You can now include your Mini Indigo
in your signature and in forum posts! The Mini Indigo icon is one quarter the size of the normal Indigo
icon, just like the real Mini Indigo, so it should be to scale with the other systems in your signature.
(even if they're comparatively enormous...)
I have also made the Mini Indigo icon a link to the Mini Indigo website, as images, unlike Smilies, cannot have hover text on phpBB without modifications, so making the image a link will help users identify it. Note that using the link version in a forum post will result in an underlined image, but in the signature it will display normally. To use the Mini Indigo in your Nekochan signiature, enter the following bbCode into your signiature settings in the User Control Panel:Mini Indigo Signiature Code:
Mini Indigo Forum Post Code (no link due to post formatting differences):
Code: Select all
Code: Select all
Additionally, I wanted to post a brief update about 3D printing methods. The very earliest Mini Indigos were printed directly onto the print bed, using what's known as a brim for adhesion. This means that the bottom layer of plastic, which makes up the top and bottom of the unit as well as the bottom of the door, was pressed flat against the print bed and held in place by a thin plastic section outlining the entire part, known as a brim. This created a very flat surface, but also introduced a problem. As plastic cools, it contracts, and this can cause the part to lift up off the bed. This is known as "warping", and with larger parts like the Mini Indigo on cheaper printers like my Maker Select it can be very hard to avoid, even with precise bed leveling adjustment and a polyetherimide (PEI) print surface which is intended to aid bed adhesion.
When printing with the brim worked, it made very good looking units with extremely smooth tops, however it was extremely unreliable and fiddly, and I would say that probably under 5% of prints started were actually successful, with the other 95% (yes, 19 out of 20 prints) having to be stopped in the first few minutes due to printing issues. Though I tried many methods of making the brim work better, including numerous different bed heights, software settings, reduced speed, and even pausing the print to melt the brims back down with a soldering iron, none of these methods were reliable enough, and printing issues were the main cause of delayed shipments on earlier units.
Because of this, I have chosen to switch to a different method, using what's known as a raft. The raft is a thick piece of sacrificial plastic laid down on the print bed by the head. The real part is then built on top of the raft, and is peeled off once the print is complete. Because PLA plastic sticks very well to other PLA plastic, adhesion is much better and prints are extremely reliable, meaning increased production capacity, faster turnaround times, fewer wasted prints, and, anecdotally, seemingly even better quality on the sides, front, and back of the part (perhaps it holds it in place better? I'm honestly not sure why this seems to improve quality). It also completely eliminates an effect known as "elephant's foot" which, while not particularly prominent on the Mini Indigo as compared to some other 3D printed parts, was slightly noticeable on some units.
Along with these improvements however, printing with a raft does have one downside, which is a less smooth bottom layer. This is because, in order to allow for separation once the print is complete, the bottom layer of the part has to be printed a short distance above the top layer of the raft, somewhat reducing the smoothness of the top and bottom of the Mini Indigo. While not nearly as bad as the asymmetrical, messy, warped parts sometimes produced by failed brim prints (these were, of course, discarded), it does produce a top which is less smooth than a (rare) completely successful brim print. Here's a picture of two units made using a raft (sorry for the awful lighting).
As you can see, the difference is there, but in my opinion this is easily worth it for the MANY improvements listed before. While I would love for every Mini Indigo print with a brim to work properly, it is simply not a reality right now, and the raft provides an excellent and far more reliable alternative option with minimal impact on the finished product.
As always, the Mini Indigo is available for sale at http://dodoid.net/indigo