Category: 3D Printing

Saturday morning Cindy and I decided to get our weekend 5K run out of the way.  It was a rough, rough run.  The heat, humidity, and my body’s refusal to feel comfortable at any point during the run made for a miserable half hour.  We endured it and that is all that matters. I almost did not endure the yard work that followed when we got home.

My legs felt especially dead during the run and that sensation increased as I walked around the yard picking weeds.  Even with using my normal technique where my elbows are resting on my knees/thighs as I pull countless weeds, my legs and back were just weak.  When I moved onto weedwhacking I really hit the wall.  I felt dangerously tired at times.  More than once I just stopped to try to rest for a moment as the sun was melting me from above.  By the time I walked back in the door my tank was absolutely empty. I jumped in the pool to try to cool down my body temperature rapidly.  We then did a coffee run with Elsa which helped artificially restore some of my depleted energy reserves.

I did a decent amount of 3D printing Saturday afternoon.  I did my first printing with a new filament type called PetG.  Supposedly it offers some of the benefits of both ABS and PLA plastics. I got a green translucent variety that looked cool.  I had a hard time getting the print to stick to printing surface but after a few tries I was able to print out this EUC mudguard.  Unfortunately when I tried to test fit it on my wheel the one support snapped.  I plan to try to print the guard again with some more outer walls and infill for more strength.

I also did multiple prints of the prototype mudguard for the Monster.  I have been working with my EUC buddy from Finland who has been designing the mudguard in Fusion 360 based on the measurements and pictures I have been sending him.  He makes some changes, I print it out and then do a test fit and provide feedback which is used for the next revision.  We are on rev 6 at this point and I think we are almost there.

On Saturday night we watched Hacksaw Ridge, a true life story of amazing bravery, endurance, and heroics during the World War II land portion of the Japanese campaign.  It seems almost superhuman to have endured what this man did.  It’s a movie everyone should see to give a true sense of just how awful war really is and why it should be mankind’s goal to eliminate it, even if it is a pipe dream.  I give it a solid A score, Cindy rated it A++.

Sunday morning I cleaned the chicken coop and much like last week, again was disgusted with the amount of pure mucky areas.  The sod I laid last week helped but other disgusting areas opened up.  I was again motivated to buy a bunch more sod to address the mess.  However unlike last week, my calls to the home improvement stores all had the same answer, “Sod is gone”  I plan to take the truck to work on Tuesday, sod delivery day, so I can grab a bunch more to throw around the chicken yard.

We headed out for an EUC ride mid-morning and met up with Daniel and Katie at the park in Pelican Bay.  I looked up and suddenly saw Katie riding backwards, easily.  She said she had practiced backwards a couple times.  Well her couple practice sessions resulted in her being MUCH more proficient and comfortable going backwards than I am.  She just has natural ability to ride an EUC, something I definitely don’t have.  Repeatedly during the ride she flipped into backwards riding with ease.

It was hot as hell so keeping moving was a priority.  As soon as you stopped the heat and humidity was stifling.  Again we swapped around wheels to a degree.  I rode all four of the wheels at one point or another.  It’s amazing how different the riding experience is between the wheels.  I definitely prefer a bigger wheel at this point.

After lunch I immediately headed outside to do the best I could mowing around the standing water.  It looked like it was going to rain on me multiple times but it thankfully held off.  There were certain areas where I just rammed the tractor through mud bogs, relying on momentum to keep me from getting stuck.  A good portion of the yard is just a muddy, disgusting mess, I hate it.

I chilled for most of the rest of the day, meddling around in WoW attending to the needs of a half dozen virtual beings.  It’s odd how being so busy in the game translates into relaxation for me, but it works.

 

Saturday morning instead of running we were out in the mucky yard bright and early getting chores done. The daily downpours during the week has made portions of the yard pure muck, it’s disgusting.  I got out on the tractor later in the afternoon to mow what I could without mud bogging.

I also did two projects on the Prius.  For the second time in four months I had a headlight go out, this time the passenger side.  Despite doing the job not too long ago, I struggled again with the task that requires a lot of working blind, relying on feel alone.

