Doing the RepRap #10

Before you can print from your STL file you need to convert it to gcode. Think of it as Postscript for 3D-printers and 2D routers. The tool of choice for people working with RepRap has been Skeinforge, which has acquired tons of functionality at the expense of usability: It’s ugly as sin and has more features than are properly documented (or documented at all) so I’m happy to see that there are alternative versions cropping up, like SFACT.

Also, putting the printer together I ran into some issues with the otherwise excellent documentation put together by Gary Hodgeson, namely the parts using the LM8UU linear bearings instead of printed bushings. Because I don’t have any spare parts I’m terrified of messing up those I bought from Greg Frost (shipped all the way from Australia) so am anxiously browsing the RepRap wiki and forums in search of instructions. I’ve already managed to put the Y-motor bracket in every position possible, and finally had to email Greg to get a picture of how to do it properly. I’m documenting every step, but so far it’s more of a blooper reel…

I finally found an excellent description of how to fit all the parts together: How to build up a LM8UU Linear Bearing Prusa. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and with the exception that I’m going for a three bearing bottom plate, I ought to be able to finish the build in no time. Now, if I could only settle on which lubricant to use for the rods, I’d be set. “Light machine oil” or “PTFE spray” is the question.


Update from the comments. In the video below I’ve inserted the pins from the wrong side. The black plastic bits should go on the underside of the Polo, so that it’ll sit flush with the mounts. As it stands, the Polos work for me soldered this way as well, but it’s more finicky and there’s a risk that you’ll have too much solder left and won’t be able to push the pins far enough into the mounts.

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I would do anything for money, but I won’t do that. Well, ok I might.

Exactly! We don’t have answers to any of these questions. We are Googling “cockroach eggs maybe bed why? please no” currently. We might have to burn everything. EVERYTHING.

→ Manical Rage, Garrett Murray: One of the Worst Things Ever Happened to Shawn Last Night

Patrick McLean has finished podcasting How to Succeed in Evil and those of you who’ve held off on listening to this until the last episode would be available have to wait no longer. Go listen to his soothing voice and excellent story. You will enjoy it.

Here is a sound toy for you to make adorable 16 note loops on: [Via Manical Rage]

You are a screw; A spirally inclined plane.

The Manual tells us that in the beginning the Builder decreed six fundamental Machines. These are his six aspects, and all we do we must do with the Six. We need no other machines. I believe this with all my heart. I do. And yet sometimes I seem to intuit the existence of a seventh Machine, hovering like a blasphemous ghost just beyond apprehension. There is something wrong with me, and I don’t know what it is.

→ William Shunn: Inclination.

Although we refer to the six simple machines there is really only three – the lever, the wheel & axle, and the inclined plane. The wedge, the pulley, and the screw are modifications of the first three.

→ Balmoral Science Department: Simple Machines.

A simple machine is a mechanical device that changes the direction or magnitude of a force. In general, they can be defined as the simplest mechanisms that use mechanical advantage (also called leverage) to multiply force. A simple machine uses a single applied force to do work against a single load force

→ Wikipedia: Simple machine.



I know books are supposed to be old media, but there’s something that feels futuristic about holding this one. It’s imperfect, disposable, personal. I can scribble on it and dog-ear it, and read it lying down. It cost around $10 and arrived in less than a week.

→ Emmet Connolly printed the web: Instapaper

In the process of pasteurizing, juice is heated and stripped of oxygen, a process called deaeration, so it doesn’t oxidize. Then it’s put in huge storage tanks where it can be kept for upwards of a year. It gets stripped of flavor-providing chemicals, which are volatile. When it’s ready for packaging, companies such as Tropicana hire flavor companies such as Firmenich to engineer flavor packs to make it taste fresh.

→ You can stop shelling out for that “not from concentrate” juice now. Q&A with Alissa Hamilton.

→ Good use of multiple exposures and merging of images: Peter Funch

→ Designers, photographers and a whole other bunch of neat people: Design Industry News & Discussion.

→ In Swedish: Stipendier från Publicistklubben

→ Also in Swedish: Stipendier från Svenska Fotografers Förbund.

