For this project, I wanted to make something practical that I would actually be able to use on an everyday basis. It took me a while to come up with an idea, but it hit me as I was making some soup this weekend, when my kitchen sink drain clogged up because of some soup contents. Thus, I decided to make a strainer that could be placed in the sink, let the liquids run through it, yet catch any large pieces of food to avoid the drain getting clogged. I began with measuring my sink drain, and then went to the drawing (sketching) board.
I originally planned for just a stopper to completely stop anything from going down the drain, but wanted to make a strainer for additional use in still allowing liquids to go down the drain. The drain measured a diameter of 3.5 inches (88.9mm). I wanted a simple, circular design with a handle on top, so it would be easy to grab in the bottom of the sink, especially if the sink were to be full with soapy water from doing dishes, for example. Once I figured out some sketching, I went to Fusion 360 and hashed out the designs.
I decided to move forward with the strainer as the item to 3D print, because I thought it was more complex than the stopper, with its circular patterns that make the straining process work. I used the S3 3D printer, and it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, to say the least.
I think I went wrong by deciding to not add structural support when printing. I guess in my young mind, I thought that if the ring was printed first, it would work its way out to in, allowing the filament time to dry before wanting to fall — I was wrong. The filament went straight across the top and immediately fell down. Along the process, I think the printer got confused about where it was at, causing it to offset every time it went back over itself. I was going to let it finish out, but some other folks wanted to use the printer, and since I knew it already wasn’t going to be good, I called it quits early. I’d like to revisit this and try to get this to work out with proper support, but as it stands now, I just didn’t have enough time to run another print (print time for this mess-up was 1hr 15min).