I then threw the car up on ramps for an oil change.  Thankfully that was a much more straight forward job.

During the day I also had time to design my first Fusion 360 3D object from scratch, not following a tutorial.  I struggled mightily to get the software to spit out what I wanted due to my lack of experience, but by the time I was done I had a custom sponge holder bracket that did EXACTLY what I needed it to do.

Saturday night we stayed home and watched our Netflix rental, Underworld, whatever the latest iteration is. (I think there are six of them at this point)  Of course to me, Underworld is all about Kate Beckensale in tight leather outfits beating up werewolves and vampires alike.  Even with this going on I found this sequel only average and would rate it a B-, still ok to rent but a waste if you saw it in theaters.

Sunday I drug myself out of bed and to the track for a VERY humid 5K around the track.  I was joined by a guy walking laps at an extremely slow pace.  For every one lap he completed I ran between two and a half and three laps.  I was glad to be able to complete the distance without any bad pain from my right side.

When I got home I cleaned the coop and was absolutely disgusted to how mucky the front of the coop area had become.  I made a snap decision that I had to do something about it.  After calling the Bonita Home Depot to verify they had sod, I hauled ass there and filled the bed of the Tacoma with 15 bags of top soil and 30 pieces of sod.

I used the supplies to fill the small trench in front of the coop that gets the most disgusting.  The chickens were very happy to help me spread the top soil.  Anything dry is very appealing to them at this point.  On Saturday I dumped 5 bags of sand into piles in their run without raking it so they would have dry stuff to dig around in.

After taking a quick shower to rinse the sweat and dirt off me we headed out to meet Katie and Daniel for an EUC ride.  Daniel just got his brand new Gotway ACM this week so he was anxious to show it to us.  The wheel more than doubles the speed, power and distance of the Ninebot One Daniel had been riding up until this point.

We had fun zipping around the North Collier Park grounds, taking turns switching wheels.  I rode the ACM for a bit and to be honest wasn’t all the comfortable.  The wheel felt small, short, yet fat between my legs.  I felt a little wobbly on the wheel and much preferred the fit and ride my two larger wheels provide.  Like anything, I am sure I would get more used to it with more pedal time but it really made me rethink my idea to buy a 16 inch Kingsong wheel.  I may instead look at the 18 inch Kingsong wheel instead.

Late afternoon we piled the dogs into the Prius for a Rural King run which they were very excited about.  It’s always fun to bring Sadie and Elsa along anywhere.  They are quite the entertaining canine couple.

My work week is once again looking super busy, hence the reason this is getting punched out on a Sunday evening, an extremely rare occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

So as part of my Saturday morning chores I wanted ot get the grass mowed and weed whacked.  The standing water had dried up so I knew in wet season you need to take advantage of these dry opportunities.  Cindy and I busted ass and got everything looking good, just in time for it to absolutely pour a couple hours later, submerging the grounds once again.  It’s so frustrating.  When I walked back in the chicken area to turn the pump back on the water was only three to four inches from the top of my boots.

When I was doing stuff around the yard I was feeling some moderate discomfort from my right side.  It was the left over pain I had from doing dragon flags on Friday.  I was a little concerned that the pain, which seems to be right around where a liver is supposed to me, was still hurting.  The pain also erased running from the activity list for the weekend.  When I was crossing the Home Depot parking lot with Elsa and tried to transition into a light jog to avoid burning her feet I felt significant discomfort.  As the weekend progressed the pain has lessened so hopefully just avoiding dragon flags in the future will be the long term remedy.

Saturday night we got out to see the new Spiderman movie.  I found it interesting that Marvel basically decided to tweak the Spiderman origin story most of us know.  Despite this it somehow all worked which isn’t surprising.  Everything Marvel touches just works.  Both Cindy and I really enjoyed the movie, earning a shiny A+ in my book.

Sunday morning Katie joined us for our EUC ride around some of the beautiful nearby developments.  She had my old Ninebot One that I gave to Daniel in her truck which Cindy hopped on and rode at the end of the ride. It was sort of a symbolic triumph for Cindy since it was her fall off the Ninebot One in the driveway that scared her from learning for months and months.  For her to be able to step up and do a few circles on the 9B1 like it was no big deal was a testament to how far she has come.  Cindy said she actually liked the way the 16 inch wheel felt.

