Week 21, 2019 – Improving your Space-Life through technology

It is well-known that I take my life as a professional imaginary spaceship pilot a little too seriously. Like “4-point harness on my computer chair” seriously. And while I certainly liked the old version of the harness, it was missing something; It was just a little too simple.

I’m not sure I’ve talked about it before, so I’ll take a minute here before moving on… I was originally planning on making a 4 or 5-point harness from scratch, and actually designed my own cam-lock release mechanism, but my 3D printer at the time simply wasn’t up to the task, and the prototype’s flimsiness really dissuaded me from the idea.

It was a little while after this that I found a 4-point racing harness on eBay for under $30…cheap enough that I wouldn’t trust it with my life, but in my case, it’s just a prop. I replaced all the plain nylon webbing with proper seatbelt-weave webbing which looked much better, and added little pull straps in red. All the new stitching was also done in a contrasting mil-spec bonded nylon thread.

Finally I 3D printed a knob to go over the release lever…which required filing off the protruding lever, and drilling holes in the face of the cam lock plate. For the last added touch, I cut some paint-mask vinyl on my Silhouette Cameo 3, and used that to paint markings on the knob.

It did the job and I rather liked it, but now that I have the new printers, I wanted to give it another go. I recreated the original knob I had designed for a far earlier incarnation of the project and printed it in some bright red eSUN PLA+

I think the results speak for themselves. 😏 At some point I’ll probably do it again, just to add the arrows back in as actual 3D printed inlays. Though I should probably also prime, sand, and paint it next time for an even more polished look…not that there’s anything wrong with the raw print…especially when viewed anything but up-close.

Week 20, 2019 – Print Cool Things

While my father was still rehabilitating until he could get around well enough on his own to come home, I was making use of my new 3D printers.

I had just gotten some of this fantastic new ‘silk shine’ metallic filament from CC3D, and decided to print him a little Buddha in bronze. The CC3D filament looks absolutely stunning. Pictures don’t really do justice to just how well it shimmers. It’s not sparkly or otherwise fake-looking, it has a fairly authentic metallic sheen. I’m curious to know how they achieve it!

(The bronze is actually more green than it appears in these images. I didn’t catch the Auto Balance shenanigans until it was already uploaded, and it wasn’t a big enough deal to fix it. I wish CC3D offered a ‘brass’ filament that looked like this, but so far they don’t.)

One of the reasons I settled on the Creality Ender 3 Pro—and in fact, literally doubled down on that decision —was the recommendation of several YouTube channels dedicated to printing tabletop gaming miniatures and terrain, as well as Fat Dragon Games, makers of some truly superb miniatures and modular terrain, whose Kickstarter I backed.

So of course I printed some minis from the campaign…which turned out spectacularly, considering the printer was basically fresh out of the box and all I did was level the bed. They even print with no supports!

I never imagined that an FDM printer could produce results like these—nevermind a $250 FDM printer —especially straight out of the box! These are results which approach that of SLA and MSLA printers…which is a subject we’ll definitely be revisiting. Count on it.

Multipurpose Monocular Heads Up Display (Part 1)

Now, this is a project I’ve had in the works for quite some time… It started out simply as a clever way to read Twitch chat whilst doing my professional imaginary spaceship pilot gig, without taking my eyes off what I’m doing, but I believe it has a lot more potential. Read more…

Week 38, 2016 – A weapon fit for a dirty wasteland scavver

Hey! A post EARLY?! Surely a sign of the apocalypse.

And Probably Faster, too…

So I’m currently working on this wonderful Fallout 4 Pipe Pistol by lilykil. I’m still in the process of printing it, after which will follow the sanding and priming, and finally the painting and weathering!

I’ll update this post with additional 3D printery as it happens, and then make a new post once I get to the painting stage.

Week 37, 2016 – The End of a Spool…

Sorry for the potato pics, but it is pretty convenient just being able to snap pics from a phone and upload them to the blog when it’s for unimportant stuff.

One spool down!

One spool down!

Well, it’s taken well over a year and a half, but I finally reached the end of a spool of a filament.  Until now it seems I’ve just used some of each of my 40+ spools.  But I’ve settled on Push Plastic light grey for printing props, because it just prints so nicely, and it shows up great on camera…so it wasn’t long before I used up my first spool.

Luckily there's more where that came from!

