Poker Chip Tubes (3D printed)

Nex

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I've fallen behind on demo prints. Had an annoying issue with my printer that was very hard to track down because the exact same error pattern is usually caused by something other than what it actually was. Wasted a good amount of filament (and time) with a lot of test prints until I found out I was on the completely wrong path with my attempts of fixing it. But well - another thing learned now.

Busting out all the different colored filament I have, and mixing and matching, I made nice themed individual tubes for the samples of my three CPC sets. I felt all like playing with the CPC Chip Design Tool again :)

DSC_4048r=2048t.jpg

Club Hel, 15 chip capacity
Paradise LA, 8 chip capacity
Horseshoe Cardroom, 10 chip capacity

Some more filament wasted while optimizing on the print settings for the 4th and last brand of filament I have (transparent yellow). Now the results have a reasonable fit, but there's still headroom. It is much more frustrating than with the other brands I use... this stuff does not forgive even just slightly too high temperature it seems. And the worst is, you don't see that the material expands just a tiny bit as there is no elephant foot effect at the bottom - you only find out when you take the finished print and it doesn't fit :mad:

I still have to conduct a little more testing, remake a few parts and print some new ones... and likely tomorrow, I'll receive a couple more filament spools and samples in new colors :)
 
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Nex

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And more throwbacks.

Wasted well over three hours with trying to save my printer's nozzle after it got clogged by (apparently) filament contaminated with foreign particles. No chance, had to replace it.

Fortunately you can get the nozzles in bulk very cheap if you buy unbranded ones... but the spool of filament I can probably throw into the trash. :tdown:

And potentially up to three more spools as well - although I'm not quite sure yet. I thought I had the old nozzle unclogged at one point, filament was flowing easily again, so I loaded a new spool and started printing. A minute or two into it, nozzle was clogged again. It's possible that the other filament is contaminated as well, but it's also entirely possible that it is fine and I simply didn't remove the clog completely but merely pushed it up in the hotend, where it was then pushed back down by the new filament.

So, no solid blue filament now. Possibly no solid light orange, solid yellow and solid lavender either.

I'll have to repeat tests with the other three spools, and then order whatever was contaminated from a different shop that has more expensive but higher-quality filament. Sadly they have no lavender, only purple, and their orange is a very saturated neon color like the spool of Prusa Orange I already have.
 

WedgeRock

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And more throwbacks.

Wasted well over three hours with trying to save my printer's nozzle after it got clogged by (apparently) filament contaminated with foreign particles. No chance, had to replace it.

Fortunately you can get the nozzles in bulk very cheap if you buy unbranded ones... but the spool of filament I can probably throw into the trash. :tdown:

And potentially up to three more spools as well - although I'm not quite sure yet. I thought I had the old nozzle unclogged at one point, filament was flowing easily again, so I loaded a new spool and started printing. A minute or two into it, nozzle was clogged again. It's possible that the other filament is contaminated as well, but it's also entirely possible that it is fine and I simply didn't remove the clog completely but merely pushed it up in the hotend, where it was then pushed back down by the new filament.

So, no solid blue filament now. Possibly no solid light orange, solid yellow and solid lavender either.

I'll have to repeat tests with the other three spools, and then order whatever was contaminated from a different shop that has more expensive but higher-quality filament. Sadly they have no lavender, only purple, and their orange is a very saturated neon color like the spool of Prusa Orange I already have.
English only at the table, sir.
 

Nex

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English only at the table, sir.
:p

Update: At least the other three spools turned out to be fine.

However, I managed to break my printer yet again... accidentally damaged the threading of the heat block. First, goop started to leak out... and now, after disassembling and reassembling the whole hotend, I can't even tighten the nozzle to the block anymore, it just falls out halfway :mad: Must have used too much force when screwing it in in last time.

Of course I have one replacement of just about any part of the printer that could possibly be subject to wear at home... except for the damn heat block. (And heatbreak, but I can probably reuse that)

At least one week of forced downtime until the replacement parts arrive.
This time I'm ordering two of each to have a backup handy should it ever happen again.

Anyway, due to the leaking I ended up with a couple of transparent tubes that were color-contaminated, and I've found some odd old plastic bomb chips. I will conduct some drop tests soon. On side, on cap, and 45deg angled. First with the cheapo chips, just to see if maybe the whole tube breaks. It's a nice choice for a stress test since the metal slug chips weigh more and hence the forces at work will be significantly greater than with lighter chips.
If it holds, I'll test another fresh tube with CPC sample chips.
 

Nex

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Printer repaired and back up and running since Thursday. I've finished printing all the demo objects I wanted over the weekend.
Also made a test print of tube and caps with PLA plastic. Mechanically it sort of works, but I wouldn't want to give any guarantees on durability.

