How irritating is that picture above? Could this be our experience if the cable and phone companies are allowed to separate the internet into a two speed system? The idea that the internet should be equal access for all is the idea behind Net Neutrality. We support the cause today as its another:
John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality
My Canon MG3520 printer is a great paper printer but the tray to catch completed prints is way to short. It only measures 5 1/4" fully extended. This leaves all my prints on the floor and if there are no page numbers, I'm left with a puzzle to figure out how to put them back together in proper order.
So I decided to improve the design and make a new paper tray to collect the prints. I removed the original tray and measure the width and the thickness of the rails. Then I used TinkerCad to create a much bigger tray. I extended it to about 7" which was just slightly smaller than the max size my Davinci 1.0 printer could handle. I slid the new tray in place and problem solved. Check out the video below from my YouTube Channel for the step by step instructions.
I continue to find uses for my 3D printer. It's so handy to have in the shop. I can work on my books or electronics projects while it prints my latest design. Bigger jobs that take time, I can run at night and in the morning they are ready to use. I'm seriously thinking about getting a second one because I have more print ideas than I have time to print.
The file for this print is on my Thingiverse page: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:455476
I released a new video on my YouTube channel for those setting up a home lab and who may want a little help choosing a PIC Programmer. I actually go back to the first hobbyist PIC programmer called the PICSTART 16B1 and then take the viewer through some of the most popular PIC programmers in history to get us to where we are today.
By no means did I cover every design, just the highlights from my years of experience. There are still many designs out there so it can be confusing but in the end I recommend sticking with the official PICkit programmers, though building your own like my PK2 is fun and you can learn a lot.
The video is short but hopefully viewers like it enough to subscribe and let me know they are watching and hoping for more. I plan to release future videos in three categories; 3D print projects, beginner electronic projects and tips for the home lab. Check it out and let me know your ideas for what you'd like to see in a future video.
When I first bought my Davinci 1.0 3D printer, I actually wondered if I would find enough stuff to print to justify the purchase. I've owned it for about 4 months and the thing has been running non-stop and I have a backlog of projects to print. I have some designs that I print for resale and it's helping to fund a potential 2nd 3D printer. I need the extra capacity so I can print my own designs while I print designs for other people. One of the latest prints for hire was a Solder Roll Bracket that mounted to a pegboard wall. One of our sponsors, gamersoption.com, needed 8 of these built-up for their ever expanding production line of XBOX and PlayStation Custom Modded Controllers.
They sent me a starting design, which was created in TinkerCad, which was a simple L Bracket with a post sticking out to hold the solder roll. From there I went to work modifying it to fit the pegboard wall that was at the back of their assembly work benches. I added a triangular strengthening support and also posts to line up with the holes in the pegboard. A hole was added to the original L bracket so they could install a screw and nut. One prototype run and the design was proven to work great.
I then when to work printing a batch of them, eight to be exact. The design was agreed to be open sourced so you can get it at Thingiverse. I produced a YouTube video showing how the design was done so if you get a chance, check it out above or at this YouTube link.
I just posted another 3D Printer Project on my YouTube Channel. This time I created a box that holds a breadboard with space underneath for storing components. The box is shaped like an 8-pin Microcontroller. I used a thingiverse design from user tetralite who created an actual size 8-pin microcontroller 3D print design. So I took the design and made it much larger to fit a breadboard on top.
The breadboard is held up by four posts underneath but also has lots of empty space inside the microchip body. This allows you to store components inside. In fact it fits all the components I used in my book "Programming PICs in BASIC" which uses an 8-pin Microcontroller.
I used TinkerCad for the modifications and then printed the design on my Davinci 1.0 printer. The design had a lot of support material to be removed but it came out very solid and smooth with a little clean-up. I also used a raft as the base to try and prevent any warpage which seemed to work well. You can see the full project description in the video below.
This started out as just a fun project that grew bigger as I thought about it. At first I only recessed the breadboard into the top of the chip but then realized all that plastic under it could be hollowed out for storage. I released the .stl file on Thingiverse for anybody to build. Check it out and let me know if you build one too.
The replacement bearing holder for my Davinci 3D printer arrived today. THE replacement, not set of replacements, THE replacement. I received ONE plastic replacement because I showed them a picture of ONE broken bracket. The cost of sending the bracket under warranty through Fedex Ground would not have cost much more to send me a pair or a full set of four. I guess I made the mistake of assuming they would send me a set not just one.
I hope I don't find another broken one or even break one when I take it apart. The problem here was I can't easily get to the left side bracket to see if it was cracked. I tried to get my camera in there to take a picture but even that was tough. So I won't know until I take it apart. And if its broke, I'll be waiting another week for a replacement. There are numerous posts about these breaking on various forums so I know this isn't a rare issue. And many people reported getting full sets of brackets.
Honestly, to go through all the work of packing and shipping a replacement sub $0.50 piece of plastic, would it have hurt to send at least two?
I do appreciate the follow-up support for the Davinci warranty. They have replaced everything I showed as failed so far including my extruder which I posted about prior. From now on though, I suggest you make sure you spell out everything that is wrong before making a request for replacement. I know I will.
