Sep 02

Monoprice Maker Ultimate or how 3 point leveling made 3D printing fun again

Hey All,

TL;DR: IMHO 3 point bed leveling is so much better than 4 point bed leveling and auto bed leveling.

So the PiPlay Portable Kickstarter has ended, and we have been doing tons of fulfillment these past few weeks.  One of the add-ons was originally a laser cut case, but realistically, it didn’t work well.

My friend Nick from P3DCreations was able to design us an awesome 3D printable case at the last minute, and the demand for it was high.  Higher than I could reasonably print on my current printers.  3D printing is a lot slower than laser cutting, so I needed to add a new printer to my “print farm”.

Enter the Monoprice Maker Ultimate

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate is a rebrand of the Wanhao D6 (or Duplicator 6) which itself is a mix of an Ultimaker and a Zortrax M200.  I have been printing with it non stop for the past 2 weeks and it has been a workhorse.  I love this printer.  It has made 3D printing fun for me again.  Pro Tip: Wait for it to go on sale, as I got mine for $550 shipped.

Leveling Up

The difference comes from how you level the bed.  The most common bed is a piece of aluminum with 4 screws attached at each corner.  As you screw down each corner, you are bending the bed, trying to make it flat enough for your print to adhere correctly at all points.  Realistically you end up warping the bed.  Every time you get one point leveled, you’ve just unleveled the opposite point.

Auto bed leveling uses a probe and triggers when it detects the bed.  It does this at multiple points on the bed at the beginning of each print to determine the shape and warpness of the bed, and then tries to correct the skew as it prints.  When it works it’s amazing, but if it doesn’t you risk damaging your bed, hotend, and printer components.  Also, depending on the controller board and software determines how well the software can compensate.

On the Maker Ultimate (and numerous other printers) the bed is leveled by 3 screws.  One in the front and 2 in the back.  Doing this makes a plane and makes leveling a quick affair that just works and tends to stay in place for longer.

I also like that the bed is stationary and just moves on the Z axis, rather than i3 type 3d printers that moves the bed on the Y axis.  I’m not a fan of how much motion is generated when moving the bed like that.  I’ve had failures due to the wobble of the bed causing a print to fall off.

There are many great i3 printers, and a well tuned printer will make good prints on any machine, but man, I’m so pleased with this Monoprice Maker Ultimate.

It’s made 3D printing fun again.

 

May 26

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable funded :D

Hey All,

Thank you, to my backers, and supporters, for helping to fund the PiPlay Portable. I’m so excited to get to make this.

We just got the latest prototype boards in, as well as our stickers from StickerMule.  We were also able to get some polybags for real cheap (they are in beta, so why not!)

Also MegaCon is this weekend!  I finished making my Nintendo Switch Arcade Machine and made it an Ultra SF2 Machine.

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Dec 31

End of 2016

Hey All,

It’s the last day of 2016.  What. a. year.

  • Finding out I’m going to be a Dad in 2017.  We just found out it’s going to be a BOY!!!! I’m so excited, and terrified, and excited.
  • K and I just got back from New York City.  We wanted to do one last big adventure before our next big adventure is born 🙂
  • We’ve been working on the PiPlay Advance handheld.  We think he have it down now.
  • Maker Faire Orlando was amazing!
  • I ran for Florida House of Representatives, and while I didn’t win, I received 31% of the vote!!!
  • I was able to hire a very talented student in our department as a full timer after he graduated!
  • I spoke at InstructureCon in Colorado, did a CanvasLive webinar for a bunch of schools, and spoke at the Online Learning Consortium conference here in Orlando.

I haven’t updated as much, and every Friday I look at the clock and miss the post.  So I’m hoping to do better at that again.

Thanks for reading!

Have a wonderful 2017!

 

 

Maker Faire Orlando 2016

Nov 30

Migrated Hosts

Hey All,

I’ve been in the process of migrating hosts this week.  I’m sad to say that my friends company, VNucleus, has shuttered it’s hosting business.  Oh well, on to bigger and better things.  If you see this, you are on the new host and your DNS has migrated!  Yay.

-Shea

Jun 27

Qualified!

Hey All!

I am very proud to announce that I qualified for the Florida House of Representatives District 49 race.  My name will be on the ballot this election!

2person

This is exciting, and will be an extremely tough race.  I am running as a No Party Affiliated candidate.  I believe in:

  • Equal Rights
  • Let Teachers Be Teachers
  • Single Payer Healthcare – Medicare Expansion
  • Paid Sick, Paternity, & Maternity Leave
  • Expanding Mental Health Care
  • Online Education
  • Lowering Textbook Prices
  • Lowering Student Loans
  • Better Internet Options
  • Open source and Open Standards for Government Documents
  • Bodycams for our Police Officers
  • Abolishing Private Prisons
  • Turning Prisons into Places of Rehab
  • Net Neutrality
  • Marijuana Reform

If you believe in that as well,  I would love your help.

