Monday, December 11, 2017

Comments are back

A while back, before my YouTube videos took off, I turned off comments on my blogs. I have just turned them back on with Disqus so that you can comment on my posts.

See, the problem was spam and need. Because Blogger comments were either "get a log in for this blog" or "don't require a log in", I felt the best option was no requiring a log in, which resulted in automated spambots having a heyday with my comments section. Now, I won't deny, there were some fun times there. Those spambots are creative pieces of work. But when my daily routine involved cleaning off the spam every day, an no one was commenting, I decided it was better just to turn off the comments.

However, things have definately changed. With over 14k subscribers and nearly 100 people supporting me through Patreon and now directly through PayPal here on the Blog, there's a demand for a comments section. So I spent the 15 minutes to get Discus set up (had I known it would be that easy...) so I would have some spam protection, and now comments are back.

Share your mind.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Support 3D Printing Professor directly through YouTube

TL;DR - You can support me directly through Paypal with the button on the side bar there ↗

I feel I need to explain what is perhaps the most paranoid post I've ever made on any platform. See, if I owned a platform where people discussed things, and I made a change that would force people to think about their support of that platform (never a good idea) and cause a potential migration away from that platform, I would flag discussions on that platform and truncate their effectiveness. I wouldn't full-on delete them, I'd want the people making the discussions to think they were having the desired effect, but I perhaps wouldn't use wider distribution channels like email to spread the word until it's been reviewed by staff. You know, plausible deniability. "We had a hiccup in the email server, but it's fixed now."

In Patreon's case, I'd flag anything with the words "Patreon" "change" "support" "free" "new" "direct" "paypal" and however many others I could think of. So here I am at 7 in the morning with this thought in my head trying to word a post on Patreon that won't flag the sensors. Assuming they're not just on lockdown mode and sending out nothing that isn't reviewed. Like I said, paranoid.

I understand what Patreon is doing and why're their doing it. I don't agree with the choice they made, but I'm sure they felt like they had no other option. Somebody was going to get screwed. Or more like they were tired of being screwed and decided it was someone else's turn. It was either going to be the content creators who give their platform value, or the legion of supports who pay the bills. Screw the content creators, and they stop generating the content that brings in the supporters. Screw the supporters and some of them may leave, but the big ticket supporters will stick around, and new supporters are coming in all the time as long as the content is being generated. Short term loss, long term gain. It just makes sense.

I don't play that.

You asked, so I finally got off my butt and made a Support button here on the blog. You can now support me directly through PayPal. Shouldering this myself is going to be quite challenging with the book keeping and I'm still working on a way to insure that you get the same exclusive content. But I'm doing this because I'd rather take the load, then unload on you for supporting me. I may just have to hand-write emails with the exclusive content for a while until I can work out something more savvy. (I'm open to suggestions.) Paypal is a little less flexible on support options. You only have the options I provide. So if you, for instance, want something between graduate and Alumni, you have to let me know.

Here's a breakdown of the rewards levels:

  • 3D Print Scholar $1 per month - As a scholar you'll receive Adblock Amnesty. You'll recieve exclusive content including advanced and premium 3D models in your email box. If we ever meet in real life, you are given the option of a sincere high-five. You'll also get your name on a single sized supporter tile in the supporter mosaic.
  • 3D Print Scholar $2 per month - An option for those who want to give a little more. You also have the option of an awkward hug if we ever meet.
  • 3D Printing Graduate $5 per month - Supporters at this level get all previous level's rewards, a double large tile, and the source files (usually in Blender) to the projects I release.
  • 3D Alumni $20 per month ∙ All previous rewards plus a triple large tile. 
  • Instant Shout-Out $75 per month - All previous rewards, a huge tile, plus a shout-out in one of my videos. (Price based on current market value of my channel.)
So, if you'd like to support this thing I do in a more direct way, you now have an option though the paypal button right here on my blog. Of course Patreon will remain open as an option as well, so you have the choice. If Patreon's choices don't bother you, stick with it. I'm cool.

For those on mobile, you can subscribe here:

Support the 3D Printing Professor directly through Paypal for exclusive content including advance access to 3D models.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 3D Printer Recommendations Video

I've been looking for an excuse to use that intro picture pose for a long time.

I think I've decided that whenever I do a full-on sellout video, where the the video is basically promoting associate links, I'm gonna wear the yellow tie that was sent to me by Magigoo. Love the tie, but it just seems an appropriate signal to my loyal viewers that this is a sellout video. Not that that's the only point of this sort of video. There's a lot of people for whom this is good information. And if you just happen to buy something through an affiliate link, all the better.

Before buying a 3D printer, it's good to do a little reality check. You can run out an buy just any 3D printer, but if it's not what you need for what you want, then you'll be disappointed with the purchase. So the first question you want to ask is, what do you want to print? Is there a specific project in mind that you need a 3D printer for?

Secondly, what's your budget? And how flexible are you on this budget? Would you be willing to go a little over your budget if it got you a lot more?

Lastly, consider how much time you're willing to invest in this? Are you okay with clearing your calendar for 2 days before you can print anything, or do you want to unpack and go?

With that said, here's my list of 3D printer recommendations:
  1. Monoprice Select Mini V2 $220
  2. ANet A8 $139
  3. CR-10 $460 or Tevo Tornado $446
  4. Prusa i3 kit $600 
  5. Raise N2+ $3900
The Ultimaker and Lulzbot printers, while their great companies and great printers, didn't make the list for a few reasons. Partially, I just don't like 3mm filament. But, like I said in the video, once you're ready to spend thousands of dolars, the Raise N2+ is just so feature rich that it overshadows those offerings. However, you may disagree with me, so do your research before you pull the trigger.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Davinci Color Triumph

Act 1 was the call.
In Act 2 we hit the weeds.
And now for the thrilling conclusion. And while this is hardly the last video I'll be making about color printing on the Davinci Color. But most of the videos from here on will be about how to make color 3D models in Tinkercad, Blender, and whatever else I can.

The big question about the Davinci Color is can I recommend it in the general case? No 3D printer is perfect for every situation. No tool is right for ever situation. But is the Davinci the right printer for the general case? I think the answer is clear. I still need to experiment with doing non-colored prints, but I'm sure that's not a problem. However, as I sated, there's no heated build plate, limiting this printer to PLA or maybe PETG. Also, it's a bowden feed system, further limiting what it can do to rigid materials. While I absolutely love every feature this printer has (have I mentioned the auto leveling?) it's what it doesn't have that prevents me from recommending it in the general case. You can print these materials with a much cheaper printer.

That said, what it does, full colored 3D print, it does well, and no one else is doing it. So if you want what this printer can do, right now, there's only one place to get it.

I want to send out a thanks to everyone who is watching and commenting on my last video about accurate prints with 3D printers. Apparently this is what you guys wanted, way more than slightly click-bait title about a 3D printer you've heard way too much about already. Comparing these two videos, while the more educational videos get more positive comments, the CR-10 review is still getting more views and generating revenue for me. From the perspective of wanting to feed my family, I should do a lot more of those baiting review videos. I'm not. I'm going to do some, for sure, but I refuse to let my channel degrade into nothing but reviews and affiliate links. Occasional reviews and affiliate links, but not constant. I hope that's okay.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Why can't 3D Printers print accurately Video

Maybe you didn't notice, while you were overdosing on tryptophan yourself if you're in the US, that I didn't manage to get any videos uploaded last week. There are a number of people to blame for this. But I'm not going to dwell on that. I'm past it and back in the groove of recording, editing, and uploading all in (pretty much) the same day. I hope I can finally start getting ahead again.

I hope you're looking forward to part 3 of the DaVinci Color saga, because I'm looking forward to telling it.

I have to thank Joel for giving me the right excuse for this video. It's been on my to-do shelf, as well as a bag of test prints, for far too long. My Rep1 has forever had a problem with it's calibrated steps being too small, so anything I print on it, if it needs to be exactly accurate, needs to be scaled up by a factor of 1.03. That might not seem like much, but believe me, it matters. Unfortunately with these old bots there is just no way to fix it. You just have to scale things up. However, challenges with getting prints to be accurate make you realize just how often you don't need to worry about that. It's not just that most 3D prints are worthless, though that's true enough, but it's because most of the time close is close enough.

Here's the notes for this video:

Accurate 3D Prints

FFF 3D printers have a problem with mechanically accurate parts
It’s okay, most prints don’t need to be mechanically accurate

  • Filament
    • slightly different diameter = different extrusion widths
    • Even same manufacturer, different color can be just different enough to mess things up
  • Slicer -
    • Old slicers like Pronterface, Cura 1 and Makerbot Desktop slices on the line.
    • Cura 2 and Simplify 3D take into account extrusion width, and even give you the ability to adjust it a little more.
  • The printer. Miscalibrated printer
    • Backlash
    • Z-wobble
  • The model -
    • Designed for old printers? May be off now
    • Curves are approximated
    • Inside of curves get more material due to pull

How to fix
  • Fix printer
  • Get good material
  • In slicer:
    • Horizontal compensation - Remember difference is doubled
    • Adjust flow rate
  • Fix the model - Last of all
  • Test, test test.

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.