3D Printing a Penn State Bottle Opener

3D printing is an incredibly powerful tool for both industry applications and personal use. While we appreciate the ability to craft everything from architectural models to replicas of the human skeletal system, sometimes it's nice to have a little fun with this technology. This instructable will guide you through the creation of a Penn State bottle opener starting from turning on the 3D printer all the way to cleaning up the final product. The entire process from start to finish should take just under an hour and half to complete. Before you get started, be sure to read through the "Before You Begin" section which covers everything you'll need to create the bottle opener and contains necessary safety information.

We hope you enjoy the module and your bottle opener. But most of all,

Let's Go State!

Step 1: Before You Begin

There are potential risks involved with 3D-printing. These include electrical shock hazard, burn hazard, and pinch hazard. See warning images above (click "3 more images) and use caution while operating your 3D-printer.

The following items are needed to 3D-print your Penn State bottle opener:

1. A LulzBot TAZ 5 3D-Printer (image a)

2. Cura LulzBot Edition Software (downloadable for free here)

3. A roll of 2.85 mm PLA filament (image b)

4. A small flat head screwdriver (image c) or other tool with a flat edge to help you remove your bottle opener from the print bed.

5. The Penn State Bottle Opener STL file (downloadable for free here)

NOTE: This instructable is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to using your LulzBot TAZ 5 3D-printer. For more detailed information about setup and print settings, please consult the user manual or quick start guide linked below.

Quick Start Guide

User Manual

Step 2: Prepare the Printer

2.1. Begin by turning on the 3D-printer by switching the black on/off switch on the left side of the machine to 1 (image a).

2.2. Turn on the power supply by flipping the red switch on the right side of the power supply to 1 (image b).

2.3. Open Cura LulzBot Edition (image c).

2.4. Now that both the 3D-printer and power supply are on, make sure the 3D printer is loaded with the 2.85 mm PLA filament. We used a white PLA (polylactic acid) for Penn State, though the color choice is up to you. If you already have filament loaded, please move on to step 2.5. If not, please follow steps 2.4.a through 2.4.i to load your filament.

2.4.a. Place the roll of PLA filament onto the filament arm such that it unwinds counter clockwise (image d).

2.4.b. Feed the end of the filament through the filament tubing until the end reaches the extruder (image e).

2.4.c. In Cura, go to the basic settings tab on the left side of the screen. Set the bed temperature to 60 degrees, the printing temperature to 220 degrees, and the filament diameter to 2.85 mm (image f).

2.4.d. Expose the filament hole by loosening the two thumb screws on the extruder, lifting up the plastic plate, and pulling down the filament guide (see video).

2.4.e. Load the end of the filament into the filament hole.

2.4.f. Once the hot end has reached 220 degrees, slowly push the filament through the extruder until the filament comes out in a uniform stream.

2.4.g. Lift the filament guide back into the vertical position ensuring the filament is clipped into the small guide arms. Push the plastic plate back over the filament guide and tighten the thumb screws.

2.4.h. Carefully scrape off any leftover filament on the printing bed using a flat head screwdriver or other tool with a flat edge.

2.4.i. Set the printing temperature to 205 degrees.

2.5. In Cura, go to the basic settings tab on the left side of the screen. Set the bed temperature to 60 degrees and the printing temperature to 205 degrees (image g).

Step 3: Load Your File

Now that the printer has been prepared, you're ready to prepare the digital model for printing! If you haven't already, the Penn State bottle opener file can be downloaded here. The file is already in STL format so it doesn't need to be converted by any additional software (image a).

Once the file has been downloaded, click the green "Load Model" button in the upper left-hand corner of the Cura UI to open the STL file (image b).

Step 4: Model Manipulation

Once opened, the model should appear in 3D space within the Cura UI (image a).

4.1. You can click and drag the model around to print in the desired orientation. The checkered board represents the printing bed so be sure the keep the entire model within the board. The model can also be rotated and flipped using the buttons on the screen. However, we found that printing the model as is, with the Lion facing upward, yielded the best results.

4.2. In the basic settings, modify the parameters to match those shown in image (b). This will ensure the bottle opener prints well and is strong enough to actually open a bottle.

Step 5: Print!

With all the specifications and model manipulations set, you are now ready to print! From here on the instructions are simple and straightforward.

    5.1. Click the green "Control" button next to "Load Model." It should now give an estimated printing time and the amount of filament required for the bottle opener (image a).

    5.2. In the control popup settings, set the bed temperature to 60 degrees. Click set.

    5.3. Set the hot end (printing) temperature to 205 degrees. Click set.

    5.4. Watch temperature graph until desired temperatures are reached (the ones determined in the previous step).

    5.5. Click print.

    After you hit print, the machine will get to work! The brim (extra surface area added to the base to minimize warping) will print first, followed by the bottle opener hole. We recommend watching the print for a bit to get a feel for how the bottle opener is created (images b through d).

    The print takes about 45 minutes, so come back then!

    Step 6: Post-Processing

    6.1. Once the 3D printer stops moving, the print is finished. Turn off the 3D-printer and the power supply by setting the switches to 0 (image a). However, just because the job is finished that doesn't mean the model is! Give the bed time to cool, about 5 minutes, so that you can remove the printed model without damaging or cracking it.

    6.2. Once cooled, remove the bottle opener from the bed using a small flat head screwdriver. Carefully get underneath the brim and lift up the model (images b and c).

    6.3. Carefully remove the excess plastic printed around the bottle opener. Remove the brim around the base and the support material inside each of the two smaller openings. We used the same screwdriver as in step 6.2 to remove the support material, but you could also use sandpaper or scissors (image d).

    Step 7: Finishing Up

    Now that the bottle opener has been cleaned up, you're all set! In your hands you should have a beautiful and functional reminder of your love of Dear Old State. The model has a smaller hole at the top if you'd like to add it to a key chain, but if you're like us, you'll want to test it out first!

    After repeated successful trials (and maybe a few too many IPAs), we're happy to report that the bottle opener works like a dream. The PLA seems to be holding up nicely, even after ten uses.

    We hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and make many good memories with your new bottle opener.

    If you have any comments, tips, or questions, feel free to leave them on the tutorial at the appropriate step. We would love to hear your thoughts and any expertise you may have to help us improve the tutorial and product.

    As always, For the Glory!

    - The Group 1 Boys



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