Change

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Wheel 1-Up

We’re planning a Nerdy Derby event at Maker Faire Milwaukee, and like last year, I wanted to 3D print a bunch of wheels, and yes, it is fun designing strange wheels. Most of my designs this year are refinements from last year, and I wish 3D printing were as simple as hitting “print” and walking away, but that’s not always the case.

Wheels 4-Up

I found that if I printed one object, it worked fine. If I tried multiple objects, things were failing, either with one or more objects, or everything. I’d try to print two wheels at once, and one would work, the other would fail. Slic3r allows you to generate the G-Code needed to print files, and has an option to print multiple objects, either by printing them all at once, or one at a time. Both of those options just weren’t working for me, for whatever reason. (My 3D printer is a RepRap I built myself, and yes, it has issues now and then.)

But you know the old saying… if you can’t fix it in hardware, fix it in software! So I did… You’ll notice that the image above shows four wheels with a small square connecting them. I ended up pulling an STL file into OpenSCAD (my favorite 3D modeling application) and then duplicating it four times and adding a small 1mm tall square between them to connect it all into what the printer would see as one single object.

Wheels Printed 4-Up

It worked! I’m now seeing much more success with printing, and getting sets of 4 wheels connected with a thin piece of plastic that’s easy to remove. Oh, I should also mention that our friends at Inventables were kind enough to donate some filament to this cause, so if you have fun building a car with 3D printed wheels at Maker Faire, be sure to stop by the Inventables booth and thank them for making it happen.

(BTW, MegaMag is printing way more wheels than I am, and going 40-Up!)

Countdown

So the President (of Milwaukee Makerspace) emails me and says “MMPIS countdown days to Maker Faire… can you make it happen?” Luckily, I can decipher this to mean he’d like to see a countdown screen on the MMPIS. Oh, the MMPIS is the Milwaukee Makerspace Pi-powered Informational System, and whipping up a new screen to do something simple is, well, simple. So I did.

It’s one image, about 20 lines of CSS, 20 lines of HTML, and a few lines of PHP. I hacked together some code, uploaded it, and sent Brant the instructions to load it into the kiosk via Screenly.

So the next time you’re at Milwaukee Makerspace, take a look at the countdown, and then freak out about how little time we have until Maker Faire Milwaukee!

Robin Williams

Much has been written about the death of Robin Williams this week, and much more will be said in the days to come, but after reading Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves, I don’t know that I want to read any more…

lotusrear2

In June we hit up Kansas City, but everyone knows that July means Maker Faire Detroit, and the craziest Power Racing Series event of the year, pulling teams from the Midwest and East Coast (and even NIMBY from the West Coast joined us this time!)

It was definitely crazy, with eighteen cars we ended up splitting one of the races into two heats, one for “fast” cars and one for “slower” cars. (And hey, Audrey drove Lotusaurus Wrecks to victory for Milwaukee Makerspace in the slow race!)

Once again I did a lot of filming during the event, and this time had three GoPro cameras in place. Here’s the official #PPPRS video:

But wait! There’s more! There’s a YouTube playlist titled Power Racing Series – Detroit 2014 with nearly 40 videos of the action. I’ve still got a lot of uploading to do, including more Moxie skits, but it should keep you busy for a while.

As usual, there’s so much going on at Maker Faire, it’s hard to see it all. While in town we also got to visit OmniCorpDetroit and i3Detroit, both awesome makerspaces in the Motor City.

There are still a few more races this season, including Fort Wayne, Indiana, New York City, and even something in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! I’ll be at that last one, as it’s five miles from my house, though I’m not sure about the other two… If anyone wants to sponsor me to attend a Maker Faire, let me know!

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