Thursday, April 9, 2015

CRE8 update

I've been working on the RepRap CRE8 a lot lately. The ATX power supply has been replaced, and LOW AND BEHOLD the motors work!

Regardless, I have replaced the salvaged Nema 17 motors with new ones of higher torque. I've also finished the printed parts (version 1.0 anyway).

Here's a video of the first moves.


The problems mentioned in the video are being solved one by one. The print platform is now homing to the top (min) instead of the bottom. The print area size is now set correctly in the firmware, and the printhead moves to the center for a starting print.

Y-carriage racking is still to-be-solved, but I have several strategies up my sleeve.

  1. a new bushing on the right side (3d printed PLA bushings)
  2. switch to coreXY configuration, that should help.
  3. Redesign the Y-carriage to contain a third steel rod parallel with the upper rod. I have several extra rods, from old printers and scanners I tore down last summer.
My method for fitting PLA bushings is unique: I heat the steel rod over a camp stove, until it is hot enough to soften -but not melt- the plastic bushing. Then I shove the bushing on and work it until the fit is smooth, but zero-slop. I pull the bushing off and quench it, and the rod too. Sometimes I have to remove a little melted plastic from the rod if I got it too hot. So far, this method is working gangbusters!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CRE8 concept

Concept for a reprap 3d printer.


  • Milk crate frame
  • Few purchased parts
  • Salvaged motors, shafts, switches, wiring, fasteners, etc.
  • H bot or corexy kinematics
  • Bowden tube extrusion system
  • 8 x 8 x 7 build area
  • Low low build cost
A long way from done

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ultralight EDC knife

Do you carry a knife every day? (E.very D.ay C.arry) Maybe you wear slacks and don't want to drag them down with a heavy knife. Or you do carry a nice folder, but don't want to damage your carefully honed blade on cardboard and packaging.

Those were my problems, and got to work on them. Now I know Gerber makes a tiny-ish pocket knife that uses disposable blades, and there are other manufacturers that make small folding knives without disposable blades. But those options are too heavy, I mean it's just a razor blade! How small and light can we go?

This small and this light:





The Ultralight EDC knife. Just what it says. It ways .66 oz or 21 grams. It is a fixed blade, 3d printed knife in ABS plastic. One side is ridged for grip, with a raised, tetxtured logo. The other has a beefy pocket clip, to index it in my pocket or use as a money clip. The cap is retained with a bungee cord, and can be opened with one hand. To make replacing the blade easier with cold or shaking hands, there is an indexing cutout to prevent accidental sticks.

I have been using it for about 2 months, and am really pleased. Durability is fine, despite some rough cutting tasks (carving wood, slicing poly pipe, extensive box cutting, etc). In fact it has totally replaced my trusty Swiss Army Knife. Sorry old friend.  Most of my friends and family received one of these for Christmas.

There will be more info shared as it develops, but right now I am looking for production and distribution options. I think this is a marketable product. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sneak peak

Here's a render what I've been working on for a while with the 3d printer...




It's a sub 1 oz pocket knife that uses a standard utility blade. There is a pocket clip on the back side, and the cap is retained with a small bungee. If you know me at all, you probably received one of these as a Christmas present. More details to follow, I'm thinking about production options... at around $6 with custom color and text options.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

3d printed gear

I live in the future. Sorry, that's just the way it is. I'm not really an early adopter of technology, but 3d printing was a bandwagon I had to jump on!

At my day job I was able to acquire a 3d printer (Makerbot Replicator 1, if you are interested)

And we have been using SolidWorks 3d cad software (which I could NEVER afford at home!)


In the off time, I have had some opportunities to make some cool stuff.

Here's "The ultimate survival utility knife" as a taste of what's to come later on this blog...


(utility knife, paracord, lighter in handle, extra blades stored in handle, tape, neck sheath)

A lock blade utility knife suitable for pocket carry and one handed opening was next.


Neither of these scratched the itch I was looking for. (though that lock blade was pretty cool! One handed opening, a pocket clip and everything!)
I wanted something for every day carry, something small and unobtrusive. Ultralight!

See what I came up with next...


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back from long hiatus...

So, I'm back from a long hiatus...

Here's an update on some of the gear featured previously:

I used the UL Quilt on an alpine hike back in July... it worked great, except I was sleeping in a 40deg quilt in 30 degree nights... brrr! could have been a bit warmer, but I think the 40 degree rating was accurate. FWIW, the drawstring bivy worked great to keep the bugs out (A plague of Biblical proportions) and to keep off dew; which was actually frost on this trip.




Monday, May 20, 2013

Quilt performance update: Success!

OK, so here's an update on the quilt performance. I added a line of stitching parallel to the sides, on the upper half of the quilt. This stabilizes the down and keeps the center section lofted fully.

I slept out on a night in the low 20's with a little snowfall (remember this is with a bag I designed for 40 degree summer nights!). I slept on a cot, under a tarp, WITH a trash bag as a vapor barrier liner VBL inside the quilt. I wore similar clothing layers to what I would have when backpacking.

SUCCESS~ sort of. I didn't die, but I won't be calling this a 20 degree bag any time soon. By 6 am, I was awake, and ready to come inside. :) in the woods, I would have been the guy who gets up and makes a fire.

I now have confidence in the limits of the quilt as a sleeping bag. I designed it for 40 degree comfort, and I would extend that down 10 degrees with the use of a VBL (ie, my handy trashbag).