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Thread: 3D Printing for Vintage Computers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Default 3D Printing for Vintage Computers

    So, I was inspired by the TM100 thread about a 3D printed part for keeping our old Tandon drives functioning and thought it would be a great thread for folks in the Vintage/Retro community who also have/use 3D Printers as part of their 'arsenal' to discuss the topic and specifically what kinds of parts they've made. I've actually created a number of parts, not just for the retro computers but parts that attach to my retro computer shelving to help out. Anyway, I'm not sure where we can go with this but I thought it would be interesting to exchange what things we've made and our successes or pitfalls.

    Personally, I have an ANET A8 3D Printer - the "super dangerous" (if not fixed) but super cheap 3d Printer. Here are a few applicable things i've printed:

    SIO Connector (for my Atari 800). SIO cables are a bit pricey to come by nowadays, especially if you plan to hack one up to build a SIO2USB device. I felt a lot less guilty about just making the connector then cutting up one I had (especially since the Atari 800 Modem was a possible donor..haha). https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1831769

    Atari ST Gotek Mount. Not much to explain here, but you definitely need it if you're going to mount your Gotek inside your ST (especially when mounting it outside of my ST was a total failure... Hah!) https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2664753

    Amiga 3000 SCSI2SD Mount - I hate to list this, this particular model is kinda crappy and was never validated. Holes don't line up. But, it worked for what it needed to do (basically let me put the SCSI2SD into the Amiga case without shorting anything out...). https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3089991

    Commodore 64 Case Clips. Okay, anyone who owns a C64 probably has a few of these broken on their cases. I'm not a huge fan of this particular clasp, I think it could stand at least one improvement where it has some identifier so you know where to stick it onto the case, but beggers can't be choosers. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2984324

    RS232 Wifi Device - So I'm not sure if I stumbled across this box, or the related article (in the description), first. But it worked out great. You can spend about $8-$20 for the parts and this comes in handy with most of our retro computers if you want to do a bit of telneting. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2923619

    There are a few other things i've made that I had to design myself for my own needs, like a box for my custom C64 power supply and some case standoffs for the front case of my PS/1 that were broken. Probably a few other things I can't recall.

    Anyway, it would be great to hear from others about what they have and what they've made..
    -- Brian

    Working Systems: Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA
    Project Systems: Amstrad PCW 8256, Kaypro 2/84 (Bad Chips: 81-194, 81-189).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Northfield, MN USA
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    Default

    I've made a couple SCSI2SD mounts for various pieces of gear.

    Still getting to know my printers before I do anything more complicated. I've got a Makerbot 2X from a generous friend, and an Ender 3 I picked up cheap on CL.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    Default

    I can certainly think of a few things I'd like to try to print, such as shrouds for 62-pin PLUS connectors (damn you Tandy for not using a riser card in the EX/HX!), and new forks to fix my old N64 controller analogue sticks! Among the things that I want to get myself in the next couple of years is a half-decent (but not too expensive) desktop 3D printer.
    My vintage systems: Tandy 1000 HX, Tandy 1000 RSX, and some random Pentium in a Hewitt Rand chassis...

    Some people keep a classic car in their garage. Some people keep vintage computers. The latter hobby is cheaper, usually takes less space, and is less likely to lead to a fatal accident.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2018
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScutBoy View Post
    I've made a couple SCSI2SD mounts for various pieces of gear.

    Still getting to know my printers before I do anything more complicated. I've got a Makerbot 2X from a generous friend, and an Ender 3 I picked up cheap on CL.
    I have a friend who has a Creality (not the ender 3 though) and really likes it. He's also printed the SCSI2SD mount on it and it came out really well.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackepyon View Post
    I can certainly think of a few things I'd like to try to print, such as shrouds for 62-pin PLUS connectors (damn you Tandy for not using a riser card in the EX/HX!), and new forks to fix my old N64 controller analogue sticks! Among the things that I want to get myself in the next couple of years is a half-decent (but not too expensive) desktop 3D printer.
    I've actually wanted to build one of those competition pro joysticks. 3D printers aren't really that expensive anymore, but they aren't for the feint of heart and the less you spend the more effort you'll have to put into them to get to the point where they do quality prints. When I got mine, that was actually the intention. I was fine spending less since I wanted the learning experience of building one myself from a kit and understanding all the ins-and-outs of the printer. However, because the printer has a bit of limitations initially, this also requires flashing a better firmware and printing additional parts to improve the usability and print quality. I have a number of parts on my printer that were printed from the printer itself. For me, I learn best that way but there are times where you can certainly get frustrated and so spending a little more money on a makerbot or just a better non-kit 3d printer might be a better option for most people. Also, be aware of the various build sizes a printer can do. Look at the size of some of the prints and make sure the printer you buy can do them. I see some great deals on some small monoprice printers but they have relatively small build volumes which are good for many 'parts' but will limit you with larger things you can build. I also wouldn't worry about picking the right or best 3d printer, they all can essentially do 90% of anything you would want to do it's just about the speed and quality of the print and your effort and in many cases you can improve the printer yourself (except the bed size, so that's the important one). For instance, my printer was super generic and had some known issues. I ended up printing a new mainboard case, adding a raspberry pi to provide OctoPrint capability, fixing a few safety issues, adding automatic bed leveling, etc.)

