My name is Mike, and I’m a jack of all trades.
I became unemployed a short while ago and have been following up on old hobbies and projects that I never had time for while I was employed.
My tech interests include solar power, robots, and most other things with wires, and nuts and bolts. My current primary tech adventure is 3D printing. I developed an interest for this after seeing a post on hackaday (which has spawned far too many side projects for me) and was pulled right in.
I began my 3d printing adventure by attempting to build one from the scraps I had laying around my garage. Everything from broken printers to ikea kitchen parts, and internal assemblies from massage chairs. many rebuilds later I cobbled together something resembling the printrbot. this was the first revision to come to life. using arduino mega and ramps, I got it to dry print and the movement and speed was very nice. I just hadn’t worked out the extruder yet.
So around this time I lost my job and my situation changed in other way as well, so I had to put many things on hold. This resulted in limited access to the facilities I once had so in order to continue my work with limited resources I caved in a bought a 3d printer kit. the mixshop g1, it was also based on the printrbot and was very nice to build and setup, but not without its problems like most the printers out there. I upgraded belts and pulleys, got some reasonable prints from it, my extruder failed at one point so I hacked a wades extruder onto the mixshop carriage and kept the hotend which I made fit with the sacrifice of a socket I cut in half to use as an adapter to fit the mixshop hotend onto the wades extruder, and I was up and running again until…
I think my modifications altered the spacing to much and allowed heat to creep to far and I started getting a lot of filament jams so I’m now in the process of acquiring a new hot end. not easy when you’re unemployed and Visa cut you off :p
So if anyone wants to donate a jhead or similar drop me a line…lol
Now, my printers are residing at my local makerspace kwartlab, along with my infinity mirror, and a few other things. but most impressive is some equipment I recently acquired from the local univeristy. TWO (2) Stratasys FDM 2000 3D printers. These things are big, heavy, and awesome (or as a kwartzlab member said “angry washing machines”) and seemingly functional. I got them for the jaw droping price of $300 for both. They came from the arcitectural department who no longer needed them. So now they sit at kwartzlab, as I slowly breathe life back into them. I have the software courtesy of the nice people at haveblue.org and early tests show they heat up just fine, manual movement works, and I’m just waiting on some computer bits to become available to start further testing.
So that the quick version to bring things up to speed.
As I continue I’ll add content about the past 3d printing adventures and current progress, and details of my other projects such as.
BEAM robots (including my wowwee robot collection developed with mark tilden )
Project: Prometheus (robot)
Project : infinity mirror
Project : LED cube (8x8x8)
and my adventures with the laser cutter at kwartzlab, and whatever other tech madness I get my hands on.
Thanks for reading.