Sunday, November 27, 2011

Desk shelf

I like the desk shelf concept. It gives you a little more surface area on your desk. I've made them out of wood and plastic, but this one is all plastic. The .stl files can be found on Thingiverse.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bot is fixed.

I had a molex plugged in wrong. Sigh. To distract you from my stupidity, I give you a picture of a Tie Interceptor that I printed in July.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'Bot down!

My newer Thing-o-Matic made a big plastic ball yesterday. The problem is that's not what it was supposed to be printing. The heated build platform stopped heating. Indeed, when you pull up the control panel, it shows the temperature at 1024 degrees. I've seen this problem before and usually it's a loose wire. I checked the wiring pretty thorough though and I even put in a new cable as the old one had some melting issues at the connector-- a common problem. Still, the temperature reads 1024. This is why I would recommend that people buy the ToM kits instead of the completed ToM. They break all the time. Building the kit gives you the experience to deal with this. In fact, they break so often, that's why I bought two. When one is down, I can run the other one so I don't feel so bad.

It might take until the weekend, but I will solve the problem. In fact, there's only so many things that it could be. I'll troubleshoot every connection and look at all the boards. I'll report back as to my solution.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Makealot's bowl

I'm a huge fan of Makealot's work. This is one of his latest creations and it is beautiful. In my opinion, it's a 3d confection that's also useful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Much better.

This is what I was trying to print the other night when I got the mass of twine instead. This, friends & neighbors, is the corner piece of my 3d printed computer case. The top is going to rest on those little pegs and after I clean up the pieces, they will all snap together like a puzzle. I was hoping to make it large enough for a Micro ATX motherboard, but that's not going to happen with this build. Instead, it's going to be Mini ITX. It will still have more than enough horsepower to run a Makerbot.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.

3D printing is a wonderful hobby. It is extremely satisfying to create something in your mind, express it via Sketchup or Meshlab or Autocad and then print it into reality via a Makerbot. That being said, it's not all peaches and cream. I'm working on designing and printing a custom computer case. Because the pieces are large, relatively speaking, most of them will take more than 5 hours each to print. Time is kind of the enemy when it comes to 3d printing. Anything 3 hours or less, I'm fairly comfortable that it will finish successfully. A 5 hour print, on the other hand is essentially a dice roll only helped by printing from the SD card after oiling and re-calibrating your bot. I didn't do any of those things and I ended up with this expensive ball of twine.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Walk before you run

So lately I have been working with the calipers to get better at sizing objects.  I had seen in a tutorial about Makerbot designs and Sketchup to size up your model by 1000, then downsize it in Skeinforge by .001  I spent alot of time with this method, all to not much success.  My mind wanders when I design, and at times I forget to size it times 1000.  

So I went to a way that works for me.  Size it right in Google Sketchup to start.  Zooming in and navigation around a 3D model in Sketchup can be tricky when working with objects no larger then 100mm by 100mm, but it has allowed me to leap forward with some scaled design.

I issued myself a challenge.  Make a box to fit perfectly around an object natively in Google Sketchup.  I found the simplest item I could laying around.  It was a square bubble level.  I then used the calipers to take measurements, and translated this data into Sketchup.  I then worked in some wall thickness, and was able to produce a case that would perfectly fit the object.  No sizing needed in Skeinforge or ReplicatorG.  Just import it, center it, and run it.

This opens some new stuff for me now that I have gotten the hang of modeling proper size in Sketchup, rather then modeling based upon reference of other lines in the model itself.  The below picture doesn't look like much, but the case perfectly fits this bubble level.  

Now maybe I can put some sort of mount on it, and strap it to my HBP, and no longer will be the days of eyeballing my platform levelness.  

You kids know the rules, only one piggie allowed on the trampoline at a time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Makerbot Breaking News!

