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Christmas Gift Guide

Fresh from the printer

Safety first

Raft not necessary

Raft underside

A start

Knife time

X-Acto works well

All clean

Ready to use

This print, the Knife Assistant by Thingiverse user ThePlanetMike, is designed to make it easier for those with weak hands to use a chef's knife.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The perfboard almost guarantees that your prints will stick to the build platform. The consequence is that you need tools to remove the object and clean it up. The gloves and scraper, thankfully, are included with the printer.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Because it has a large, flat surface already, this print probably doesn't need a raft, the layer of extra material at the base of the Knife Assistant. I printed one anyway for the purpose of this demonstration.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Here you can see the tiny posts that fill the perfboard and help keep your objects in place during printing.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
You can remove some of the extra material with your fingers, but not all of it.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Here's everything I couldn't remove by hand.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The included X-Acto knife handles the fine removal well enough, but you need to be careful not to remove material from the object itself. Gloves are also recommended here.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Knife Assistant, post-cleanup. For a better finish, you can sand the object, buff it, or brush it with acetone.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Total cleanup time for this object was about 5 minutes. Larger objects take longer, obviously. Thin or otherwise fragile objects can also present a challenge.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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