-Shea

Jun 13

Sunday At Home In Orlando

Sunday Sucked.  I haven’t felt this numb and exposed in a long time.  My deepest sympathies and love go out to all the families, victims, and survivors in this awful tragedy.  The only shining light in all of this was how we as a community reacted to the aftermath.

To quote Mr. Rogers:  “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

My thoughts on gun control:

I have grown up around guns. I was taught how to handle them, fire them, clean them and store them safely.  From an early age my mother and father put into me a healthy amount of fear and respect when dealing with firearms.

We need to extend the 3 day waiting period to all firearms, not just handguns.  The waiting period should also be increased, and having a concealed weapons permit shouldn’t waive that requirement.

My thoughts on gun violence:

What happened in my home town was a tragedy.  I never want to blame the weapon, for that shifts blame to an inanimate object.  It is a person’s own decision to brandish and use a weapon.  It should be easier to get mental health care than it is to get a gun.

-Shea

Oct 10

Friday Post: Orlando iX 2015

Orlando iX was amazing.  I was expecting nothing, and I got treated to an incredible 3 days of awesome tech heads talking shop and showing off their cool stuff.  From cool indie games such as Battery Jam, to a storytelling “robot” plush named Trobo.  The entire event was just filled with energy.

IMG_5772 IMG_5839 (Large) IMG_5841 IMG_5837 IMG_5835 IMG_5831 IMG_5830 IMG_5829 IMG_5825 IMG_5822 IMG_5821 IMG_5820 IMG_5819 IMG_5818  IMG_5810 IMG_5813 IMG_5812 IMG_5807 IMG_5795 IMG_5794 IMG_5790 IMG_5788 IMG_5786 IMG_5781 IMG_5779 IMG_5778 IMG_5777 IMG_5776 IMG_5775 IMG_5774   IMG_5833 (Large)

I had so much fun.  And I took this whole week off.  I spent most of this week just relaxing, sleeping, and playing a fan translated version of Mother 3.  So good!

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

May 14

I’m Back! Thanks to my new host vNucleus

Hey All,

Hopefully I didn’t worry you all too much.  I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but for the past few weeks, I’ve been effectively locked out of a lot of my web apps due to my old host’s server not being able to handle the load.  I’ve been with them for 3 years, and in that time these applications have grown exponentially.  I have sadly outgrown them, and for a while was worried about where I could go.

Good hosting isn’t cheap and it’s worth every penny.  I looked at AWS, but that would have cost me a small fortune for the amount of bandwidth I use.  Some VPS providers would have been good, but I don’t have the time to manage every part of my server.

I’m very lucky to have a good friend who owns the hosting company vNucelus, and has graciously offered me space on his servers.  Everything was migrated today and it all seems to be running super smoothly!

I’m glad to be able to post again, and I hope you are excited to read again.

Thanks for sticking with me!

-Shea Silverman

Dec 10

Holiday Shopping Guide 2014

Hey All,

Figured I would post a list of items that I feel would be awesome purchases for anyone with an electronics itch to scratch!

Holiday 2014

Raspberry Pi Model B+ (B PLUS) 512MB Computer Board
Raspberry Pi Model A+ (256MB)
Mayflash PS2 PS3 PC USB Universal Arcade Fighting Stick
Qanba Q1 PS3 & PC Joystick (Fightstick)
X-Arcade Video Game Controller – X-Arcade Solo
AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable – 6.5 Feet (2 Meters) Supports Ethernet, 3D, and Audio Return
Motorola USB Wall Charger with Micro USB Data Cable – Bulk Packaging (Black)
RASPBERRY PIHUB
Tontec® 7 Inches Raspberry Pi LCD Display Screen TFT Monitor AT070TN90 with HDMI VGA Input Driver Board Controller
Teensy++ 2.0
Super Scratch Programming Adventure! (Covers Version 1.4): Learn to Program By Making Cool Games
SanDisk Ultra 32GB UHI-I/Class 10 Micro SDHC Memory Card Up to 48MB/s With Adapter- SDSDQUAN-032G-G4A [Newest Version]
Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard with Mouse Touchpad-Black
Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter, Nano Size Lets You Plug it and Forget it, Ideal for Raspberry Pi, Supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux
SanDisk 16GB SDHC Card Class 4 Secure Digital High Capacity – Bulk Packaging
FlexPi Raspberry Pi Case (Blank)