3D Printing and RVing

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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
I was at a State Park one summer not long ago when a fellow Newmar Ventana owner showed me something he made out of a block of wood that he inserted into the gen compartment latch release pull handle in the left front compartment that holds the handle out as often we pull the handle and the gen compartment door doesn't spring out and unlock. I thought that was a cool idea so I texted a picture to @Chuggs and low and behold Charlie had an even better idea and sent me one of his brilliant designs:


From here I knew I had to check this 3D printing thing out. I had heard about it for years but thought it must be some business thing as it sounds really expensive and not something a home user would do. I was wrong, at least not in 2018 which I think is when I got into 3D printing. RVing is begging for 3D printing as there is so much to create for storage, hooks, containers, mounts, brackets, the list goes on and on and on. My college degree was in Mechanical Engineering where CAD was a part of it so I figured why not humiliate myself in proving that I don't remember anything from way back then in the black & white era.

3D printing is the simple part, it's essentially a contraption that's like a sewing machine that heats up and melts 1.75mm plastic line from a spool and builds up layer by layer on a heated platform. The layers build up the shape until complete. Software programs take your design and convert it into the format for 3D printers. The hardest part is the design work and there are basic programs to do the job to full on CAD/CAM software just like is used to design the parts for cars, planes, everything.

I started with Tinkercad as it seemed very easy and has tutorials. I knew I wanted to take it to the next level so I then moved on to a program called AutoDesk Fusion 360 which is FREE to home users and business startups. Lots of great YouTube videos to get you started and of course a forum community to get help. Little by little you'll learn, export your design to a .STL file, that .STL file goes into a program such as PrusaSlicer which converts it to a gcode file that the 3D printer uses for its instructions to lay down the plastic.

3D filament comes in various types depending on the use. Also many colors available. Filaments and anything 3D printing is available on Amazon.

I have two 3D printers, the one I highly recommend is the Prusa i3 MK3 and I take it along with me in the RV and print should I need or just want to play.

It has been a lot of fun and it's a great little hobby not to only create something useful but also to just get your mind off of things. I have an Amazon Echo Show 5 I have under mounted below the bedroom TV and I designed a mount which has become very popular on Thingiverse with over 1500 downloads now and growing around 100 downloads a day.

I've printed a ton of things, some are my designs, some are other designs as you can download things from various sites such as Thingiverse. Some of my favorite or most useful things are:
  • @Chuggs generator pull handle block
  • Containers for my pantry sliders to allow storage to the full height of the drawer above
  • Echo Show 5 mount for bedroom
  • Hooks for coffee mugs over dish storage area
  • Organizer for my desk that holds remotes, AirPods, Gum, Pens, Flashlight
  • Mounts for SeeLevel, Sani-con, and Drainmaster controls
  • Candy Jars for Lifesavers
  • Wet bay port cover that covers around the sani-con hose
  • New bezel for my dash radio
  • Water filter support block
  • More at NealC's Thingiverse Profile
You can get into 3D printing at relatively low cost as 3D printers range from under $100 to very expensive. Give it a try! It's fun and very useful in the RV life.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
185
Location
West Palm Beach Fl
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4369
RV Length
44
TOW/TOAD
Buick Enclave
Great write up. The Echo show holder is a great idea. Some guy on the internet borrowed the design and is selling on eBay. 4D557E3C-EF40-43E1-970D-997BB9A190E3.jpeg
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Wow, I see that is the case. Amazing!
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
280
Location
Rockville, Va.
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Canyon Star 3710
RV Length
38
TOW/TOAD
2017 Gmc Terrain & 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR-2
Dang! You guys are talented!(y)
I have trouble coloring & staying in the lines!🖍
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
I've been chasing down these goons that stole my work and are selling on eBay. I actually considered having this mass produced and sell on Amazon but I don't have the know how or time right now.

eBay did tell me that anyone that bought one from an eBay seller will be subject to washing and waxing my RV :p
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
171
Location
Naples, FL
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3341
RV Length
34’
TOW/TOAD
2016 Cadillac SRX
@Neal Reading your many posts is very interesting...however, you've been known to get some of us into areas we don't belong. As a direct result of this thread, I'm about to jump into 3D printing. I've installed Fusion 360, watched hours of videos, ordered a reference book and am starting to feel confident enough with Fusion 360 to take the next step...the Prusa i3 MK3. My inclination is to buy the kit and build it vs the assembled model.

Questions: Are you still happy with the Prusa i3 MK3? Did you buy the kit or assembled unit...would you do it again? Any other current advice?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Haha, I know how to hide, don't you worry! I absolutely love and swear by the Prusa i3 MK3 (S is now the latest). The MMU2S I added and it's been extremely frustrating, I would avoid that for now. Assembled vs. not. Assembling it will teach you much more about it as you WILL have to disassemble something and fix things, clear clogs, etc. so this will help you learn. Their instructions are outstanding. I opted for the assembled version, I took it out of the box and it was ready to print. @redbaron assembled his so he may be able to provide better feedback on that front.

You will love it, you'll get addicted, apologies in advance. This is the best series, I have only watched some but LARS is amazing:

 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
171
Location
Naples, FL
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3341
RV Length
34’
TOW/TOAD
2016 Cadillac SRX
Okay @redbaron, kit or assembled? Again, my inclination is to assemble...what are your thoughts after going thru the assembly process?

Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
171
Location
Naples, FL
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3341
RV Length
34’
TOW/TOAD
2016 Cadillac SRX
Haha, I know how to hide, don't you worry! I absolutely love and swear by the Prusa i3 MK3 (S is now the latest). The MMU2S I added and it's been extremely frustrating, I would avoid that for now. Assembled vs. not. Assembling it will teach you much more about it as you WILL have to disassemble something and fix things, clear clogs, etc. so this will help you learn. Their instructions are outstanding. I opted for the assembled version, I took it out of the box and it was ready to print. @redbaron assembled his so he may be able to provide better feedback on that front.

