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2017: A Year of Hacking

Daily log of the my projects, ideas, tips, failures, etc.

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Regular updated log of the projects I am working on. My goal is to update the project log on a daily basis. I hope that sharing my projects inspires others to also post their ideas.

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  • Week 7: 2/18/2017

    Eric Moyer3 days ago 0 comments

    Here is the final version of the Valentine's gift I made. I am super happy with how it turned out.

    I know I have raved about my Monoprice Select Mini (MPSM) 3D printer but I can't help how awesome it performs all the time. When I built my Printrbot Plus V2 back in 2013 I think most people focused on making their 3D printers better and that was the challenge. A huge amount of knowledge was gained by this undertaking however my focus was the 3D printer and not what I made with the 3D printer. My new MPSM highlights how cheap 3D printers have transitioned from a projects to a tool.

  • Week 7: 2/13/2017

    Eric Moyer02/14/2017 at 01:36 0 comments

      If you haven't already figured out I am not posting daily as I originally set out. Many times it's not because I am not doing stuff, it's just that when I do have a free moment I want to do something and not post. I have been trying to figure out ways that I can spend less time posting since when I do post I like to include as much information as possible and pictures are something I think are necessary to help tell the story. I have found an app called Lightroom and I really like it so far. I am able to adjust the camera so I doing less modifications afterwards with the goal I am able to just snap and post.

      Next, for a while I was wondering why not a single person has posted on this project or my light switch project to only realize I haven't done the same. Going forward I am going to make an effort to comment at least once a week on a project I am following. Even if it's a simple as a couple words of encouragement.

      I figured I would post a great meal I made over the weekend. I love finding ways to make a meal that you typically don't do a home easy and taste just as good. For me I miss really good east coast Italian food and Seattle has a couple good places but its not the same and its typically a fancier restaurant and not your corner pizza shop. One dish I love is chicken parm and Trader Joe's has a pretty good already prepared version in their fresh food case. I think the chicken breast they use are a little too think and you don't get a proper chicken to breading to cheese to sauce ratio. My solution was to use their already prepared chicken tenders and then top with cheese and sauce.

      The steps are rather simple:

      1. Prepare chicken tenders per the instructions in a glass baking pan however set a timer for the lower time listed since we will be cooking the chicken a for plenty of time to melt the cheese. For the TJ's brand I used the time was only 15 minutes for the first step. TIP: Put some parchment paper down in your pan first and clean up is a breeze.
      2. Remove from oven and generously top tenders with parmesan cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted, around 5 minutes.
      3. Remove from oven and generously top with marina sauce and more parmasan cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted, this may take up to 10 minutes since you are also warming up the sauce.
      4. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes then serve. I typically like to serve over a bed of angel hair pasta and some steamed vegetables.

      Now onto other things I have been working on. I have been slowing printing a Valentine's gift for my wife who is a high school science teacher. I have been printing up bits and pieces of it over the last week and up until today it was just weird 3D printed shapes.

      In the end its suppose to be a single molecule of phenanthrene, which looks like a heart. The carbon are colored in red and the hydrogen are white. I was originally going to print it in read however was able to find a cheap PLA red that I could get in time. I ended up painting white PLA with red arcylic paint which turned out amazing and is the first time I ever painted a PLA print. I would recommend buying a mutli-color paint set and just painting your prints rather then buying tons of filament. Here is the project files on Thingiverse. I will post pictures of the final product.

  • Week 6: 2/8/2017

    Eric Moyer02/09/2017 at 04:10 0 comments

    Today I received my first new roll of PLA in a long time. I have been printing from never ending rolls of white, black and clear for what seems like years. I decided to try something that I have seen some great results with and based on my first print I have to agree, Wood PLA (or is it PLA Wood). I went with Hatchbox Wood PLA 1.75 and it printed up identically to regular PLA however the material has a more soft and supple feel to it when printed thin. Here are pictures of my first print, a heart box I am going to try and stain for Valentine's day.