Luckily there’s more where that came from!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I’ve been working on some Fallout 4 stuff. Fusion Core, Fusion Cell, etc.  The Fusion Core I found was the wrong size, like obviously so… It needed to be like 33% bigger, so I upsized it, and printed it in several pieces so they could all printed oriented in the best way.  The Fusion Cell is just sort of…wrong.  I’m going to have to model my own, again.  After this I plan to finish my 10mm before I move on to bigger and awesomer things.

Original Fusion Core, rather small!

Original Fusion Core, rather small!

Fusion Cell

Fusion Cell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to have to sand, glue, and spot-putty the fusion core sections together.

Upsized Fusion Core, original Fusion Core, and 'Purified Water', for scale. (Sorry, no banana!)

Upsized Fusion Core, and original Fusion Core.

HAHAHA! I POSTED ON TIME! TAKE THAT!  (゚∀゚)アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \

Week 17, 2016 – May Acquisitions

I’m getting the ball rolling on a lot of stuff this month, from the MAKE COOL THINGS livestream and YouTube channel, to some prop making, to maybe even doing a little work on a simple fun little game project I’ve had in mind for a while… See a breakdown of this month’s acquisitions after the jump! Read more…

Week 10, 2016 – Props, Propaganda, Programming, and Projects.

First of all, let’s take a moment to talk about prop making;  It’s something that I have a real interest in but I can never seem to afford moldmaking and casting supplies…  Well, I’m not going to let that stop me from making some props before I have the ability to duplicate them.

Right now, my biggest obstacle– putting aside money issues and for the moment just looking at what I have –is the surface quality of my 3D prints.  To that end I spent some money on some basic necessities like Bondo body filler, Bondo spot putty, some quality automotive wet/dry sandpaper, and a sanding block.  Bill Doran has a great video on using Bondo, and his video on preparing mold masters also contains some applicable info.

Propaganda! By which I mean videoblogging!  I just got a cheap little steadicam thing for my video camera so I can do handheld shots that are actually stable.  It’s really quite something.

Programming! I’ve got some cool Arduino ideas I want to play with, one of them is inspired by this cool post I found about making an Arduino Wi-Fi scanner that displays the SSIDs of open wifi APs on a little OLED display.

Projects! I’ve got a 3D printing and prop making project in the works based on my current favorite videogame; Tom Clancy’s The Division, which inspired an additional project which I can’t talk about right now… ;D

Gonna be pretty cool though!

Week 41, 2015 – October Acquisitions

Gotta feed that printer! Filament from hell to breakfast, read the breakdown after the jump! Read more…

Week 40, 2015 – Ideate, Iterate, Create!

Sorry, again with the ‘pictures on the way’, I have to clear off the workbench so I can take pictures of a bunch of stuff…so no pictures in this post yet.

Yes, I know the first weekly of the month is usually the acquisitions update…but most of my purchases won’t arrive until next week, so…
┐( シ)┌

I’ve been busy with a couple projects this weekend, related to some of the stuff I bought– the few bits that are here already, namely some audio rigging for my podcasting/video setup –and I figure this is a good time to cover this bit of process.

As someone who has spent the majority of his adult life ‘almost making things’– always failing for one reason or another –it is not lost on me just how absolutely mind-blowing it is that I now have a literal god damned magic box that just substantiates my ideas from thin air.  (Or more accurately, from the 1s and 0s of the designs on my computer, and spools of plastic filament.)

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah. So, I got this cheap little microphone boom, and I got a new mic cable.  First things first, I needed a way to attach the cable cleanly to the boom and manage it.  Calls for some little cable clips, methinks.

Ideate!

btw, I thought ‘ideate’ was a ridiculous portmanteau I came up with, but apparently it’s an actual for-reals word that only sounds ridiculous and made-up. Go figure.

I figured I’d better keep it simple; no point getting flummoxed at this stage of the process by trying to outsmart myself design-wise… So just a simple double-clip. A square clip to attach to the boom’s square tube frame, and a circular clip for the cable.  Out came one of my trusty digital calipers, and soon I had the measurements; the frame tubing was nominally .410″ square, and the XLR mic cable was a little under .250″ in diameter.  So those are the numbers I worked with.

Three minutes later, I had the simple design ready to print.  Dropped it into Simplify3D, warmed up the printer, and 5 minutes later, I had the part.  Fit like a charm! It was slightly loose though, and that brings us to…

Iterate!

