Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Enabling 3D Printing for Limited Mobility Children Video

This has become far more intricate than I initially thought it would be, and I don't believe I did the subject justice at all in this video.

First of all, there's the topic in the title, making 3D printing available to disabled children, which I give a bit more detail about in a Patreon post. How cool is it that, with a little bit of setup, you can create, slice, and print all from a tablet? The fact that a machine that does the heavy lifting in making things for you is available, accessible, and affordable, is amazing. We truly are living in the future. It's a slightly more industrial future than we all envisioned, thanks to the rough nature of open source, but the results can't be argued with.
I could dive into how to setup a Raspberry Pi to do this, if you'd like. Let me break down the steps, as I remember them:
  • Get Raspberry Pi, memory card, 5V power adapter, and optional camera
  • Flash Octoprint to the SD card, following the instructions on their site
  • While the SD card is still in your computer, use a text editor (I prefer Notepad++) to program your wifi data into the octopi-network.txt file
  • Plug in the Pi to the power adapter
  • Point a browser to http://raspi.local or find the Pi's IP on your network (I prefer Advanced IP Scanner for this)
  • Telnet into your Pi (I prefer Putty for this) 
    • Change the password of the root account with 'sudo passwd'
    • Run 'sudo raspi-config' to fill the file system and turn on your camera if needs
  • Run Cura 15, set it up for your printer, then save the configuration file
  • Open a web browser and go to octopi.local or your pi's IP address
  • Go through this process of setting up a user and loading the config file you make previously
  • Enable the plugins for "Full Featured Slicer" and "Touch UI".
See? Simple. Or not.

This is why, as cool as this is, it needs just a little more polish before I'd call it ready for prime time. Then again, it opens up opportunities for experts like myself, I suppose.

I could talk more about the particular chess set, as well. But, I think I'll save that for the future.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

3D Printed Trogdor drawn in Doodle3D video

Check out that classic hot-rod flame job in the thumbnail. Coming out of the back of my head. Burninating me like a common peasant. Or thatched roof cottage.

I am honestly super impressed with Doodle3D. I guess technically it's Doodle3D Transform. Like Tinkercad before it, this is a took that seems like it should be for children, but it has considerably more potential than that. Unlike, Tinkercad, however, that potential is largely unrealized at this time. While it does a great job of teaching the 2D sketch to 3D object workflow that is common in modern CAD programs. Well, technically MDA process, but that's a bit of a touchy subject. It makes the process of making a 3D model as easy as drawing a picture. And then transforming that picture in 3D.

However, it doesn't do enough to realize it's potential, yet, and I outline a few changes I'd like to see in the video. They include:

  • Ability to edit the measurements, even if only for a moment after the object is created (kinda like Blender does)
  • Ability to combine sketches in a 3D space, possibly involving a different interface
  • "Hole" objects
  • Ability to control how thick the single thickness lines will be when exported
I don't think I explained these very well in the video.

When I say, the ability to edit measurements, I recognize that the problem is that as soon as an object in Doodle3D is created, it is turned into a line that can then be erased or filled in. Blender has a similar problem. As soon as an object is created it turns into vertices, lines, and faces that can be changed in edit mode. However, for a moment after an object is created, before any other operation is started, there is a menu where you can manually type in dimensions and settings for those 3D objects. I'd like something like that for this. If you create an object it shows you the dimensions, so why not just leave those up for a second, let us edit them if we want, and then bake the object into the scene when we start to do anything else? There are obviously some considerations, like the star and n-gon shape that needs multiple edit objects that just aren't there yet, but there's got to be a way.

When talking about combining sketches in a 3D space, a join tool as it were. Imagine after you create the simplest of 3D objects, being able to go to a screen where that object can be manipulated in 3D, rotated and placed anywhere. Obviously without a second sketch for the placement to be relative to, placement is meaningless. However, in this menu you can create a second sketch, and begin working on it. You define it's shape, then pop back into the 3D join tool, and align this new object to the first. Combine as many discrete parts as you want to create the final object.

Hole objects I think are pretty self explanatory. It could be as simple as another color in the color picker, kind of how Tinkercad does it.

I didn't mention this last one in the video at all. By default Doodle3D exports the single line objects as 2mm thick walls. In an email to me they explained "We have experimented with the thickness of the walls and this is what we thought was best." I understand the sentiment and even agree with the conclusion they reached, generally. But that doesn't mean I don't want control of this aspect of the design process. A simple options in a properties menu, per object or per my account, would be enough for me.

Overall, I'm super excited by the potential of Doodle3D Transform and I hope you'll check it out.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Interview video with Jimmy Shaw

This was an absolute thrill.  Jimmy was on his way past my town to Vegas. He stopped, we had dinner, I showed him around and we recorded this video.I don't have the best place for hosting video recording parties, but Jimmy and I decided we had to record this moment in some way. So with no plan, no script, and no reason we started up our respective setups and hit "record".

Full disclosure, I don't do meetups and fairs, not because I don't want to, but because they're exhausting to me, so they're not a priority. But given the opportunity I always love it and will never turn it down.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Useful Wall Hook 3D Print Video

I don't remember much about this video because I recorded it, like, 3 weeks ago. This was one of a bunch of videos that I cracked out in a day so I could have something to post while I got on my feet steady in my new job. In fact this is the last one. In editing I had to sweeten the sound a little bit, but besides that it was one of the videos I did less editing for. But I remember the print itself was a pain in the neck. I cover that in the video. But suffice it to say this little project took weeks for me to get to this point, and I'm still not convinced I got it "right".

