Saturday, November 18, 2017

XYZ Davinci Color Frustrations Video

My original plan was for the second video to be my recent successes, and then go back with a 3rd video to talk the downsides. Kind of a "good" then "bad and ugly" sort of layout. But then I remembered about the 3 act structure and I realized that, told as they unfolded, this experience perfectly fit the form. I did go a little further into the 3rd act than academia might suggest for this video, but I did that so I could end on a hopeful note.

By the way, if you want to watch these things unfold in real time, you can always follow me on Twitter.

Without a doubt, situations like this are frustrating. But they're also a part of any new technology, and this is in many ways the newest technology there is. They're trying to make something without the support of an open community, because they're trying to maintain control of it. This was the sort of thing I joined the bandwagon in crucifying Makerbot for in the past. But, really, this sort of development is inevitable. We don't have to be happy about it, but we may have to accept it, at least for a little while, while the technology develops. Personal computers went through this. Inkjet printers went through this. Now it's 3D printing's turn. Doesn't mean we turn our back on this technology, just because we don't agree with the business that it's built under. If they're doing something that no one else is doing, and if it's really what we want, then we have a responsibility to support them.

On the other hand, I would not blame you for counting the cost and deciding that, while you might want this, you don't need it.

I hope I've whet your appetite for part 3, coming next Saturday. For right now I want Saturday to be hardware, and Wednesday to be kind of a wildcard. I'd love to add a Modeling Monday to the rotation, only because I want to be doing more modeling and recording the process, but right now 2 videos is pushing it. This video, and Wednesday's video were recorded, edited, and released all on the same day. I have almost nothing queued up right now. I'm kinda just scrambling last minute for a little while. Hopefully I can get my stuff together and get a little bit ahead, but for now I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I hope that's not being reflected in the videos. For the most part I'm pretty pleased with the recording setup I've got that makes this possible while maintaining high quality output, and I have my Pateron supporters to thank for that.

Lemme just spam some pictures here:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How to paint the Royal Game of Ur Video

Sometimes you just nail it with the thumbnail. Just, crushed it with this one. I am so proud.

Though, honestly, one of YouTube's suggested thumbnails weren't that bad this time.
Since this one is for the kickstarter, the rest of the details there.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Davinci Color Unboxing

This video was recorded before the sound upgrade that you all have been enjoying the past 2 videos. Plus, it's in my shed where lighting is a problem. So expect this one to be the worst of all my audio and video.

Stylistically, I wanted to emulate with this video the Vlog style that I've been watching some of lately. In particular the vlog style of Graham Stark of Loading Ready Run, though the royalty free music I used in this video was a lot less techno/hiphop and more Metalmania.

This unboxing took pretty much all day, and I never got to printing by the end of the day. Keeping in mind that I'm on the Beta team and that you can't even buy this printer yet... well, you know, just keep that in mind. I don't want to say too much, about my experiences following this or about the elephant in the room of the fact that XYZPrinting is pretty much the opposite of the open source 3D printing movement. I haven't recorded my next video about this yet, and I'm not sure what I'm going to remember to say or not, yet, but I don't want to blow my content before it's content. But maybe an outline of what I hope to talk about next will suffice:

  • Finding a home
  • Setting up wifi
  • software/firmware mismatch problems
  • Bricking the machine by updating the firmware
  • Getting a replacement motherboard
  • First successful color print
  • First unsuccessful color print
  • Crash course in UV mapping
  • This ain't open source

Friday, November 10, 2017

Defining the ideal 3D printer

Yesterday and today has been interesting. The CR10 project has started opening my eyes to what would be, to me, the ideal 3D printer. It's not just about what the printer is, but what it can become. But adding some of the features I want to the CR10 is... non-trivial. However, I've already started building the next printer to review, the Tevo Tornado, and it's looking much better for eventually being the printer I want it to be.

And then #TEVOgate happened.

Now, I don't want to talk about TEVOgate, the implication, insanity, or the brain-dead way that Tevo is handling it, except to say that if Tevo does run a discount tomorrow like they're promising, please resist. Show them that as a community we will not support this sort of insulting dismissal of their customers. But that's all I want to say about this.

What I do want to talk about is what I've decided the ideal 3D printer will look like. In the chapter in the Beginner's Guide to the 3D Printing Galaxy I defined a way to evaluate 3D printers for buying. I defined 3 criteria. We'll call these the high level view:
  • Easy to use.
  • Reasonable price
  • Capable of making anything
However, at some point reality has to be addressed. While we can dream about a machine that you simply say "tea, earl gray, hot" to and a cup filled with a steeped beverage appears, in reality there is only so much reasonably priced stepper motors can do. So the most realistic option right now involves a few things:
  • Works out of the box with minimal effort
  • Minimally capable
  • Upgradable
With that last bullet point, not having all the features on day-one is okay provided there's the option to get those features later. I see 2 ways to make this happen: an open and expandable system or a company dedicated to making the add-ons people want. An open system could have the advantage of having the community demonstrate what they want by making it.

So let's break it down. What are the features I want to see in the realistic ideal 3D printer, and how could they be accomplished?