Seems those in NY at Makerbot Headquarters have been working long and hard.  Today it was announced that a new MK7 extruder head is now available.  Looking at some of the photos, it looks like dual extruders is now on the horizon.  My imagination runs wild when I think of where will 3D printing be for the average person a year from now.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fly box

Fly box compartments complete.  I am learning how to properly size objects in Google Sketchup at the moment.  Previously I was just making things and sizing them in relation to the object on the screen.  Now I am actually breaking out the calipers to visualize an object, draw on paper, and using calipers to dial some things in.  Once the box top is complete I will share the project on Thingiverse.  Then it is onto my next project which will take me a while.

Monday, September 12, 2011

7 Hour Vase Print

I was looking for something new to display on the desk.  I also wanted to play around with blending colors while a print is running.  Not bad for my first try.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cigar ashtray.

I put this up earlier on Thingiverse. The standard disclaimers apply regarding ABS plastic. Specifically, do as I say and not as I do. Don't use these as real ashtrays. I'm going to break one of them in tonight.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The most useful thing on Thingiverse.

What's the most useful thing on Thingiverse? IMHO, it has to be Makealot's Spiral Cup. I've probably made a hundred of these things. My daughter gave them away to practically every kid in her class and I have them all over my house and at my office at work. It's the perfect size to stick stuff in and it's a beautiful object as well. A 3d print does not have to be complicated to be useful. If I have idle time for my Makerbots, I can always print Spiral Cups. They won't go to waste.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vase & Ashtray.

My daughter wants me to make a plastic flower for the vase. Also, making ashtrays out of ABS is not for anyone else but me. ABS is flammable. It will catch on fire if you are not careful, so don't do it.

Broken Wires... Failed Builds...Life of a botter....

Not much to report as of late.  I have been working the 3D printer about 6 hours a day.  Using it quit a bit means wires pull loose, screws need tightened, and rods need oiled.  No major issues, just some maintenance.  I am having problems with my Google Sketchup designs at the moment.  Looks great in Sketchup, but when printed...Houston we have a problem.  Looking into my design issues at the moment.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pink Panther Lady complete

I hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend.  The Makerbot was fired up and didn't take the weekend off.  A mix of different projects started and a few completed.  Most notably was the "Pink Panther Lady" that is available on Thingiverse.  I thought I would give it a go and see how the statue turned out.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Monday, September 5, 2011

At it again.

I had a need for a small, yet sturdy container for my RSA tokens. Then I remembered I had a couple of 3d printers that weren't really doing much today. I designed this sturdy small box for tiny objects in Sketchup, printed it & posted it on Thingiverse.

My RSA tokens will never float around my briefcase again.

Injection molding machine.

I have discovered on eBay that I can buy an injection molding machine for less than $5k. Hmmm.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pulley mount.

I know that I'm posting a lot, probably too much. But I'm sure the volume will drop off eventually. This piece is pretty esoteric, all things considered. You have to have something you need to mount to make use of it. I want to play with pulleys and block and tackle, so this will help me do that. This is the whole point of these machines. You can think of something, design it and turn it into reality. Sure a lot of things like woodworking and metalworking give you similar powers, but those things are difficult and time consuming. Once you get the hang of your Makerbot, designing and printing stuff becomes much faster than any other type of fabricating process. This is why I love it so!

Finally posted the chest of drawers on Thingiverse.

It turned out ok. If I were designing it again, I would do things differently. But I've already lost interest. It is going to work well for my Allen keys though.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gave the 'bots the night off.

Normally, I run at least 3 builds a day for both of them. Tonight, I wasn't sure what project I wanted to focus on. I could try to fix my chest of drawers or I could start printing that cool candelabra (or I could start playing Deus Ex). So I took the night off, had a cigar and figured I would have plenty of time on this long weekend to refocus my efforts.

I was telling Ben that I have a Mendel kit that I picked up back in January that I still haven't built yet. I should start that this weekend too. Also, I have cut wood, motors & instructions for a full size CNC and that's just sitting there too. I really ought to get my act together this weekend.

27 to 1 Parametric Gearbox complete

About 6 hours of print time on this one. 