However, there it is, on the wall, holding up our aprons. It works good.

You can get the model on MyMiniFactory but if you are a Patreon backer you got this file weeks ago. Back at a little higher level and you even get the Blender source.

There's another aspect of this project that I didn't touch on in the video, and that's one of safety. In my "How I stole the CLUG" post, I had my first run in with this problem. The Clug people still aren't making the STLs available, and for good reason. Imagine I'm a trust fund duche-nozzle and I print out a clug, hang my $7000 cross country bike on it, and because I made some dumb error in printing, not enough shells or wrong material or something, it fails to hold my bike up for the 3 months that I neglect it in the rain and elements, and when I do find my bike it's on the ground, burred in the leaves of fall, dinged up, with a broken LED headlight. Who do I blame for this, keeping in mind that I am a, as previously stated, duche-nozzle? Clearly the fault isn't mine, so I go after Clug. Will the courts support them? Probably. Though with money being exchanged, there's some question of expectation. But in the meanwhile they have to endure a legal battle that in the end they'd probably prefer to avoid. And that's what they're doing. By not releasing the files they're avoiding the possibility.

Does that mean that if someone downloads this wall hook, and uses it, and it breaks, and their expensive heirloom tableware, that should have never been hanging from a plastic hook, shatters into a million pieces that I'll be held liable? Possible. But since I'm giving this away it's more likely that I'm safe. Well, as safe as I can be.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Orientation Matters Video

In this video I envisioned the story telling with a little of the cadence of "Alice's Restaurant Massacree". I wasn't able to work circles and arrows into the discussion, but overall I had the basic start-stop format in there. However, for the music, of course I couldn't step on any intellectual toes, so I perused incompetech, as I always do. Unfortunately the most Alice Restaurant-like piece that I could find was Marty Gots a Plan, which I already use a snippet of for my logo. At first I resisted, but in the end I decided to just go with it, and I think it captured the overall effect I was going for.

Still, you should probably just listen to Alice's Restaurant. It's a good one.

I don't know what inspired me to turn the logo on it's side like turned out so well. I don't know why I didn't think of it before I did it. But I did, and now I plan to give these out whenever I got to events. But you can download and print your own right now here:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

10k contest winner and mailing list plug video

Man, a few weeks ago I was cranking out videos almost every other day, and these past two weeks I can barely make my Wednesday upload. What gives? Well, I'll tell you. I've started a new job and while that's a good thing, it does leave less time in the day for video editing. The good news is I do have 3 or 4 videos banked right now, so I can focus on my job for a little while until things settle down.

Of course if this kickstarter goes really well...

I'm also working hard to get finished my old kickstarter. That means finishing boards and mailing them out. Most of the boards have been mailed out. It's only the four color boards that are the problem.

But I'll have more to say about that on there.

Low poly dino sketches for your approval to follow:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Youtube trailer video and story of my Pokemon tie.

Things are crazy around here. I almost didn't get this video up, dispite the fact that half of it was a scrolling picture and text. But that sort of special effect takes an hour of editing to get right. Meanwhile, I don't have an hour right now for editing. I've started working again, subbing in local schools.

Per the request of one of the comments asking about this particular tie, one of my favorite ties, the Pokemon tie, I will attempt to put the story here. Every time I've attempted to record this story and put it on YouTube the video somehow fails and ends up corrupted, so much so that I just decided it wasn't worth the effort. Maybe it's cursed to remain a mystery. So if blogger shuts down, you all are to blame.

Okay, here goes.

In a previous life I was a balloon guy. I can still twist a pretty mean Spider-man. At the time I prided myself in broadening my library of available designs. At this time Pokemon had just come to America and it was hot. So, naturally, I learned, from another twister at a balloon jam I went to, how to twist a Pikachu.

My employer, who would book me jobs at restaurants and parties and the like, learned about this and they gave me a call.

Them: "You can do Pokemon?! We have a Pokemon themed party that we're going to send you to."
Me: "I can do a Pokemon, there are over 100 of them. I can't do Pokemon. Just the one."
Them: "That's better than anyone else we got, so you're the man.
Me: "...okay."

I had a month to prepare, so I fired up Netscape, found an image of all available Pokemon at the time, printed it out, and studied it. I attempted to recreate as many of them with standard 260 animal balloons as I could. By the time of the party I had about 20 Pokemon available, including the most popular of them from the show. It wasn't all of them, but it wasn't too bad, and I felt ready.

Meanwhile my sister decided she'd help me accessorize with a tie. She found some Pokemon fabric, cut, and, bless her heart, hand sewed up the length of that whole thing to make me the coolest tie I have ever seen, and the only machine washable tie I have (though I don't do that because I'd have to put the crease back).

The day of the party came and I roll up, Pokemon tie on and 20 Pokemon balloon designs in my head. It was a party for a 6 year old. His dozen or so 5 and 6 year old friends swarmed around me and started making their demands.

Pikachu. Every single one.

But, hey, I got a sweet tie out of it.