4:45pm Labor Day.  Chatting with my wife in the garden.  She uses these cattle panels to form an arch between a couple of the beds.  It works as a trellis and is very stable.  However, the 10′ panels will reach from the left of one bed to the left of the other spanning the walk way and it’s pretty easy to smack your head.  It would be nicer if the panels were longer to span higher and farther.

5:00  Nap time.  I start thinking about welding a couple panels together.  I think it would be nice if I could hook them together to experiment  with how much overlap is needed to get the length and flex right.

5:10  It occurs to me that I could print out a couple plastic clips.

5:15 Draw it in qcad.

5:20 Heekscad to convert it to a 3D object and export as an .stl

5:22 Skeinforge for slicing.

5:30 ReplicatorG for printing.

5:45 print in progress (warm up takes a bit)

6:00 First prototype printing is done.

6:10  Clean it up a bit.

6:15  Test fit.  It’s too small.  I didn’t account for the natural variability of the panels and the gap that is forced between by the nearby welds.

6:20  Stretch it a bit.

6:40 Second prototype done.

6:50pm Labor day.  Perfect fit.  The clip fits tight but has enough give to stretch into place.  The plastic is very strong.  I don’t know how they would hold if I tried to bend the joined panels.  Maybe I’ll print a few more and try it.  Good enough for today.

7:00  Blog about it.  In the end, it took longer to blog, edit pictures, and upload them then it did to make the part.

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