New 3D printed support for the petal PCB

Recently I printed a new support for the petal PCB:

I made it thicker than before, which will allow the PCBs to be more pressed in the structure, and thus easier to attach.

Although it is thicker, it is actually lighter than the previous one (which is good so that we don’t put too much strain on the motor), because this time I made it less dense, except for the part around the inserts which need to be very dense. I used the same technique for this than here

Here’s the result with the dummy PCBs I printed:

They fit very well 🙂

Let’s all welcome the new Phyllo

The new phyllo printed with the Ultimaker 2

You might remember we talked about a quite unfortunate software limitation in this article, which was preventing me from printing a phyllo sculpture with both a hollow thin shell and filled petals at the bottom.

Well, it turns out it is possible to do this using another software for another printer which also has the benefit of being free and open source: Cura

We first didn’t use Cura because it was meant for the Ultimaker 2 printer, which seemed to give less detailed results when printing phyllo sculptures. However, it turned out to be not that bad and had some advantages over the Zortrax printer on some points.… Read more

Another success for the Ultimaker

Yesterday the print for the support of the LED PCBs finished, and it was a success:

This was again printed using the Ultimaker 2.

Under it you can also see the support for the processor PCBs, everything fits well:

We also had our school mechanic drill all the necessary holes on the PVC platform, and we will try to make the whole structure turn with our motor today.

I also printed a model which exactly matches the size and shape of the top PCB, and one for the petal PCB, and it fits very well:

As you can see both printed PCB perfectly matches the holes of the structure 🙂

We’ll keep you updated on how well our structures fares at 30 rotations a second !

Successful print of the PCB holding structure

Today I managed to print the support for the processor PCBs without any major flaws:

I changed the design a little bit in order to ease the printing and make the structure more robust: I removed the openings / holes on the sides and made the whole structure thicker. I also used the Ultimaker 2 printer of the fablab instead of the zortrax since the zortrax are somewhat broken right now. (hopefully it’s not because of all our printings)

I also printed a piece with the same shape and dimensions as our processor PCBs, and it fits perfectly in the structure.… Read more

Phyllos Galore

One has holes in it, one was printed in the wrong material (phosphorescent ), one got too small after our acetone smoothing test, one got warped due to wrong temperature settings… and the last one seems just fine, but might potentially explode in a thousand pieces when we’ll try to spin it at 30 RPS 🙂

We would like to thank the Zortrax M200 who spent 120 hours in total printing these, hopefully it will get some rest one day (not today though, we still need to print a bunch of supports )

Improving the 3D PCB supports

I talked in this post about the 3D supports I’m making in order to easily fit the 62 petal PCBs and 12 processor PCBs in the Phyllo. Since then, I’ve made quite a few changes and progress on the 3D design:

Here you can see both the phyllo, the support for the processor PCBs (blue) and for the petal PCBs (red), and the PCBs (green)

The cylindric pieces are here in order to have thickness around the holes in which I will put the threaded inserts.

I tried to print the processor PCB support, but it failed because of wrong settings, here is the result of the second print:

It’s not perfect yet, there is one spot where the structure got shifted, but it’s still a very promising result.… Read more

3D printing tweaking

In my last 3D printing post, I showed you a sculpture printed with the new translucid filament we bought, and a first test gluing a filled petal to the shell.

The last shell had some major flaws due to wrong print settings, but we fixed it and printed another one:

This took 26 hours to print !

As you can see this one has support structure on the outside, this type of support is very easy to remove. The shell also has some support structure inside it, as with our first shell. It might be possible to remove these structures with acetone steam : acetone steam can be used to smooth a 3D model printed with ABS filament, and since the structure is made up of loose and messy filaments steam acetone might remove it, or at least smooth it.… Read more

A new shell fresh from the oven

You might remember we printed a Phyllo shell with success a week ago. The material we used for this shell however was not meant to be translucid, but actually phosphorescent. This meant our shell was not as translucid as it could be, and it’s phosphorescence was also problematic since we want a high contrast between the phyllo when lit with inner LEDs, and when not lit by any light source.

We therefore ordered a more suitable 3D filament. This time the result for the shell printed with this new filament was not as successful:

The deformation on the first picture was probably caused by the temperature of the nozzle (from which the filament goes out) being too low, which caused the printed raft below the shell to detach itself from the platform.… Read more

3D printing : behind the scenes

As mentionned in A solid foundation , we printed our first full-scale sculpture last friday, and it was a success.

We were relieved because there were multiple factors that were not 3D printing-friendly :

  • Our scultpure needs to be hollow, because we need to be able to put all the PCBs and LEDs in it
  • Not only should it be hollow, it needs to be translucent, and thus very thin
  • The thickness should also be relatively constant in order to have uniform lighting
  • The sculpture has several parts which are almost horizontal

Why were these problematic ? Well, let’s see how 3D printing works


The first step in 3D printing is to create a .stl… Read more

A solid foundation

Last week we met with Alain Croullebois, the go-to guy for mechanical questions at the school. We went to his workshop with the motor we received during the holidays : this Turnigy Multistar 4225-390Kv 16 Poles Multi-Rotor Outrunner. We discussed what the physical structure of the Phyllo could look like.

Here is a global diagram of what we came up with :

The mechanical structure of the whole Phyllo

The Base

For the base of our Phyllo, he suggested stacking two 30cmx30cm aluminium plates 8mm thick, with a separation of 6cm between the two plates maintained by 2cm wide pillars at each corner.… Read more