I did some more 3D printing over the weekend, printing a cool clamp style headset holder for Cindy, a small skull ring, a new phone case and a few other items.  I also got to do my first “fixing” of the FlashForge Finder.  When I was changing filament a piece seemed to get stuck in the extruder.  I had to do some minor disassembly to get access to the filament tube.  I then was able to use the included tools to clear the path and load in some fresh spool.

It’s a good thing that I get some practice digging into the printer.  With the CR-10 large format printer I have on order there is probably going to be a lot of tweaking, improving, and fixing going on.

I recorded a second video during the afternoon recapping my experiences thus far with 3D printing.  For being complete novices, I think Cindy and I have created some pretty amazing objects.

 

Sunday afternoon was chill with Cindy working more on her costume designs while I worked more in WoW.  Since I unlocked the ability to fly in game it has made leveling characters significantly easier.  I now have six or seven of my 11 toons at max level and keep working on the what is left.

We watched 50 Shades Darker last night, a movie I rented because Cindy expressed interest.  I saw the first one with her and was not very impressed although it was some low level soft porn.  I thought the sequel suffered from a disjointed plot which I found a hard time caring much about.  Of course it was filled with large amounts of more soft porn once again so I can give it a B on entertainment value I guess.

I once again have not been sleeping well.  Lately it seems I wake up an hour or two before the alarm goes off and just fade in and out of consciousness until the bell sounds.

 

Yesterday afternoon another line of storms blew through delivering yet another standing water blow to the backyard.  I headed out there and fired up the pump immediately.  By this morning it had drained enough that I could turn the pump back off.   Although pumping surely won’t keep the area dry it certainly helps keep things less submerged.

I did more 3D printing yesterday, printing out a cool WoW themed iPhone 6 case and a cupholder iPhone mount for Cindy’s car.  The phone case did not last very long, I cracked the top of it trying to remove the phone which is not a huge deal and sort of expected.  Something like a phone case would be best printed in ABS plastic as it is more flexible and durable than PLA.

This weekend Cindy and I would like to get out to see Spiderman, do some EUC riding along with the mandatory house chores/maintenance that are a staple of our existence.

So even though my CR-10 printer will likely not arrive for a couple weeks I have already been printing some parts to enhance it.  The CR-10 user community is huge and active.  As a result they have quickly identified potential weak points in the printers design and come up with solutions that can be 3D printed, ironically.  I printed a cable strain relief bracket and some enhanced leveling knobs so far but there will be more stuff to come for sure.  I can’t wait to start trying to print some bigger objects.  The 12″x 12″ x 16″ print volume has some huge possibilities.  One of the first things I want to try are printing tray inserts for the center console of the Tacoma to give the big space multiple levels of organization.

I think the pump I have in the back of the chicken coop yard is definitely help to accelerate the removal of standing water.  Last night I turned it off.  If we can get a few days without rain I would like to dig a hole in the absolute lowest spot back there which is maybe 20 feet from where it is now.  I can then put a bucket in the hole and the pump in the bucket to maximize it’s water relocation potential.

 

 

Over my adult life I seem to have hobby or interest phases where I get very focused or interested in something and dedicate a LOT of time to it.  Some things totally fade away, others just see less time dedicated to them. Some of the things that have rotated on and off that list are volleyball, cars, bar fitness, WoW, race timing, RC planes/drones, and electric unicycles.  Well it seems that 3D printing may be officially on that list as well.

After buying my FlashForge Finder a few weeks ago CIndy and I have been on a 3D printing tear. The majority of that printing has been stuff for Cindy’s Widowmaker costume for Supercon but I have made a lot of other cool things as well.  There is something very satisfying about being able to create an object out of nothing.

Well I expanded my 3D printer collection by ordering a printer that is taking the 3D printing world by storm, the CR-10.  It is so popular because it is able to produce HUGE prints in multiple materials with very good quality.  There are lots of printers that make really nice prints however what makes the CR-10 so crazy is it is only $400, $100 less than what I paid for my FlashForge printer.

