Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Teaching and Vocademy USA

Vocademy Riverside, aka a new local "maker space" just opened a few weeks ago, and asked me if I would be willing to teach classes on 3D printing.

what is a Maker space?
its basically a work shop for rent, they have all the high priced welding and wood working and laser cutting and 3d printing equipment that you would love to get access to. On top of that if you don't know how to weld or are not a carpenter, or a 3D modeling professional, then they have classes that can help get you there. Makers space first came around in the 1970's with your first computers but it took many years for the idea to spread. Now they are all across the world. I have been reading about them in tech blogs for many years but they were always to far away like New York or San Francisco, Or even LA which is still to far to go often.

Just a few months ago Riverside got it first maker space "Vocademy" (from their website in the about section) Vocademy is an idea that I have had for many years. A place that teaches “hands-on”  vocational, shop and Do-It-Yourself skills. Then we add a “dream workshop” for those in the community that want to learn, build, create and become “Makers.”  I want to bring back “shop class for everyone!” I have witnessed the demise of DIY (Do-It-Yourself), and hands-on skills in this country. Not for lack of people who want or need these skills and knowledge, but for lack of places to learn and use such skills. Many agree that once this country loses its ability to make and build things (with our own hands), we will have lost what made America great.  Edison, Franklin, the Wright Brothers, Harley Davidson, Apple, HP and many others started in small workshops with basic tools.  Many more Americans should have the same opportunity to innovate, collaborate, and create their dreams. America used to have “shop” classes. Whether it was wood shop, metal shop, industrial arts or even art classes, it was a place for makers, inventors and dreamers.  Those who wanted to use their hands, in addition to their minds. It was the ideal place for  those that love to tinker, to take things apart and put them together. The starting place for the many people who love to to design, to build, and to create!  Some were lucky enough to have a dad or an uncle that had a small workshop and were willing to share their know-how.  But now these places are very rare, if not completely gone. For many, a personal workshop just an expensive dream.  But the people who still want these skills and need such a place still exists. That’s why we are working hard to make Vocademy a reality and create a place for you to make and learn whatever YOU desire.  Join us!   Gene Sherman Founder of Vocademy

Gene, the founder, asked me if i would teach the classes on 3D printing, and i had to take the opportunity as part of the deal i get free membership and can even earn free classes. I have wanted to learn how to weld and wood work for many years. Also this means I now have 5 3D printers to work with and I will be working on building my own 3D printer.

Teaching is very new to me, never thought before this Job, but now with a few classes behind me, I have to say I love it. We offer 3 classes for 3D printing the first is a 30min free class just to go over basic info and give some safety tips. The 2nd ID205 is the intro to both the software and the printers and where to get models to be printed.   The 3rd is a walk through on your first print and you get to go home with a 3D printed object of your choose. I am also working on a few more levels of classes where we will go over more advanced subjects. like printing on glass beds using Vapor to finish the prints, and even a class on building your own 3D printer.
I would like to invite all my friends down to Vocademy to get a tour of the place and if you let me know when you are headed there i will meet up with you.

for more info and list of class times be sure to check out their website

Saturday, November 9, 2013

an day an other 3 printed gun but this one is metal (what ever)

If you have a 3d printer and want to make some headlines print a gun its all the craze!! no criminal is going to spend 10s of thousands of $ or even hundreds of that matter just to make a gun when they can buy one on the street but here is a story about a 3d printed metal gun to give you some food for thought anyway

And here is an story that shows why im not worried

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Purple Mammals

The Printer i have is a Desktop printer which are really meant more for hobby printing then for full commercial Rabbit prototyping. If you want a high quality print you need to go with production printer. These printer can start at 20,000$ go up in price from there. In the last few weeks we have used 3 different 3D printing companies to see how their prints hold up for testing. We got the best results from a company named after 2 Mammals Purple Mammals at that. Purple Platypus is the side of the company that sales printers and Purple porcupine is the side of the company that will print objects for you. Purple is not just in their name it is everywhere in their show room. There will be lots of pictures to check out at the bottom of the post. Now they use Porjet and 3D system printers, which are now the same company. if you would like to learn more about these printers check out the main site Projet/3Dsystems. If you would like to see Purple Platypus for yourself they do hold a open house one the 25th of every month so go check it out and see all the great stuff that can be printed

3D print a 3D printer

If you follow my blog you will know that I use a Solidoodle 3 printer in my office. You will also know that I have fallowed 3D printers for a long time and have wanted one for my home. This brings me to the idea of using my Solidoodle to print a 3D printer. RepRap is an open source 3D printer that is meant to be build and printed on another printer. if you would like to know more check out their main site This is meant to be more of a long term project and i can only print a few pieces at a time. I will also need to buy all the parts that can't be printed like motors and belts, mother boards etc. The system I am going for can be found on at and is based on a RepRap design the best part is the zip come with full detailed institutions and all printable parts. This will be an on going project so be sure to check back but here is the first 3 parts i have printed they took about 8hrs to print together and i have to print one more set.


basic maintenance

like any system 3D printer require maintenance to keep them running smooth. In the last few days i have had to replace the Kapton type on the print board and also grease the system. Some parts stick to the print bed a little to well and when removing them you can damage the Kapton type, however you can buy small rolls to replace the damage, you can also buy large rolls and i was able to find 8" by 36 yard roll of Kapton because i had let the damage go on for so long that it was much better to replace the whole sheet. If you are looking to buy large rolls of Kapton check out this site when it come to grease it can be picked up at any hard ware store White Lithium Grease works great it what i was told to use buy members of the solidoodle IRC. amazon also carries it but Home depot is just down the street from my offce and we already have a home depot card.

Friday, September 20, 2013

vapor acetone hot plates and hit and runs

so today was a busy day at the office. We have been working hard to take are 3d printed parts and put them out into the filed for testing but we want them to look high quality. a few weeks back we found a video on youtube that showed someone using heated acetone vapors to give a nice gloss finish. So we bought a hot plate some acetone and a glass jar. so we put everything outside to start testing and just a few mins later someone ran over the hot plate. It was a hit and run on a hotplate that was sitting next to a cement wall and a dumpster so they had to have been aiming for it and just missed wrecking their car. Which means we had to buy a new hot plate thankfully they are only about 30$ each. Next we had to get the vapor treating temp and time just right 5min with it acetone preheated to 200F turned out the best.  we have also been working on the best way to seal the top and bottom of the casing together. so you will see pictures of us testing with a heat gun. The last project of the day was to create supports for some of the smaller details of the 3d parts those are printing right now.  

here is the video we fallowed.

this is the parts holder we made

one of our test pieces

testing if we can uses a heat gun to melt the top and bottom of the casing together

on the left is the smashed hot plate you can see the cement wall and the dumpster and the new hot plate with the glass Jar 

Vapor sealing a part 

it had a very sort life only got to be use once

they hit it dead center i hope it messed up their tire

the vapor needs time to cure


Thursday, September 19, 2013

building your own 3d printer

If you want to build your own 3d printer, a project i plan on starting next year after my wedding don't tell my GF she might kill me i already talk none stop about them. anyway check out this story on HackaDay to help control the heading nozzle accurate-temperature-control-of-your-3d-printer-extruder/