Thursday, December 5, 2013

Smoothing PLA Prints with Dichloromethane

A nice smooth, partly shiny finish
 Let me start by saying use extreme caution when when using dichloromethane, it is exrtremely caustic and carcinogenic.  It is primarily dangerous when vaporized, if you have a respirator use it.  Read some more on it before you determine if it is worth it for you to smooth your PLA prints.

First gather all your materials, you will need:
1.At least 4 ounces of dichloromethane, (you can obtain this from Amazon)
2.A glass container, (it will melt any plastic container.)
4.Non-rubber gloves (rubber gloves will melt.)
5.Clothing that covers all your body.
6.A funnel (you can use a plastic one, because it will only be exposed for a few seconds, which will not fully melt it)
7.Goggles (any will do)
8. Respirator(not required, but recommended)

Ok, now go outside.  First fill you glass container half full with your dichloromethane.  Second, place object in the container, if it is small enough use your pliers to put it in, if it is to big, just put it in with your hand, but be careful not to splash when you put it in.  Next, wait for about 15 - 60 seconds, it depends on how good of a finish your want.  Fifteen seconds will give objects with straight walls a nice finish, but with things that have slanted walls like a triangular prism or a sphere will need about 60 seconds to fully smooth.  Now put your funnel inside the container that the dichloromethane orignaly came in, now pour your jar filled with dichloromethane and your object into the funnel.  This will separate the object from the dichloromethane.  Now take the funnel out of the container, and turn it upside down onto a clean paper towel.  The object should come out onto the paper towel, then leave it outside to let all the dichloromethane evaporate.

My hole filled halo statue, because of
experimenting with water.
Some extra info:
My first time doing this, I thought that if I put it in water right after it would clean it and get the dichloromethane residue off.  It does not! It makes it look like a gold ball, with little holes.

If you do not have a respirator, I recommend not doing this in any weather above 40 degrees fahrenheit. Keep in mind that dichloromethane boils at just 104 degrees fahrenheit, and it is most dangerous when vaporized(It causes lung cancer).

Never do this inside, or vaporize it like your would for acetone and ABS.

Do this at your own, risk, do not blame me if you have a problem because of it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Multidesign Cookie Cutter

Image courtesy of "My MIni Factory"
There is a contest put on by My Mini Factory, to see who can produce the best 3d printable Christmas design.  The key word here is printable.  Most people think a 3d printer can produce anything, they are right and wrong, they are right that they can produce almost anything, they would be wrong in thinking that it can be produced in one part, with no knowledge of 3d printer.  To design for a single extruder 3d printer is quite difficult, your object can have very little overhang or negative space.  I think of them as the computers in the 80's, you can see potential, but it's by no means perfect.

So, anyway here is my entry.  It is a multi-design cookie cutter, basically, what it does it is cut out cookies in different shapes as your roll it along the flattened out cookie dough.  It took me about 3 hours to design.  To make it 3d printable I hat to sectionalize it into 10 different parts, inside of 5 different .STL's.  If I may say so it looks pretty badass, well as badass as a cookie cutter can be...  Any who this beast(yes I just called a cookie cutter a beast, deal with it), weighs around 86 grams, which depending on where you get your filament from, costs between $1 and $4 to make.  It sports 3 different designs, a snowman, a gingerbread man, and a Christmas star.  On their printers's it took roughly 3 and a half hours to full print.
If you would like more pictures, click here and consider making an account and downloading, it would help me win.

Why did I do this?  The grand prize for the item that gets the most downloads, is an Ultimaker.  An Ultimaker is pretty much the best FFF printer around, it is seven times faster than mine has 10 times the build area, and is way more accurate.  Think of my printer as a hoopty car(Im not sure if it is just my family that calls old, broken down cars this, but that is what I mean)  And an Ultimaker is like a nice Suburu.  I really hope I win. I guess in 3 to 4 week I'll know, I'll keep y'all posted on how its going.  I hope you enjoyed this blog post.  As always have a nerdy day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

SacLunch Brunch

Emi, Sky, And I packing sandwich

Well, I decided to do my first blog post that is about something other than technology.  On sunday my friends SkyEmi, and I went down to Salt Lake City to feed those who are less fortunate than us.  It was truly a great experience.  It showed us how others live, and the struggles they go through on a daily basis. It felt really good to be able to help them, even if it was just in this little way. We decided to do it every weekend Here are some pictures, Mrs. Martin.  It was much better than being our usual selectively anti-social selves.  A final note, we are calling our selves the SacLunch Brunch, because we do it at 12:00ish, and they are sack lunches.

