Nanners' Blog My rantings


Thing-O-Matic Update

At this point my ToM is working pretty well.  The fix for the belt issue was actually to tighten them up a bit more, and now they run pretty darn smoothly.  I actually ended up removing the rods from both the X and Y axis' to realign the bearings a bit.  To align them you really just take the rod and flex it about in the bearings to push them to align, pretty neat.  I also took the Z-stepper off and realigned the bearings for the Z axis and then reinserted the threaded stepper rod into the Z-Axis platform.  In the end my bot has better resolution, and makes a lot less noise.


Thing-O-Matic Belt Issues

Right now I'm having some issues with my Thing-O-Matic.  Both the X-Axis and Y-Axis are catching near their minimum stopping points.  This has caused some of the prints to come out slanted to one side, at this point I need to pull apart both Axis' to see what might be causing the issues.



Thing-O-Matic Update 3

As of Sunday night I have a fully functional Thing-O-Matic.  At this point it does still have some kinks to work out, but it is working, and printing.  I was able to print a few test objects, and a companion cube before hitting any snags.  While trying to print a tardis the build nozzle snagged on the model and caused it to come free.  I figured this was a fluke and tried it again with much the same result.  I again this morning tried to print a companion cube, but as it was in the last few minutes of the build it once again snagged the top of the model and pulled it off the build platform.  I'm hoping this is being caused by a now quite level build platform and that I'll be able to fix it by the use of some plastic spacers or shims.

The other issue I've suffered it that I've had a few cables come unplugged while printing.  This has occurred due to poor cable management on my part, and I've been doing my best to fix it by means of zip ties.  I'll be posting later this week about all the major and minor problems I've had so hopefully other people can avoid them.


Thingiverse Thursday

This weeks Thingiverse Thursday is a bit sad for me since I had hoped to be able to join in the printing fun this week.  At this point I still haven't been able to get the Y-Axis of my bot to come alive.   Makerbot support got back to me as I was writing this let me know I should check for bad solder joints, that this is my most likely issue.  If it doesn't work after a resolder job they said they can RMA it, which is awesome of them.  So hopefully one way or another next Thursday will see me printing, so on to our things:


Now the first thing isn't a printable it's a laser cut piece:

War of The Worlds Playset

War of The Worlds Playset


This is a snap out War Of the Worlds Playset by user WindhamGraves.  As a lover of Science Fiction, and tabletop wargames I simply love this.  When I finally build my laser cutter this will be one of the first things I make.

(While I was writing this I just saw this derivation by user DrewPetitclerc.  It's a 3d printable version of the above, so I'll be interested to see a printed form of that.)

Second up this week we have a tape dispenser:

Tape Dispenser

Tape Dispenser

This cool little thing, is by user jag and I dig it.  I've somehow tend to break scotch tape holders, so having this one around might be nice.

Finally we have this:

Dr Who

Dr Who

This is actually two different cookie cutters by user dgwilson.  One is of a Dalek, the other of a Tardis.  Both seem to cut and imprint some lovely cookie shapes.

That's my three picks for this week, next week I hope to be able to print my three picks for the week.



Thing-O-Matic Update 2

As of right now the Y-Axis is the last mechanical part to get working.  It seems that I have a short somewhere on the Y-Axis ribbon connector on the motherboard.  Tonight to correct the issue I'll need to remove the motherboard and hunt for bad solder joint.


Makerbot Thing-O-Matic update

So far Kay and I have probably spent around 18 to 20 hours assembling our new Thing-O-Matic.  We spent the better parts of both Saturday and Sunday on this, and at this point have finished the main construction.   Next we will need to spend time making sure we did everything properly, which includes testing every moving parts, end stop switches, making sure the heater elements heat up properly, and that the temperature sensors are getting accurate readings.  Once this is done we need to go through a calibration process to make sure our bearings have proper alignment, and that each axis is positioned correctly.  Once this is done we can finally make some test prints to be sure that we have proper X and Y belt tension.  This process will probably take some of both Monday and Tuesday nights, and unless we hit any major snags we should be printing by Wednesday.

While the main assembly was a bit of a bear I'm very glad to have done it.  You really get an excellent sense of have something works when you are the one to assembly it yourself.  I've seen makerbots in action in many videos, read assembly instructions,  and even briefly seen them in person on NY Comic Con 2011, but nothing gives you the sense of the thing till you've assembled one and have it sitting in front of you.  While I'm used to building things from kits, and reading instructions this is by far the most complex thing I have ever put together.  I'm still excited about it as well, normally I think I'd be burned out after such long hours of working away on something, but this has really invigorated me.  I'll be posting more this week about some of the harder parts of assembly, and my plans for maintenance.  For now I'm happy to be back at work and to work on coding again.