The force is not with me...

Figured I would give this Yoda Mini a shot from Thiniverse.  My PC must hate me.  about 50% through the print, my PC decides to no longer like the COM port that the TOM is on.  Hence the following below.  Gasp!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Still a work in progress.

Some how I messed up the length of the chest. Back to the drawing board.

Raftless Makerbot O' Boy!!!

After some battles with Skeinforge, trying to figure out why my first layer is not adhering to the raft.  I have tweeked and fiddled with settings for days.  It was time for me to attempt the raftless route.  With a HBP, this is the way to go so I am told.  There are some adjustments that need to be made both with the Z axis height, as well as some Skeinforge modifiations.  Benefits of going raftless are that there is no material to cut away from the bottom of your piece after it has been printed, you save on filament, print times are shortened and..... "Your first layer adheres to the build platform!!"

Bravo to Jetguy on Thingiverse forum for the guidance!

Cleveland Makers Alliance Meeting

Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 8:00 PM
13613 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH

Glow in the Dark Filament

I have received a batch of glow in the dark filament.  Looking forward to making some sort of prints in the spirit of Halloween.  Maybe I will make some glow in the dark accessory for my sons costume this year.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sneak peek at my drawers.

My first attempt at a chest and drawers left me with no chest and 2 drawers. It's just as well because I salvaged part of a lump of plastic enough to do a sizing test on. So for round 2 of the chests, I had to break it down into 3 parts. If the prints tonight work, I'll publish everything on Thingiverse tomorrow.

Filament Spool Completed

I hit up for a spool holder design.  Turned out fairly nice.  Took 3.5 hours to print.

Print-O-Matic Settings:
Makerbot #5209
Fill: 30%
Layer Height: 0.30mm
Number of Shells: 2
Feed Rate: 25

Awesomeness covered with win & wrapped in bacon.

This glow stick candelabra absolutely blows me away. After I finish my current project, I'm going to print one of these. This is also why I need to convince my wife that I need 3 more Thing-o-Matics.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Makerbot #5209 20mm Test Cube.  

For the life of me I can't seem to figure out layer #1, but the rest of it looks nice.


I've been trying to learn everything I can about designing in Sketchup. Just reading Sketchup for Dummies helped immensely. Tonight I'm working on a chest of drawers. I'll post it to Thingiverse when I get it right.

Looking forward to working with Ben to draw all Makerbot owners in Ohio out of the woodwork, er plastic work.

Makerbot #5209 First Print

Makerbotter #5209 being a newest kid on the block.  Received his printer, took 20 hours to build.  16 hours of that being straight through the night.  After tightening the bolts, setting the Z Axis Calibration, and waiting for the HBP and extruder to heat up, below was his first print.  Not to exciting, but hey it was printing ABS 3mm plastic!

Well that was lack luster.  Problem was the HBP connector kept bumping into the X stage end stop.  Shutting down printing.  The printer would move the X stage over and begin printing again, only to hit the end stop.  First Try #1 aborted.

Try #2 below

Well as we can see the second pass was not successfully completed.  Seems Makerboth #5209 had a computer crash, hence a reboot was needed.

3rd Time is the Charm!!

Well it isn't perfect, but for a new member of the 3D community, this is very exciting. 

Thaed and his robotic arm. A new version of the ABP


This is a "Robotic Arm Edge" kit with a USB interface Kit. Building the ToMs definitely helped me to put this together. My plan is to use it in conjunction with remote builds where I control the machines and USB cameras via Logmein.

Thaed makes front page of


What self-respecting nerd wouldn't have one of these things lying around? Originally, I wanted it to be solar powered, but I had to settle for AAA batteries. I scavenged the motor and propeller from a 6 in 1 educational solar kit. There's no reason why you can't print your own propeller and use a motor from a cd player or really any motor.


Print with 0 infill and no shells. Use drill press to make the hole for the motor. Connect wires, add on/off switch if you want, glue everything up in the beanie. Represent nerdom.