One of the wonders of 3D printing is pretty easily summed up in the name of the process/industry it has given rise to; Rapid Prototyping.  Not only does it allow you to near-instantaneously go from idea to reality, but to quickly and inexpensively go through countless design iterations, working out flaws, testing refinements, and so on.  I mean, it costs me $0.11 worth of plastic to print eight of these clips, so printing one, trying it, tweaking some things, and printing another hardly costs me anything, except time…and at 5 minutes a pop, that’s not a huge concern when I can be working on plenty of other things (Or relaxing!) while the printer does its work.  So, anyway… The clip was a little loose on the frame, so I made the dimensions a little smaller.  That still didn’t seem to do it, so I tried again, but now it was too small, and still loose…there was something missing. So I took the first one, and squeeze the legs together– bending them a little –and when I stuck it on, it stayed put. Aha!

So this time, I set the dimension back to what it was, but I designed a 5° inward bend on the legs. (I had also, in an earlier iteration, merged the outlines of the circle and square completely, to make the cable lie flatter on the boom…the original design only had them overlap 50%.)

Create!

Knowing this design was as perfect as it was going to get, I printed eight of them.  About 30 minutes and 1.8 meters of filament later, I had them, and they were great!  They still don’t stay put on the frame perfectly– not like on the cable, but the cable has a really ‘grabby’ rubber surface –but they’re no longer loose enough to slide around under their own weight.  Maybe I should try dual-extrusion printing them with a NinjaFlex inner wall to grip the metal tubing.  (I still haven’t received my Teflon tubing yet, so I haven’t reassembled the left extruder…)

Week 37, 2015 – Everything’s (not) Ruined Forever!

So… That went well.

I ended up with a hard plug of PLA in the teflon tube of my printer’s hotend, and trying to clear it I mangled the teflon tube.  Of course, to get even that far, I had to completely disassemble the hotend.  And since I was doing that, I figured it was a good time to replace the thermocouple on the left extruder. And since I was doing that, I figured I’d do some upgrades I’d been planning on. And since I was doing that, I figured… Yeah, the slope just kept getting slipperier and slipperier.

Things didn’t go terribly as you can can see in the few pictures I took…  Nonetheless, things were not working correctly.

Dual-extruder assembly removed from printer.

Dual-extruder assembly removed from printer.

 

Old thermocouple unplugged from MightyBoard.

Old thermocouple unplugged from MightyBoard.

So, I got it back together, with some modifications…  I like the replacement top plate… The 3D-printed strain relief for the cable bundle and the pneumatic press-fittings for the PTFE bowden tubing are fantastic additions.  However, the spring I used in the new 3D-printed extruder was not up to the task and was simply not capable of extruding anything…

Partially re-assembled extruder.

Partially re-assembled extruder.

I ended up disassembling and reassembling the whole thing two or three more times before I got it back up and running.  Still, I’m not happy with the hotend barrels I got off Amazon, they have PTFE linings with a 2mm ID and 4mm OD, and are threaded full-length.  The original barrels only had threads at the end, the rest was smooth, and used PTFE tubing with a 2mm ID but a 3mm OD, and the temperatures and behavior of the new parts were very different.  Also, the original nozzles butted up against the barrel, but the PTFE tube extended down into the nozzle…  The new barrels’ linings don’t stick out…but I do have additional nozzles designed to interface like that…so I put those on there.  Nonetheless, I’m going to try and get some 3mm OD tubing.

UPDATE 2015-09-16: Teflon Tubing Trials and Tribulations.
I couldn’t actually get PTFE tubing via Amazon Prime, so I had to order it from China– meaning it will be here whenever it bloody-well feels like it –and instead I ordered some PFA tubing that was rated for the same temps as PTFE.  Anyway, that’s a god damned lie, because when I went to print PETG, the god damned PFA tube liquified.  Not ‘melted’, not ‘distorted’ or ‘deformed’…it straight-up fucking liquified, leaving a quarter-inch blockage of rock-hard PFA in the end of the barrel.  Managed to get printer back up and running by using one of the new nozzles, and the old barrel, and cutting the original PTFE liner so that it’d fit. (And thus removing the part that’d been all crinkled up.)

Melted PFA tubing.

Melted PFA tubing.

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