This printer does require some minor assembly and is definitely not as targeted to the 3D printing novice as much as the Finder is.  I did a decent amount of reading and researching on the CR-10 and unlike so many things in life, it actually seems to not be to good to be true.  It’s a high quality, huge volume printer for a very affordable price.  I’m really looking forward to digging into it once it arrives and see what I can do.  I expect some more technical challenges with this type of printer but nothing that I can’t handle.

Speaking of 3D printing, Cindy has been busting ass getting the dozens of 3D parts I printed assembled for her rifle.  She is almost there and it looks great.  It amazes both of us that we were able to create something of this detail and realism ourselves, as complete 3D printing novices.

So I wanted to do a different kind of EUC ride for the 4th of July.  I suggested to Cindy we drive all the way down to Marco Island to ride around the hilly area, something we never tried before.  Cindy was enthusiastic about the idea.  The drive took between 45 minutes and an hour so it was significant time investment.

We parked at the same spot the Marco Hill Run is based out of, a race I timed for years.  I was initially frustrated when I turned on my GoPro and realized I left my micro-SD card in the reader at home.  However I was able to run into the Publix and grab a 16GB card to save the day.

The ride was really fun, scenic, interesting, and challenging.  I have NEVER ridden any EUC on hills that big.  I have seen a number of videos of fellow riders on the internet pushing their wheels up and down big hills and having the bot overheat or implode.  As we were riding I was using the app on my phone to make sure both the Monster and Msuper were not getting too hot from the added load.  Both wheels stayed safely in the normal operating range thankfully.

Riding hills requires a different technique.  Depending on the length and degree of climb you have to really pitch your body forward and shift your weight to your toes to keep the wheel going.  It also feels weird going down steep declines as your speed can very quickly ramp up to uncomfortable levels.  Cindy got a bunch of seated riding in too, despite the terrain.  It was a great ride and I hope we can take the wheels down there again to explore other parts of the island.

So when we got home after lunch I went directly outside to mow the back yard, the area I missed on Saturday due to a downpour that submerged the yard once again.  I gave the back yard a matching  haircut and finished up just as it started to rain, again.  By the time it stopped the standing water was back again.

We spent a lot of the rest of the day doing stuff we enjoyed, me playing WoW and Cindy working on her gun.  We were trying to estimate how much time in total we have spent on the Supercon costume/gear but it would be too staggering to add up.  Despite all the work, it’s something Cindy really enjoys doing so the hours don’t really matter.

I forgot to mention I have now put up a a web site for my EUC Army moniker that I established on YouTube awhile ago.  I took down the running club website that I still had alive in one of my WP hosting slots on GoDaddy and installed eucarmy.com there instead, a much better use of my resources.

My thought process is when we are asked about the wheels we can simply say, “go to eucarmy.com to find out more”  The site explains some of the basics as well as links to more information, a forum, and recommendations on where to buy EUC’s.  I like the visuals of the site, it will be interesting to see how much traffic it will generate for me.

Our 4th of July celebration was a minimal as you can imagine.  When we took Elsa out for her final walk of the night we each lit a single sparkler that was waved around for a few seconds.  I had no desire to go fight traffic and crowds to witness the fireworks at the Naples Pier and there were plenty of backyard firework shows going off all around us.

Cindy and I started off the weekend with a track 5K.  I forced myself to do it even though as recently as Friday night I was walking around gingerly due to hamstrings still sore from deadlifting on Tuesday.  Much like the week prior, the run felt like a struggle pretty much the entire time.  The temp almost being 80 degrees with high humidity at 7AM didn’t help matters.

I wanted to get all weekend labor out of the way on Saturday and I worked diligently to make that happen.  Weeding was a particularly large pain in the ass.  The frequent rain combined with steaming temperatures provides the perfect conditions for weeds to pop up everywhere.