New pics below and from recent posts coming to OP shortly.

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BarrieJ3

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Man, this is almost annoyingly awesome! @Nex you take this to a while other level.

Between the sets you’ve created and these types of extras, I’m floored.
 
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Nex

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OP updated.

Still have the drop tests on my to-do list, as well as a proof of concept for tournament seating inserts for tube caps.
 

JeepologyOffroad

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Beautiful work. Very nicely done. Hope to get my hands on some of these one day.
 
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Nex

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With my last order of replacement parts for my printer, I also picked up one of those PEI powder-coated spring steel sheets that Prusa makes as an alternative to the smooth sheets.

Much harder to get filament to stick to it, but the texture looks absolutely gorgeous on solid color tube caps.

Still working on tweaking my print temperature settings for all the different filament brands I use for this textured sheet (needs much higher print bed temperature).

DSC_4099r=2048t.jpg
 

Nex

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I might have been a tiny bit bored lately...

Adjusted tube dimensions to hold Euro coins and rolled up bills up to €50. The inner diameter is just enough to perfectly fit the coins, so it's either coins or bills but not both at the same time.

The tube wall has the same thickness as its big brother but the rails as well as the caps are a bit thinner. Hence lower filament consumption and shorter print times. Tube center: 2h 30m, both caps: 30m. It will fit roughly 32 coins, potentially one or two more depending on which denominations you take, as they all have slightly varying thicknesses.

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Nex

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Made a test print of a 43mm chip tube just to see if everything is okay with my parametric design in the other direction as well.
Other than a warped edge of one of the caps - which came from me being lazy and not properly cleaning the print bed - it works perfectly.

Only thing I noticed was the loose fit in comparison with my 39mm design. Turns out though that my 39mm CPCs aren't actually 39mm but more like 39.7 in diameter, while those Paulson 43mm are a perfect 43.0. The fit is not too loose though as to reduce usability or protection in a significant way, so I'll leave it as it is.

DSC_4431r=2048t.jpg
 

Nex

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Picked up a couple new filament colors - among others, woodfill.
I am surprised I didn't get some of this stuff earlier to try out. Absolutely awesome results!

Essentially this is PLA plastic mixed with (a large amount of) very fine-grained wood dust. Occasionally clogs the printer nozzle, but not that bad that you couldn't fix it with a needle. Has a tasty maple syrup smell when it's being printed :)

Due to the high wood dust content, you can actually do a lot of postprocessing on the printed parts that you could also do to real wood workpieces, like sanding and staining. The material doesn't soak up that much like real wood so staining is a bit tricky, but absolutely doable.

Check out this mahogany "wood" chip tube. Sanded but unstained XYZ calibration cube for comparison.
Walnut and beech stain is already on the way.

DSC_4563r=2048t.jpg


(I admit I have to work on my staining skills, but I think it still nicely shows what's possible.)
 

Nex

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If I also had to battle the printer itself alongside finding out what I managed to fuck up again to make the printer stop working - in the vast majority of cases so far it was my own fault! - I might very well have given up very early after getting the printer. Luckily, I decided against testing the waters of 3D printing as cheap as possible and went with something more expensive that was said to be of solid quality, very reliable and (comparatively) pleasant to work with.

In my youth, I face planted it numerous times when going cheap to try out a new hobby. It was purely born from necessity as I didn't have much cash back then, but anyway. The cheap stuff I bought always drained my energy fighting with it to make it work like it should, which in turn left me with no energy to actually dive into the hobby I wanted to try. My lesson from that was to rather spend more money on the initial equipment, even if that means that I can't try as many different things as I maybe wanted to. I have fared very well with that attitude.

The Creality Ender 3 was actually the very first printer I initially eyed - before eventually choosing to take the Prusa i3 MK3 kit instead (which is now a MK3S).

It appears to me that 3D printing is just on the brink of becoming easy enough to do that the masses might jump on the bandwagon. A few manufacturers, of course towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, have refined their machines just about enough that the most annoying hassles are being taken care of automatically so that the user can focus on the actual job. Many other manufacturers (the chinese i3 copycat legion among them) still haven't caught up.

But I should add - even my Prusa still takes enough work to keep it going, and it's easy enough to break it. I've spent a couple hundred bucks on replacement parts for stuff I've screwed up already, although that figure includes spares I still have, and I have a feeling that I've probably made the vast majority of the most common mistakes one can make by now.
 
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Nex

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Been a while since I last did any poker chip related 3D printing...

