Monthly Archives: May 2013

Intro to 3D printing and 3D design Fri, June 21, 7pm – 10pm @Unallocated Space

The local hackerspace Unallocated Space forums asked if anyone was willing to give a presentation on 3D printing and I accepted.  Like all the events there it will be free to the public (donations accepted).  If you like what I am doing here come by and listen to what I have to say. Here are the details of the event.

Event: Introduction to 3D printing and 3D design

When:Fri, June 21, 7pm – 10pm

Where:Unallocated Space (map)

Description: This will be an introduction to 3D printing and 3D design. I will give a brief overview of 3D printers, printer technology and printing services. Most of the presentation will be on the uses of the free software Autodesk 123D design. I will demonstrate how to get started with generating a 3D model that can be created with a 3D printer. This presentation will focus mostly on technical drawing (since I am not an artist). Time permitting we will walk through the design of an actual object. I will bring along my Makerbot 2 for visual reference and hopefully some instant 3D gratification.


  • What is 3D printing
  • 3D printers
  • Getting started 3D printing
  • Introduction to Autodesk 123D design
  • Simple object design walk-through
  • Demonstration of design of an object

About me: I have had a MakerBot 2 for about 6 months now and have been documenting my experiences here . I have experimented with quite a few free 3d design programs and found Autodesk 123d design to have all the features needed and it is the easiest to use. I have had some success in providing 3D printing as a service through and directly selling designed and printer objects. I would consider myself a 3D printer enthusiast (not quite an expert yet). My professional experience is as an IT consultant specializing as a windows, high availability, data protection and virtualization SME. I have been an electronics hobbyist for the last 10-15 years.

Suggested items (not required):

RGB to Component Case for Sale $15 (plus shipping)

As a follow-up to an earlier post:

A friend posted comments in a forum that he frequents asking if anyone is interested in a case that we designed to hold a Analog RGB to component adapter that he has ( and at least one person has bought one.  This prompted me to do some updates to the design to make it better.  We decided to charge $15 (plus shipping) for your choice of colors that I currently have on hand (Clear (natural), Green, Yellow, Translucent Blue, Orange, Red).

Until I find a better method, post a comment here if you are interested.  Now available on my store  Here are some pictures of the slightly updated design this one is in translucent blue.


2013-05-14_07-08-57_436 2013-05-14_07-09-15_195 2013-05-14_07-09-45_457

3D Printing Service Open for Business

I have some excellent news I would like to share.  When I started this blog my intent was to share my 3D printer and printing experiences and I am happy to announce that the sharing of the printer has started.  I saw an article on for which is a service where you can list your printer so that people can search their local area for people with a 3D printer that is willing to print objects for a marginal fee. So I listed my printer:

This past weekend I got and completed my first job from this site.  It was quite easy to use and only required minimal effort.  Here is how it works.  The user goes to the site and searches their area for a 3D printer.  They then upload a STL file to the site and select the color print and quality.  The invoice is then sent to the printer (me) to accept the order.  The order is charged by the cubic cm (I have my Makerbot 2 listed at $.25/cm³) and I can accept it as is or modify the invoice and send it back.  In this case the print needed support material so I had to slightly modify the price to account for this.  I send back the invoice; the user accepts it and I print it.  The user has the choice to have it shipped or they can ask for a pickup.

Hopefully this will make sharing my printer with people around me even easier.  Here is the first job as it was printing:

2013-05-11_09-03-22_124 2013-05-11_09-14-36_634 2013-05-11_09-29-06_951 2013-05-11_09-29-11_904 2013-05-11_09-50-07_935 2013-05-11_10-32-09_67 2013-05-11_10-55-03_175 2013-05-11_11-12-32_483 2013-05-11_11-27-06_191


PCB Etching – Update 5

Another successful PCB Etch. As predicted this one is the best one yet. The top and bottom alignment is excellent, the traces are crisp and barely any pitting in the copper pours. I learned from the past and followed my own reminders of past mistakes and it came out great. Here are a few things we did different this time.

  • Open etch container. I was using a zip lock bag and      found that this did not work all that well. It did minimize the amount of      FeCl that is needed but it left bubbles on the board and did not have even      coverage. This time I used a wire and made a loop on both ends to hold the      board and dipped it in a shallow plastic container.
  • Since I was using a zip lock before I was placing the      whole zip lock with the board and FeCl in it into warm water to speed up      the etching. I was not able to do this this time with the open etch tank.      In the future it might be a good idea to figure out a way to heat the      liquid. It took about 30-35 mins of etching with unheated FeCl
  • I am still not exactly sure on how many passes it takes      through the laminator for a full transfer. I can say however that due to a      failed transfer 5 is not enough and 20 is enough.

Here are some pictures of the success:





Bottom- Populated

Bottom- Populated

Top - Populated

Top – Populated