It was bright and sunny for most of the day Saturday, so much so that once again the dreaded standing water had dried up.  Around 3 o’clock I decided I should take advantage of this and jumped on the tractor as I saw a few gray clouds starting to form.  Well as I was about half way into mowing the first front section when it started to rain lightly.  Since the tractor has a sun canopy it also does a decent job as a rain canopy so I pressed on.  By the time I called it quits after finishing the front of the house I was mowing in the middle of a monsoon.  Of course the recently dried up sections of the yard were now back under several inches of water…..sigh.

Another thing I got out of the way on Saturday was my weekly bill paying session.  I actually had very few bills to pay this week so a wave of inspiration hit me.  My primary 15 year mortgage was real close to being paid off.  I had planned to pay it off in a couple months but I decided I would dip into one of my other budget columns and pay the sucker off now.  I have been overpaying a little bit each month ever since the house was refinanced  which has allowed me to get to this point roughly a year ahead of schedule.

A looong time ago I had set a goal of having the house paid off before I was 50 so it feels good to accomplish that.  However when I initially set that goal it was the intent for the house to be COMPLETELY paid off which it is not.  I still have my home equity loan which was opened almost as long ago which was used to pay for things like the pool, the two terrible land investments in Lehigh Acres, divorce settlement funds, and home improvements.  Now that the primary mortgage is cleared out I can attack the HELOC as well as having some extra funds to both save and do some other things with.  I would like to open up a Roth IRA to give me a third retirement account to lean on when I am old, gray, and feeble. (if I make it that long)  So anyway, yes, it feels good to have the primary mortgage satisfied, it’s something a lot of people never get a chance to do in their lifetimes.

Saturday night we stayed home and watched Aftermath, a recent movie I never heard of with Arnold starring in it based on a true story.  I was somewhat surprised that the movie was missing pretty much any of the classic Arnold physicality even though there is a weird, twisted, revenge plot going on.  I thought it was well done although extremely sad and tragic.  It gets a solid B but don’t expect to be jumping for joy afterward.  I think this movie never hit theaters and went direct to Blu-ray.

Sunday morning Cindy and I got out on the wheels, riding directly from the house over to the high school roughly three miles away.  The wide open and traffic free roads are great for practicing.  I did more seated riding on the Monster and Cindy worked on a number of skills as well.  Her comfort level on the wheel is approaching mine.

It felt like I was wasting time not having my 3D printer building something so over the weekend I printed Arthas the Lich King, a big character from World of Warcaft lore. It was a very complex model and I was skeptical of how it would turn out.  When it was done printing it was encased in support material but after a lot of careful clean up by Cindy this was the end result.  Cindy will also be the one to take on the very intricate task of painting the model when she has time.

The reason Cindy’s time has been taxed is her relentless work on her cosplay costume and props.  She has been spending a ton of time assembling the 3D gun that we printed the parts for.  Putting all the parts together and making it look pretty is a far greater task than the printing of the parts.  It’s exciting seeing the gun come to life bit by bit. Hopefully by the end of this week it will be more or less done.

While she was plugging away on her stuff I was plugging away in WoW having a good time rotating through my various characters and getting stuff done in a virtual manner.  I always feel somewhat guilty after prolonged gaming sessions but I enjoy them all the same.

I have a weird week where after a day at the office I am treated with another day off.  Cindy and I have no definitive plans for the 4th but I am sure EUC riding, gun building, and WoW will be part of the itinerary.

 

 

I forgot to mention a call I had with my insurance agency the other day.  The call was inspired by the revised monthly car insurance bill I received after adding Cindy’s Prius to my policy.  Specifically, that the monthly bill more than doubled adding a 10 year old vehicle that was worth probably 10% of the Tacoma.  I explained the scenario to the phone rep on the other line and how it did not make sense that my policy would increase so much more for a vehicle that is worth a tiny fraction of what the truck is.  I asked him to explain to me how that is logical.

He said that the higher costs has to do with the additional safety features the Tacoma has that the Prius lacks.  He said the collision portion of the policy for the Tacoma is indeed higher than the Prius but the comprehensive portion is less due to these additional safety features.  I turned the discussion to the big picture cost of car insurance as for these two vehicles I am paying over $2400 a year despite being nearly 50 years old and NEVER having an accident claim or speeding ticket since moving to Florida.