The car full packed with all 50 sandwiches
Emi, Sky, and I handing out sandwiches

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Perfect 3d Printer for Consumers

An example of a Delta printer.  Image courtesy of "SolidSmack"

Here is my idea of a perfect 3d printer, targeted at consumers:

It would need to be fast, while remaining cheap.  So, i would ditch the traditional Mendel style 3d printer, and go with the far less popular delta style of 3d printer.  The delta is much faster because instead of moving the whole print tray, or the whole extruder in a linear motion, it sort of swings the extruder around to create an object making it much faster.  It should be able to printer at 200 mm/s maximum.  This allows you to create most objects in less than an hour.  

The print area should be at least 6x6x6 inches.  This is where Deltas are slightly flawed.  Instead of being a square like a Mendel, it has a circle build tray.  So to get a square object that is 6x6 like a Tardis, you would actually need about 8x8. This is not to big of a problem though, it just equates to a larger overall footprint. The whole printer would have a foot print of roughly 14 inch diameter, and 30 inches tall(the way the Z axis is designed, it has a lot of wasted space while the X and Y axis are quite efficient.  

It needs dual extruder. Not for colors, but for support material.  One of the biggest drawbacks of most 3d printers is that they can’t make everything.  If I told someone to design something to print on my printer, it would likely be unprintable.  This is because my printer like most other sub $3000 dollar printers, have a single extruder, so if anything has overhang it can’t print it well, or even at all.  Dual extruder let you print anything because you can put water soluble support material in the second extruder. 

It needs to cost $300, that is the most consumers can probably afford.  I believe that each printer could cost as little as $350 to make. This leave the only way to make a profit, is through material sales. I think that material should cost $40 for .75kilos. It only costs around 3 bucks to make it.  Take into account that most people use about .75 kilos a month, there could be a very healthy profit with the first year (around $400).

It needs to be launched by a big company, such as Google.  This is because a large company is needed to launch a project like this and show all of the world what it is capable of through advertising.  It would also be the first printer to be launched by a large company, this would help instill trust, that it can deliver as promised.  The printer also needs wifi, so you can print while not being physically attached to the printer.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Public School : The Hidden Communist

courtesy of "Revenuecanada666" 
Ok, so you probably read that title and are thinking "Wow, is this kid secretly a conspiracy theorist?"  Well, the answer to that is no.  I (like many other nerds) just over examine things, take mental notes, and I  derive things from those notes.  This week I have derived very close similarities between communism and public school They include: all teachers get paid the same, there is only one place to buy things from, which is the government.

My first point is that all teachers are paid the same no matter how good of a job they do.  For instance, I had a teacher last year that said she hated us all, and taught us anything.  Yet this year I have a teacher that we play fun games in her class, and we learn a ton. They taught the same subject and made the same amount.  This I believe should not occur, the teacher that is truly an awful human being(I do not mean to be excessively harsh here, and I am not because this teach was that bad, she's gone now though) should make much less than the great one.  Making the same amount, no matter how good of a job you do is one of the fundamental principles of Communism.

Another principle of communism is that everything is owned and operated by the government and thus the people.  The only place you can buy food, snack, and other things in the school, is from the school.  The best example of this is school lunch.  Everyday, more than half of the students buy lunch from the school, and everyday it is the same nasty slop as the day before (except for the day of the chicken fried steak, that stuff is the shit).  Yet we continue to buy it, as many of us have no time to pack a lunch, and there is no where else to buy a lunch in the cafeteria.  Say for instance we had a few restaurant in the cafeteria that were not connected financially to the school.  The place with the best product and cheapest prices would get the most customers, forcing each other to continue to lower the price, and increase the quality, all in pursuit of the children's money.  But alas, in public school we do it the communist way, with only one place to buy your food: the government.

