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Everything looks like a (plastic) nail ..

PatrickPatrick wrote 09/02/2019 at 19:27 • 4 min read • Like

To a man with a hammer (3d printer) ... everything looks like a (plastic) nail …

OK.  Whew. 

Turns out that 3D printing is addictive.   Who would have thought?   It’s been about a month now since I got my (first, only) Prusa MK3s printer.   I’ve pretty much been running it, or doing Fusion 360 design projects, 24/7 for the entire time.   My sleep patterns are out the window, watching the sun rise as I wait, sleepy eyed, for a 3D print to finish before crashing for a few hours to wake up at noon, 1, or 2 and start again.

To say this has been a minor digression from the project would be an understatement.

I got it, basically, because I know at some point I’ll want a custom box of some kind for the system components.  I also got it because I have an inkling of an idea for creating different kinds of floor controllers, ala a mouse-pad for your feet, or gyro-accelerometer gesture detection shoes, or something like that. 

To whit I’ve also built quite a collection of little gyro-accell modules (ADXL345’s and MPU6050’s), a bundh of esp8266 modules, and have even got a collection of Velostat, conductive fabrics, threads, copper tapes, and the such with, once again, the general idea of creating a controller of some kind that is more portable, and expressive than four shiny metal push buttons on a metal box.

But what I didn’t expect was how the 3D printer would take over my life.  

I think I’m over the initial hump.  As I’m writing this I’m also learning how to post things to Thingiverse. So I posted this: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3837992 .. a system of brackets and fixtures for making desk, table, and wall mounted 12V LED lamps.

I don’t want them to be part of my hackaday.io page, per se, but in this case I at least want to note why there has been no activity on the project for the last month.

That’s because not only is it obligatory to print the basic examples, then design your own phone case, but it is almost compulsary to add lights, and an rPi, to the Prusa.   So while learning Octoprint, Fusion 360, and 3D printing in general, I ended up creating this whole darn fangled 10mm lighting system, not only for the Prusa, with a 12V dimmer circuit (ok, maybe this is a subproject), but also as a clamp on desk lamp, and a desktop magnifying lamp as well. 

Here's the 12V dimmer I made for the Prusa:

Sheesh, for some reason I ended up thinking about CNC, and want to have one of those little CNC machines, maybe hook my Dremel up to it, now.

I guess the other thing I hadn’t realized was how appropriate a 3D printer is for life on a sailboat. Instead of keeping a bunch of spare parts, it is conceivable that many things can be 3D printed on demand.   I discovered that early in the first week … Had some toilet hinges that were broken … there was a darned set of STL files for the exact model of my Jabsco toilet on thingiverse!   I downloaded it, sliced it, printed em, and they’re better than the original hinges from the manufacturer (who tried to save plastic and they characteristically break in the same place).

Anyways, it’s been almost a month and only now am I semi-ready to start going back to the electronics.  I had to get a new Audio Injector Octo board because the I2C stopped working on the one I had, so I had just diverged into the Zynthian project, got blown away by that, and was also messing with the 8266-gyro stuff.    I chatted with Flatmax, and got 4 CS42448 chips (like $10 each) and will try replacing the chip on the bad board (my first SMD soldering try, esp with 64 pins), so I think the first thing is going to be to go back to the AI Octo Rpi Bare Metal setup, test the new board, and then try to fix the old one.

But I had to put something up about the stupid 3D printer.  I’m waiting for thingiverse to render an STL file, I think, and then I can upload the 30 or so STL’s that I created for the lighting system and add a link to this weird page for that.

A bit scattered, but still here …

postscript – tried replacing the CS424488 chip on the Octo board.  My first SMD soldering experience, it went “so so”.  It did not fix the problem, so that Octo card is now part of my slowly growing pile of broken PC boards … sigh

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