Friday, March 15, 2013

Printable Motorcycle Parts Update

I finally got my headlight housing finished well enough to temporarily mount on my bike.  It is still a work in progress, but I thought I'd share what I have done.  The housing is the same as in the previous post, but the mounts for it are new.  The fork attachment is a new printed piece that straps on and holds the both the turn signals and polycarbonate brackets for the headlight.
Looks a little better all mounted up!
Next up on my to do list is finishing up the footpegs.  I have a new design that will be easier to cast, and I printed with PLA, which will be easier and cleaner to burn out.  Hopefully this weekend will have enough hours for me to get that happening! Otherwise, it will have to wait a little longer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3d Printable Motorcycle Parts!

Browsing craigslist can be a lesson in frustration, going through endless pages looking at items you don't want or need, just hoping to find something, anything really, that is worth purchasing.  Recently I had the good fortune of finding what is more or less my dream motorcycle, the Honda CB600F.

Of course, what made this post special was that the bike had been dropped a bit so all the pretty plastic bits of the bike were cracked and scratched up, but mechanically it was quite sound.  For me, this means a cheap price, and the opportunity to customize every piece of my bike without worrying about messing up the design work of a motorcycle in new condition.  This project has afforded me the opportunity to try a few techniques that I've been interested in, such as laser kerf bending and 3d printed investment metal castings.  

One of the first things I did when getting the bike, is take apart the broken headlight.

Cracked plastic housing

Bent and scratched mounting ring

I immediately took the bare headlight and started trying to mount it with laser-cut pieces.

This is a good start, but the light is aimed up, and it doesn't stay straight.

I tried bending the top mount down with laser-kerf, it worked a little better.

While thinking about the headlight project, I decided to get some 3d printed parts started.  First, I made some brackets to mount my blinkers to my forks.

After taking this photo, I realized I really need to paint these.

I also decided at this point that my headlight needed to be mounted from the sides, which is a problem because the headlight itself has mounting tabs on the top and bottom.... what to do? Hmm...

This ought to work!

Yep, that'll fit.  Just need to make mounting brackets.

I am also working on casting some aluminum foot pegs for this machine.  My technique involves 3d printed parts (surprise!) and investment casting.  I need to refine my setup, and I think these foot pegs should be great practice, especially because I won't consider my technique correct until my foot pegs are safe to use.  

The 3d model looks decent.

Test fit of the printed part is promising!

And... Fail.

I just felt like sharing it because I am quickly accumulating a lot of photos, I apologize for having no conclusion at this point.  I will be posting more updates in the coming weeks (hopefully with fewer fails), thanks for reading! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

RepRap Adventures: Printable Bicycle Parts

I am currently building up a bicycle with parts I'm buying off the internet.  While parts shopping, I decided to see what kind of parts I can 3d print.  This will allow me to both test out some RepRap part strength, and also to save a little money.  I'm sure the parts I create will not be as good as most parts available, but maybe I will be able to figure out some creative ways to use my 3d printer.  Today, I will show you my first step.  The main purpose of this is to be sure that the dimensional variation of 3d printed parts will fit with the more precise machined metal parts of a bicycle.

The bike.

I decided to make a lower bearing race for my headset first.  The frame I am building, a 17" Fuji Suncrest, came with most of a Ritchey headset.  The lower race was not part of the package, so I decided draw one to fit the specs.  This is a good test of part fitment because it mates with metal parts in every direction, it fits around the steering tube, on top of the fork crown and has a sealed bearing pushing down around the top.

This file is available at Thingiverse.

Quick Rhino Drawing

a quick print

It fits well around the bottom
And fits the bearing perfectly.
This is only a small part, and as of now it is completely untested, but it does show promise.  Dimensionally, it is very good, the surface finish is a little rough compared to other bike parts.  I think that there are many bicycle bits that could be printed, I'm going to continue this quest and see what is possible.  There will probably be some great failures when testing begins, I'll be sure to document any magnificent crashes.  It will be an adventure of grand proportions! Maybe...  

Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

RepRap Calibration

Today I spent some time calibrating my RepRap, its was an interesting experience.  The computer that I use to run Pronterface and my RepRap is my retired Car-Puter which controlled the sound in my Ford Expedition for years.  Now the computer seems very underpowered with its Via 1ghz integrated motherboard.  Most of the calibration parts were no problem, but when Skeining more complicated models,  Skeinforge tends to eat up all of my computer's cpu and memory resources and  then crash.  As soon as I figure out how to get everything run from my MBP, I will.  I've been having problems with Python on my Mac.  Oh well, I'll devote a few more Saturdays to it.  Check out these pictures and the short video of my machine printing a calibration block.

The thin wall test took a few tries

anyone else like Bassnectar?

The 20mm block took a few tries also, this weird raft actually worked well.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Now that I'm in Connecticut working regular hours, I've had some time to finish up my RepRap.  I'm going to finish calibrating this weekend, and most likely try to print some new designs I've been working on.  Until then, here's a picture of it after it finished its first calibration print... which looks gross.

From New Stuff

And here it is printing a bottle opener I downloaded from Thingiverse.

From New Stuff

Monday, December 19, 2011

One crazy tower

Architizer: The Twisted Logic Behind the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower

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