Time for vacation and looking ahead

I’m finally able to have enough time to take a vacation from work. This is my first real vacation in 2-1/2 years! I get to travel a fair amount with work (not that I love flying) so I’ve been able to get out of town more than my wife. So I’m taking her to a town I’ve been 4-5 times this summer — Seattle, WA. Land of not 110-degree days. Thankfully!

Between not printing last weekend and being gone the next two, it will be almost a month between my last print and next. Weird.

But… I already have plans for the next item — the results of a several week concept I’ve been working on in order to write both a blog post for work, as well as prepare a deck for trying to speak at conferences. I was going to apply to speak at the 3D printing conference in the Netherlands in October, but the timing was bad and I wasn’t sure I was going to be prepared enough. I’ll probably just get up on a soap box and espouse the virtues of home fabrication from the street corner.

I also have plans to switch to the MK7 extruder (in dual mode, of course) from MakerBot so as to use the water soluble PVA for support structures instead of the ABS; most everything I design needs support and going this route should make it easier to get cleaner prints (also due to the 1.75mm filament change). But first I have to use up all the 3mm filament I’ve got! That might also give MBI enough time to get 1.75mm PVA in stock. ;-)

I leave you with some images from a fantastic rendering plug-in for SketchUp (and almost every other 3D software package) called Indigo. I used to use Indigo when it was alpha/beta and free to the public. It is certainly worth it as a paid product if you are using it professionally; I can’t afford the licensing to only use it here or there. The 30 day trial is enough to play with and see how far it has come since I last touched it (2007?). Good stuff. I didn’t let the images render to “completion”, but the state they are in was good enough for me to see it still rocks. I also didn’t work on any of the textures to try to make it look like printed plastic; this wouldn’t be difficult, but I’m just messing around.

Render2
Render1

The MothBees Have Come!

After being very happy with my MothBee printing and finishing experiment, I decided to send the file to Shapeways to see how materials that I cannot print would look. After placing an order for MothBee in black glossy glass, white matte glass, antique shiny bronze, and stainless steel, Shapeways said I would be getting the objects the week of October 3rd. Perfect timing as I am going on vacation next week and would come home just in time to receive the package. Much to my surprise and delight, a ring of the doorbell this evening led me to find a box resting against the door with all my objects!

This blog has its own domain now

I decided I should go ahead and buy the domain MyPlasticFuture.com before some sleazy domain-squatter does. It also makes it easier to type as most people can’t get my last name right (a common problem).

So – www.myplasticfuture.com will now bring you here!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my first two prints, and the item they replaced:

Photo

We’ve come so far so quickly little MakerBot. *sniff*

A Long Weekend Full of Wonderful Things

Ten. That’s how many completed print jobs I managed over the long holiday weekend. Yes, there was also one aborted print. Ten is fantastic given my previous concerns about over-heating, bad electricity, inconsistent temperature settings, and so forth. And the outside temperature was below 100-degrees for the first time in seemingly years. This really was a good weekend for printing. Of course, just a few miles away, Texas burns; not all is cake and ice cream.

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