The Hell Ya Beller Fun with hot, pointy, sharp, and caustic stuff.


Bad Idea

It's Pinewood Derby season again and I kinda enjoy making derby cars.  This year, my youngest son and I made an awesome car for his bear den division.  It came out great and I'll do a blog post on that one as soon as I get some good pictures.

We also have an 'open' class where the rules are a little more relaxed.  Last year's car was fast and I actually won but not because I was the fastest. I was really impressed by a c02 powered car that another dad had made.  He had trouble keeping it on the track, but it was REALLY fast.

This year, I decided to follow his lead but with more power.  I designed this motor to be printable on a 3d printer like a reprap or makerbot.  All the files have been released on Thingiverse.


A quick fix for my Walkman rattling problem

I listen to a lot of audio books from my Sony Walkman (NWZ-E436F).  I have an RF modulator so I can play them through the audio system in the truck.  The only problem is the thing slides around and gets lost on the floor.

This is really the perfect kind of problem for a makerbot to solve.  The pieces are simple and tolerances are forgiving.  I could improve the design of the stem but recessing the bolt that holds the two parts of the stem together.

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HeeksCNC does additive printing…sort of .

Here's my first attempt at using HeeksCNC to generate g-code for my makerbot.  I wanted to print a part with a screen.  That should be a pretty easy part, but since skeinforge wants to slice a .stl,  it turns out hand coding it is easier.  Enter HeeksCNC.  I used the pocketing operation with a custom post-processor to do the work.  This is a very limited application, but it shows the promise of using HeeksCNC operations.


Offerings to the god of print.

I really like the movie Worlds Fastest Indian.  It's based on a true story and if the main character isn't a 'hacker' in his own way, I don't know what he is.

In the opening scenes, the camera pans through his workshop across a shelf full of blown pistons.   Clearly this guy has obtained his knowledge and skill at the expense of many failed experiments.

After I got my makerbot working, I tried to find the internet equivalent of that shelf.  I figured somebody must have collected pictures of common printing problems, possible causes, and recommended solutions.   The forums are full of descriptions and the community, like all communities is evolving its own vocabulary.  Raft, tower, splodge, ooze, and shells are a few of the new words in my life.  It's daunting for newbies.

But it's been surprisingly difficult to find that kind of information in any organized form.  So, I'm starting to collect what I find and what I learn here. I'm adding a new category of 'common print problems' and a tag 'offerings'   Hope someone finds it useful.

To start things off:  The best collection of images and descriptions I managed to find.  Thanks Tony!

Tony's list


Going over to the dark side.

It seems like every magazine and blog I read lately is filled with reprap stories.  Make magazine had a Makerbot Cupcake CNC on the cover of the previous issue and CBS even did a short profile.  It's time to find out what all the fuss is about.

I ordered a Cupcake a couple weeks ago and it arrived on Friday.  My truck was on the fritz and the family was away so I didn't want to stray too far from the homestead. This was a perfect distraction.

So far the build has gone together very well.  It goes together like something from IKEA but the tolerances are really very good considering it's made of wood.  The T-nut design and the fingers of the laser cut panels make it surprisingly rigid.

I haven't gotten past the mechanical construction yet, but here's a couple pictures.

Without a doubt, I can already tell that the "hot end" is going to be the weak link.  It's the white and yellow bit in the middle of the extruder assembly below.  Compared to the rest of the build, this felt very DIY and kinda kludgy.  I've seen a few blogs and posts of people coming up with improvements.