3D print Acorn Atom case

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roland
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3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby roland » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:35 am

Hello,

Last weekend I shipped three Atoms with worn out and dirty cases. Today I got another request for a "new" case. I was thinking about printing a new case so I asked a friend of mine at Fablab Maastricht about the costs for printing such a case.

He tells me it might be quite expensive, but he can give me the exact price if he has an .stl file for the 3D printing program.

Has somebody already made such a file?

Regards,
Roland
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MAN WOMAN :shock:

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danielj
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby danielj » Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:57 am

Alas not, it'll need measuring and describing accurately in OpenSCAD or else 3D scanning and tidying up.

Given the amount of plastic in the case I think 3D printing it would be a very expensive route to go down, and the finish would be a bit "meh".

The original was injection moulded. I guess that getting the mould fabricated for that would also be a ridiculously expensive route to go down unless you could guarantee shifting a thousand of them...

d.

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oss003
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby oss003 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:14 am

Hi Roland,

I can give it a try with AutoCAD.

Greetings
Kees

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danielj
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby danielj » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:30 am

Which reminds me Kees, I have a box of tiny plastic bits with your name on it still :) - I'll try and get that off today!

d.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby oss003 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:45 am

danielj wrote:Which reminds me Kees, I have a box of tiny plastic bits with your name on it still :) - I'll try and get that off today!

d.
Hi Daniel,

you mean the Plasticorns ... :)
No problemo, everyone forgets something now and then ... :lol:

Greetings
Kees

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roland
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby roland » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:37 pm

oss003 wrote:Hi Roland,

I can give it a try with AutoCAD.

Greetings
Kees


Well, if you can do that ... just a box with the right sizes. For the price indication you can omit the ridges on the top and front of the case.

Greetings,
Roland
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oss003
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby oss003 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:45 pm

Ok, will give it a try this evening.

Greetings
Kees

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby Prime » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:06 pm

What of course might be worth 3D printing would be keycaps.....

You could even sell them for LOLPRICE on ebay......

Or even the little plunger bits from the issue 1..4 keyboards.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby danielj » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:41 pm

Prime wrote:What of course might be worth 3D printing would be keycaps.....

You could even sell them for LOLPRICE on ebay......

Or even the little plunger bits from the issue 1..4 keyboards.

Cheers.

Phill.


Phill, if you have one of those going spare I can have a go at printing one...

d.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby oss003 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:27 pm

Hi Roland,

I managed to make a STL file for the topcase but something went wrong for the bottom. The measurements are not 100% but good enough for a calculation I think. Here are some pictures.

Greetings
Kees
Atom deksel 3D.zip
(122.37 KiB) Downloaded 60 times

Atom1.PNG
Atom2.PNG
Atom3.PNG
Atom4.PNG

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danielj
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby danielj » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:30 pm

I am in awe! =D>

D.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby nOmArch » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:17 pm

Very nice!

Although printing it in one go could be difficult, I think the Makerbot x2 has the volume to do it but most printers won't. The one I have ordered (The Robo3D) definitely won't be able to print it but I'm more than happy to print things for people that are a little smaller.
Alex

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby Prime » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:16 am

danielj wrote:
Prime wrote:What of course might be worth 3D printing would be keycaps.....

You could even sell them for LOLPRICE on ebay......

Or even the little plunger bits from the issue 1..4 keyboards.


Phill, if you have one of those going spare I can have a go at printing one...


I have two Issue 4 machines one that I re-built as an Issue 5, so I'll try and extract one of the plungers without damaging it.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby martinw » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:10 am

I have plungers that are not in my Atom from my keyboard re-build.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5526

I'd be interested to see if a 3D printer could create one accurately, as I know them quite intimately, and there are some pretty small features on there that are integral to the overall working of the key.

Martin

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby danielj » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:13 am

Martin, if you also have one of the "sheaths" that it lives in then it would save Phill having to take something apart?

The quality of the features will depend on how well the printer's set up and how things are orientated for printing. Looking at that I suspect it might need to be printed in two thin halves and glued together in order to get all the features right, but my layers are about 0.3mm (I can probably go to 0.1mm with my smaller nozzle that I've not got around to fitting yet) so it should be doable :)

d.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby martinw » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:53 am

Hi Daniel,

The plunger fits into a chassis (that is the size of the full QWERTY keyboard) that is soldered to the Atom PCB. The plunger is then pressed into the chassis (with the two springs/contacts in situ) and stays in there by virtue of the way the plastic features in the chassis and the plastic features of the plunger are designed.

I can probably do an STL model as I have a set of digital verniers to take some measurements. The whole thing is approximately 20mm high and 10mm wide (from memory) so the little bumps and lumps are probably going to require at least 0.1mm resolution at a guess.