There are 3D print files of an improved bracket on Thingiverse so I may print a few of those out before I tear it apart so I have enough parts to put it back together.
XYZprinting, if you are listening, thanks for the replacement but in the future at least send a pair or a full set of four.
There is an independent forum for Davinci 3D printer users to share ideas. While on the forum I saw they were discussing broken bearing mounts for the Y-axis shaft. So I looked at mine and discovered I had the same issue. The back right bearing mount was cracked at the bottom as seen in the picture below.
I haven't seen any issues from it but I do note that small holes don't seem to print well. I'm not sure if this broken mount has anything to do with it but I want fix it so I can find out. I sent an email request to the support team at XYZprinting and since they were very responsive with the broken extruder, I'm hoping this can be fixed as well. One forum member said they sent him 4 new brackets. I just sent the email request today so we'll see how fast they respond.
One of the forum members (bret4) created a replacement and posted it on Thingiverse. Now this makes the most sense because I can 3D print a replacement before the bearing mount completely comes apart. Why XYZprinting doesn't have the plastic parts as 3D print files for customers to download is beyond me. I hope they eventually do so because then, when this thing is out of warranty, I'll be able to print replacement parts easily.
Some people prefer the Thingiverse mount because its stronger but I'd still like to have a good set of originals to work with. If you have a Davinci 3D printer and have already replaced the bearing mount, comment below how the replacement process went. It looks like it's going to be a pain to replace and some have mentioned on the forum that you have to get the Y axis perfectly square to the X axis or your prints will be off. That makes a lot of sense but also sounds like a very sensitive procedure. I'd prefer to have picture supported directions or YouTube video on how to replace them. If not I may end up creating that.
This has got to be one of the most insulting presentations towards Engineering I have ever seen. And directly from someone (Meredith Perry CEO of UBEAM) who depends on engineers to get her product to market. I understand the point that great ideas can come from anybody and with the proper support those ideas can become reality. But to go on stage and claim that engineers are two dimensional (will it work or won't it work) just shows the lack of understanding this person has for engineering. Engineers figure out why something won't work and then figure out how to redesign it to make it work. Sometimes we fail and many times we succeed. With hard work and perseverence.
Yes, I am an engineer and proud to say I have designed some of the products that are in many of the cars on the road today. I've helped others get their ideas to market, many times for free just to help out a friend or someone I thought just needed that extra experience my engineering background could offer.
You don't have to blame the engineers for your failure to innovate. I've told many people I didn't think their idea was a good one or practical, mainly because I knew how much money or time or effort it would take just to get a prototype to work. I was trying to save them the pain and expense that can come from the long hours of trying to get something to work. Some people pushed on and found I was right, some proved me wrong with clever work-arounds. But none of them blamed me. In fact they thanked me for offering them helpful advice. If my advice as an engineer stopped them from pursuing it then they didn't believe in it themselves or didn't really have the desire to do it. But don't blame the engineer for that.
The presenter mentions that she discovered all the initial information for her idea in two days on Google. Where does she think all that Google info came from? My guess is that much of it came from engineers who were willing to share their knowledge online for free.
And despite her apparent hatred for how engineers can be so unhelpful, just look at what her website is looking for:
I wonder if they show this video during the interview process?
So if you ever get a boat load of venture funding for your idea, don't go on TED and bash some of the key people you need to make that idea a reality. It's not what I would call great PR.
I just launched another YouTube video. This time I show you how I 3D printed a tripod holder for my iPhone 5. I found the design on Thingiverse and then modified it in TinkerCad.
The original design had equal height sides that the iPhone sat between. But that resulted in one side blocking my view when filming. So I loaded the .stl file from user SamCass into TinkerCad and modified it to hold my phone with case and lowered one wall.
I printed it at 0.4mm height and 10% fill. It printed in about 30 minutes. The design is simple but effective. I can easily remove the phone and review the video clip.
If you like this project then please subscribe to my YouTube Channel. I hope to have more coming very soon.
I've had a YouTube Channel for a while but never did much with it. Then recently settled on the theme I'd like to have and that's "How-To" for the beginner. "How-To" get started with electronics, "How-To" get started with 3D printing, and more. So I've started posting more videos.
I decided to make the videos shorter and to the point to start. I've found many YouTube channels have videos that run on too long and the hosts just talk and talk or worse, don't talk at all and just show you a computer screen as they scroll around.
My first official video is about my recommendation for a solder tip cleaner. It's the one I use in my own lab and its quite inexpensive but works great. I set up a small lab in my garage next to my Davinci 3D printer. It makes a nice recording area.
If you like what you see in the video, please subscribe to my channel on YouTube. I'll be posting more and will be coordinating topics with the blog here as well. I want them to compliment each other not compete for your attention. If you have a topic you'd like to see, shoot me a suggestion through my contact page.
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Visit previous blog posts in the archives below.
Chuck has been programming with PIC Microcontrollers since there were only five devices. Now there are over 700 and growing. He also has a lot of fun 3D printing designs using his Davinci 3D printer and TinkerCad software. In this series of blog posts and occasional videos on his YouTube Channel he tries to help you get started with electronics and 3D printing.
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