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52 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 205626 20-Nov-2016 17:02
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So I'm mounting a projector on the ceiling, but the roof is sloped up 6 degrees towards the screen. I have a projector mount but it doesn't have any pitch adjustment (recognising that mounting horizontally level is the way to go).

 

I'd like to stick with the mount I have rather than buy a fancier one. Consider this a budget install ;-)

 

So first thoughts were I could simply cut a wedge shaped piece of wood to give me the angle (and solid contact between the mount and the ceiling). It might be tricky but after a few failed attempts and some swearing sounds like it would work...

 

But then I thought maybe this would actually be a good use of 3D printing? Which might also make a fun project to design it myself. I'm thinking I'd need a fairly pro service to get the resolution for a smooth enough wedge shape? Can anyone recommend an 'upload your file we'll print your project' type service in NZ? Is it likely to be economical? Are the plastics used solid enough for this type of use?

 

What do you guys reckon?


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930 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1674574 20-Nov-2016 17:07
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Yep id get a wedge, and then use a level to ensure the wedge is installed horizontally.






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  Reply # 1674579 20-Nov-2016 17:39
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For what it's worth, I have a (wooden) wedge and it's worked fine. A 3D-printed one would probably look a bit nicer though :)


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1674590 20-Nov-2016 18:06
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I've built a pivoting projector lift for my new house and as part of that replaced the wooden mount I had currently with effectively a slightly angled spacer as per below... This is slightly adjustable with packers between the spacer and the ceiling above (in this case it's just another board emulating the thickness of the drop down lift...

 

I've found that building your own mount (if it's not a long way down off the ceiling) is cheap and way way WAY stiffer than most commercially available units.

 

(The wooden wedge will be painted when properly installed to match the rest of the projector lift)

 

Note that the wedge doesn't look like a wedge because [camerathings] but it's pointing down about 6 degrees.

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1674610 20-Nov-2016 18:54
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Why can't you put a washer /spacer under one end when you screw the mount to the ceiling?

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  Reply # 1674622 20-Nov-2016 19:09
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Brunzy: Why can't you put a washer /spacer under one end when you screw the mount to the ceiling?

 

You could... For me it's a temporary install and the precision required to align perfectly with a decent sized screen meant I didn't want to take the whole thing down again so just stuck a couple of washers under one end and re-tightened.

 

A previous iteration of the design used three bolts and wingnuts with 2 bolts at the front and one in the middle at the back... By changing the wingnuts I could align the projector perfectly by changing the drop level of the 3 points by a few mm.

 

 

 

Cheers - N

 

 


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  Reply # 1674653 20-Nov-2016 20:24
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Thanks,

 

That was meant for the OP laughing


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  Reply # 1674688 20-Nov-2016 21:09
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mgeek: So I'm mounting a projector on the ceiling, but the roof is sloped up 6 degrees towards the screen. I have a projector mount but it doesn't have any pitch adjustment (recognising that mounting horizontally level is the way to go).

 

I'd like to stick with the mount I have rather than buy a fancier one. Consider this a budget install ;-)

 

So first thoughts were I could simply cut a wedge shaped piece of wood to give me the angle (and solid contact between the mount and the ceiling). It might be tricky but after a few failed attempts and some swearing sounds like it would work...

 

But then I thought maybe this would actually be a good use of 3D printing? Which might also make a fun project to design it myself. I'm thinking I'd need a fairly pro service to get the resolution for a smooth enough wedge shape? Can anyone recommend an 'upload your file we'll print your project' type service in NZ? Is it likely to be economical? Are the plastics used solid enough for this type of use?

 

What do you guys reckon? 

 

Wooden wedge for sure. You'll find the more you swear the more satisfied you'll feel at the end of the process! Or, more simply, go to a decent carpenter with dimensions of what you require and they'll whip you one up in no time at all.

 

On a more positive note, a 5 degree ceiling slope is something sound engineers have built into recording studios as a part of achieving optimal acoustics, so (conveniently ignoring building materials, furniture and all other room dimensions) at 6 degrees you're extremely close to that :-)




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  Reply # 1683198 6-Dec-2016 11:23
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To revisit and update on this.

 

The call of the geek was too much, and after an aborted attempt with wood (no blood at least) I decided to play with 3D printing. And was shocked at how easy it was.

 

Designing the part was incredibly simple. There's a ton of different software for this most of which is free (and most owned by Autodesk it seems). But for really simple and easy to use TinkerCAD won the day. From never having used anything for 3D design, it took me about 30 minutes to create my design. Most of that was spent going back to the projector mount and measuring. You'd struggle to design anything too intricate with this but for simple objects it's so easy, and is totally web browser based. If you want to design complex stuff like cogs and gears then look at MeshMixer instead (also free).

 

You then just export your design in an .STL format which seems pretty universal for this kind of thing.

 

Finding the right printer was a lot more work however. If you're making prototypes for serious business use, then you already know where to go. But if you spend a couple of hours trawling online for somewhere in NZ you can upload a design... expect confusion, bad websites and high prices!

 

My little plastic wedge was going to cost $80+ to print..! What??

 

I wasted another half hour or so revising the design as prices seemed to be based heavily on overall volume of the shape. I managed to shave it down to about $60...

 

So stuff all those option - and just use 3DHubs.

 

I'd never heard of them before either, but it's a geek worldwide marketplace of 3D printer owners - mostly amateurs - but with plenty of NZ based users. You upload your file, choose who you would like to print it and wait for it to be delivered. Each printer has a profile with photos of the work they have already done, plus details of the options they provide (types of material, colours, postage options). It's even got a built in escrow system so you pay up front, but the printer only gets paid when you say you're happy with the delivered result. (Incidentally, if you want to try 3DHubs I now have a link that gives us both $10 credit with them - PM me for that though as I don't think it would be appropriate to post that here?)

 

Pricing varied a lot so it looks each printer sets their own pricing. But it took 2 minutes to find a decent guy who did the job for $19 including delivery.

 

So here's the finished result:-
Click to see full size

 

You can see the small ridges formed by each printed layer. I could have opted for an even finer print for a bit more money but for the purpose it was overkill. I could just sandpaper this down to get a smoother finish too.

 

One last thing on print materials. Most printers offer the option of PLA or ABS plastics with PLA generally being cheaper. There isn't much difference as far as I can tell except PLA is more brittle, and ABS is a trickier to print. I opted for ABS and the finished result feels very sturdy.


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  Reply # 1683280 6-Dec-2016 14:01
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I would have personally made that out of some timber and spray painted it. Sounds a bit overkill to get it 3d printed. But it is cool to use new technology to work out a solution.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1683926 7-Dec-2016 14:00
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mattwnz:

 

I would have personally made that out of some timber and spray painted it. Sounds a bit overkill to get it 3d printed. But it is cool to use new technology to work out a solution.

 

 

That was my first thought, but having 'had a go' it was going nowhere fast. With access to a bandsaw maybe this would have been easy, but trying to cut a 6 degree angle by hand was beyond my wood skills. So yes, 3D printing it was definitely overkill but it was a lot more fun :-)


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