One other thing that does interest me though regarding the 3D printing is the surface finish that is achievable (in Ra um). I have another hobby where I use o-rings which must sit on quite a flat surface to seal. Do you know by any chance if 3D printers can do sufficiently good surfaces to do this, these days?

Martin

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danielj
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby danielj » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:10 am

martinw wrote:Hi Daniel,

The plunger fits into a chassis (that is the size of the full QWERTY keyboard) that is soldered to the Atom PCB. The plunger is then pressed into the chassis (with the two springs/contacts in situ) and stays in there by virtue of the way the plastic features in the chassis and the plastic features of the plunger are designed.

I can probably do an STL model as I have a set of digital verniers to take some measurements. The whole thing is approximately 20mm high and 10mm wide (from memory) so the little bumps and lumps are probably going to require at least 0.1mm resolution at a guess.


If you get me an STL model I'll happily run one off :) - as I said, if you can do two "halves" it might be even better. I can tell it to print layers of 0.1mm, and it will do it, it might just take a bit of tweaking in the settings... We can see how it goes.

I print directly onto glass, so if one surface needs to be perfectly flat that's entirely doable. Top surface will generally be slightly ridged with the fill. Sides are always going to have "layers" - it's just a question of how thin the layers are. If you're printing with ABS you can use acetone vapour to smooth things off, or if it's PLA you can just rub them down. The nature of the beast is that you'll always end up with slight divots and things will always need a little bit of fettling just to clean them up. The only way you're going to get a really good finish is with the laser hardened resins or some of the commercial printers (costing 10s of thousands).

Personally I wouldn't trust a printed o-ring to give me a good seal :D

d.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby martinw » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:23 am

Thanks for that Daniel, I now understand the 3D printing process a lot better now. I think i'll stick with my small CNC machine and lathe in the short term, but I like to keep an eye on these things :)

Martin

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Henkie
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby Henkie » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:41 pm

Very nice Kees! And very curious for the 'next step' ;-)

Greetings, Antwan.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby oss003 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:26 pm

Hi Roland,

and here are the results of another evening playing with AutoCAD.

To make a drawing with the exact measurements, the case has to be measured more accurate with decent measurement tools. Also the measurements of the motherboard have to be taken in account to get a good case.

Greetings
Kees
Atom5.PNG
Atom deksel 3D.zip
(135.46 KiB) Downloaded 60 times
Atom bodem 3D.zip
(24.87 KiB) Downloaded 62 times

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby Prime » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:47 pm

Something has just occurred to me (prompted by Kees's bigger Atom case comment on FB :) ).

It would be useful if we could design a rectangular bracket the same size as the Electron case, that separated the two halves of the case by say an extra 10mm, that way some of the add on hardware that plug into the motherboard would be able to have socketed chips etc. You'd also need longer screws tho.

Not as much of a problem on the Atom, BBC A/B/B+, Master & Compact tho.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby oss003 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:47 pm

Hi Phill,

something like this:
Atom6.PNG
Atom7.PNG
Atom8.PNG
Atom9.PNG

Greetings
Kees

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roland
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby roland » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:12 pm

It looks like it's very easy to construct 3D printable objects the way you present it :)
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby Prime » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:16 pm

oss003 wrote:Hi Phill,

something like this:

Yeah that's what I was thinking of :)

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby nOmArch » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:54 pm

Have just upgraded my printer so it'll print ABS as well as PLA.
Alex

Back up to 1 Beeb again. \o/

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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby Kecske Bak » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:29 pm

I find this thread fascinating. As far as small ABS items are concerned, wonder if Master/Acorn Electron Plus 1 ROM cartridge cases might be something people would find handy, or even rom cartridges cases for ROMS to fit in the BBC Micro "ashtray" socket.

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leenew
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby leenew » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:34 pm

How about a nice little widget to fill in the ashtray of a beeb that has had it punched out? 8)

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paulv
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby paulv » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:44 pm

leenew wrote:How about a nice little widget to fill in the ashtray of a beeb that has had it punched out? 8)


Re-creating the original cover plate that came with the official Acorn speech upgrade would be a good 3D printing project.

I have one of those somewhere... All my beebs have intact ROM slots apart from one but that has a nice ROM connector in place anyway and I've often thought that the speech cover would be a good thing to replicate to fill that space...

EDIT:

Found it...

1.jpg
Ashtray cover fascia


2.jpg
Ashtray cover underside


3.jpg
Ashtray cover, clip


4.jpg
Ashtray cover, bumps


Paul

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jonb
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby jonb » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:52 pm

Hmm, I need one of those!

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leenew
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Re: 3D print Acorn Atom case

Postby leenew » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:54 pm

That is the exact widget I had in mind :D

** it may even benefit from the top being a bit shallower?? **


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