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 20

PiPlay Portable – Last Day

Hey All,

This has been an exciting week.  The PiPlay Portable is fully funded, and we have less than 12 hours to go on the Kickstarter!


Sam has been growing so fast!  I love being a Dad.  It’s an experience I am so happy I get to have, and of course I have 3D scanned him and got him 3D printed…

 

I also won the Community Leadership award from IMS Global at the LILI conference.  I had no idea I was even nominated!!  I am really humbled by this.  Thank you IMS!

Apr 28

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable is fully funded! And meet the newest member of the PiPlay Team!

Hey All,

The PiPlay Portable Kickstarter is fully funded!!!  Thank you to all of you.  We are super humbled and excited that we get to see this kit succeed.

In even more incredible news….

I’m super excited to introduce our son, Sam, born Monday April 24th.

Mother and Baby are doing great.  We came home from the hospital yesterday.  I’m so excited for this new chapter in our lives.

Have a great weekend all,

-Shea

Nov 14

Friday Post: Less than 24 hours left on the Deskcade Kickstarter!

Hey All!

Less than 24 hours left on the Deskcade Kickstarter!  So excited!!!

On  a related note, I picked up a Steam Controller to see what the hype was about.  It’s cool, but what’s really neat is that it can be a keyboard, mouse, or gamepad at the same time, depending on the game.  Whats not cool is it requires steam to be running to set that.

ss_d2f5e7325666df6119ff1d42be73bac9594c5b1e.600x338

ynsta (Staney Marcel) is writing some code to make it run locally under Linux without the steam driver.  The github repo is here: https://github.com/ynsta/steamcontroller

I’ve forked it (https://github.com/ssilverm/steamcontroller) and I’m going to see if I can get it running as just a joypad for now.  It can currently run on the Raspberry Pi, and I can see the buttons being detected and get the feedback.  It’s just not being passed into a uinput item yet.  Soon 😀

Also, I’m trying to get the bootsplash to work again in Raspbian Jessie.  Jessie introduces Systemd, which takes over for init.d.  Currently the bootsplash runs later in the startup, so by the time omxplayer starts, the login screen is about a second away from showing up.  I’m working on that too.

Here’s my current steps:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/bootsplash.service

Insert this:

[Unit]
Description=BootSplash
DefaultDependencies=no
After=sysinit.target local-fs.target
Before=base.target

[Service]
Type=oneshot
ExecStart=/usr/bin/omxplayer /home/pi/PiPLAY.mov

[Install]
WantedBy=base.target

Then run:

sudo systemctl enable bootsplash.service

and reboot.

You should now get a bootsplash on startup, but it may be running to late.  I’m going to try and fix that.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Dec 03

Encade Portable Raspberry Pi Gaming Console Kickstarter

Hey All,

Just wanted to post a cool Kickstarter that I’m backing.  The people at Nzen Mods are designing a really cool Raspberry Pi based project.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2032055368/the-encade-a-portable-raspberry-pi-gaming-console

It’s a portable Raspberry Pi based gaming console.  They are so close to hitting their goal, and only have 22 hours left.

Enjoy!

-Shea

Aug 15

Friday Post: Kickstarter shipments

Hey All,

As I’m sure you’re aware, I’ve been spending most of my time working on the PiPlay Kickstarter.  This has involved ordering samples, getting materials, designing hardware, and all sorts of fun things that goes along with PiPlay the application.

I’m really thankful to all the backers (and other supporters) who were able to make this a reality.

0cfaeeacd077645e6addbb6d231575f8_large 036b4257a8b09d0660981b47eef8806c_large350 SD Cards have been made with the PiPlay software, and above that is my living room filled with boxes of joysticks.

I’m going to have fun this weekend sending out shipments.

Now it’s time to work on the next release.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

Jul 04

Friday Post: 4th Of July

Hey All,

To my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day.  To everyone else, Happy 4th of July, because Friday’s are awesome!

PiPlay 0.8 Beta 4 is 99.9% done.  I am doing some final testing, and it will be uploaded this weekend!!  I’m excited and can’t wait for everyone to try it out.

Laser cutters are cool!

2014-07-02 2014-07-03 (1) 2014-07-03These are photos of the aftermath of creating 15 PiPlay cases.  I love laser cutters!

Raspiado

A fellow redditor has started a kickstarter for a USB hub that attaches directly to the Pi.

It looks neat, and I’m going to back this.

Adafruit 3D Printed Raspberry Pi Gameboy

Adafruit is awesome, and this is even awesomer.

Have a great weekend everyone!  I’ll update / make a new post when the new PiPlay image is uploaded.

-Shea

May 09

Friday Post: FUNDED!

Hey All,

Thank you so much for your backings and support.  Over 400% funded!  What did I do to celebrate?

Icee

 I got a delicious post-Kickstarter celebratory Icee 🙂

Updates

To keep you all updated on my progress, I created this:

PiPlay Update Board

As I finish tasks (or add new ones) I will be updating this board (notice the green filled in dots at the bottom) and letting everyone know.

PiPlay Case

I got the PiPlay case in my hands last night.  It looks and feels great.  There is only a minor alteration that needs to be done.

Everyone who backed a tier with the case will receive this version that has Kickstarter Edition branding.

PiPlay Case Kickstarter Edition

 PiPlay

Lots of cool work is being done on PiPlay.  Theme support is now built in, but it does have some quirks.  We are fixing that, and it should be part of the PiPlay 0.8 beta 4 release.

Bartop

I got in a Bartop Arcade Kit from Rich’s Arcade today.  I am going to take pictures as I build it, and put that up as it’s own post.

IMG_3865

Enjoy!

-Shea Silverman