A Friday rant

I've gotten a few people telling me they can't see two of last weeks three posted things.  Well it Games Workshop,the owners of Warhammer, have sent Thingiverse DMCA take down notices for all Warhammer 40k works on Thingiverse.   Now I'll try to be reasonable about this, Games Workshop has some intellectual property and they are trying to protect it.  Here's the thing, it's not going to work, and they just shot themselves in the foot.  Part of being a business in what I like to think of as the New Industrial Revolution, is to understand what's coming.  By Games Workshop telling thingiverse that they own all likenesses of a thing, and that people can't share things that look like things we make, they are just delaying the inevitable.


What Games Workshop should go is call 3dYeti and tell him he is a brilliant man, offer him a job, and give him free glue for life.  Here's why:  3dyeti made something that can spark an interest in someone for Warhammer.  Games Workshop, controls Warhammer from one end to another: they make (or sell rights to make) models, they print the books, they make the rules, they hold events, they sell glue,  paint, tools, cases, accessories, etc.  Now what they don't do is make people interested in the game on a regular basis, or offer anyway to get into the game on the cheap and get addicted to making models, and playing the game.  Will everyone with a makerbot that sees 3dyeti's tank go out and buy games workshops full catalog and become a warhammer nerd?  Nope.  Will it make me want to go buy some paint, glue, and an Imperial Guard Codex(rulebook).  Yeah, but I'm already into Warhammer 40k, so I'm probably an edge case.

If Games Workshop wants to do this right they shouldn't try and crush this, they should support it.   If they have any foresight they should release plans for a few hulls for vehicles, and for scenery.  They should talk about how you can use these with bits they sell to make a range of different things.   The problem is I'm not sure they get this, and I think they will instead fight and make it ugly.


In the end tabletop players have a few options they can ignore a valuable tool when working on a hobby, or they can embrace it.   If Games Workshop makes it hard enough for players to use a valuable and useful tool, they aren't going to stop using the tool, they will just find another game.  Just because Games Workshop owns Warhammer, doesn't mean they own tabletop.  An idea I had while writing this way to make an Open Source table top game, it uses the same scale as Warhammer so all the old pieces would be compatible, but it would also be able to use scratch build/3d printed pieces from an open archive of plans and stl files.  The rules, and lore would be community made and updated through a wiki site where you could use your mobile phone as a rule book.    In this way Games Workshop wouldn't have a say to what went on or who made what, it could be truly democratic.

In the end we'll have to see how Games Workshop handles this.  They could realize their mistake and fix it, or they could clinge to the past.  For the sake of their employees I hope Games Workshop management sees the light.

Filed under: 3d printing No Comments

Thingiverse Thursday


Planet Express Ship

First up this awesome multi-part Planet Express ship.  It was created  by thingiverse user UpUpandAway, and looks pretty snazzy.

Buckle for overalls

Buckle for overalls

Next up this excellent plastic buckle, from thingiverse user Valter.   I'll be quite excited to print this to replace a damaged buckle on my Go Bag.


Break Loom

Break Loom

This next one is a yarn knotting loom from a user whose other works I've really liked 3dYeti. Pretty cool, I've used a nifty knitter before, but this is way cooler since it's modular.



Makerbot Update

I just got confirmation that my Makerbot has shipped!


Thingiverse Thursday

For Thursday lets do a quick round up of some of the cool things I've seen over at Thingiverse this week.  Thingiverse of course is a site that allows users to upload, and share things that they have made.  These can be 3d models to be printed on a 3d printer, laser cutter patterns, or sewing patterns etc etc...   It's a place to share designs of "things" and it's a wonderful place to spend a lunch break.  Anywhere here are my favorite things of the week:


First off we have something that I can't wait to print, and spend some time weathering.

Tarbosaurus skull

This is by thingiverse user gpvillamil and it's awesome.  It's the top half of the skull of a Tarbosaurus, and it just looks rad.  Once I get my maker bot I'll be printing this, cleaning it up and using some painting techniques to weather it, I'll look awesome mounted on my cubicle wall.


Next something I plan on printing for my 40k army.

Imperial Guard Leman Russ Tank

Leman Russ Tank

The Leman Russ was 3dYeti and is a excellent looking model.  I'll be quite excited by this one since it combines my love of table top and my love of 3d printing.


In the same vein as above we have:


Imperial Guard Sentinel

Imperial Guard Sentinel


The Sentinel was also created by 3dYeti and I'm looking forward to printing this one as well.  Amazing work on both model 3dYeti, I'll be sure to post my own images once they are printed.


That's the round up for this week, I'll have more of my favorites next week.