During the build of my Makerbot Thing-o-Matic I was told a story. My Dad (who helped me built my bot) told me about when he first got his wood working tools.
The wooden toys he made me when I was around 4 or 5 were made as a way for him to learn how to use his new wood working tools. For some reason this story of tool exploration really stuck a cord with me. This story stuck with me throughout the build of my Makerbot back in February and stayed with me until Father’s Day 2011. I thought it would be really great to give back to my Dad the same toy he built for me, printed on my Makerbot (a way for me to learn how to use my tools [Makerbot] the way he learned to use his [woodworking tools]).
I modeled one of those the wooden toys (a delivery truck) he built for me in Google Sketchup. Then scaled it to a printable size and sent it to my printer. The body of my trunk was the single longest print I’ve even done, clocking in at just under 3 hours. I’d like to say it went well….but it didn’t. I originally printed this on my [Automated Build Platform]. Unfortunately for me the ABP is not great at holding tall prints steady and failed after 2 hours of printing ::faceplam::. I replaced the ABP with MBI’s Aluminum Build Platform but still had a a failure after 2 hours when my filament slipped out of the plastruder ::facepalm X2::. On print 3 I watched it like a hawk, tightening the filament screw every 30 minutes and my diligence paid off.
I printed the truck body, wheels and trunk door. The axles well… I had trouble getting the axles to print consistently and ended up using a wooden dowel rod. Of course this wasn’t easy either, I had to drill out the holes on both the truck body and wheels to accommodate the 3/16″ dowel. I also used my dremel to cut down the dowel to size (I tried using a utility knife but couldn’t get the clean lines I wanted to see for a gift).
I ended up printing two bodies and attempting to draw the appropriate markings on it as seen on the original wooden truck, but the printed copy seeped marker ink across the lamination points. It looked messy and from what I saw would be difficult to avoid. In the end I settled on a blank copy. I feel like the shape is the most important part and speaks for itself.
Here’s a picture of my Dad and myself holding our respective creations. He was really surprised and pleased with the gift.
Thanks for the unexpected inspiration, constant support and sage advice Dad.
As always see below for my Thingiverse model. I hope some kids somewhere get a chance to play with my Dad’s toy truck design, recreated in plastic.