- 1x STL-file of the tail tip of your choosing, linked on the right
- 1x 3D-printer. If you don’t have a 3d-printer check out this website to see where you can find one close to you.
- 1x Computer and slicer software. This is the software that turns the digital 3D-file into code that the 3D-printer understands. At Cosgear we use Prusa Slicer together with our Prusa printer, but there are numerous other options.
HOW TO 3D PRINT COSTAIL TAIL TIPS
In this post I am going to show you how to 3D-print the tail tips that we have available for free download here on our website. We are going to make more tail tips you can download in the future. This model is shaped like a heart.
What you need
DID YOU KNOW?
TextSTL is a file format that represents the outer geometry of a CAD/3d-model. It is a bunch of tiny triangles put together to make your shape. It stores no information about colour, density, material or other features from your CAD software. This makes it suitable for 3d-printing, and other manufacturing techniques, but it is not suited to further edit in your CAD software.
Step 1: Download necessary files
In the link to the right you can check out many different designs we have made for you guys, free to download. They are custom made to fit the Costail, and have various different looks.
Step 2: Import your file
The slicer software turns the STL shape into commands that the 3D-printer can understand, in a file format called GCODE. GCODE is a very long list of commands that tell whether the printer should move right, left, up, down etc. In the Slicer you can also tune the different printer settings to make the settings that is best suited for your needs.
You can open your STL-file by either dragging it in from a folder or by going through file → import, or by hitting CMD+I/Ctrl+I.
Place the tail tip with the bottom part flat on the work surface. In Prusa Slicer you have several different ways of orienting and placing your parts. It should be placed correctly when you open it.
Step 3: Tune settings for the print
There are a whole heap of different settings you can adjust and tune in the slicer, a lot of which I haven’t touched ever. In Prusa slicer you can choose between simple, advanced and expert mode. I usually use the “advanced” mode, but the majority of the settings I use can be found in the “simple” mode.
For this model we are going to look at the following settings: Nozzle diameter and filament diameter, Layer Height, Perimeters, Infill, Supports and brim.
The nozzle is the little tip (often made in brass) at the very tip of the extruder of your 3D-printer. The inner diameter of this nozzle determines how much filament is extruded and how wide the layer of plastic will be. The most common diameter is 0,4 mm.
You can use a finer or bigger with different advantages for both. This part is designed particularly for a nozzle diameter of 0,4 mm. The wall thickness is 0,8 mm, which makes a 2 layer wall thickness perfect. But this will also work fine with a 0,6 mm nozzle. At least if you slice it in prusa Slicer. The most important is that the nozzle of your printer is the same as the settings in your slicer.
The layer height is simply how “thick” or “high” each layer of filament is on your model. A higher layer height means the printing goes faster. You need 10 layers to build 3 mm of model with 0,3 mm layer height, but need 20 layers if you use a layer height of 0,15 mm. If you are not in a hurry, I recommend going with 0,15 mm layer height, but due to the nature of the model, you could get away with more. Up to 0,3 mm works, but do not go any higher if you have a 0,4 mm nozzle.
Again, we want the model to be lightweight. And it is only needed to carry its own weight. We don’t need it to be stiff or strong, therefore I recommend using 0% infill.
To get the prettiest result, with the least amount of defects on the surface, the ideal would be to not use any support. The slope of the overhang is actually possible to achieve without support. The main concern with this is the narrow base, and the risk of the model not adhering to the plate properly. For me this has been a little hit and miss and I use some support to be on the safe side. I use a support enforcer on each side of the heart shaped like a box. This way I can limit the amount of support to avoid the surface getting too much traces from this. It was almost not visible at all. To make sure we have good adhesion, we sometimes also use hairspray on the base plate to make the prints stick. Check out the video above to see how to add the support structure.
Because of the concerns from the last point we will use a brim of 10 mm. This is a first layer that makes the model stick to the printer plate. This has to be removed after the fact, with a small knife or something similar.
Filament and Temperature
We have used both PLA and PETG for this model, with great success. With the recommended temperature settings from the Slicer software. (PLA: 215/60 C) (PETG: 250/90 C)
Step 4: Slice, Export and Print
With all the settings in place, you can now slice your model. Hit slice, and then make sure everything looks good. You can do this by checking all the layers and see if you have any critical overhangs or such. This shouldn’t be a problem with this model. Hit export (to SD-card) and insert the card to your printer before you press print.
Step 4: Remove support and Finish
The support should just snap right off, with almost no marks. The Brim can be a bit more tricky. Use a scalpel or another short blade to cut the brim off.
Now you can mount the tail tip to the end of your Costail. It is a press fit, and should just be squeezed in place!
I hope you found this helpful, and maybe even learned a thing or two! We will be adding more tail tips for printing in the coming weeks and months. We have also made the fusion 360 file for the mounting base available. This way you can design and make your own tail tips that will fit Costail!