You will love it, you'll get addicted, apologies in advance. This is the best series, I have only watched some but LARS is amazing:


Thanks Neal...Yes, I also enjoyed the Lars' videos that I watched.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
It's really basic, it's all just squares, circles, extruding. You'll do the most basic stuff then build on that. I wish I could really harness Fusion 360 and will continue to watch videos, I absolutely love doing the CAD then printing. I take my Prusa in the coach with me and keep filament under the bed and print all the time. I think my printer printed non stop for months, so much stuff to do, so many ideas, and the RV is ideal for it.

There are two types of metal sheets to print on that Prusa offers, get BOTH. The coated sheet is amazing as it requires no prep to help adhesion but it doesn't work good in the RV due to the air conditioners, etc. - I cover it with a towel to help. I got mine with the uncoated sheet (steel PEI I think it's called) as they were still working out the kinks on the new coated one and they sell out so fast. Prusa is so popular, prepare to wait! For the non coated sheet you'll want to prep it with hairspray - yes hairspray, it helps with adhesion. This is the one that's recommended:

Amazon.com: Aqua Net Professional Hair Spray Extra Super Hold 3 Fresh Scent, 11 Oz: Health & Personal Care

I ordered 2-3 as they are hard to get, I'll have spares should I need ever:


The regular one which I use hairspray on:


Prusa's filament is the best, prusament, etc. It's expensive due to the shipping so when they run deals that's the time to get it such as free shipping offers over $200 etc. Otherwise AmazonBasics is good as well as Hatchbox. PLA, PETG, ABS are the typical ones, I'm trying out Prusa's new invention of ASA I think it's called.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
468
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutchstar 4369
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crewcab / 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
I did assemble my MK3S, and later assembled and installed my MMU2S. At the same time, I built the Prusa Printer Enclosure V2 - with MMU2S support.

As @Neal mentioned, the MMU2 has been the source of great frustration. I may end up going back to the original setup, but for now, I am learning what to adjust and trying to deal with it.

Printing the parts for the lack table prior to the "upgrade" to MMU2S, I went thru 10 spool changes without a single hiccup.

The same is not true with MMU2S yet. I have struggled with every change, and when the spool gets near the end, it wants to catch.

Part of this is due to the angles with the lack table. Part is due to the MMU2S.

As of now, I would recommend the MK3S, unassembled. You will learn a lot about the leveling and components by building it.

Plan on 8 hours to build the MK3s. I did this over a week, spending a few hours a night working on it.

Once assembled, plan on 4 hours of tinkering to get a good first layer print, and then a few days of testing objects before you know its dialed in properly.

2019 DSDP 4369 * Active Air * NHSO
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
171
Location
Naples, FL
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3341
RV Length
34’
TOW/TOAD
2016 Cadillac SRX
Thanks @Neal & @redbaron for all your suggestions. I'll keep you posted on my progress.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
171
Location
Naples, FL
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3341
RV Length
34’
TOW/TOAD
2016 Cadillac SRX
@Neal ...yesterday, after MANY failed “First Layer Calibrations”, I was not very happy with you and this thread. However, things started to come together today and I have successfully printed a couple small test items! Things are looking up...:)
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
27
Neil, your post begs the question. Does anyone have a problem with pulling the generator release and not getting it to unlatch? I have that problem,tug all I want it stays locks. Crawl under the coach give it just a little pull from there and it pops right open. Not sure why the cable pull is not getting the tension it needs to unlock the generator slide.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
635
Location
No Where In Particular
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4369
RV Length
43’ 9”
TOW/TOAD
2016 Colorado
I think this is a common problem. I heard you can adjust and someone changed the spring. Mine works for now so I haven’t investigated this myself.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
@Neal ...yesterday, after MANY failed “First Layer Calibrations”, I was not very happy with you and this thread. However, things started to come together today and I have successfully printed a couple small test items! Things are looking up...:)

Haha, it takes time, the learning curve is steep! But it's fun, you'll get it. 1st layer calibrations are an art and they change depending on smooth or textured sheets if you got both. The desired result is a smooth piece of plastic and not ridged, it takes time. I suggest find some 1st layer calibration tests on Thingiverse.com so you have more time to play with the adjustment vs. the default one from Prusa although that's what I end up using now that I have it figured out. Remember this is a hobby thing so it's not science, it's someone invention in progress and they need TLC to work but it's fun to make things.

Neil, your post begs the question. Does anyone have a problem with pulling the generator release and not getting it to unlatch?

I think the latch pulls fine but the weight of the hood won't pop out enough to hold the open position. There are bumpers you can adjust be Newmar uses these more for alignment than a spring to keep flush with the left/right body around the hood.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
For the 3D printing nerds I finally added OctoPrint to my setup. I've had the raspberry pi b+ for probably a year now but as I've never worked with something like this I figured it would be painful to setup so I never did it. I was wrong, it was so easy to setup by downloading octopi, etcher, install the image to the drive, setup the network, done. Easier than that. There is a newer raspberry pi zero W out but that is NOT recommended from what I read so what I bought was the best option. I'll include links to that as well.

Parts:

Amazon.com: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (B Plus) Starter Kit (32 GB EVO+ Edition, Premium Black Case): Computers & Accessories

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ER2SKFS/?tag=rvf01-20

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JZKCCQH/?tag=rvf01-20

Thingiverse (other options available) camera mount:


YouTube video on setup, you'll stumble on more in your setup with some googling, add-ons for OctoPrint such as Anywhere and SpaghettiDetective

 
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