Magical Staff

Sun 15 March 2020 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Magical Staff Drawing

My eldest is a big Harry Potter Fan and made a few drawings of a Magical Staff they wanted to construct. I was really excited by the drawing. We purchased the crystal and staff online and sat down in front of OpenSCAD and came up with a fairly close design. Here is the OpenSCAD code:

    translate([0,0,-50])  cylinder(h = 50, r =  16, center = true);
    translate([0,0,-103])  cylinder(h = 100, r = 13, center = true);
    translate([0,0,-40]) cylinder(h = 26,r1=13,r2=0, center=true);
translate([0,0,-50]) for(z=[0:4:+350]) {
    rotate([0,0,z]) translate([16,0,z/6+10]) rotate([0,-30,0]) cylinder(h=3, r=5);
    rotate([0,0,-z+180]) translate([16,0,z/6+10]) rotate([0,-30,0]) cylinder(h=3, r=5);

translate([0,0,-40]) for(z=[-180:6:0]) {
    rotate([0,0,z]) translate([16,0,0]) rotate([0,-30,0]) cylinder(h=3, r=5);
    rotate([0,0,-z+180]) translate([16,0,0]) rotate([0,-30,0]) cylinder(h=3, r=5);

translate([0,0,-50]) for(z=[350:6:+420]) {
    rotate([0,0,z]) translate([16,0,350/6+10]) rotate([0,-30,0]) cylinder(h=3, r=5);
    rotate([0,0,-z+180]) translate([16,0,350/6+10]) rotate([0,-30,0]) cylinder(h=3, r=5);

OpenSCAD drawing of staff

The print came out well with minimal supports and we were happy with the design. The final project looked great.

Final image of the staff with Crystal

To get everything to stick together we used Surgu Moldable glue. We were very happy with the final product.

Final image of the staff in costume

JJRobots B-Robot

Sat 18 January 2020 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of JJRobots And kids

A few years ago I purchased a kit from JJRobots. The kit provides all non-plastic parts and then allows you to build a variety of robots. Up until now I only made the eggbot which tends to come out around Easter time, the kids love it.

Last week my niblets …

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Tronxy X1 Cura Settings

Sun 12 January 2020 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Completed Benchy

My new Tronxy X1 has been a lot of fun to put together. The tricky part was finding the right setting for the slicer. Turns out it is not that difficult at all. I was able to download my favorite OpenSource slicer, CURA and needed to type in the specifications …

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Tronxy X1

Sat 11 January 2020 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Brother and the TronXY X1

My "baby" brother is a new professor and designing an additive manufacturing course for his students. He found a fairly affordable (price of a typical textbook) 3D printer kit called a Tronxy X1 for his students to put together and take home.

To get ready, he and I purchased our …

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Cylindrical Lithophans

Wed 25 December 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

2019 Picture of kids

Lithophans are one of my favorite things to 3D print. I have written software in MATLAB and python that can convert images to lithophans. Most years I design a lithophan and 3D printable frame to give away to family for Christmas and each year I like to try to do …

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Sphere-O-Bot (JJRobots version)

Sat 13 April 2019 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Sphere-O Robot

So, the Sphere-O-Bot was my first (and so far only) JJRobots project a few years ago (when I didn't have a blog). My 3D printer was not in the best shape but I was able to get everything assembled and working.

I dug out the Sphere-O-bot this week and after …

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Alexa Dot Holder

Sun 16 September 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Alexa Dot Wall Mount

My brother got me an Alexa Dot for Christmas a few years ago. It turns out to be a lot of fun. We put it in the kitchen and the kids play music. My wife and I also use it to add things to our shopping list (very convenient!) Anyway …

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3D printed Switch Guard

Wed 15 August 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

Picture of the switch

We recently moved into a new house and the kids are having fun running around turning on and off all the lights. Unfortunately, some of the light switches are not for lights. One goes to our garbage disposal, another goes to the gas fireplace and another turns off the furnace …

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Sun 27 May 2018 by Dr. Dirk Colbry

FarmBot Logo

I have been coveting a FarmBot. At $2500 to $4000 these farming robots are a little out of my price range. However, I guess if I had a big enough yard I would still be looking to purchase one of these. They are so cool, they will plant, water, weed …

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Intrducing a 3D printer to my daughter's Kindergarten class

Sat 09 May 2015 by Dr. Dirk Colbry


We had fun showing off my 3D printer to the Kindergarten class. Although the printer is fun to watch, kids tend to get board with it in just a few minutes. I like to come up with classroom projects that let the kids use things that are printed with the …

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