    Heart Box on Thingiverse

  • Week 6: 2/6/2017

    Eric Moyer02/07/2017 at 04:53 0 comments

    Hit a bit of a plateau on my current light switch project going back and forth on my next steps. No regrets on going to 3D printed enclosure, now I just have to decide on how crazy I want to get with the enclosure. I have been thinking making the enclosure work with a "rocker style" wall plate since it eliminates the need to drill anything or more importantly having to purchase a 11/32" brad point drill bit to get a nice hole in the blank wall plate. The new negative of going that route will be the 3D enclosure will be exposed but maybe a coat of primer/paint will make it look professional.

  • Week 5: 2/2/2107

    Eric Moyer02/03/2017 at 05:17 0 comments

    Installed the light switch tonight. Version 1.0 of the enclosure works fine for a single gang box but I will need to reduce the width to make it work with multi-gang switches.

  • Week 5: 2/1/2017

    Eric Moyer02/02/2017 at 07:10 0 comments

    How not to do a filament change on the Monoprice Select Mini. Just did a pause, reload and restart; clearly missed a layer with lack of material.

    On a positive note I was able to print an enclosure cover for my outlet project.

  • Week 5: 1/31/2017

    Eric Moyer02/01/2017 at 06:46 0 comments

    Spent the last few days on vacation in sunny Palm Springs. I thought I was going to post while on travel however I wasn't set up the best. I did miss posting since it provides me with a way to both summarize my day but also come up with a plan for the next day.

    Was able to make it to Joshua Tree National Park which was the highlight of the trip. It's places like this when I wished a had a nice DSLR camera (however I thought the same about my GoPro and that sits collecting dust more and more). Maybe I just need to find a add-on lense for my phone.

    White Tank Campground

    Tonight was spent updating to Repetier 1.0.2 (Mac) 3D printing software which turned out to take a little longer than expected since there where some new fields so fill out and settings to confirm. I didn't see an obvious change over version 0.56 however I only used it to post/print the same bottle opener I have been making.

    I don't know if/when I am going to try out Cura 3D printing oftware since I have spent so many years using Repetier with my Printrbot. It seems like the Monoprice community uses it exclusively.

  • Week 4: 1/26/2017

    Eric Moyer01/27/2017 at 05:53 0 comments

    My progress tonight was pretty simple. Completed all my wiring connections for my light switch project and stuffed it into the enclosure I printed last night.

  • Week 4: 1/25/2017

    Eric Moyer01/26/2017 at 07:08 0 comments

    Today started thinking about my next steps for my light switch project since using a potting box as an enclosure didn't provide me as clear a path I would have liked. I decided to see if I could come up with my own designed enclosure and print it up on my new Monoprice Mini Select 3D printer.

    It of course didn't come out perfect however I was more focused on if I could produce an enclosure in a day rather than focusing on making the perfect design. I will have to add more room to where the wires pass from the PCB to the button and I will have to add some "shelves" to the corners adjacent to the bosses so the board is better support. Overall I am super excited about what I was able to accomplish in about 3.5 hours this evening.

  • Week 4: 1/24/2017

    Eric Moyer01/25/2017 at 06:11 0 comments

    Abother day, another 3D printed bottle opener. Today was to see if printing directly from the SD card eliminated the freezes in the prints I have been experiencing the last two days when running the code from my laptop. First, the SD card reader on my MacBook Pro seemed to only read the card as read-only. Google to the rescue. The fix was to set the slide tab on the side of the card directly in the middle and give the card a little jiggle once inserted. Worked like a charm once I got it exactly centered. After that I was able to read/write but now I was having problems with the printer seeing the new file I added. A search on the Monoprice Facebook user group resulted in a reformatted of the card to FAT. Loaded the program again, the printer worked fine. So running the same program as yesterday but running solely on the SD card (computer not connected at all) resulted in a great print with no freezes.

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