Orlando Maker Faire 2016

I haven’t been to the Orlando Maker Faire in years, and wow was I missing out.  I volunteered for Matrix Flare because a co-worker was running it and they were doing great things for kids.  We were giving away thousands of LED lantern kits and helping kids assemble them.  They are basically LED throwies, but stuck inside a little plastic cup instead of thrown with a magnet.  The assembly was super simple, but for young kids it was a great into to making.  This was our booth.


I wanted to take a picture or two showing all the kids making little LED lanterns, but we were swamped nearly the entire time.  For 8 hours I sat and helped kids from 3 to 63 assemble lanterns.  It was cool to watch the younger ones figure it out and have their own glowing lamp to take home.  For the brave we had a challenge of modifying the original lamp design to make it switchable.  Anyone that could would get one of a variety of 3D printed prizes.  We saw a lot of different solutions.

I eventually got some time to break away and check out the local displays.  Many of them were neat enough to warrant a short video.  Here was my collection.

Speaking of 3D Printers SeeMeCNC had one capable of prints a few feet in diameter, and 10+ feet tall.  The pikachu has a Jacob for scale, the angel was taller than he is.

One group was looking to build ISO containers that could print various materials.  I didn’t hear what the print dimensions were, but probably 6x6x15 feet or so.  Sounds like a neat job site tool to have around.


There was Star Wars a plenty.  Lots of storm troopers running around, a really good sand person, Lego symbols, and RC R2D2s.

Other movie props were represented with a few groups that did recreation and reinvision.  This guy had a time machine that could drive around.

I always liked steampunk and they had plenty of booths dedicated to showing off steampunk props, leatherwork, and the reinvisioning of super heroes.


Last but not least, check out these sweet wooden models!


Speaking of wood, Darryl from Dread Knot Woodshop was doing some turning demonstrations.  I should have taken pics or a video, but was practically running to see everything and get back to the booth for more lantern time.  Next year, take 2 days to volunteer and see everything slowly!

Hurricane Matthew Update

We had quite a storm pass through here recently.  Matthew was the highest wind hurricane I had ever dealt with, though not the biggest or most destructive.  Still, I am a home owner this time, so I have a lot of skin in the game.  The shutters went up, the yard was cleared, the bees were hunkered down, and we got out of dodge.


The base is quite heavy due to the paver and amount of wood.  I threw another paver on top and strapped around everything so the total pile was tied together was over 100 pounds.

Post Storm

We evacuated to stay with friends, and came back to a yard that was a mess, but happy looking bees, and an in tact house.



My fence repair from a few weeks back was perfectly timed.  No pickets were lost and the fence is still standing.  There is a new lean though.  Posts near the ones I repaired appear to be broken now.


Instead of removing any of the posts like I did last time, I just put new ones in next to the old ones.  It doesn’t looks as good and is a bit lazy, but was a ton less work.

I might be able to work those old posts off at some point, but for now they were too well connected to the horizontal portions of the fence.  While I was at it I replaced some of the gate hardware that was in bad shape, added more connecting straps, and some anti-sag cables.  The cables were past due, the two doors have rhombused a bit and rub at the tops when trying to close.  Oh well, it ought to buy me another few years.

wp-1477097752621.jpgIn all, we are past the hurricane without any major issues.  Now if they could just come by and get the piles of yard waste.



Ding Dong My Printer Is Dead

Yeah, it is sad.  We had a great relationship at first.  It was wonderful and vibrant.  I was learning a lot about printing and creating new designs left and right.  Then things changed.  I needed to do some maintenance and started stripping threads.  The cooling fan started to croak, and the hot-end died.  I spent a lot of time trying to fix it, but don’t want to throw any more money at it at this point.


Trying to open it up and grease all the rails was the first mistake.  I stripped some threads putting it back together.  I could be blamed for this, but I assemble a lot of equipment, and stripped threads are not common for me.  Once back together it seemed to be noisier than it was before.

