3D Printing (Part 6)

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I can still hear my father saying “The right worker is the one who owns the right tools”. Time, experience and my own thoughts lead me to slightly change this declaration into “The right worker is the one who is capable of making his fit for purpose tools”.

This sentence not only applies to manual workers but also to intellectual workers. Just think about the maths tool box which is full of solutions among which one will probably optimally solve a specific problem. On top of that, designing and programming customized applications is getting more and more accessible to all and makes this solution handy.

From a hardware perspective, things were a little bit more complex. Unless you have access to a lathe or a milling machine, designing and making a hardware tools is uneasy. An alternative is a magic box full of scrap and a fertile imagination . This was until the 3D printer arrived! Next is an example which exemplifies the use of a 3D printer for making tools.

As I recently had to assemble a few prototype boards, I decided that it was time for me to set up some convenient soldering tools  Top of the list was the need for a soldering wire stand.

Here is a screen capture of the assembly drawn on Pro/ENGINEER which took me half an hour to draw.

soldering_wire_stand_01

 It took approximately 2 hours for the Makerbot 2x to print the 5 parts.

soldering_wire_stand_02

And not more than a few seconds to build the stand!

soldering_wire_stand_03

If you like the design, you can get the STL files for free after downloading and extracting this ZIP file.

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