i wanted to create a cozy for my favorite drinking cup. this personalizes it, creates nice insulation, and covers up unsightly company logos.
i decided to start experimenting with flexible filament for our 3d printer. i wanted to create patterns that had nice flexible portions and cool textures like a studded belt for my cup.
firstly i had to clean up the desk and switch the printer to using the new ninja flex filament filament. there are a bunch of flexible 3d printer filaments on the market now that i imagine would work just as well.
Step 1: 3d Model a Single Base Shape
here are some great getting started tutorials for:
123d Design: http://hackaday.com/2014/01/22/3d-printering-maki...
Blender, if you eventually want to sculpt more than design:
my base shape is merely a cube with a big torus subtracted from it. Boolean operations are maybe the quickest way to get unusual shapes and curves from a modeling program.
I tried modeling this with both.
i wanted to create an object with thick and thin portions so it would have a nice flex.
Step 2: Do Some Math and Scale to Desired Size
now determine the circumference of the object (or cup in my case) that you want a cozy for. i simply measured around the middle.
here is great intro to circles and doing the math to determine the size that things will end up:
I figured i wanted each stud to be a 1cm square and reduce each to a height of about 5mm.
at 1cm studs i needed 8 studs high and 16 around to make it big enough for my cup and hand.
play with it a bit.
Step 3: Spin and Duplicate Into a Cylinder
each of these modeling programs have a way to spin objects and copy them at the same time.
the trick is to get the axis of rotation correct in spacing and orientation.
in blender it is a bit trickie. the spin duplicating tool scales objects at the same time. the only way i was able to work around this was to export my base object as an stl and import it again, so i'd have my object in 1x scale before doing the rotation.
in 123d design the spin rotate worked despite any pre-scaling on my object.
pay attention to have a bit of overlap between your duplicated objects. 1-2mm will print best.
Step 4: Experiment With Fit and Finish
I printed many tests initially to get the setting right quickly and test the size, flexibility and overlap of my nex material.
Step 5: 3d Printer Settings
for these prints I found the using a 0% infill and a very large shell count (4-5) to improved the reliability and shape of the print.
doing lots of infill causes the printer to wiggle back and further a lot and many starts and stops on the extruder.
i prefer doing nice long circular extrusion passes to keep the filaments flowing.
Step 6: Clean and Fit Your Print
the inside of my newly printed tube felt like spider webs.
i hit it with a heatgun or a blowdryer quick to make those threads receded a bit.
when stretching my tube over my cup i also used the heat gun to get it nice a snug.
I hope you like the process and build your own tube for a cozier cup.
Step 7: Extra Credit: I Built This Into an Led Scrolling Text Sign
yes. it worked with a 3.7 v battery (no boost) and 3.3v data line from my teensy : https://vine.co/v/eehDU29bYAl
people are super concerned with the power draw of this thing. it isn't that bad, if plan for your final application. i'm displaying text, in colors, over about half the panel, so maybe 5% of the leds are even used at any given time. from there my colors and brightness knock it down another 5%. now, im looking at less than an amp at maximum and about to run the entire thing off this battery and parts for at least a couple hours.
— michelle@tinwhiskers (@electricatz) August 24, 2015