Drawing Prompt Machine

Mon, Feb 1, 2021 2-minute read

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Don’t you hate it when you go to doodle something dumb, and then your mind just goes blank. For my final project of the Creative Engineering class I was taking, I decided to fix that with a little box that could print out prompts of things to draw.

The build consists of a thermal printer , an arduino, and an arcade button; all living together happily in a 3d printed box (that took like 8 hours to print) The box was designed in fusion360 which gave me a chance to finally test my new 3dconnexion mouse which actually is really fun to use once you get the hang of it. My first attempt at using the 3dmouse was in Blender, but the out of the box support for that was pretty horrible, but when I got into a program (fusion) that supported it out of the box, it is pretty amazing to use.

When designing a box that will take 8 hours to print, it’s always a good idea to think through your design and include the boring stuff as PLA is not the best to work with once it’s finished printing (drilling is fun…) Make sure all the boring stuff like access wholes for the arduino usb (for programming) or a hole for the power cable are included before starting that print. Also, make sure you give some wiggle room for your parts; my first version of the box was using the exact dimensions of the button which made it just too small to actually fit through without dremelling it out; the second version I just widened it a bit and the button slides into the hole perfectly now.

For the button and the arduino, I used Grabcad for the models, which ended up saving a bunch of time, and giving me things that were very accurate; It would have been nice if they had a model of the printer, as the version I made didn’t model the bump in the back of the printer, thus making it not fit correctly.

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As you can see from the Image from my prototype stage, working with PLA after the fact doesn’t end well (look at that nice hole.)
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And the Final Build title

And the results of all my hard works?

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