My wife is home on maternity leave right not, which has caused a modicum of chaos to permeate our daily chore schedule. One of the victims of this chaos last week was our dishwasher schedule. On one particular night I loaded the dishwasher to near capacity and decided to wait to run it until I had a few more dirty dishes. The next day while I was at work my wife decided to do the dishes. She opened the dishwasher and proceeded to unload it. Apparently I did a bit too good a job of pre-washing. Fortunately we quickly realized the mistake once I got home and reloaded the dishwasher, which we then immediately ran.
Though this was the first time that this happened in our 5 years together, I decided that it needed to be the last. My initial thought was that I should just buy one of those clean/dirty magnets (of which Amazon stocks a myriad). But then I changed my mind and decided that I should 3D print a solution. Even though the magnets would cost about $5.00 shipped to my door and the design/printing time would be far more expensive in time, I wanted to do a quick fun project.
I started to think about the design and what challenges I might face. The base design would be a plaque with letters. My initial thought was to print a clean/dirty ambigram (there was even one on thingverse) and use a sticky magnet to affix it to the dishwasher. Then we would just have to rotate the plaque to match the state of the dishwasher. Unfortunately after looking at the ambigram a bit more closely, I decided that it was a bit to ambiguous. I searched for additional designs but couldn't find one that I liked.
The next step was to fire up Solidworks and get to designing. Designing the initial placard and the "Dirty" extrude was simple enough. My only initial concern was letter size. I am not sure what the minimum legible letter size is for a reprap running at 0.2 mm layer height is, but it ended up not being an issue here since I wanted a high visibility part (ie. big letters)