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.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Does CC prevent people from stealing your 3D designs video

Script from this video (typos included):

Alright, short version, the CC license isn't for you. It's for your users. You have copyright, meaning just by creating a publishing your work, if someone takes your work, reproduces it, and attempts to sell it you have the right to take them to court and prescient to win. The CC license relaxes the copyright restrictions, giving the downloaders the ability to use your designs and web sites to provide them for upload, provided they follow certain rules you set out, like attribution or not using it for certain purposes.

Does that mean that it's impossible for someone to ignore the license and violate the copyright? Of course not. It's just words. But in that case the best thing that can happen is that they make a lot of money, preferably in a location that the laws easily apply, so that when you go to a lawyer and say "here's the situation" they start drooling, agree to take your case, and sue for punitive damages. So far no one has been dumb enough to violated CC license and sell 3D prints from copyrighted model and smart enough to make money from it. Because this requires someone to be both dumb and smart at the same time it may never happen.

But that’s not what you’re saying. You’re saying you’ve thought about the possibility that someone could take your design and make money from it, and if that happens you’d be sad. Maybe you’ve even seen people selling someone else’s designs without attribution and, even though they’re not making much, just doing that makes you unhappy, and I understand that. I have a garden in my backyard. If someone were to sneak in, steal my tomatoes, and sell them, I’d be upset.

Not that I was going to sell them myself, or even eat them because we’ve got a bumper crop, but that wouldn’t be the point. It would be theft and the law would support me on that, if I cared to pursue it, which I also probably wouldn’t. I’m just lazy. All I’d do is Harumph.

The thing is, what you’re really saying is you’re so afraid that someone is going to steal your tomatoes that you’re not even going to plant a garden. I say don't worry about that. Are you making something cool, or are you cowering because you don't know what people are going to do and not making anything at all? Put your stuff out there, you have a lot still to learn about the value of your own ideas and you won't ever learn it with a closed fist.

The truth is, you’re 3D model might not even be worth stealing. I know it means a lot to you, but try making it real and share it with others, let it compete in the marketplace, try to get buy in from others, and as soon as it's out of the magical realm of “everything is awesome Vania" that exists in your head, and in the real world, it's only got a thin chance of being as good as you think it is.

 But The funny thing is, in my experience, you can't predict what will be successful. All things are in your head everything is equally awesome you will won't know what's good until you get it out into the real world. So that's what you got to do. you have to release your stuff you have to get it out there you have to see what you've come up with that's quite frankly worth the time. And the more you get something out, out of your head, and out into the world, the more room you make for that next great idea that might actually be the one. You hold onto these things in your head, don't share them, let fear paralyze you, and you will never get there.

I entered a half a dozen contests to win a 3D printers before I finally made my chest set robot. In the meanwhile I lost to the stupidest things things that I knew I had created something better than but that everybody else disagreed with me on.

Now, of course there is some precedent for worrying. You can find people on Ebay and elsewhere selling other people’s designs without permission and without regard for the license. None of them are doing well enough to merit a lawsuit, but it’s enough to make people gunshy.

You know, if you’re worried about tomato thieves, there are a couple of things you can do about it, too. One way to fix it is to build a huge wall, hire guards and security cameras, and keep constant vigil over your precious tomatoes. For 3D printed designs that’s the equivalent of not releasing your files keeping them to yourself. Lots of people do this, but you know what I see? Walls. Limiting, enclosing, imposing walls. If you’re actually using your models to make money, and not just wishing that you could maybe one day if you could find your audience, then, okay, I support this course of action. But if you’re not, then maybe walling up yourself isn’t the best course of action.

You can sell tomatoes yourself. Put in the work, do the harvest, set up the stand or contact other stores, and make the money for yourself. For 3D printed designs you can get a 3D printer and an etsy shop. You’ll learn all about how much inventory to keep, market demands, and setting fair prices. You probably won’t get rich, but you’ll figure out that the people stealing your designs aren’t either.

Or, you can move your garden box to the front yard and put up a sign that says “help yourself, and maybe pull some weeds while you’re here”. Sure there will be mooches, and sure there will be who might even sell them, but you might make the news for being so open about what you’re doing. For 3D printing, this means don’t worry about what people are doing with your designs that you don’t approve of.

Do make sure to brand everything you make. Someone could just as easily remove the brand, sure, but you’re not worrying about that. You’re associating your work with you, freeing yourself up make more and better, and, most importantly, not stressing about stuff you can’t really, or don’t want to, do anything about anyways. Make enough cool things regularly and you may gain a following that will insist you set up a Pateron account so they can support you, who knows. Or maybe after a few years of this you finally make something that people actually want to pay for, you find your audience. The point is you’re not letting anything stop you from reaching your full potential and discovering what that potential is.

Go do something awesome. And stop giving yourself excuses not to.

Whether you design or not, I want to know “What is your big idia to use 3D printing”. Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid. This is just between you and me, and everyone who watches these videos. But practice being open, putting yourself out there, right here in the comments section, and see what happens.