I told the rep the way it used to work was as drivers get older their insurance goes down.  Instead my insurance has steadily risen, despite my squeaky clean driving record.  The rep said the blame for this is almost entirely litigation, specifically the mega-settlements you see TV lawyers bragging about.  I told him that despite this it is very difficult for me to feel sorry for insurance companies when I read about the incredible profit margins and CEO salaries associated with them.

The rep understood my frustration and told me he was paying almost exactly the same as I was to insure his two vehicles as well.  The end result of this was my dropping the collision coverage on the Prius to save a few bucks.  He also said that if I opt to pay the six month premium in a lump sum instead of monthly there is a 10% savings.  I did not realize the savings was that significant else I would have done it that way for a long time.  I hung up not feeling particularly better about the situation but at least I got to voice some discontent I suppose.

I picked up my Tacoma on the way home last night.  The recall work on the differential went without a hitch.  The truck was ready to go as promised.  Dealing with a different service advisor at the dealership has made my experience there much more enjoyable.  I shot a video about the differential service of course.

When I got home I completed two other videos.  One was me cracking open the side case of my Gotway Monster to make sure all of the wiring and electronics looked ok.  The reason I did this was a rash of Gotway failures where wires and/or electronic components inside their wheels failed causing rider injury.  I was happy to see the inside of my wheel looked pristine.

Finally I ripped the video of the time lapse print of the 3d lamp cover I made in Fusion 360.  It was my coolest print to date, until I printed a 3D mesh skull yesterday. 🙂

The property is back to being water logged after a week of afternoon storms.  I have the pump back up and running, trying to somehow stay ahead of the steady stream of water from the sky.  It’s frustrating.

This weekend we will have Sadie which will make Elsa VERY happy.  It makes the entire household better when Sadie and her happy go lucky attitude is rolling around the house.

This morning I dropped off my Tacoma at the dealer to get the official recall work done on my rear differential that is seeping fluid slightly.  The official fix is the same thing I read when they wanted to confiscate my truck a few weeks back, replace the gasket and re-torque the bolts.  I guess they just got the parts in to do the work.  I was given a loaner Rav4 so I hope the entire thing is a non-issue.

Now that the gun parts are 3D printed I have been printing some more cool/useful things.  The Iphone 6 phone stand took FOREVER to print, something like 18-19 hours.  The reason it took so long was it utilized a .1 millimeter resolution height (gun was printed at .3 mil) and 100% infill (gun was 30%).  These settings make the files huge and the prints slow but it results in a VERY strong end product.  The stand will work perfectly to keep my phone ideally placed and angled at the office.

The other object was a 3D lampshade that was my first ever Fusion 360 project that I made from scratch.  Now of course I made it from following a YouTube video step by step but I hope sometime soon I can get comfortable enough in the software to bang out my own custom objects to a degree.

So after a one year road trip hiatus Cindy and I officially are heading back on the road in early August.  We are doing something rare in my road trip history, an entirely east cost route that will take us as far north as Portland, Maine.  Hugging the east coast during summer is less than ideal because of the summer vacationers but we wanted to try it at least once. One of the stops we have planned along the way is Rehoboth Beach where we plan to finally spread my mom’s ashes at the place we all enjoyed many fond memories.

The trip is on the short side as my work schedule the next several months sort of sucks with many weeks requiring my attendance, this was literally the only week I could sneak in before December.  It looks like the mileage each way is roughly 1600 miles so the distance compared to our 6500 mile western trips is not bad. However the fact that we are covering 3200 miles in nine total days while trying to allow ample time to sight see and explore via one wheel is going to make for some very full days.

So after having pretty much all standing water dried up/pumped out by Saturday afternoon we are back to a submerged state from some rain Sunday followed by a deluge from a strong storm last night.  This morning before work I was outside in my boxer shorts and boots reconnecting my submersible pump set up.  I am sure it looked fascinating.

As far as we can tell all of the parts for the Widowmaker rifle have been printed so overnight we started on another 3D cosplay piece, head gear.  The piece consists of three 3d printed parts that are attached to a head band sort of thing.  The biggest part was printed first and it came out pretty damn well.