Jump to content

740427863_Terminatorchallenge.jpg.2f4cb93182b2ce715fac5aa75b0503c8.jpg

Free 3D-Printed Flats Box designs


A320Flyer
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi.

My name is Bill and, couple of years ago, my friend Chris and I began making Flats Boxes for our local Astro Society members. They were 3D-printed and custom made to fit perfectly over the top of your scope. They came as a kit of parts that was easily put together using very basic DIY skills. They took about 1hr to build (just a tiny bit of soldering) and produced an excellent flat field.

We were going to try and market them to other Astro Societies as a way of fundraising but the pandemic put paid to that.

Nevertheless, as a “Thank You” for all the help that this forum has given us over the years, Chris and I would like to donate the designs and print files to the community.

There are Flats Box designs to fit the following scopes:

ED80-102

Esprit 120

Starwave 70ED

SW ED72

SW 150P/150PDS

Takahashi FSQ-85EDX

TMB105-65 Thomas Beck

TS70

WO12134 LZOS

The designs have been done using Autodesk Inventor, which was then used to export the STL files for printing. Both the IPT and STL files are included in the attached Zip file. All you need to supply are some daylight LED’s, some lengths of cable and a power supply.

A basic set of instructions and an information leaflet is attached.

They were generally printed at 50% infill using RepetierHost.

Obviously, no warranty etc, etc, is provided. All we ask is, if you modify one of the designs for use on a different scope, maybe consider posting your design back here for others to use.

We hope they are of some use to members.

Clear Skies

Bill and Chris.

Flyer.pdf Instructions.pdf Flats Boxes.zip

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, bottletopburly said:

Do you have pictures of finished product bill .

Pictures of my SW150P and SW ED72 boxes, plus an exploded Inventor pic of the SW150P box.

IMG_4723.jpg

IMG_4724.jpg

Inventor SW150P.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Most sit on the outside of the dewshield. It’s only the SW150P that sits inside the tube. I had to do it that way because of the limit on the size I could get on my print bed. HTH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 09/10/2021 at 09:23, Newforestgimp said:

Hi Bill,

I have no means to print these but intrigued all the same , do you have a design for an RC8” ? & how much would you charge for making and posting ?

regards

Andy

Sorry, just saw your post. 
Unfortunately, I don’t have a design for this. The difficulty is that there is a limit to what can be printed on the small-sized heated bed of the printer. Up to about 120mm aperture for a refractor is about as far as you can go. ☹️
Bill

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, A320Flyer said:

Sorry, just saw your post. 
Unfortunately, I don’t have a design for this. The difficulty is that there is a limit to what can be printed on the small-sized heated bed of the printer. Up to about 120mm aperture for a refractor is about as far as you can go. ☹️
Bill

No problem, and of course the penny just dropped on the size of printer involved.

thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Newforestgimp said:

No problem, and of course the penny just dropped on the size of printer involved.

thank you

Your 8 inch design should still be fine , you can print it in sections to accommodate the size of the print bed.  If you look on Thingverse there are a few examples of large diameter Bahtinov mask done this way . 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1784124

Jim 

 

Edited by saac
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've come late to this post, but as I am currently in the process of designing/building a flat panel form my WO GT-71, I'm very happy I found this post.  Thanks for these designs Bill.

I have a circuit using and Arduino to vary the light intensity (for various filters) that will be controlled by the Kstars/Ekos/Indi software I use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, saac said:

Your 8 inch design should still be fine , you can print it in sections to accommodate the size of the print bed.  If you look on Thingverse there are a few examples of large diameter Bahtinov mask done this way . 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1784124

Jim 

 

I don’t actually own a 3D printer, I’m trying to find a suitable flats panel that doesn’t cost too much and allows me to leave scope polar aligned ie not pointing vertical to balance a panel on it. The designs above look fab.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 15/10/2021 at 04:33, DaveSw said:

I have a circuit using and Arduino to vary the light intensity (for various filters) that will be controlled by the Kstars/Ekos/Indi software I use.

Would this work with NINA? That would be very useful. Are you willing to share?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, A320Flyer said:

Would this work with NINA? That would be very useful. Are you willing to share?

I do not know if it works with NINA as I'm a Mac user. From what I've read, NINA does have the ability to control the Flip-Flat so it might be safe to assume it can control this device too if NINA can be configured to use the older "Flat Man" device (w/o the flap). The device type is defined in the protodol.

As I am building it, the system is a mashup of hardware and software drawn from a number of sources.  

The hardware comprises an Arduino Nano, a few resistors, an N channel logic level MOSFET,  suitable power supplies, and the light panel I have a  12V source for the LED panel and use a LM7808 (8V linear regulator) for the Arduino's Vin. A 12V to 5V converter could be used but I have the linear regulator on hand.  I don't have a schematic drawn up yet but sites such as https://www.blackwaterskies.co.uk/2020/03/cheap-diy-remote-controlled-flat-panel/ show a similar design. After making the suitable voltages available, the appropriate Arduino PWM pin is connected to the gate of the MOSFET via a current limiting resistor (along with a 10Kohm or so resistor to ground). I include a Schottky protection diode across the MOSFET source and drain as well. Commands come and go via the Arduino USB port.

The software emulates the Anitak generic command protocol as defined here: https://www.optecinc.com/astronomy/catalog/alnitak/resources/Alnitak_GenericCommandsR4.pdf I started with Jared Wellman's software (see github.com) and modified it to use the version 4 of the Alnitak commands (uses letter O rather than numeral 0 in command sequences).  I later came across another version of software by Peter of gluonfield.com (http://gluonfield.com/spacelike/content/astrophotography-flats-panel) and adapted it instead. (changed his command message terminators back to match the original Alnitak specs.)  I liked the gluonfield software as it allows for altering the PWM frequency to avoid any refresh related issues.

Currently I am designing the light panel and am considering a number of designs. A flat box like those described in this thread is the leading contender at this time.

If you want a copy of my current software let me know and I can send it to you.

Dave

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, DaveSw said:

If you want a copy of my current software let me know and I can send it to you.

Dave, I'm part-way through doing the blackwaterskies mod to a tracing panel and would appreciate a copy of your code, if you wouldn't mind? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, adyj1 said:

Dave, I'm part-way through doing the blackwaterskies mod to a tracing panel and would appreciate a copy of your code, if you wouldn't mind? 

although I notice you have more electronic components than on that mod, which I assume is also an improvement? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.