  • Easy setup
    • Kits aren't ideal
    • I want to be printing day one
  • Large build area
    • This is a capability question
    • Can't easily be added to, so it's a base-line requirement
  • Reasonable price
    • For the minimal printer, the entry cost needs to be $200-$500
  • Great UI
    • Marlin is okay to start, but there needs to be a better option
    • Octoprint is an easy fix, but it needs the touchscreen
  • Wifi
    • Octoprint adds this
  • On-board slicing
    • Octoprint adds this
  • Filament run out sensor
    • Not required, but especially with big printers, it's a great option for functionality
    • Could be attached through octoprint, but it'd be better if it were through the board
  • Pause and restart capability
  • Power-loss restart capability
  • Filament measuring sensor
    • Measure incoming filament and adjust flow rate for consistent prints
    • No one has this, but it's a simple division on the flow rate based on the measured filament diameter
    • Doubles as a more expensive filament out sensor
  • Heated build plate
  • Auto leveling
    • Either measure-and-adjust or mechanically leveling
  • Flexible and high abrasive filament capability
    • A better nozzle is easy enough
    • Flexible friendly system isn't as easy to add, so maybe this should be baseline
  • Multi Material Option
    • Dual nozzles or diamond hot end, it doesn't matter, there needs to be ports to drive more motors that we need
    • It's not just colors, different materials for supports and different materials in a print is a game changer
    • It's also colors
What have I missed? Are there any options the realistic idea 3D printer needs to have? And who do you think is the most likely person to make it this a reality?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Triangle Chess Set video

3 videos have come out of a single project. First, there's the one where I more or less reported on the project of making a 3D printing setup for children with limited mobility. Then, there's the one where I kavetched about web apps because one disappeared on me as I was awaiting delivery. Finally, there's this one, finishing the project I started in the first. Interestingly enough, that first video hasn't gotten very many views. But a little click bait and it's over 3k views in 4 days. Go figure.

This chess set was a lot of fun to model and, honestly, very easy. As I've said before, Doodle3D is a very capable program. Though in the modeling of this I discovered that bounding box method of finding the center of an object does run into some problems, which I go into in the video.

The one thing I forgot to mention in this video about modeling this chess set is that Doodle3D does not make any attempts to boolean their objects to make them water tight meshes. Multiple objects are exported stacked and intersecting. Cura can handle this sort of mesh just fine, but other slicers, including Simplify 3D, don't handle this as well. And since I'm not okay with releasing this sort of "dirty" mesh, I had to fix it in an external program before I uploaded it. So add that to my list of feature requests for Doodle3D.

You can download and print your own triangle chess set on MyMiniFactory.

I hope the underlay music doesn't offend anyone. This video felt like it was dragging on, even with a lot of my rambling cut out, and I needed something to keep it flowing. But I hope the audio is still good. This is the first video with the new mic recorded in the old location, which is the last possibility for where the interference noise was coming from. I hope people will tell me if that audio has a problem.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Visiting Moment3D

I found this is my drafts folder. IT's been sitting there for a while. So, sorry Alex and Andre. Apparently I can't push publish.
I'm a little bit behind on my blog posts. Earlier this month I visited Moment3D for a 3D printing meetup. Moment3D was one of the huge contributors in my previous fund raising campaign, so it was exciting to thank Alex and Andre in person.
What Moment3D provides is a 3D design, 3D scanning, and prototyping. Alex is the ZBrush expert. Andre rocks the more industrial design with Fusion360, and there's a hardware guy who wasn't there when I visited. But when their powers combine they form CAPTAIN PLANET! ...or something like that.

I love what these guys are doing. Couple of guys, a handful of mad skills, and few 3D printers and they're in business.

Of course they also need some pretty baller computers.

And having some more expensive SLA printers for the high detail stuff helps.

And a work space with a monthly rent and heating bills.

Having a few regular clients helps keep things running.

Alright, so when the rubber hits the road reality is a little more complex than just that, but that's not the point. We're in a day and age where the bar is lowered. I wish Moment3D all the best. They may very well represent the future.

Their showroom has an impressive collection of prints featuring of various technologies including FFF, SLA, and binder jetting that I'm going to finish up this post with.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Problem with the CR10 video

CR10 from Gearbest in orange or blue, to match your decor. $368.99 with coupon: GBCRUS
Or buy mine:

The title is admittedly a little click baity. And the video is designed to lead people on, maybe a little. But I hope the resolution is entertaining and you'll forgive my silly spin on the review of a printer everyone's already seen reviewed.

(Picture got turned sideways)
The improved sound (I hope) in this video over my videos lately is thanks to several people. First of all, I owe the commenters that complained that the video was bad. I couldn't hear it (old man ears) but apparently it was bugging people. Further comments and feedback helped me resolve it and suggested alternatives. And finally the support of my Pateron backers that afforded me the upgrade I need. One backer in particular went above and beyond, but desired no recognition for it. And while I won't call them out in a video, I may have given them a little boost in their supporter tile. I also owe James from Print 'N Play for providing me some well timed support at the last minute that helped me get this particular video out. Check out his YouTube channel.

Why am I selling this CR10 if it's so great a printer? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, I have a lot of printers to test and not a lot of room for them. I could give them away, but I interested to see if printer flipping is viable. Most 3D printers require some some significant ramp up, especially if you want the added functionality of a Raspberry pi. So instead of making everyone who wants a 3D printer do it themselves, maybe I can provide that assembly and setup as a service. If I can do this maybe I can start buying back printers kits that people aren't doing anything with and turn them into printers that people can use. I'm hoping for a good win-win situation.