Recently I’ve realized that I’ve had a bad habit of buying tools rather then making them for the 3D printer. It’s a little bit embarrassing, since one of the main selling points of the 3D printer is it’s ability to print parts for itself. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of making the tools and jigs that I need instead, not only does it utilize the 3D printer’s capabilities better–but it’s also cheaper and quicker.
One of the tools I’m currently working on is something that I think everyone who has a 3D printer runs across at some point or another. A long print is set up, and is about half way through the print you realize that the filament is about to run out. It recently happened to me on a 5 hour print that I did not have the luxury of restarting or delaying so i went about modeling something that for lack of a better name is a filament melder. It’s function is basically to fuse the two ends of filament together while an active print is running. I used the basic trick of fusing the two ends together using a soldering iron, and it worked great–still anyone that has worked with soldering anything knows the value of having something to hold the two wires/filament/items together while you’re trying to sodder so I set about designing that tool. I’m still testing it out, but once I have a working design I’ll be sharing the file so you guys can use it too!
And a quick gif of it in action using the animate function of Openscad and an online gif creator, Accidentally messed the order of two frames but I think you guys get the point!