Thursday, December 27, 2012

New design tool!

This year, I got a christmas present that I've been wanting ever since I first heard of it (around 2007 or 2008 when I was part of FIRST Robotics), the 3DConnexion SpacePilot Pro. I've always thought it would be an incredibly useful tool for 3D modeling, and having one sure confirms that, but I'm also finding all sorts of other uses for it!

More info and pics after the break!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wow this year went fast

It's getting close to the new year and I'm realizing that I haven't posted nearly as much as I feel I should have. In this post, I'll try to give an update on everything I've been up to lately (hint, mostly schoolwork).
My new workbench, a printed #ingress symbol, Solar modules that I helped make, and an awesome robot (well, RC car)!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Google tech support

So, I use a Google Voice account for text messaging, and it's usually great, except that sometimes it will just completely stop sending or receiving messages, with no indication to me that it's happening!

Since there's no way to know if I've missed an important message, I decided to try to contact Google tech support... only to find out that they actually DON'T HAVE ANY.

They have a joke of a support forum that's almost never viewed by staff, and their phone system (which isn't listed anywhere on Google's sites, you have to find it yourself) is HORRIBLE, and usually just ends up telling you to go to the support website...

The issue I'm having seems to be fairly common among google voice users, so I'm really not sure why it's not getting any attention. But what's much more anoying is google's lack of any form of support.

Being one of the largest and most powerful companies on the planet, I can't figure out any explanation for them not providing human based support to their customers.

/end rant/

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Makerbot is MOBILE!

First of all, a million thank-you's go out to my dad and grandfather for their awesome birthday present of a bright orange Pelican 1620 roller case!

I just finished plucking all the foam (yay pelican foam!!) and was able to fit the Makerbot, it's interface board, a 1kG spool of filament, a section of filament feed tube, AND a surge protecting power strip!

I'll also be designing a filament spool holder that mounts to the extending handle on the case, and holds the feed tube, so that all I'll need to print on the go is a single outlet!

Here are some pictures of the filled case (the power strip goes just under the filament spool on the bottom layer of the case, but I hadn't pulled the foam out for it when I took the pictures)

Given that Pelican cases are essentially everything proof, I'd definitely recommend them as a way to transport the Makerbot!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And more bad news

Well, another stepper driver just failed, and this one at least makes sense (It's the Z axis driver, and I have a rather heavy Z axis, which takse more force than normal to move)

It legitimately let out the blue smoke, so at this point, I'll be salvaging what parts I can from these two drivers, and then waiting till I can upgrade the bot to a set of 4 pololu drivers.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Again sorry for the lack of dates, I've been juggling 17 credits of classes, and internship applications, so i've been a bit frazzled.

On top of that, just as I was getting moving again and making some cool stuff, my extruder's stepper driver seems to have bit the dust :-(

I'll post pictures of some of my latest prints soon, as well as a couple new mods!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Hi everybody! I've been having a rough term at school, so I haven't posted much lately, but here's a post with pictures to satisfy your curiosity as to what i've been up to!

First off: Hardware Upgrades (well, electronics, but close enough)

Added an e-stop button, wired in with the e-stop circuit
kludgy wiring for the e-stop switch :-) when the switch is pressed,
the 5v power is tied to the signal input line via a 100k resistor.
Also added a key switch that connects and disconnects the PS-ENABLE
line on the power supply. no real point to it, but it's awesome!

Friday, February 10, 2012

ReplicatorG machines file

So, I've been trying to find a comprehensive list of all the stuff that can go in the machines file, but haven't been able to... so, I'm posting my attempt at it here, post a comment if you see something I've forgotten!

The list is in a google doc, so if you want access to be able to help make the list, send me an email and I'll add you to the editors list!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm the Heart Man!

I've recently been having a lot of fun doing various modifications to Emmett's heart gears! Learning openScad on the way :-).

So far, I've made two modifications to the AMAZING Screwless heart gears:

First, I used my old MK5 motor to motorize it!

Next, I created a Keychain version!
Haven't gotten it to print satisfactorily yet, but I will post pictures as soon as I do!

That's all for now, But I'll be making more soon!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The crazyness continues

Well, The interface board finally gave up the ghost, but I'm 99% sure it was the LCD, so I've ordered a new one from mouser (20 bucks) and am hopeing that'll fix it.

I also added cable chain on all three axes, so now the wires are all neat n tidy! But, in doing so, I accidentally drilled through one of the RGB led sections, so I'll need to solder that back together...

I've posted a few new  parts on TV: is a mounting plate for the filament feed tubes I use, and for the emergency stop board.

I also posted, a 3D placeholder model of a Gen4 endstop

Finally, I uploaded, An endstop mount for using the touch endstops with a Cupcake Lowrider.

I'll post more info once I get my new interface display module!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good news, and bad news

First off, I extend a HUGE thank you to all the guys (and girl) at Makerbot who signed my 'Bot!
I've posted the album publicly on my Google+, so check it out there!!

Sadly, this is where the bad news comes in... When the front plate was on it's way back from NY to OR, USPS was, shall we say, less than careful handling the package, and the wood arrived cracked in three places. It still works after a bit of sanding and super glue, but I wish it had arrived unbroken.

Second, I finally got the ACME Z axis upgrade, but am quite honestly disapointed... Maybe I just got bad rods, but since I've installed them, the wobble's gotten worse, the Z axis is binding tons and I've been having a hell of a time calibrating... Now to save up for precision ground linear shafting and some linear bearings and such to replace the Z axis. Oh well, I guess it was worth a shot... maybe I can figure out some sort of wobble arrestor for the leadscrews, but doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?

Third, I've finally upgraded some of the firmware on my bot, greatly improving the usability of the interface board, the firmware I'm now running can be found here: It's really cool, allows for preheating, continuous jog, and jog during print pauses including extruder movement! Meaning that filament changes may be doable now!

Lastly, I've installed some simple RGB strips, and the bot looks AWESOME now!

Overall, I'm happy with the machine, but it's been taking way too long to try and get rid of this wobble, and I'm running out of money (or rather, I ran out a while back and am waiting for the reserves to replenish, which may take a while as I'm a college student)