Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wanhau Duplicator 6 Review

I went back in this video to recording the audio on my computer and the video on my camera, the syncing them up in post. This requires an additional effort on my part, but until I get the audio sync issues on my streaming setup, which you can see in last night twitch stream is going bonkers, worked out I'm going to have to do it this way.

I'm abusing this printer pretty solidly. Mostly my abuse is confined to the build tak. Still, I don't think I deserved this:
Near the tail end of a 20 hour print I go to bed because things are looking good and I wake up to this mess.
The filament is broken as well, and I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I'm apparently going to spend some time at to figure out how to get this pritning again, because it absolutely refuses to work right now. So maybe I was a bit generous with my review, which was already struggling to find things to praise this machine about. (I may be a bit bitter this morning.)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mega Review - Anet A8, Printr Element, and Mars3D PLA

If I ever get my head on straight and write scripts, or at least outlines for my videos, then I'd never forget anything. Until then, you have these writeups.

Anet A8

I love my A8, but how can I not? I create it's final form with my own hands. Plus it adds capabilites to my workbench that I didn't have before. Mostly in terms of size. Anything this printer can't do, well, that's on me isn't it? It doesn't have a power button. Well, I guess I get to be one to fix that. Oh, wait, someone else already has. These cables are kind of in the way, I guess I need to fix that. Oh wait, tons of people have fixed that one. Oh well, I guess I still get to choose the color.

But as I said in the video, the build process was fraught with peril. Wrong power cable, missing screws, outdated instructions. Oh, and the biggest one of all was that I was trying to do this whole thing without putting the USB adapter with the microSD card in my computer first thing. The same microSD card that had all the latest build instructions and recommended software on it. I know they're trying to save on paper, but a 3x5 card with the words "PLUG IN THE USB ADAPTER FOR THE MANUAL, DUMMY" that is laid on the top of everything so it's the first thing I saw would have gone a long way. But, also like I said, none of these problems were insurmountable for me.

I imagine there are a lot of kits like this out there waiting for that weekend where the person who bought it will have the time to put it together. I'd love to create a rescue home for them.

You can buy the A8 here and support what I do:
Use Coupon Code GBA8US for the best deal (usually around $149)

Printr Element

The first upgrade I did to this printer was to upgrade to Skynet firmware, a branch of Marlin designed for the A8. Did it improve the experience? Slightly. Very slightly. But can I make a confession here?

I don't like the Marlin interface.

It's nothing against the people making the firmware. They're doing the best they can with what they've got. But it's an interface for the lowest bidder. A few buttons and the cheapest LCD screen they can, this is the best they can do. It needs a serious upgrade. Get yourself a raspberry pi and you could load it with Octoproint or AstroPrint, it's true. But after spending all weekend just getting my A8 running, I'm glad I didn't need to burn another weekend getting the pi loaded up.

The Element by Printr is a great out-of-the-box solution. It's not much more than you'd spend on a pi (after getting all the adapters and everything), but works with very little effort on your part.

In the video I mentioned the downside that it relies on a stable internet connection to work, and that's true. But what I didn't mention is that once you start the print your connection can be as unstable as you like. The file is stored locally and the print will succeed, baring any catastrophic failure. And it's a huge step up from Marlin.

Mars3D Filament

I didn't expect the filament to make a huge difference in my test prints, but was I ever wrong about that. If you really want to appreicate good PLA, just use some bad PLA for a while. Now, it is still PLA, but if you want to get some good PLA that doesn't cost much more than the cheap stuff, check out what Mars3D's offering:

Mystery unreviewed item

There's one more thing I need to review that didn't make it in the video because the review for it is still in progress. What could it be? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Royal Game of Ur Rules Variations Video

The Royal Game of Ur Kickstarter has only 1 week left. Be sure to get in now before it's too late.

As I've dug into The Royal Game of Ur, I've been impressed the rules variations that are out there. Honestly it's impressive what people came up with for this game with nothing more than a board and a few components. Some of these variations were just totally wrong, but some of them area actually fun and add a lot to the game.

