Dreaming of making things

Feb 01

I’m participating in the 6th edition of Thing-a-Day!

I’m participating in the 6th edition of Thing-a-Day!

Nov 11

Prusa Mendel Visual Instructions: LaTeX version

I have nearly finished converting Gary Hodgson’s wonderful visual instructions for assembling a Prusa Mendel to LaTeX. I was going to wait to publish this until after ironing out all the style problems, but since Prusa just released his upgrade to the printer today and an update to the guide is imminent, I figured this post was in order.

You may ask “Why LaTeX? What’s wrong with the current format?” There are a number of very good reasons why a collaborative guide should not be written in the Microsoft Publisher format:

If you are interested, please take a peek at my github fork of the project. It is a bit tricky to get your build environment set up correctly, but you don’t need to build it to contribute copy/graphics changes. I think if we all work together this can become a much bigger thing: a Prusa Mendel Assembly/Maintenance/Usage guide, rather than just assembly.

Oct 25

How to add a Flattr button on every tumblr post

When I first started using Flattr (If you don’t know about Flattr yet, check it out! It’s pretty cool), I wanted an easy way to add Flattr buttons to my tumblog posts. I found this blog post that explained how to do it. This worked great for awhile, but recently my buttons recently stopped working and were just displaying “Error”. On investigation, I discovered that it only occured (for whatever reason) on posts which hadn’t yet been flattr’d.

I found that if I upgraded the button HTML to the HTML 5 version, they started working again. I also took the time to make several upgrades to the button HTML. The buttons now:

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Jul 30

Lesson learned: never print while rendering an openscad file. It kept pausing and leaving enormous globs all over.

Lesson learned: never print while rendering an openscad file. It kept pausing and leaving enormous globs all over.

Jul 28

My bot was never complete until I made it a name tag. :)

My bot was never complete until I made it a name tag. :)

Jun 26

Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Eleven

The last step of building a Prusa Mendel RepRap is mounting the build plate. I am using a heated build plate so I also had to mount that. The screws recommended for mounting the top plate were really long and I wanted to conserve as much precious Z space as possible so I used slightly shorter screws and have had no problems. If you decide to do this just keep in mind that you want them to be long enough so that you still have some play in the springs and the build plate needs to be able to clear the fender washers.

There are some suggestions for ways to mount a PCB Heated Bed in the RepRap wiki, but nothing really concrete/authoratative. I decided to just use some M3 nuts and bolts and that has been working fine for me. I would have liked to use M3 bolts screwed up from underneath with a washer on the underside, then a washer, a nut, and another washer between the top plate and heated bed, and then a washer and nut on the top of the heated bed. I didn’t have the right size bolts though, M3x10 is just a hair too short, so I left out the washer on top. Next time I’m at the hardware store I’ll get some better bolts, and probably screw them top down.

Here a picture of the top plate and heated plate mounted. I used double-sided tape from MakerGear as a build surface (accidentally laid it on some paper, that’s what all the white stuff is), which I would definitely recommend against. I am using Kapton tape now, and it works far better.

I also mounted some leftover MDF on the back panel to hide/organize all the electronics, which works very well for me.

My printer is done! Next post I will provide a summary of my experience with lessons learned. 

I was finally able to print something of my own design. A truly useless creation, but possibly the worlds first. It’s a trumpet mouthpiece with a built in mustache!

I was finally able to print something of my own design. A truly useless creation, but possibly the worlds first. It’s a trumpet mouthpiece with a built in mustache!

Jun 12

[video]

A RepRap is born: Polybot

I’m jumping the gun a bit on this post, but I’m just way too excited to wait. My 3D printer is finished! My 3D printer printed an ugly, stubby shot glass(ok, so I have one little kink to work out) as per the custom today and I christened her “Polybot”. The “Poly” is partly because of her maker(Polymaker) and partly because I hope one day she or one of her descendants will be used for much more than printing plastic objects. Cheers, and make on!

May 23

Prusa Mendel RepRap: Step Ten (Part 2)

I’d been busy preparing for the rapture the past couple weeks, so I put RepRap building on hold. However, since that fell through, I’ll get back to working on my printer. ;) The truth is, I took a couple weeks off because I broke something… a couple things.

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