WxImp 3D Printing Notes
You can get the .STL files for the 3D printed parts from my repository on Thingiverse.
To ensure that the parts for the WxImp could be printed on the largest possible number of 3D printers, I tested all the designs on the Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer. It was arguably the least expensive ready-to-use 3D printer on the market during the design process. It’s no surprise that it’s also currently Amazon’s best-selling 3D printer.
The parts were designed using the web-based 3D design site Tinkercad, and prepared for printing with version 2.6.2 of the Cura slicer from Ultimaker. The downside of using Tinkercad is that it does not produce editable shape files in any standard format. Sadly, that means that I can’t upload editable versions to the Thingiverse repository, only ready-to-slice .stl files.
My test files were printed with a layer height of 0.1313 mm. This is an odd number for most printers but, because of the pitch on the Z-axis thread in the Select Mini, it corresponds to the fine mode on most other printers.
My test prints were done in PLA. Because of a few fairly tight dimension constraints, if you choose to use ABS or another filament material, you may have to adjust some of the dimensions to deal with the properties of your chosen material.
An infill setting of 20% appears to provide more than adequate mechanical strength for all of the parts.
All of the parts for the WxImp were printed without the use of supports. I chose rafts as the build plate adhesion method for most of the parts. The tower in particular is quite tall and has a very small footprint so I was never able to successfully print one without using a raft.
The anemometer cups are just a bit too large to print on a Select Mini with a raft so I used a brim instead. The .stl file prints two cups side by side so, if you have trouble with build plate adhesion, try printing the cups one at a time and using a raft.
If you choose to use a different DC motor as the anemometer generator you may want to re-design the motor mount. Even if you don’t use a different motor, you may have a more elegant design for a motor mount than mine. If so, please publish it on Thingiverse and leave a comment here.
For one WxImp you should print:
- One Anemometer Hub
- Four Anemometer Cups (the .stl file contains two).
- One set of two Motor Mounts (the .stl file contains two).
- Two Shade Retaining Nuts (the .stl file contains two).
- One Tower
- One Box Top
- One Box