Some Background on 3D Printing Gadgets for the Google Home Mini

UPDATE (October 30, 2017): 3D Printed Wall Mount for the Full-Sized Google Home

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Over on Google+ I recently posted several short items regarding a tiny plastic mount that I 3D printed a couple of days ago to hang my new Google Home Mini on my wall (see 2nd and 3rd photos below, for the actual model file please see: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2576121 by “Jakewk13”).

This virtually invisible wall mount is perfectly designed for the Mini and couldn’t be simpler. Technically, the Mini is upside down when you use this mount, but of course it works just fine. Thanks Google for sending me a Mini for my ongoing experiments!

I’ve since received quite a few queries about my printing facilities, such as they are.

So the 1st photo below shows my 3D printer setup. Yes, it looks like industrial gear from one of the “SAW” torture movies, but I like it that way. This is an extremely inexpensive arrangement, where I make up for the lack of expensive features with a fair degree of careful ongoing calibration and operational skill, but it serves me pretty well. I can’t emphasize enough how critical accurate calibration is with 3D printing, and there’s a significant learning curve involved.

The basic unit started as a very cheap Chinese clone printer kit that I built and mounted on that heavy board for stability. Then, hardware guy that I’ve always been, I started modifying. As is traditional, many of the additions and modifications were themselves printed on that printer. This includes the filament reel support brackets, calibration rods, filament guide, inductive sensor mount, and more. I installed an industrial inductive sensor at the forward left of the black extruder unit, to provide more precise Z-axis homing and to enable automatically adjusted print extrusion leveling.

I replaced the original cruddy firmware with a relatively recent Repetier dev build, which also enabled the various inductive sensor functions. I had to compile out the SD card support to make room for this build in my printer controller — but I never used the SD card on the printer (intended for standalone printing) anyway.

On the build platform, I use ordinary masking tape, that gets a thin coat of glue stick immediately after I put the tape down. The tape and glue can last for quite a few prints before needing replacement.

I mainly print PLA filament. I never touch ABS — it warps, its fumes smell awful and are highly toxic.

I almost always print at an extruder temperature of 205C and a bed temperature of 55C.

The printer is driven by Repetier Server which runs on 14.04 Ubuntu via Crouton running on an older CrOS Chromebook. I typically use Linux Cura for model slicing.

I know, it’s all laughably inexpensive and not at all fancy by most people’s standards, but it does the job for me when I want to hang a Google gadget on the wall or need the odd matter-antimatter injector guide servo nozzle in a hurry.

Yep, it really is the 21st century.

–Lauren–

(Please click images to enlarge.)

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