3D printed multi-functional tripod (well actually quadpod)

The power of technology is something that keeps amazing me every day. The number of things you can do with some small electronic components and a bit of programming is overwhelming. But 3D printing is really on top of my “WOW AMAZING” list. As I work in a company building fully 3D-printed robots (EEVE), I felt I had to investigate some budget and time into this whole new world.

And that’s how my little home-lab got extended with an Original Prusa i3 MK3S+! This is the ideal getting-started printer, according to my colleagues. And indeed, after some minimal struggle and support — again — of my colleagues, I managed to get some first successful prints.

I will share some of my first experiments here in separate blogs.

First project: a multi-functional tripod

In an earlier post, you can find how the Raspberry Pi can be used as an HDMI camera, which I use to record my coding and electronics experiments. To make this process easier, I ordered some inexpensive clamps, but needed a solution to mount them easily in different directions.

This tripod is a first attempt to fix the issue of the limited height of a 3D-printer by combining a base, with extension tubes and simple connectors.

Designing the elements

On the SD card of the Prusa there are some example print files. But of course, I quickly wanted to create my own projects. As the whole process of creating 3D models is really new to me, I’m taking the simplest approach with Tinkercad, an easy-to-use 3D modeling program, free and online.

The slicing to gcode-files for the printer, is done with the also free PrusaSlicer software.

The different design and print files are shared on the Prusa Printers website where you can find a very long list of projects shared by the community.

Designs in Tinkercad and PrusaSlicer

Printed parts

These are some pictures of the different pieces on the printer.

Parts on the printer

Usage examples

By combining the different pieces and a clamp, it becomes very easy to point the camera in different directions on the height matching the use-case.

Usage examples of the tripod

Conclusion

The stability is not really great when using too many extension tubes, so the next version should have a bigger base. But as a first test, this tripod does actually what is required!

Originally published at https://webtechie.be.

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