I had a dream last night…

And, it isn’t the first time.  I was going into excruciating detail about calculating and calibrating a good Skeinforge profile.  Well, we can use a thread thickness of such-and-such, a layer height of such and such, oh, and what plastic are you using?

Admittedly, just before bed I had chatted with several MakerBot/RepRap guys and was tinkering with ProfileMaker v3.0, so math and SCIENCE must have been dominating my thoughts.

Love the smell of burning wood in the morning…

I just added a Relay Board Mounting Kit to my Cupcake.  It’s been a few months since I’ve assembled something from a laser cut kit, so having that now-familiar smell of burnt wood, ash, and singed adhesive…  Ah!  That takes me back to when I first assembled my Cupcake!

Anyhow, up until this morning1 my Relay Board was hanging off the side of my Cupcake by the very wires it was connected to.  In order to prevent it from shorting anything I had wrapped it in the anti-static plastic my circuit boards came in and then used electrical tape to seal it all up.  Not the best way to do things and certainly enough to prove the world at large that I’m NOT an electrical engineer…2

  1. It’s very very early or very very late, depending upon your perspective []
  2. Like I had trouble convincing people before… []
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ProfileMaker v3.0

It’s online and ready for testing.  I would appreciate the help of any beta testers.  Here’s what you need to play:

  • A Thing-O-Matic with a MK6 Stepstruder
  • Ideally you have filament in 1.75mm and 3mm diameters and in both ABS and PLA
  • A fair amount of patience, a willingness to print off some test objects with a variety of profiles, and the ability to summarize your findings for me

To entice you, here’s what v3.0 can do right now:

  • Provide good settings for your Thing-O-Matic MK6 Stepstruder for ABS or PLA in 1.75mm or 3mm diameters running a Heated Build Platform or Automated Build Platform
  • Allow you to specify the gear diameter, gear swell, and feed rate
  • Allow you to generate a full profile based on any stock Thing-O-Matic profile – along with the solidity/fill ratio
  • E-mail you the finished profile as a zip file

I’m still struggling with the math required for a DC motor extruder.  However, as soon as I get that sorted out, I look forward to updating this web app to provide Cupcake and Thing-O-Matic MK5 DC motor calculations and profiles as well.

So!  Do you have what it takes?

I should really take that poll down now…

I ran a poll recently asking for input on the following:

  • Work for PLA as well as ABS (5 votes)
  • Work for DC motors as well as Stepper motors (2 votes)
  • Work for 1.75mm filament as well (2 votes)
  • E-mail myself the results
  • Ability to change the feedrate (2 votes)
  • Ability to manually change the filament diameter (1 vote)
  • Ability to manually change the gear diameter
  • Ability to obtain multiple settings
  • Ability to include a “fudge” factor
  • Ability to manually change the gear swell
  • Nothing! I love it as is!
  • Meh.

I’m in the process of testing my ProfileMaker v3.0 – and it’s got ALL of the above features except the DC motor stuff. 1  If you’re interested in testing it out, let me know by sending an e-mail or leaving a comment.

  1. And, the “Meh.” too. []
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How not to ask for tech support

DISCLAIMER:  This has nothing to do with MakerBot, MakerBlock, or anything you see on this site.  This is me venting my frustration at a user of a totally totally different website that has nothing to do with awesome cool robots.1

“Oh, yeah, you know, it’s just not working for me.”

Great.  Thanks for that.  I don’t know what you tried or how.  Did you take your computer out of the box it came in?  Is there a keyboard?  Plug your computer in?  Take the sheet off of your monitor?  Are you wearing a blindfold?  Is your hair too long and obscuring your vision?  Do you have an internet connection?  Are you surfing from your phone, a laptop, desktop?  Could you bring the web page up?  Is the program too slow or are you not able to use it at all?  What happens when you try to use it?

  1. But, damn, I sure wish it did have something to do with awesome cool robots! []
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Another interesting project – Tater Tot Gun

This is a project I stumbled across a few years ago.  It’s a “Tater Tot Gun” – a pneumatic gun which uses a small bike pump to pressurize a chamber and hold a semi-rigid diaphragm in place.  When the chamber is very slightly decompressed, the diaphragm falls out of place releasing all of the pressure and accelerating your projectile.  Apparently it’s capable of more than 350 ft/s versus 1000 ft/s for an actual firearm. If this project at all interests you, definitely check out the two or three different models he describes.

Bottom line:  it’s crazy dangerous.  So, naturally, I bought two mini-bike pumps.  I not going to be completing this any time soon. 1

  1. I bought those bike pumps about three years ago… []
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I would like to thank my agent…

…the Hollywood foreign press…

Actually, huge thanks to Dave Durant for the math and answering questions, Renosis for exhaustive testing and feedback.  Thanks also to all of the other beta testers of whom there are too many to name.  Um, they’re playing the music,…  uh, uh, Honey – we did it!  Um…  Free Tibet!  and… um…  I’m King of the World1 !!!

In seriousness, since the launch of the first ProfileMaker v1.0 less than a week ago there have been 152 profile settings generated and the beta testers generated 270 profile settings through ProfileMaker v2.0.  Version 2.0 incorporates many of the things mentioned in the recent poll. 2  Here are some of those improvements:

  • ABS as well as PLA
  • Works with 1.75 and 3mm or any filament diameter you choose
  • Ability to change the feedrate, the mysterious gear swell, and gear diameter

I’ve already begun work on ProfileMaker 3.0.  If you want to help as a beta tester, or get the math involved, or want to help kick the tires of the user interface please drop me a line or leave a comment.

  1. of web based 3D printing calculators that solve for flowrate for stepper extruders []
  2. Still active as of right now – but get your votes in if you want to let your voice be heard []
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Who’s got mad WP skillz?

Iz can haz mad WP skillz.

The upgraded theme included a PHP5 function that’s not supported by my PHP4 server.  I ripped THOSE functions out right quick.

The blog is back.  Oh, how I’ve missed you!