Received my Prusa Mini on Saturday after four months of waiting. Seems like a nice compact backup printer but it's pretty fiddly to handle in comparison with my i3. I had ordered another one for my dad and he's absolutely thrilled to be able to design and print stuff all by himself now :)

Calibration was surprisingly fast, but I guess that's merely because I already have made the necessary painstaking experiences on my i3. Printed a tiny 10 chip tube for a shuffle stack, pretty good fit right after first round of calibration. Firmware still a little buggy and lacking some QoL features that are already present in the version for the i3 model.

---

I'm still not in the mood of resuming work on my models after accidentally (because of my own stupidity) having screwed up the RAID system on my NAS that contained (nearly) all my files early in January... of course without having a backup :banghead:

The data should still all be there, nothing deleted or overwritten, it's just a matter of making sense of the jumbled blocks. But of course you have to find someone who is skilled enough to do exactly that. Hard disks are with a data recovery company since a month or so and I'm anxiously waiting for them to inform me about the results of their recovery attempts. Need to get this shit sorted before my mind can rest and then focus on other things again.

Already learned my lesson and bought additional hardware so I can keep two backups (onsite and offsite) of the main data in the future. Sadly too late to avoid paying dearly for it...

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One Eyed Dollar

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I'm still not in the mood of resuming work on my models after accidentally (because of my own stupidity) having screwed up the RAID system on my NAS that contained (nearly) all my files early in January... of course without having a backup :banghead:
Ouch! I hope they can recover everything. I need to get my backup sorted out. I replaced my old 2-bay Synology with a 4-bay, and I'm planning to use the 2-bay as an offsite backup for my photos mostly, and stop paying for Amazon backup. I haven't gotten it configured yet though.

Good luck with the Mini! Looks very cool!
 

Nex

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They already got as far as being able to get access to the file metadata / file names and folder structure, as well as the raw file data, just both separately. The challenge is to re-associate the file's metadata with the correct file contents, as the data pointers in the former need to be translated somehow to point to the actual location.

They also already have everything down to perform a raw recovery, but that's not of much use for nearly 12 terabytes of data. It would probably take me years to check all the file contents and trying to find the original name and location to each. Hundreds of thousands of files in total, and for many of them downright impossible. But it does confirm me that all the necessary data for a full recovery is there. The algorithm to translate the data addresses must be possible to reverse-engineer from the source code of the software RAID management driver.

---

The Mini still has a relatively long way to reach the degree of maturity the i3 already has, in my opinion.

i3 definitely will stay my go-to printer for now, also because filament loading and unloading is so much less of a hassle with the direct drive extruder. But apart from that, the Mini turned out to be easy to set up and calibrate, spitting out results of equally high quality, in a few niches even a little higher.

If I want to do some prototyping but still need to produce other stuff, the Mini is a great choice for the latter at this time already.

Perhaps, once Prusa has gotten rid of the most annoying bugs and brought all the features of the i3 firmware to the Mini, I might reconsider regarding prototyping. But for now the i3 definitely is the better pick for playing around. Easier maintenance all around.
 

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If the delivery time wasn’t so long I was considering a mini to print some of my smaller stuff and keep the i3 going on the bigger stuff. But waiting till July or whatever it’s at now is tough. I do want more XL info though
 

Nex

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Yup, I'm also waiting for more info on the XL. If they pack dual extruders into it, I'm sold.

The MMU kit for the i3 is shit. Bought it, tried it, dismounted it. Takes huge amounts of time for all the color changes, wastes material and build volume. And if you want to use materials with different melting temps you're completely fucked. No bueno. Definitely cannot take shortcuts here, you really need to have separate hotends for each material if you want it to work well.

That thing might replace my i3, depending on how easy maintenance is on the XL.
 

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I have no use for dual extruders but if it doesn’t hurt the travels then it’s not a bad option

best MMU use seems like for water soluble supports
 

Nex

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That's the first thing I tried (would have been my main application for it) and what failed miserably for me - exactly because it's two very different materials. I've tried PETG in combination both with PVA+ and with BOVH. Some material simply wouldn't stick and produce a complete mess, ruining every single print early on.

Extruder head travel is fairly fast. Even if having two independent extruder heads cripples the motion options a bit when I'm not making use of dual extrusion, it won't be remotely as much a performance hit on print time as the filament unload/reload/purge cycles with the MMU system. And then, IDEX is not the only way to do it. They could also put both extruders into the same carriage and add a nozzle lifting system.

Both technologies are already on the market, and both appear to work pretty well. Just the machines they are currently built into are pretty expensive, very bulky and weigh a ton. The Raise3D machines take like two people to lift them.
 

Nex

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Update on the data recovery frontline. A bit off topic, but I gotta vent, and I already dropped some info on what has happened in here before.

After three weeks of total radio silence, they informed me that they managed to associate the file and folder structure with the actual data. They gave me a file list and all, also had their technician show me around the state of things on his work system via screen sharing. He gave me some samples, opened random files and everything appears to be good. No corrupt data.

