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A trick for making hollow manifolds

Filed under: MakerBot — jet @ 20:45

I wanted to make a sturdy-but-hollow manifold for the air assist on my lasersaur. I ended up using a trick I’ve seen in catacombs and gothic structures — internal support columns.

The STL and images are posted over on thingiverse. The short of it is:

  1. make a hollow object
  2. determine which way will be up/down when you print it
  3. add columns along this axis that are close enough together and to the edge that the spanning shells will hold
  4. print!

Here’s an example: The top piece is a completed print, the bottom is a partial print showing the base, rotated 90 degrees. You can see the starts of the three columns that support the rest of the print and the inlet (the big hole on the top print) and the outlet on the other side of the print:

manifold internals

It’s really just that simple.

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