The CAD Duke, the CAD!

A project log for Hello Double Bell Clock

Like the hello world of Hackaday, I'm building a clock.

Andrew CooneyAndrew Cooney 04/29/2020 at 14:050 Comments

For the first time in over 10 years I took a crack at some 3D CAD.  The FreeCAD startup picture is now my spirit object (since it's not an animal).  I very much enjoyed the dive back into 3D CAD, and I chose FreeCAD because of its cost and feature set.  The user interface also felt very familiar as I first trained on SolidWorks.  Below is a picture of the final assembly:

Things I learned from doing this and building some of the earlier prototypes:

  1. You have to make wiring allotment, especially on the horizontal segments where the wires would end up hitting the other LED strips.
  2. Measure twice print once.  I had a failed print (shown below) where if I had measured again I would have realized I made a huge error.
  3. FreeCAD assembly options aren't great, but A2plus was good enough for my objectives.
  4. If you're printing a clearance fit, actually put some clearance in there.  I made a few parts line to line and it made assembly difficult.  A nice side effect: the fits ended up being press-fit like and they stayed together with minimal tape or adhesive.

I've also never 3D printed anything before, so that was fun.  I had two failed prints, and the reasons were quite funny.

  1. I build a part that needed a lot of support and then I didn't load the support extruder (oops).
  2. I should have double checked some measurements as I failed big time there.

Also since I had some success, here are the pieces I'm ready to use as is, and I'm super excited to do some assembly.

Anyway I now have all this posted on the Github page.  I still need to print the support pieces that lock it into the housing, but after that it's wire, reprogram, and enjoy.