    Photo of the one I have attached, which works pretty well for me now, but I honestly wouldn't recommend it as the difficulty level is pretty high.

    IMG_20190313_001323.jpg
    -- Brian

    Working Systems: Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA
    Project Systems: Amstrad PCW 8256, Kaypro 2/84 (Bad Chips: 81-194, 81-189).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    I'm usually pretty good at taking things apart and modifying them, or building things from scratch so long as I have or can find the necessary tools. If I can save money by doing something myself, I'll almost always take that option.

    I'd definitely go with a kit printer, just not one of those cheap "pylons." A friend bought himself one of those for making DnD models, and wasn't too impressed with the resolution.

    The Creality Ender 3 seems to give a decent print quality with a few tweaks. The CR-10 seems not too bad, but is a bit more expensive. From what I'm hearing, a lot of what you do when you get a kit 3-D printer is fine tweaking and making modifications for it.
    My vintage systems: Tandy 1000 HX, Tandy 1000 RSX, and some random Pentium in a Hewitt Rand chassis...

    Some people keep a classic car in their garage. Some people keep vintage computers. The latter hobby is cheaper, usually takes less space, and is less likely to lead to a fatal accident.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackepyon View Post
    I'm usually pretty good at taking things apart and modifying them, or building things from scratch so long as I have or can find the necessary tools. If I can save money by doing something myself, I'll almost always take that option.

    I'd definitely go with a kit printer, just not one of those cheap "pylons." A friend bought himself one of those for making DnD models, and wasn't too impressed with the resolution.

    The Creality Ender 3 seems to give a decent print quality with a few tweaks. The CR-10 seems not too bad, but is a bit more expensive. From what I'm hearing, a lot of what you do when you get a kit 3-D printer is fine tweaking and making modifications for it.
    Yup, the prusa i3 style clones (which the creality and my anet are among) are the best way to go if you're trying to get decent quality at an affordable price. Plus, because it's an open source type standard printer (which is why everyone clones that style), you have lots of options for upgrades both the ones you build yourself as well as the parts online. I had some upgrades that didn't go so well (like I tried to switch my printer to a bowden mount like the creaity's use and it was an utter failure so i reverted back), but most helped with ease of use and quality of prints. My friend uses a CR-10 and has been very happy with it. He certainly didn't have to go through nearly as much effort as I did so it was probably a wise purchase. Of course, it cost about $100 more than mine. It looks like the ender 3 is very similar to the CR-10 so probably a great first printer.

    Anyway, yeah, no need to wait a few years or you'll just keep waiting forever. Set up a slickdeals alert and spring for one when you get the chance. We need more retro folks using these and 'eventually' making models for replacement parts.
    -- Brian

    Working Systems: Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA
    Project Systems: Amstrad PCW 8256, Kaypro 2/84 (Bad Chips: 81-194, 81-189).

  7. #7

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    I have access to a Dremel 3D45 but I currently don't have the time to design anything but if anyone has designs and can send me some jingle I can run them off for you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    East Coast USA
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    I have a cheap XYZ davinci JR with an upgraded extruder. But the trick for me was getting a high quality Matter and Form 3D laser scanner. I print stupid crap all the time like Apple Pencil holders, and gears for my video equipment focus follow. For vintage computing I have printed stuff like the stupid clip that holds then felt pad on a Mac 400k disk drive. Small gears I can make the model using the scanner but have to send them out for printing on a high end printer. affordable home 3D printers cant really do a good job yet on the small gears in disk drives.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corey986 View Post
    I have a cheap XYZ davinci JR with an upgraded extruder. Small gears I can make the model using the scanner but have to send them out for printing on a high end printer. affordable home 3D printers cant really do a good job yet on the small gears in disk drives.
    I really like the size of the davinci printers but I don't like that they take their own propriety filament reals. Kinda copying the whole inkjet printer philosophy.

    True about the gears. The smallest most precise thing I've made was a part for a Moen faucet and that took a few tries with the right filament that wouldn't break.

    Just made another gotek mount that I'm going to put into my amstrad pcw. If nothing else, I'm getting my money's worth on gotek mounts.
    -- Brian

    Working Systems: Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA
    Project Systems: Amstrad PCW 8256, Kaypro 2/84 (Bad Chips: 81-194, 81-189).

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