Since then I've been waiting for them to receive an external hard disk from their supplier that is large enough to take all the files to be recovered (12 TB) because they only had max 4 TB drives lying around and would have had to split them up.

Now FINALLY after yet more radio silence - with some emails from me staying completely unanswered -, they sent a message on thursday last week claiming they meanwhile got the disk and the copying process was halfway done, and on monday they shipped the hard drives. With some luck they'll arrive tomorrow, otherwise early next week - three and a half months after I originally lost access.

I will be so relieved when this crap is over...
Piss poor communication but in the end what counts is that I get my files back.

This lesson in "keep a fucking backup if your files are important to you" will have cost me about €4100. (Buying the hardware for backups NOT included - only the recovery service.)

Do not repeat my mistake, guys. Buying the extra hardware to keep just one more simple copy of your stuff is much cheaper than paying a data recovery company. Not counting the horrible feeling of not knowing if you can even get your files back, especially over such a long time span. I had luck in that I knew the data couldn't be corrupt or at least could be repaired because I had a RAID system and nothing was overwritten, but if a simple standalone hard drive fails, chances are some data will be irrecoverably lost. Save yourself the torture!

---

During all this waiting, I've been working on setting up all the new hard- and software I've bought to have a solid backup concept. I've also bought yet more hardware for backups since my last update.

Backup strategy has been expanded to 3-2-1 (three copies total, two onsite and one offsite).

Also now covers backups of my machines (two notebooks, two desktops, one server), totalling over 9 TB if all the internal drives were 100% full. Previously I had some external hard drives where the notebooks and one of the desktops could write a backup to, although the desktop never was fully backed up (only system drive) and in general I was too lazy to plug the disk in regularly for all of them.

Main copy of my file archive will sit on the new Synology DS1819+ which I bought first. Filled it with eight 4 TB Seagate IronWolf drives in RAID 5 for 28 TB of effective capacity.

My existing file archive is around 12 TB and in the meantime I've gathered another 4 TB worth of data, so I'll be starting off with 12 TB remaining capacity once I'm done reintegrating the recovered files. I expect this will last me for at least 4-5 more years when I plan to preemptively replace the drives in this NAS anyway. With 4 TB over just a couple months this may sound overly optimistic, but this was an exception. Usually, I stay well below the 200 GB/month average I'd have to sustain to fill this up within five years.

I went from RAID 6 down to RAID 5 because I am now distributing the risk. An array crash before rebuild is done is no longer catastrophic as I still have two backups. Say one drive dies in the main NAS. The files are still accessible, but vulnerable. Any more drives failing loses all data in the array. But the level two copy residing on the other NAS is at most a week old, and it should be very rare that the volume of files changed since would be larger than a few hundred gigabytes. So basically the other drives only need to survive maybe one or two more hours until the changes since the last backup are copied. Even in the horrible case that another drive dies within that little time frame, I lose a week worth of data max.

Onsite backup (level two) is split on two devices.

My old 8-bay NAS is half filled with 8 TB shucked WD white labels (HGST Ultrastar enterprise grade drives according to R/N on them) with no parity, and hold the level two backup of the file archive. This NAS will only start up once a week for a backup update, so the drives shouldn't clock many power-on hours.

And then for the machine backups I bought a small 2-bay NAS. That NAS is also scheduled to boot once per week, and shuts down automatically after a certain amount of time has passed without any activity.

Offsite backup (level three) goes on a bunch of crappy SMR external hard drives, some in an enclosure, some without - I have HDD docks. Everything encrypted so I could also hand these to someone else to keep for me in theory. I plan to update these once a month, more rarely if there were no significant changes, and occasionally bringing them in earlier for an update if important data came in recently. Will set up a recurring calendar event so all my devices will keep nagging me so I don't forget.

All the drives go into a padded Pelican case (the bare drives wrapped in antistatic foil) and said case will be stored in the cellar. I chose Pelican not just for the padding but also for the waterproof aspect - that cellar once got flooded because of a broken pipe...

Due to the construction conditions here it should be nearly impossible that both the flat and the cellar are in some way destroyed at the same time, so this way should be just as good as storing the case in an actual remote location.

The only vulnerable time frame is when I connect the level three backups for updating, then all the data is in the same location. For starters I plan to only run the backups while me or someone else is home. Later down the road I'll go with two offsite backups and alternating the set of disks brought into the flat to update.

Some in-progress pics...

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Top: Main archive, bottom: level two backup

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Level two machine backups

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Level three offsite backups in Pelican 1500 case. Nameplate is 3D printed with two colors.
 

ReppyDysfunc

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Very cool. I have given making chip trays a attempt a couple times and have never done a good job at it. These are very cool!
 
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