I hoped you enjoyed my little rant about school, but do not take it the wrong way. I love school and we are very fortunate to have it for free.  Alas, nothing in the universe is perfect especially the little microcosm know as school.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Consumer 3d Printing

I believe that one day 3d printing should, but probably won't infiltrate consumer homes.  If it does I believe that FFF(Fused Filiment Fabrication) will be the type that gets in, it's not that this is only type, there's are SL,  SLS, and about 20 other types, but FFF, SL, and SLS are the main kinds. I'll explain what each is throughout this post.  To be a consumer product it must satisfy the following facts about consumer: Consumers are, lazy, Impatient  expect the best, and are cheap.

$500,000 SLS 3d printer used by Shapeways

A $300 FFF printer, sold by Printrbot
$300 Printrbot Simple FFF printer
The cheapest SL printer the form 1, $3300
Consumers are lazy, they want to do the least and get the most.  FFF lays down layers of plastic, and is the only one that is ready to use right after the printing is done.  SLS, uses lasers to bind together plastic powder, so after your done printing, you have to knock off the powder, then brush it to get the rest of the powder off, it takes time and energy.  SL is a little bit easier after your done printing you just soak in hydrogen peroxide for a few hours.

Consumers are very impatient, if they want something they want it now.  FFF is the slowest, topping out about 300mm/s, or about 10 minutes to build a smartphone case.  While the others, are just about 10% to 100% faster. However, FFF does not require any finish like SL, that has to be soaked in hydrogen peroxide, or  to be dusted like SLS.  Depending on job size make FFF the quickest.

Expect The Best
Consumers expect the best, think about it, you expect you computer to run smoothly and get mad if there is a problem. This is the only place that FFF loses, it cannot produce the quality that SL or SLS can produce, it goes down to the 35 microns for the best FFF printer, and about 25 microns for a desktop SL machine, there are no desktop SLA machines yet to compare, but for the bigger industrial printer it blows away all the others away at 15 microns. However, you can get FFF to look as good or even better than SL or SLS by heating up some acetone and putting the parts in the vapor, but I believe the average consumer wouldn't do this.

The average consumer has enough to pay the bills, save a little, then have a little bit left fo unessential items like and X-box, or a new TV, or hopefully a 3d printer. This is where FFF shines the, it the the cheapest of all... by a lot. The cheapest SL will you run you about $3,000, the cheapest, SLA will cost around $10,000, and the cheapest FFF will cost $300.  The material is also way cheaper, a kilo of filament for a FFF printer will cost about $30, the prices are similar for SLS printers, then jumps up to $300 a kilo for SL resin.

Friday, September 27, 2013

English Assignment

I really liked a blog by Gigacom.  I liked it for a few reasons.  Firstly, it was filled with a ton of great information.  I don't like blogs about how people feel, I like blogs with facts.  The second reason I really liked it, it is had information that I was interested in.  It was about 3d printing which I really like, I actually just got a 3d printer so it had information relevant to what I am interested in.  Another reason I liked it, is it didn't swamp me with information.  Some blogs just keep giving information till it starts to get annoying, this one was precise and to the point.

The second blog that I really like is Cnet.  I like Cnet a lot because it provides tons of information about tons of different topics, under the main topic which for Cnet is technology.   I liked that they update it multiple times a day, so whenever I go there, there is new information.  I like the format that it is laid out in, it breaks it off then if you are interested you can click and get more information.  It also has a slightly person writing style, so you can get the facts as well as their opinions.

The third blog I liked was PopSci,  I liked PopSci, because it was very easy to use and had tons of sections that you could choose depending of what you are interested in. You could click nearly anywhere on a specific post then it would take you to read the full post.  I also liked this one because it had mostly facts and news as well as a little bit of opinion and voice.  It also had just enough information to get you to read the post, but not to much where it took a very long time to sort between the non-interesting posts, and the ones I was interested.

Have an amazing day!