→ Illustrator Daniel Dociu: Futuristic cityscapes.

→ BLDGBLOG interviews Daniel Dociu: Game/Space.

Warning Signs of Covert Eavesdropping or Bugging.

Many things in the world have not been named; and many things, even if they have been named, have never been described. One of these is the sensibility — unmistakably modern, a variant of sophistication but hardly identical with it — that goes by the cult name of “Camp.”

→ Susan Sontag, Notes on Camp.

A couple of hours passed. “Then, after I got a sandwich and came out of the store—da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da! ” Gravy told me later, mimicking the sound of gunfire. “The only thing I remember is falling, and knowing that I’m shot—just don’t know where. It’s not like, when you get shot, ‘Oh, I got shot here.’ Nah. You know you hit, so your mind frame is—you pumped, your adrenaline is going. I reach my hand over, and I see I’m bleeding.

→ The New Yorker: Ben McGrath, Where hip-hop lives.

For those who know, this is the open secret: War is exciting. Sometimes I was in awe of this, and sometimes I felt low and mean for loving it, but I loved it still. Even in its quiet moments, war is brighter, louder, brasher, more fun, more tragic, more wasteful. More. More of everything. And even then I knew I would someday miss it, this life so strange. Today the war has distilled to moments and feelings, and somewhere in these memories is the reason for the wistfulness.

→ Esquire: Brian Mockenhaupt, I miss Iraq. I miss my gun. I miss my war.

That was in the Year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three. And then, the Years of Our Lord passed. I went to bed every night looking at that shot, I woke up every morning looking at that shot, every single day. For over 10 years.

→ Terry Rosso: Lens Magic.

Video sites & misc:

Video aggregators:
democracy player ⃪ Player and downloader ⃪ I think this is an aggregator, anyway ⃪ Video search engine

Video sites: ⃪ Fast interface, so-so quality ⃪ Still biggest ⃪ Revenue generating ⃪ Stand-alone application ⃪ Chinese vids ⃪ Dont know if I like their interface ⃪ Higher production value vids ⃪ AOL hell. with video ⃪ Some editorial vids it seems ⃪ Not video, but slideshows ⃪ Vids with an educational twist ⃪ Silly name. Social space with vids ⃪ Higher prod val vids ⃪ TV guides and online vids

Misc: ⃪ A lot of tutorials ⃪ Tries to appeal to the “non-mass audience” ⃪ Event search engine. GBG not listed. ⃪ Web 2.0 conference in GBG ⃪ Disposable email ⃪ Customised & learning news aggregator ⃪ Online community building (ex: pledgebank) ⃪ Find and stalk people! ⃪ Dictionary ⃪ Dictionary

Blogs that might be interesting:
lab:kloud9 ⃪ tech trends. web 2.0
beta alfa web 2.0. swedish ⃪ 94-year old swedish blogger Allan Lööf
please copy me ⃪ ad agency musings in swedish
open (finds, minds, conversations)

Bastards & models

A stupid part of my brain agreed to do nude modelling this thursday. so i’m reading up on this whole pose thing. I found a good article about someone whose experience I might soon be sharing: Slinky-linky

Earlier today I tried to stand still for fifteen minutes. I got so focused on holding still that any tremors I had made me feel like an epileptic seizure victim.

More linky:
Swedish organisation for models:


This was fun. I actually smiled and chuckled and then got the wow, this was kool reaction. Control a bunch of lights in Stockholm by using your cellphone, and watch the change through a live video feed here. The project is called “colour by numbers” and isn’t all that original (CCC has done similar things as well as a ton of other groups) but it’s very well executed and you can see the results almost instantly.

I made it all red. Then all green. Then all blue, and finally mixed the blue and green. Ooooh – shiny.


Here’s a good example of making me want something:
it’s a video demo of a speech recognition software, with a follow up “keep up with me by typing” challange. And just to mess with me, they used “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog…” – which is meant to use all the letters of the alphabet and is a bitch to type fast.

On a good day I get 80 wpm, but even though that’s quite ok for a non-professional, their demo really got me re-evaluating my skillz. Good for them, sucky for me. Too bad it’s a pc only app.