3D Print – Tablet Holder

I take a lot of pictures of different objects.  My tablets protective case holds it at an angle that is not very suited for taking pictures.  I designed a tablet holder that would hold my tablet at a slight angle which was needed to keep it from falling forward.

This is my first attempt.

It came out pretty good.   But, there was one main issue.  There was no way to plug the micro-USB power cable into it.  I do not want the tablet to die during a video shoot. It needed a hole on the bottom of the stand.  Also, it was printed without the support structure, so there was strings of plastic on the stand.


Second attempt:  Better – however, the hole for the micro-USB cable could be a little larger and when I placed the “holes” for the dish part overlapped in the printing part.  There are still some plastic strings hanging down.



Third attempt: Success!








Print Time: 12 hours 37 minutes
Filament: PLA – 7.32 meters 60 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 125.087, 102.268, 95.598 mm

Published on Youmagine.com:  https://www.youmagine.com/designs/tablet-holder-b4c1eceb-f198-4414-81b8-d43c3be6afa6


3D Print – Holy Family Shrine

I’ve learned that I could take a .jpeg file and load it into the Cura software that came with the 3d printer (Ultimaker 2) and it would add depth to the picture.    I had the option of letting either the dark or light colors to have depth.

I selected one of my pictures that I took at the Holy Family Shrine.

I had to scale down the image to 4″ x 6″ in the Cura software because 1101.3 x 1468.5 mm (43.35 x 57.81 inches) was too big for the printer.

I believe the results were amazing.





3D Print – My First Failure

I designed a vase in Tinkercad using several of the techniques I learned through the lessons on the website.  I used the workplace feature to place the stars and circles on the vase.  I used the hole feature to hollow out the inside of the vase.


In the end, I thought I had a good result for my first vase attempt.  I saved the object as an .STL file and loaded into Cura and created the .gcode file.


Into the first hour of printing, I noticed that I had a bit of a problem.  One of the holes I had put in the vase had cause the bottom of the base to become unstable.


Examining it carefully, I determine at this stage, the vase would still hold water, so I let the printer continue.


Three hours into printing the vase, the printer stopped.


There were no mechanical problems with the printer, it just though the print was finished.


Researching this problem, I found out it was not a unique problem.  It happens when the .gcode file is not completely created.  Steps to take to make sure the .gcode is created correctly are: 1) Wait until the object completely loads into the software package (Cura).  2) Do not print through the USB cable this may interfere with the printing.  3) Make sure the .gcode file is saved to the SD Card.  4)  Always eject the SD Card from computer before removing the SD Card.

I did not attempt to reprint the vase.  I need to tweak it first and other design have capture my attention.

3D Print – My First Design

The next step for  printing 3D objects was to fine some 3D design software that support .STL or .OBJ files.  There are a lot of free software available for 3D design.  However, I am very warily of “free” software since a lot of “free” software (especially game software) comes with viruses, Trojans, and other nasty things.

I found four that was worth looking into deeper.

  1. Tinkercad (https://www.tinkercad.com/):  It is owned by Autodesk.  Autodesk has been around for a long time.
  2. Google Sketchup (http://www.sketchup.com/): Do I really want to install another Google product.  However, looking at the site, there was not direct indication it was owned by Google.
  3. 3DSlash (https://www.3dslash.net/index.php):  Looked interesting.  Take an object and remove parts.
  4. Blender (https://www.blender.org/): Has promise.  Is part of the Open Source community.

Since I use CorelDraw, I decided to look at their recommendations.  They recommended developing a 2D design in CorelDraw, transferring it to CAD software, like AutoCAD or Autodesk 123D, then fine tuning it with Corel Technical Suite.  Corel Technical Suite is $999.   I think not!

I decided since I was a beginner, I would start and learn with Tinkercad.  I went through several lessons in Tinkercad to learn the basics.  It was very helpful, especially learning to adjust the workspace.

Many years ago, a friend told me I needed to sign all my art works.  Most of my cards, houses, paintings now contains this logo.  That is want I created first.

Made By Sarah….







Yes, I did make it double sided.  If I had though about it before, I would have mirror the image on the reverse side.

Print Time: 4 hours 46 minutes
Filament: PLA – 2.14 meters 17 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 127.0, 68.0, 5.0 mm


3D Print – Makey Robot

I have printed everything that was on the SD Card that came with the printer.  The next step is downloading and installing the Cura software.  To my disappointment, the Cura software does not let you design 3D objects.  It does lets you render the object for 3D printing.

