Laser scribing for Woodworking

Recently, I’ve started a new area of experimentation – laser scribing inserts for woodworkers. Below are a few examples of my initial efforts:

IMG_20180810_051946406These are one inch wooden slugs that have been laser scribed with an image and some text.  My neighbor and I invested in this device together and in order to get our investment back, we’re planning to charge $1.50 per wooden coin for those using an existing design. If someone wants their own graphic, they can send it to me. It will be an additional $15 (one time) for me to set it up. If they want exclusive use of that graphic, it will be $20.

Embedding a wooden coin like this into the back of a project can really set it off and show the pride in your work.

Advertisements

Repetier-Server on a Raspberry Pi controlling my 3D printer

A few weeks ago, I mentioned using Cura from my Raspberry Pi to 3D print.

Yesterday, I had some time on my hands so I thought I’d try a different 3D printer controller for the Raspberry Pi – Repetier-Server. It either comes with OS build for your Pi’s SD or you can build it yourself on an existing Raspian installation.

I also loaded some WebCam software for my Raspberry Pi, so that I could see the printer while it is printing in the garage. There are a number of open source projects to stream a USB camera from your Raspberry Pi

The setup has been working great. I connect to the Repetier-Server on the Pi from the Repetier-Host software running on my PC. The PC does all the slicing… and sends the models to the Server and also shows the real-time status of the job in progress. I get the added benefit that I can also stop jobs and monitor progress from my phone (as long as I am connected to the same LAN). I have not done the port forwarding so I could monitor jobs in progress from the Internet, but that’s possible.

Introduction to 3D printing class

After my recent move to South Carolina, I’ve been refreshing my skills in woodworking. To get started, I’ve been creating some fairly simple cutting boards (see below) with my wife:

cutting boards

As a way to give back to the group, I pulled together an Introduction to 3D printing class that I’ve also loaded out on slideshare. The material includes a number of examples on how 3D printing and the related design tools can be used in a woodworking shop.

Hopefully, this will enable a greater understanding for the group of the possibilities of additive manufacturing — since woodworking consists mainly of subtractive manufacturing. 🙂

Just thought I’d share the presentation here, as well.

Can’t say enough positive about Printrbot customer support

simple metal silverUnfortunately, the hot end of my 3D printer went out. I thought about replacing it with a different one but went back to the hot end sold by Printrbot for a replacement. Hopefully, it will last at least as long as the previous ceramic hot end.

During the process of purchasing, somehow I managed to select a different shipping method than the one I intended (costing about 3-4 times as much). I dropped their support mailing address a note saying I’d just ordered a hot end but when I saw the order, a different shipping method than I intended was used. I actually didn’t have much hope that it would be fixed, since in just a few hours I had a noticed that the device was already on its way to me.

Yesterday afternoon, I received a note that they had address the shipping issue and a partial refund was on the way — I was elated.

This is the fourth time I’ve order something from Printrbot, every time they have exceeded my expectations in one way or another.

I just thought they deserved a post about my experience.

3D printed housing becoming real

Way back in 2011-12, I wrote a few posts for HP about the application of 3D printing for housing, both on earth and in space (unfortunately, I couldn’t even find those posts on the wayback machine). This week there was a post about 3D printed housing at SXSW that demonstrated printing a livable small home in 24 hours (or a bit more) at a relatively low cost.

Hope we’ll see more of this in the future.

3D printing with Cura on the Raspberry Pi

Since I had a bit of time on my hands, I spent some time this weekend switching over the software I was using for 3D printing. Since I first got my 3D printer 5 or 6 years ago, I’ve been using Repetier under MS-Windows. This is a very flexible solution but its Raspberry Pi implementation is only as a server that you would access over the web which is nice, but you can’t see the model progress while printing. I’ll need to experiment with this more though.

There is a Cura implementation that ran on top of Octopi. This print controller will allow me to transfer information directly to the printer, initiate printing and monitor it remotely over the web. Here is the main interface:

interface

One added bonus of making the change to Cura and Octopi is that I can monitor the printing process remotely using a USB camera (that I had lying around) — this capability was just built in. Here is what that looks like:

camera

The first 2 prints I tried came off flawlessly, though I do have a small X axis offset issue to center the print that I’ve yet to resolve.

If you have a spare Raspberry Pi lying around it is definitely worth looking into. I also want to try using Slic3r on the Pi as an alternative 3D slicer.

Installed the creator version of Windows yesterday

It all went smoothly EXCEPT I lost everything that was pinned to my start menu. If I were to do it again, I’d take a screen snapshot before installing the update. All the programs were still loaded and working, they just were not arranged on my start menu anymore. The update does take much longer than the normal monthly upgrade.

There are a number of minor enhancements here and there but what I was waiting for was Paint 3D. I wanted to see what it can do. So far, I’ve not really figured out the controls but you can manipulate solids (in the picture I pulled in some 3D space ship models). You can change them in simple ways, as well as color them or stamp designs on them…

Paint3D

Once you create a model you can export it as .3mf (what Microsoft 3D builder uses) as well as PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP and TIF. Not sure how much use it will be for 3D printing, but the capabilities were intriguing. You can also load your models into Remix 3d – a Microsoft hosted creative community