In doing research for this I read Irving Finkle's paper about the translation of the rules he made. There's an old proverb that says "Learn a new language, get a new soul, and that must be truer than ever for Mr. Finkle. Because reading the translation, and then his interpretation of that translation, I do not see how he got from one to the other. Clearly he's thinking on a different wavelength than the rest of us when doing these things.

Remember that if you share anything about this game and let me know that you've done it, you're in the running for a free game drawing, even if you're not a kickstarter backer. Why not share this video with your favorite gaming group or forum?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Smoothing a Mesh in Blender Video

This is old school videos like I used to make. No worrying about music or outros. Just answering a question as expeditiously as I can. IN fact I don't even have tome for a write up.

Original thread:!topic/3dprintertipstricksreviews/JXiLwDoO7hA

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Teaching 3D printing

To counteract the negativity of the last post, here's some pictures from my 3 day 3D printing summer camp. The camp went great and the kids are learned so much. By the third day all I had to do was roll up with the printers and the kids did all the setup for me. Now that's how you know you taught it right.

Thanks to everyone who's participated so far, and I look forward to more in the future.

 Working hard, or hardly working? Them the first, me the last.

My opinion about Just3DPrint vs 3D Printing

Just my opinion, but I really hope I don't screw myself over by putting this out there. But in my opinion, when I see people being rewarded for bad behavior, and I feel I have something to contribute to put the world right, it's not right, in my opinion, to sit back and do nothing.

Of course this is all my opinion.

Looking over the court documents I discovered something interesting.
Lookie here. Not only did they list my items for sale, but it seems they sold one of them. Did I see a penny for that sale? Of course not. Maybe I should sue them back? Generally this isn't my game. I'm too busy actually contributing to the world.

So what does this mean? Can someone take 3D models available online and sell them without compensation or even attribution to the people who created it? This court case doesn't answer that, but it does throw that into question again. Because saying that these statements were defamatory says that it was these statements that damaged their reputation. But, in my opinion, that reputation was already damaged by the individuals own actions and statements. Their damnation was already decided before Stratasys' subsidiaries reported on the same. It wasn't these reports that caused eBay to shut down their store.

It was me.

Or rather is was us. The community rallied together on Thingiverse, the Thingiverse Forums, Google Groups, G+, more Google Groups, and elsewhere. We decided as a group that this was unacceptable, we took action. I took action and notified eBay that my models were being infringed upon. And afterwards, Makerbot, Stratasys, TechCrunch, All3DP, and others reported on it. But by then the damage was done, the reputation was destroyed, and the revenue was prime to be ended. These news outlets contributions to this was so minimal as to be indistinguishable. Just3DPrintIt's claims are exaggerated and spurious.

This, in my opinion, is the real story.

(Apologies about the mouth sore I'm currently sporting. It's pretty gross. In my opinion.)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MyMiniFactory and the Joenny

I have to admit. I am just barely getting this video out. I have a kickstarter that needs some nursing, I'm running a summer 3D printing camp, I'm in a job hunt that isn't going well, and a book that I need to make a cover for. My videos are getting minimum effort right now. So when I screwed up the audio on this one I threw it in HitFilm, edited some music over the noise, and put it out. It was all I had the time for.

This sort of story is all too common in the making community. The moment you share something you run the risk that someone else claiming it for themselves. That's the internet (<- original author near as I can tell.) What it really boils down to in my opinion is intent. Did MyMiniFactory intend to cut me out? Well, no, actually. They made sure my name was attached to it, they even encouraged people to tip my designs. The only thing they did was change the branding to make it look like they created it. Is that bad? Sure. Maybe. But was it malicious? No. In fact if anything it was flattering.

But I was hurt for the longest time about the whole thing, so I brooded and harumphed until I realized I was being the one being a butt.

If you want to make your own custom toys you can download them here: