Winter is firmly upon us here in the UK and waking up to ice draped landscapes is common place. Unfortunately, this winter I found myself without an ice scraper for my windscreen. Rather than go out and buy one I thought it might be better to 3D print one. The benefits of doing so is that it costs nothing (other than the price of the filament) and I can design one to my specific requirements. So without any hesitation I leapt behind the computer for some 3D modelling.
I wanted a mini ice scrapper that could be attached to my car keys so that I would never forget where I left it. This meant my design had to be compacted and look aesthetically pleasing. I made sure that I kept the design simple. As you can see, it’s a very minimalist shape with a thickness of 5mm. I then added some holes into the design so as to reduce the amount of material that would be used to make it. All measurements were done by eye as I didn’t want this design to take too long.
After creating the design in my preferred CAD package (ProDesktop) I then exported it to my slicer (Cura). This is where some careful consideration is needed. For example, I used a layer height of 0.25mm in order for the total print time to be quite low, however, a lower layer height (0.1mm) would lead to a better front chamfer (the part which actually scrapes the ice). I selected an infill of 15% however, plastics such as PLA can become very brittle in the cold and therefore you might want a greater infill (perhaps 25%) to ensure strength and durability.
Printing took a total of 30 minutes but when I print this design again I think I will select a higher definition therefore leading to a slower print time. I used Sliver PLA filament because the colour is very nice but also subtle - perfect for a key ring. Incidentally, my nozzle temperature was 210 degree celsius and my bed temperature was 70 degrees celsius. Your printer will be different so I recommend playing around with your settings.
I am very happy with the final design. From my initial tests it seems that this ice scrapper works really well. I also think it looks great on a set of keys. It will always be useful and I think its pretty cool to be able to say that you have a 3D printed ice scraper.
My ice scraper design can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.thingiverse.com/EarlPrinter/designs
Please feel free to make your own and let me know how you get on.
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