Saturday, November 21, 2015

Forgot about the blog. Oops.

It's been more than two months. I admit it, I completely forgot about my blog because of other stuff.

Several updates:

1. My P3Steel is online and running!

Printing two prototypes out of a huge reel of nylon
 It's dual extruder and creates beautiful prints, but still with a few caveats as of now. It works with every plastic except PLA, which jams inside the all-metal barrel as it's been known to do, despite everything I try in an effort to prevent it. :(

Single-extruder performance is exceptional. I've pushed it up to 120mm/s printing and 300mm/s traveling, which is a far cry from the 50mm/150mm speeds I got from my old Prusa i3. I've gotten the acceleration stable at around 4000mm/s^2 max and 3000mm/s^2 default, which gives beautiful, banding-free corners and excellent surfaces while remaining fast. The small diameter of the MK8 drive gears I'm using give excellent precision and as a result, the surfaces are extremely smooth, even under tiny layer heights.
The edge of a 20mm calibration cube printed on the P3Steel, with a 25 micron layer height. I promise I didn't defocus it to make it look smooth.
Dual-extruder performance is, well, not functioning as of yet. I needed black ABS to contrast with my natural ABS in order to calibrate it, but when it came in I sort of lost my motivation to get it done. (Someone want to send me the Shia LaBeouf video?)

Funny thing: I used a MK3 heatbed and a glass build plate for the print bed, which both already weigh a considerable amount. The combination of that weight, plus the steel P3Steel Y carriage, literally shake the table it's on when it moves.

The main issue is, as said, it doesn't work with PLA as of yet and ABS/HIPS/most of the other plastics aren't as easy to print. I've been for the first time getting major warping from most plastics on larger pieces.

I'll get it working some day.

2. Ultimaker 2 aluminum extrusion build

I've always been interested in the Ultimaker family because of their elegant and solid design, seemingly excellent performance, and prestige status among consumer 3D printers. The $2500 price tag has unfortunately been way too high, but a few months ago I stumbled on a design by jasonatepaint called the Ultimaker 2 Aluminum Extrusion 3D printer.

It's an excellent design, and I believe the industrial effect of the extrusions make it look even better than the Ultimaker 2. After a bit of research, I've started collecting the parts to build an extended version of it.

I would usually have moral qualms about copying a product, but for this specifically the way I see it (and hopefully the way Ultimaker sees it) is that since it's open-source, anyone has the right to build their own. Besides, they wouldn't really be losing any business since I never would have bought one in the first place.

3. High-end audio

Ah, music. In the past I never even cared about it, but over the past year or so I suddenly fell in love. Being the material possession-oriented person I am, that meant I had to have good equipment to facilitate my needs.

I started off with two very ubiquitous headphones: The ATH-M50X and the AKG x7xx (In my case, it was a Massdrop K7XX). I bring the M50X everywhere with me and leave the K7XX at home.


Both sound great! I'm not going to try to compare them, seeing as they were designed for different use cases, but the M50X has great noise isolation and great sound for the pop tracks I listen to, whereas the K7XX has an excellent soundstage and exceptional clarity for both instrumentals and vocals. The AKG is particularly comfortable for me: I've worn it for an entire day from 9AM to 11PM or so, during one particularly lazy saturday.

For now I don't have much planned on the horizon, just an O2 for a bit better sound than my motherboard's built in sound (which is actually already excellent), and maybe a low-end Sennheiser just because nobody can be an audiophile without owning Senns. (Kidding. Sort of.)

Side note: This adds to the ever-growing list of things that I always thought I would never spend money on.

a. Computers: Couldn't imagine spending over $500, ended up spending $1500+ on just the tower.
b. Watches: Couldn't imagine spending over $10, ended up spending thousands on several watches.
c. Didn't see why I needed more than a $50 camera, ended up buying two mirrorless ILS cameras and am now planning on buying a Sony Alpha A7.

And now this.

4. 3D Hubs
(Shameless plug)

I started a 3D hub a while ago, just as a way to earn a tiny bit of cash on the side, but I've found that it's actually quite fun as well. If you live in the DC/VA/MD area, check me out! I offer very reasonable prices and generally try to complete orders and have them shipped out within a day of payment.

Order a 3D Print

That's it for now. I've working on a few more things and am excited to share them as they complete.

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