Next the fan died and I spent a few iterations trying to get a good fan on there.  Unfortunately they don’t sell replacement anything, nor do they have specs online.  I got a good fan installed, but my print quality never really recovered.


Benchy on the left had blobs and a lot of strings, but at least he finished.  Benchy on the right looked worse and never finished because of a nozzle jam.

20161005_064024I did a few rounds of clearing the nozzle jam, reloading filament, and then having another print jam.  I took apart the hot end section a few times.  The threads were starting to get bad on the nozzle, and the parts are held in with a very cheap set screw.  The upper brass piece accepts the boden tube.  It is a threaded tube fitting that just has a set screw pushed against it.  Not a robust design.  The threads get all messed up, and it doesn’t hold well.  After my 3rd or 4th jam, it jammed again, and kicked the boden fitting off entirely.  I came home to this.


Thankfully it only chewed up a few meters of material, but I am frustrated.  From my reading, I likely have damage in the PTFE lining of my heat break.  I tried drilling it out a little, and cleaned up the nozzle, but still got jams.  I don’t know what the issue is, I am using gcode that worked fine a few weeks ago.  It is time for a new hot end, but I am done throwing money at this hunk of junk.  At least it taught me what I need to know to make an informed decision on my next printer purchase.



September 2016 Printer Wrap-Up

I have had my printer for a little over a month now, and boy have I been busy.  Something has come off the assembly line almost every day.  I got octoprint up and running within about a week of getting the printer, and it keeps a log.  I clocked in 325 hours of print time and over 450m of extruded filament.  Considering there were 720 hours last month, that is a lot of printing!

There was so much cool printing going on, that all I can do is hit the highlights.

Water Bottle Clips

I tend to carry water bottles around a lot at work and while doing stuff outside.  These clips help me keep water close at hand at all time.  Pretty blue custom clips.  Thingiverse link.

Flashlight Tail Stand

I have lots of cool tactical flashlights for warding off the darkness when our power decides to go out for the 2nd or 3rd time this month.  They have flat backs, but often don’t stand well on their tails.  Tail standing a good flashlight can provide great lighting to a whole room.  This print keeps them from being easily knocked over.  I will have to get glow in the dark material for next time.  Thingiverse link


Watch Ya Fingers20161001_090131

I felt this needed to be in my shop somewhere.  While it isn’t my design, the painting was my idea.  I painted the raised surfaces with a foam brush and some acrylic paints.  Two coats made it look really snazzy.





Name Tag

I am going to be volunteering at the upcoming orlando maker fair for a co-worker.  She has a lot of great activities for younger kids, and I thought such an event warranted a custom name tag.  The letters were pressed in using my c-clamp method as demonstrated in a previous post.  Magnets keep it safely secured to my shirt.

RTIC/YETI Mug Handle

I got a RTIC mug for cheap on a daily deal, and have been using it a lot.  It keeps ice for ages, and doesn’t sweat a drop.  The handles are expensive, so why not print one.  I had to make a two part version because the others available didn’t fit on my little bed.  A single 1/4-20 bolt of 1″ length along with a nut is needed to combine the two parts.  Thingiverse link


I was in the process of building an enclosure for my printer to add lighting and reduce the noise.  It was kind of a disaster for reasons I won’t get into.  A few things got designed specifically for that project.  I am not using them at the moment, but will find something for them later.  Thingiverse link to flat bracket and right angle bracket


I did a stress test on the right angle brackets by printing some at 20 and 80% and loading until failure.  Turns out, it was 66% stronger with the greater infill percentage.

Badge Holder

Last but not least I printed a nice pretty blue badge holder for work.  I wanted everyone to know how crafty I am as soon as they see me.  Thingiverse link


Everything Else

Honestly there are a ton of other things I printed.  Some designed by me, lots downloaded from others.  I can’t write up everything, so this is a pile of stuff I made this month that isn’t living elsewhere in the house, or hasn’t been given to someone yet.


My name is Chase, and I have a serious printer problem.