Harvesting Ideas for 3D Printing in 2013

keystagSomeone was using a Post-It note to remind them to not lock their keys in the office. The designers at  TPM Technologies came up with a 3D printed part that looks a little nicer than the dog-eared, barely-hanging-on note. The unit fits snuggly around the door knob cap. 3D printing is bringing all kinds of new applications to products of all kinds. You can see the projects list over at TPM Technologies by clicking here. One fascinating story in 2013 for 3D printing is Robohand. The Robohand is an open source prosthetic developed using 3D printing technology. Makers from all over the world are donating their capability to help people that need fingers. You can visit the site where they have a blog and see what is happening.robohand

More interaction on WordPress – Get feedback – Polling is as easy as 1-2-3

SMvoteWordPress is adding a lot of functionality beyond posting and commenting. At a recent meeting of the Council Blogs we practiced at polling. You can now add a poll directly in the WordPress editor similar to an image and it will be published with your post. See the sample below.

A 24 hr Day in the Life of a 3D Printer

photoWe overheard the Makerbot talking to itself at the 3D Cyber Wigwam today…

12:00 am I’m awake but no one is stirring. The part from yesterday is still on the build plate.

          • 5:30 am The Boss is awake. Time to look sharp.

5:35 am That door clamp is removed from the build plate. That was a 3 hour build. I put a lot of layers into that one.

5:36 am Boss wants to change filaments. I have to heat up the head.

5:37 am Pink? What’s he got in mind now?

5:38 am Oh Boy, here comes the instructions. A piece of cake. This one is only 23,462 blocks.

5:39 am Build plate is heating, come on.

5:43 am Build plate is 110C. Fire up the extruder.

5:44 am Build plate is 110C, Extruder is 220C.

5:45 am Bring the build plate up and start extruding.

5:46 am First layer complete. Hmmm, interesting pattern. Now for layer 2. This one has 3 solid layers to begin.

5:48 am Now we begin the honeycomb fill. Trace, trace, trace.

6:15 am Ooo, the extruder is getting too hot, a little more fan.

7:00 am I see, this is a personalized key ring that looks like a karabiner.

7:10 am I see. It’s personalized with writing on the side, “Rachel.” That must be why it’s pink.

7:20 am Now to finish the top layers.

7:30 am Complete! TaDa! Ring the bell.

7:31 am They must be in a hurry today. They are switching in a new program. 264,516 blocks. This one’s going to take a while to crunch.

7:32 am The build plate hasn’t cooled too much. Come on, get to temp.

7:34 am Build plate up to temp, Bring up the extruder.

7:37 am OK! Let’s start laying some extrusion. Hmmm, interesting pattern.

7:38 am Got to fill it in.

7:39 am Next solid layer.

7:40 am One more solid layer.

7:41 am Now the honey comb. How deep is this thing?

rrhoneycomb

7:42 am I think it’s another one of those roof rack accessories. Time will tell. It’s not too often we have a large radius like this.

8:30 am Oh, boy this is getting boring, we’ve done the same pattern now for 40 layers. What’s that in human speak? 1/2 an inch?

8:45 am Temps ok. Something different coming up. Oh goody.

8:50 am A couple holes on the side wall. Careful that they don’t sag.

9:40 am I feel like I’ve spent my life on this pattern.

9:45 am Hey, it’s time for the top surface. It’s got the part number in it. That’s what those funny notches were.

9:50 am One more stitch, we’re done! Lower the build plate. Turn the heaters off. Ring the bell.

10:50 am Did anyone hear us?

11:50 am Did anyone hear us? This part is complete.

12:50 am Hey, anyone out there? There’s a part on the build plate.

1:50 pm Hmm, we finished it, right?

2:50 pm Should we ring the bell again?

3:50 pm We could do it again. No, that wouldn’t work. That thing is still sitting on the build plate, in the way. Besides the heaters are all cooled off.

5:50 pm Just our luck they’ll show up at supper time and expect us to work.

7:50 pm Hey, someone pulled the program chip out. Maybe something will happen.

8:30 pm Finally we got that thing off the build plate. It was starting to grow barnacles.

9:30 pm Here comes the program chip. What’s in store?

9:31 pm 860,567 blocks? That will take us all night!

9:32 pm Build plate heater on. Hey you’ve got to get to 110C, don’t take all day.

9:52 pm Build plate up to temp. Fire up the extruders.

9:55 pm OK! Start laying extrusion.

10:05 pm Hmm, this pattern looks familiar.

10:30 pm It’s similar but different. Time for honeycomb.

11:30 pm I see, it’s pretty much the same except they made that hole bigger. Make sure it doesn’t sag!

11:59 pm This is boring. I feel like I’ve been doing this all day. Move, extrude, move extrude, move, extrude. How deep is this thing anyway?

1 inch cube technology at Council Blogs & Studio YouTube

photoHow much can you fit in a one inch cube? The bloggers at Council Blogs saw the latest addition at Studio YouTube. It is a small self contained video camera that fits in a case 1 inch X 1 inch X 1 inch. The unit sports a 1/4″ tripod mount, infrared LEDs for night vision, a slot for a micro SD memory chip, power and operation buttons, LED indicators, and a USB connection. The battery is self contained. Initial experiments with the SYT quad copter went well as far as the video. The weight and balance in relation to the quad copter is another story. Great footage of aerial acrobats and crash landings looking sideways when the dust settles. The technology of video capture at this size is quite amazing and intriguing. This paves the way for the DIY Drone project at SYT later this fall.

