Getting Started

June 26, 2016

Parameters and getting started

Using the Customizer

image2This device is published on thingiverse.com as a multi-part customizer model.  The customizer is a web page that allows you to set the various parameters, and then generate a custom fitting finger, one part at a time.

You can preview the whole thing,or individual parts. When you create it, you will get an STL for each individual part. Make sure you use parts from a complete set, as many of the parameters affect multiple parts in the model.

Throughout this guide I’ll refer to parameters, which are the placeholders for which you’ll need to provide measurements.  They coincide with the options that you see in the online customizer for Knick’s Finger, available from: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1340624

Using OpenSCAD

image3 Instead of the customizer, you can download the latest “.SCAD” file from the link above, and open it with OpenSCAD, which is  free/OSS and cross-platform application: http://www.openscad.org

Sometimes this is handy for working around bugs in the customizer, or if you want more control.  It shows you all the source code that created this design, and if you’re brave you can make your own modifcations.

Once you’ve opened the design, you can directly edit the variable definitions, which will be named the same as the parameters in this guide.

For example, to set socket_width_bottom to 28mm, you would change the following line in the file:

socket_width_bottom = 20.5;
to:
socket_width_bottom = 28;

Be careful not to change anything except the number/value in between the equal sign and semicolon.

As with the customizer, each piece is made one at a time.  You’ll need to set the “part” parameter to the number corresponding to which part to generate.  Now save the file, and choose “Render” from the menu, which can take several minutes.  When rendered, Choose “Export to STL”.

What to do with STL files

It’s best to write down all the various measurements on the handy form at the end of this doc, and then plug them in to the customizer.  Then pick one part at a time and click “Generate Thing”, which will put the part into a queue.  When each part completes it can be downloaded as a “.STL” file.

Once you have STL files from either the customizer or OpenSCAD, anyone well-versed with 3D printers should be able to print them.  I’ve used a very cheap printer from a kit and still had acceptable results, but a more accurate printer will give a better finish and better fitting parts.