As always I want to thank you for watching. If what I make is valuable to you, I have a Pateron, but I thank you for your view. Remember, safety first, and I’ll see you next time.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Gearbest deals on 3D Printers and other goodies

You can support what I do by checking out GearBest through the affiliate links in my videos.

Right now Gearbest is running a promotion on 3D printers and other goodies including incredible deals on printers I've reviewed and others that I will be reviewing soon. Find out more at the link below:

In addition they will soon be starting their Autumn Summer Harvest in 3 days. If I don't remember to tell you about it, you can check that out here:

I hope you'll see something you like, get what you want, and in the proces support what I do. It's a no-brainer win-win.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Vapor Smoothing 3D Prints and 3D Printer Repair Video

I have literally nothing to add to this video. A buddy of mine asked a question so I grabbed a few props, let the camera run, and answered it. So let's move on to the next one.
You can see me frequenly refering to my notes for this one, so here they are:

Upgrades and Maintenance

No 3D printer under $10000 is perfect.
Most are totally modable.
“Can” does not necessarily mean “need”.
Most upgrades invalidate warranty
  • More material options
  • More accurate prints
  • Faster
  • More reliable
    • Usually after break down
Common upgrades
  • Firmware
  • Software
    • S3D Is really the best
  • Build plate
    • Glass and hairspray or Blue tape should be considered temporary
      • Lots of hairspray
      • Well ventilated
    • Removable
    • PEI
      • Keep denatured alcohol on hand to clean
    • Buildtak
    • GeckoTek
      • Also denatured alcohol to clean
    • No surface is perfect
      • Keep glue stick on hand
  • Metal replacements for plastic parts
  • Reverse bad engineering

Both of these videos are in the quick run camp. Fast shoot, almost no editing. In fact the past 4 videos were all shot in the same day with only a quick tie change between so that they don't look like they were all shot in the same day. Advantages of having a simple costume. Because of this I was able to release videos on Wednesday, Friday, and Monday this past week, which is monumental for me. I want to keep this pace up, but I don't know how long I can.

I did record 3 videos today, so hopefully that will enable me to extend this run one more week. Of course I don't want to do this at the cost of making good videos, so you guys let me know if my videos are suddenly sucking, but so far the viewer numbers haven't suffered.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I have a mailing list

A big thanks to Makerblock, an associate from way back when putting "Maker" in your name has an homage to Makerbot was vogue. He insisted I set up a mailing list for our joint Lowpolysaur Park project. Which I did:

However, the goal for this mailing list is more than this one project. Going forward this will be the mailing list for anything 3D Printing Professor, which thinking about can generally be grouped into 3 categories:

I realize there's considerable overlap with games and designs, and there always will be. But between Wood Wars 3D, the Game of Ur, and the hand full of project I'm working on that haven't seen the light yet, trust me, there's more than enough going on in that category.

So if you want to keep up with what I'm doing in your inbox, be sure to sign up for the mailing list.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Why is 3D Printing Cool?

This video kinda serves as a little bit of a report about my community interactions, and a little bit of introspection that I've been having lately. A series of pictures from those events will follow.

When I think about 3D printing, and more particularly why we think it's okay to get together ostensibly about 3D printing, it strikes me as odd. After all, a 3D printer is just a tool. Do we get together about riding lawn mowers? And yet 3D printer meetups we don't blink an eye at. And I think I've figured out why.

First of all, 3D printers are a magical. It starts with an empty plate and fills up with whatever you want, that's a show you'd pay to see in Vegas. It also fills up with exactly what you want it to, what you designed in the computer, that's pretty magical.

Secondly, 3D printing has something for everyone. Not only can 3D printing do the job of other similar tools, at least in the terms of output it produces, but it can do it for more people than any other tool. Chances are there's someone using 3D printing for something that you really don't care about, and that's wonderful.

Third, The barrier for entry is lower than it's ever been, and it just keeps getting lower, which means that it's becoming accessable to more and more people.

However, there's a final point that I didn't think about until after I was done shooting the video, and it's kind of a dark one. 3D printing is a bit abusive. It doesn't work the way we expect it to at first. But that's actually a good thing because it means that if you're going to succeed at it, you're going to need to connect with other people, get community support, and in the process, find a family. This will probably be less true in the future, it's already less true than it was in the past, but nevertheless there you go. By being difficult, 3D printing forces to you find family.

So there you go. 3D printing. It's awesome, and it deserves to be.

Here's some pictures from the St George Board Game Con and Washington County Fair that I attended:
The medals for the St George Board Game Con, printed in plastic and brassfill.

My booth at the board game con. Is it obvious I have no idea what I'm doing?

Scan of two kids, one with a unicorn horn, and the other with He-Mans sword in his hand, added in post.

My booth at the Washington County fair
 If we ever meet IRL, remind me to tell you the story about how I got this particular booth. It's a little scandalous.
Met a fan. Which one of us was more excited?

I should do more of these. It was super easy, only took an hour

This lithophane almost looked as good without the light behind it