to go inch for inch as long as it's proportionate so that your end result has strong enough bottom, middle and top bridges to withstand the torque of your drill while mixing.

3 inches by slightly less than 2 inches (Slightly less than 65% of the length), don't forget your Z-axis limits. You can lay a much wider footprint than our 3D printer in SF can handle, but lofting (the physical) will be even harder if you go too wide.

Finish Sketch.

Extrude the finished sketch .6 inches (20% of the length).

If you want the least useful sponge ever made, convert it to gcode and you're done. Otherwise go on.

Step 5: Make a Pair of Rectangles.

Create a New 2D sketch and select your front face.

This opens up a new sketch screen with the relative length and width of the object you're sketching on in yellow.

Create two rectangles 1.5 inches by 1 inch each centered and a .25 inches from the top and bottom (which in this perspective are right and left)

Finish Sketch.

Extrude them (100% through your first Extrusion or .6" if you're following my numbers).

Step 6: You Must Circle Before You Are Hole-e!

You're just placing a circle on the top of the sponge right now, but scale can come into play in a big way now.

If you're using your bit that you're creating off of this design. Then you're really pretty safe, but if you're making a bit out of other parts, how you measure your circle right now actually means it will fit or it won't when you go to assemble the finished product.

Feel free to add comments, it's highly encouraged that people chat about this and collaborate. If you know me personally you know that's a big thing with me. Really big.

Notice in the picture that the Z axis is what looks like the X azis.

Make your circle .25 or just a little less than half the width from this perspective. 

Be planning to scale the whole object later to fit your rod. It's imperative that you leave enough space on both sides for the integrity of your head.

That is if you want it to work. If you just want to build it and are 100% worried about the end result, well, you're my kind of person. A tinkerer and there isn't a damn thing wrong with tinkering. I was born like you.

Finish sketch! Sorry didn't meant to get excited.

Step 7: Extrude The-e Hole!

I belabored so much of that last step that extrude on this one gets it's own mention.

Notice that I didn't do the rectangle for your stabilizer yet? Good, that's next.

Extrude your circle, then select Hole from the Ribbon to turn the extrusion into a hole.

Is there a difference? I don't know, I just saw a button for a hole so I made my round extrusion a hole. It works....

Plus I'm teaching you to do what I did, if you can elaborate, use the comments button, I'm all ears.

Actually it might make a difference in the assembly if you want to test your bit and head to make sure they fit each other. Yeah, you can do that without cutting in to your media, or in the 3D case unspooling filament, at all. Cool huh? 

Step 8: Near the Home Stretch.

Notice how the Z axis is now facing the other way?

You just flipped the cube over and you're now working on the opposite face.

This just makes sure that you don't 'over constrain' your drawing. 

Comments?

Your width is just about half the diameter of the hole.

Your length around half the length of the face.

Just keeping a little order is all, it's not sophisticated and you're doing great. On the off chance that you're not getting it yet, you can download my STL and run it off, finish your paint project and come back to learn 3D modeling tomorrow. Don't blow your stack, walk away and come back fresh another time. A lesson I learned from my new friend Maya.

Step 9: Fillet Up and Drive Off With It.

Fillet is just a feature you apply to your surfaces. You're already done creating your part.

Now you're just taking it to the gymnasium and getting it in shape. 

Select Fillet an apply to opposing corners then again to the remaining inside edges.

When you're done it should look like you have blades (thus reducing the drag and allowing for high speed mixing).




Notes: You can see that I only have 1 Fillet in my drawing, that's because I did all 6 faces in a single application. For the purpose of illustrating, I broke it up into two fillets and did the length first then the inside panels, just so you could see the crisscross pattern better.

Step 10: Option A

How big is your tool box?

As I mentioned in my part Instructable, printing the drill bit is highly limiting to your media. It also has the limitations of the z-axis which mean that your part is going to be very close to you drill. I never mentioned it, but I did mask off my drill before I used it so that I could just pull the tape off and have a clean drill without using a toothbrush to clean it up.

A simpler way is to find some arbitrary stuff and if you've made it this far, I bet you can use this head in no time flat.

Your other choice is Option B.

This was about making a tool for your tool box not just throwing stuff together to hack a solution. See the remains of my oscillating fan turned into the terminator of 5 gallon paint stirrers? :-)

Step 11: Option B

Save your .ipt File as another file name.

Rummage through it changing cuts to joins. None of the instructions for the bit are being detailed out for you. You're practically ready to be the next Thomas Edison already, you no longer need my help.

Ctrl-Z is your friend.

Delete the hole and re-extrude it using join (don't consume the sketches).

Once you have a solid again, delete the first 2 extrusions consuming the sketch, but not the dependent sketches. 

Create a new sketch on the tip of the cylinder and make a square that is ecompassed by the circle.

Finish sketch.

Extrude the Square to make it Chucky. 

Comments