Image Converter to the Rescue (How to Fix a Salt Shaker)
Posted on Sept. 23, 2014 by Lars Brubaker
The Image Converter is a fun new MatterControl plugin that can make your 3D printer into a more effective and useful tool in seconds.

Below is the video from a fun weekend project that we did. We got a salt and pepper shaker (a gift for a friend) which was great except that the shakers did not have any plugs in the bottom. Without plugs they could not actually hold any salt or pepper. That’s where our 3D printer and MatterControl came to the rescue. Using the built in Image Converter it was a simple process to print out two customized and perfectly fitting plugs which made the shakers better than ever. Check out the video below to see the Image Converter in action!

Image Converter and the Salt Shaker Rescue

Getting into the image converter is easy, first you select the Create button from the bottom of the Queue.

Select the Create Button


Then you select the 'Image Converter' from the tool selection window.

Select The Image Converter


Once you are in the Image Converter you can Drag and Drop images directly into the view, or click the 'Add Image' button and select the image you want to load.

Click the 'Add Image' Button


Now that you have your image added you can change its dimensions then click 'Save and Exit' to add the new design to your Queue.

You are ready to print. 

In the video we also show how your part can be numrically scaled inside the main 3D view. This is a quick and effective way to do simple edits to your designs.

Editing Scale in the main 3D View


And just for the techincally inclined. To put the bases onto the plugs we did the following steps.

  • Exported the stls of the Image Converted holes
  • Imported them into OpenScad
  • Added some cyliders to fill in the base
  • Saved the new stl from OpenScad
  • Draged this new Stls into MatterControl
  • Printed!

Here is the OpenScad script for the pepper shaker:

  • import("C:/Users/lbrubaker/Downloads/pepper hole.stl");
  • #translate([-3.2, .5, 2.95]) cylinder(1, 10, 10);
  • #translate([-8, 3, 2.95]) cylinder(1, 10, 10);

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