3D Printing

EC12 RC Sailboat Spreaders

DSCF0001These spreaders are version 12, which is a little misleading but a lot of little changes have brought us here.

My initial design was too thin at the central collar and was prone to breaking when installing them on the mast. The spreaders have been strengthed as will by making them 3mm thick and adding to the horizontal plane as well.

A further refinement is underway that will add some more to the forward profile of the collar and an innovative approach to installing the spreaders with the surrounding rigging.

Also on the drawing board is a similar approach to spreaders on the Soling 1M and a new gooseneck to work with my upgraded vang arrangement.


Hardware Upgrade

I added a Rasberry Pi 3 from Canakit running Octopi to control the Maker Select V2 3D Printer. With this configuration loading files and monitoring the printing from a web interface makes it a lot easier to work with. I am looking forward now to adding some upgrades to the printer to make levelling easier and enhance the stability of the tower.


Learning 3D Design and Printing

All of this is thanks to Chuck Millican who gave me a set of 3D printed Upper Spreaders for my EC12.  I emailed Chuck when I got home and inquired about 3D printers and availability of files for the model sailboats. Chuck sent me a whole bunch of files and I bought a 3D printer.

My 3D printer is a lower cost model from Monoprice the Select Mini IIIp. Despite its low cost it does get good reviews from users. You can read more about it at http://mpselectmini.com/ where other users post information and links to upgrade and get the most from the printer.



I spent a few months after I got the printer trying to find the appropriate tools to create my own designs and printing what Chuck had sent. I finally decided on Adobe Fusion 3D and took an online course from Udemy.Com. The online course was about 4 hours long and the instructor led students through a series of models that demonstrated the capabilities of the program and familiarised you with the program and the basics of 3D modelling.

The wrench shown in this photo is one of the models we created along with a coat hook, comb, taco stand, nozzle for a shop vac – about twelve in all.


Since that, I have created some of my own designs for the Soling 1M. The first was a replacement for the lazarette hatch supplied by Victor. That hatch is too heavy so had cut the rim down before. The new 3D printed hatch is better fitting and lighter.


This one is an earlier prototype with a scar in the print.

As well, I created a nameplate for the soling and I am working on a prototype boom vang, both pictured below.



I have a few more tutorials booked on my schedule on the Adobe Fusion support site, so look for more on this fascinating journey soon.

Meanwhile while I have been playing with this I have not been painting so when I finish this post I am going work on a couple of pieces I have been thinking about.