Does 500 Gigabytes help you to remember? Don’t forget backups!

500GUSBThe continual price drop of memory for computers is simply amazing. The bloggers here at the Cyber Wigwam collectively tickle close to 3 Terabytes of memory every time we meet. WordPress blogs and applications do have a bit of a memory load. The ease at which we can generate content and store it helps us to amass a tremendous amount of “stuff” in our computers and hard drives. Here at lept Like A Blog we have turned to external hard drives and USB memory sticks as storage devices. The main thing is to remember to back it up. Hours of work can quickly dissipate when a memory device fails. In one case we have worn out an SD chip where the pins have become detached and one computer will not read the chip. Luckily, not all chip readers are created equal and some of the computers at Council Blogs will still read it. Which begs the question. How big is the cloud and how often is it backed up? Just like Click and Clack, our parting close is “and don’t backup like my brother!”

MayDay: Time for spring cleaning on those 17 draft blog posts

blog draftMost of the bloggers here at the Cyber Wigwam have kept up posting on a regular basis. Inside of the WordPress dashboard their list of draft posts is minimal. In a few rare cases the list of draft posts is quite long.

With spring in the air and May Day around the corner it is time to think about allowing some of those great ideas to sprout. Who knows what profound thoughts lurks in those top of mind ramblings. WordPress.com has a neat feature that allows you to send a link of your draft post to trusted advisors for their feedback. It is called “Request Feedback” and is a button below the post editor box in the Writing Helper box.

Your trusted advisors will receive an email with a link to your draft. When they click on that link they can view your draft and have a box to comment. You can then look at the list of comments in the same Request Feedback box. So now that spring is here, take a look at those lists of draft posts and see what can be finished up.

If you would like to join the bloggers at the cyber wigwam for weekly posting sessions, send the Chief an email.

5 Productivity tips for Busy Bloggers in 2013

ctlkeysEver wonder how you could be more productive in your blogging other than typing faster? The left hand shortcut keys are your answer. If you want to be more productive like the bloggers here at the Cyber Wigwam you can practice using the shortcuts listed below. Adapted into Windows from the early Apple days who pulled it from high-end workstations at the time, there is a series of keys that give your left hand something to do while your right hand is busy with the mouse. Once you get used to how they work you can increase your productivity. The letters don’t literally make sense but are chosen to use the lower bank of left-most keys to make it easy for your left hand. The technique is to use the Ctrl key. The nice thing is that most applications support the functionality. Here are the keys:

Ctrl-Z : Undo
Ctrl-X : Cut
Ctrl-C : Copy
Ctrl-V : Paste
Ctrl-A : Select all

The Apple keyboard works the same and you can use the Apple key instead of the Ctrl key. Get more productive and practice using your shortcut keys today.

Cyber Tuesday – not too late for stocking stuffers for your dog

You missed Cyber Monday but the beauty of the internet is you can still order things online and receive them in time to stuff them in a stocking. You can click over here and order your customized dog biscuit cutter any time during Cyber Week and get it in time for stuffing in someone’s stocking. Order early and you’ll have time to make a batch of biscuits too! They are even safe for Santa to eat. Check out the recipes here. The cutters are made special to order with your dog’s name with the 3D printing technology of the Makerbot. Many of the dogs of the bloggers at the Cyber Wigwam will be spoiled this Christmas with their personalized dog biscuit cutters. You can spoil your dog too!

dog biscuit cutter customized with your dogs name

Winterizing your blog for 2012

With cold weather hitting us in Illinois, we feel winter right around the corner. It is time to take a look at that long list of draft posts and see if one can be freshened up and published. The good news is that WordPress allows you to save lots of drafts. (No winter pun intended) The bad news is that WordPress allows you to save a lot of drafts. It can cruise along with you in your inspirational wisps of wit capturing those dutifully. But when your creative juices drop off you hit the save draft button and the list grows. So now it’s time to check the list and see if there is something that can be finished. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we counted 40 draft posts between all the bloggers just waiting to find the public domain. When you get ready to click the Publish button, double-check that you have your tags selected. Here at Council Blogs all the bloggers have moved their Tags box up underneath the Publish box in the sidebar of the editing window. What tips do you have to share with the bloggers? Feel free to share and comment below.

Cyber Wigwam Votes Makerbot for Best 3D printing at Home 2012

After cranking out parts for the last month the chiefs at the Cyber Wigwam have declared the Makerbot Replicator a good tool for 3D printing at home. After a small learning curve, the Makerbot has the blogging club armed with keychains and personalized dog biscuit cutters. Click here for more on the cutters. The next experiment is using 3D panoramic imagery to make miniature 3D busts of the bloggers in the blogging club. The technology has advanced where a digital camera can be used as a 3D scanner. Stay tuned for the progress on that experiment. The Makerbot Replicator is a 3D printer a little bigger than a breadbox that extrudes ABS thermoplastic to realize a 3D shape. The Makerbot Replicator reperesents an excellent approach to 3D printing essentially out of the box. Feel free to comment on your 3D printing experiences below.