All posts for the month June, 2021

I got a 3D printer – a Prusa mini. It’s awesome.

I bring home a lot of maker toys, tools, etc, and usually if I make something useful first, it goes over better with the family. So this time, I needed something very useful, something I’d been grousing about for a while.

I chose my birdfeeder. I have a squirrel problem. More accurately, a chipmunk problem. The little guys scoot up the pole and empty the feeder. Because it’s on a shepherd’s crook-style pole, none of the squirrel baffles I’ve found would work. I needed an adaptor to put on the pole to support the baffle. I do have a very nice baffle, so there is that.

I tried a few CAD tools and settled on FreeCAD. It’s not terribly intuitive, but then neither is Illustrator, and I am darn good at that. So onto the learning. Many hours of tutorials later, I was able to design a part. It’s not terribly special or fancy, but it does mirror nicely (print two of the same thing and they interlock) and most importantly – supports my baffle.

The part was printed from Prusament PLA. I included recesses for 3mm screws and nuts (check that hex cutout!). I wrapped the pole with a piece of insulation from a bit of 12-2NMB wire for grip. I then drilled a PVC pipe cap for the pole diameter and added a large washer to keep the fixturing screws in place as defense against aggressive chipmunks. The PVC cap completely covers the PLA chunks, so it is harder for the little buggers to chew them up.

The whole thing works great, and now I am on to printing frogs and other goofy bits. Big project now is Miku headgear. That is taking a bit of time to design and sort out. This is a lot of fun and a great new thing to learn. Bring on the SpaceMouse!