In Cura, there is a link “YM” to Youmagine.com that allows you to share the objects you create.  If also lets you download objects created by other individuals.  That is where I found this robot.  Named Makey Robot by le FabShop.






Yes!  He does have movable parts.  There was no assembly required.  After it was printed, I could move most of the parts.  I having problems moving one of it’s ankle and knee parts.  Only the 65 piece model was printed.


Print Time: 5 hours 42 minutes
Filament: PLA – 3.43 meters 27 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 62.4, 55.4, 40.5 mm

The search is on for 3D design software.  If you have any favorite, let me know.

3D Printing – More Standard Prints

Here are some more items I printed directly off of the SD Card that came with the Ultimaker 2.

Double Heart:



Print Time: 59 minutes
Filament: PLA – .60 meters 5 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 40.0, 40.0, 6.0 mm

Earring Circle:


Print Time: 15 minutes
Filament: PLA – .13 meters 1 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): 30.0, 32.9, 62.9 mm

Coffin’s Cube Puzzle:

This was the second time I attempted to print these objects.  The first time, the filament stopped extruding after the second object was printed.  I removed the filament from the machine and printed all of the other objects on the SD card before I attempted this object again.



Now that I have a puzzle. I guess I will need to Google it to determine how to put it together.

Print Time: 3 hours 4 minutes
Filament: PLA – 1.89 meters 15 grams
Layer height: 0.1 mm
Shell Thickness: 0.8

Object Size (W, D, H): Varies

3D Printing – Mini Cal Test

Printed this off of SD Card. Named: MiniCalTest. I am assuming it is used to test the printer.  End result was –  it looked good.





Sorry!  The SD Card did not contain the .stl file.  When I load the gcode file into the Cura software, it did not provide the data need.  Print time was approximately 50 minutes.

3D Printer – Setting Up

Yes, for Christmas I was given a 3D Printer.  It is an Ultimaker 2.  It one thing that I have been wanting, but I would never asked for one.  If you listen to the TV, it says that most women want jewelry.  For me, I do love my computer and gadgets.

The first challenge I experienced with my new printer was find a sturdy table to place it on.  I knew the printer would have a lot of movement during printing, so I wanted a table to set it on that would have very little movement.  My computer desk is already full with two monitors, a key board, a mouse, a camera, a speakers, 4 pair of reading glasses, etc.

The Ultimaker web site contains step by step instructions for unboxing the printer and setting it up.  They also has an app.  But, the apps basically only provide tutorials and access to their community sites.


One thing to remember as you are removing it from the box, only lift my it’s frame. Do not pull on it cables, cords, or moving parts. After looking at the troubleshooting guide, you may be doing this a lot in the future.


Install the filament spool holder.  Simple enough.


Insert the glass plate.  Careful, be very careful.  Those metal glass holder are a little difficult to open and are very sharp.


Let the set up begin.  Even though, the printer comes with a USB cable you do not need to attach it to your computer to do the prints from the SD Card.


Challenge number 2.  How big is a millimeter?  Off, to find the ruler.  After I found the ruler, I saw in the set up guide that this measurement does not have to be precise.


For the next step, you do not need an entire sheet of paper.


Time to insert the filament.  There is a hole in the small gear box on the back of the printer that is used to feed the filament through.  First you insert it through the gear box, and second you allow the printer to feed it to the print head.


Let’s print!!!




Here is where the major challenge began.  After printing the base of the object, the printer stopped feeding filament through the print head.  It took me several days to figure out the problem.  Keeping in mind some great advice I received “If you have a problem, take a break and work on it later.”

The problem was grinding of the filament at the gear box feeder.  I removed the filament from the printer and trimmed off the grinded part.

I installed Ultimaker Cura software on my PC and attached the printer.  I then updated the firmware on the printer.  This did not fix the problem.

The tension in the gear box was either not enough or too much.  There is a screw on top to the gear box to control the tension.  Keeping in mind that clockwise rotation tightens and counter clockwise rotation loosens, in America, I gentle tighten the gear box to it’s max.  Then I took some can air and blew out the gear box to remove all the filament fragments.  Afterwards, I loosen the screw on the gear box with a couple of rotation of the hex wrench.  I feed the filament back through the gear box and allowed the printer to feed it to the print head.

Success!!!! The printer is printing the first object.