Igor's Blog

RasPlex and the iPazzPort KP-810-56 Bluetooth Keyboard
I've had my RasPlex box running for a while now. This whole time I've been using a 2.4Ghz full size wireless keyboard with it and it worked great but for the living room it's just an overkill in terms of size. After much contemplation I decided to switch to a small bluetooth keyboard and he's my experience so far.
Giving an old Ikea KVARNÃ lamp a new lease on life with some 3D printed covers
Now that I have my 3D printer working again I was able to put it to some good use and made these top and bottom covers for an old Ikea KVARNÃ lamp. This lamp was sitting in a cupboard gathering dust for a long time because well it looks boring. With these couple of covers I think it really springs to life!
Fixing a 3D printer extruder that stopped heating up
I was doing some 3D printing over the weekend and everything was going well until I noticed that the extruder on my Portabee wouldn't heat up any more. At first I thought it was a loose connection so I tried to adjust all the wiring - that didn't help. Since it was already dark and cold outside I decided to leave it. Early Monday morning I managed to get some time in before work to determine what happened. I had a sneaking suspicion that the resistor that's used as a heating element has given out, but what I found really surprised me.
Making a multi-piece 3D printed solder spool holder stand
Now that I got my 3D printer working again and that I've been doing more electronics work I realised that having a solder spool holder/stand saves a lot of effort and frustration so I went out to find one on Thingiverse...and did, then 3D printed an absolute failure. This lead me to design something of my own that actually works.
Mountable 3DPrinter Filament Spool Holder
My 3D printer box has had a number of improvements over the years, but that doesn't mean it can't get better. My latest addition to the box is a mountable filament spool holder. This holder makes it really easy to keep a spool out of the way but in an optimal position for the extruder assembly.
Portabee 3D printer enhanced base components
I've finally gotten around uploading the enhanced base components for the Portabee 3D printer. I wanted to upload these with the new z-axis clamps, but I've not completed work on these as of yet.
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 4)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 3)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 2)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
Rebuilding the Portabee 3D printer (part 1)
I've started this ambitious project around 3 months ago, its intent was to rebuild the Portabee 3D printer to make it more robust, easier to service and more stable. Now with the project complete I'm finally getting around to writing about the experience.
3D Printing with diluted PVA for better results
I'm in the process of rebuilding my 3D printer and having to print new parts on the existing printer itself. An issue I've been running into has been uneven shrinkage across a print, which leads to unusable parts since they out of shape and are not level. My solution to this has been to use diluted PVA on the printer bed to get proper adhesion and a straight print.
Portabee 3D printer extruder motor latch mod
I've been meaning to write about this one for quite some time, but it always slipped my mind, but here it is. Many a time during my 3D prints, the grub screw on the extruder motor's 9-tooth gear would come loose and slip causing the filament to stop feeding in. Tightening the grub screw too much would cause the 9-tooth gear to crack. I thought about this and decided that if I add a latch to the motor shaft, the grub screw could slot into it for added support.
More 3D Printer box and Portabee improvements
Over the past couple of months I've had to do some major maintenance on the 3D printer because some of the original parts simply snapped. I took this opportunity to improve both the printer itself and the box that I built to house it. These are the changed that took place.
3D printed DIY garden lattice
My hops plant has been growing really well and it was starting to outgrow the stake in its pot so I've decided to put up a lattice for it to climb. I did not find anything that I liked at the hardware store so decided to make my own. This is a very simple DIY lattice that can be 3D printed. You will still need to purchase the rods from a hardware store, it's just the mount pieces that are printed.
Increase the number of uploaded files OctoPrint shows
OctoPrint shows 5 files by default without any option to change it via the configuration, however, there is a way to control how many files are displayed by changing its source code.
OctoPrint SerialException: device reports readiness to read but returned no data
I've started getting this SerialException error when using OctoPrint every time after starting a 3D print. This problem would only manifest itself when printing, I could use the toggle buttons to move the extruder around on all the X, Y and Z axes, could manually extrude, etc. At first this really baffled me, but then I realised what the problem was.
Fix Cura window positioning on OS X
One of the Cura updates recently caused my main window to go off-screen. Out of the box OS X does not have a built-in way of manually moving windows using a keyboard (like Windows does). There are third party tools for this, however I thought that surely there is a different answer and this setting must be stored in Cura configuration somewhere. After a bit of digging, it's right there as expected and here is how to change it.
OctoPrint and the Portabee 3D printer
I'm still tinkering with my Portabee 3D printer, this time I've decided to give Printrun the boot and switch to OctoPrint for my printing software, there are pros and cons of course, but so far I am liking OctoPrint much better.
Sewing a 3D Printer Dust Cover
This is a bit of an unconventional post but worthwhile anyway, since I moved to my new apartment the 3D printer has been sitting outside on the balcony and as a result getting covered in lots of dust from the highway below. I've decided to bust out my old sewing machine and make a cover for the printer.
Adding a TEMP er1 sensor readout to Pronterface
I've had the TEMP er1 USB temperature sensor lying around for a while with no real use for it so I thought that I'd add it to the 3D printer box so I can see what the ambient temperature is. This is a bit of a hack and there is probably a more elegant solution, but I don't know Python and this works.
PiBee: Adding a trackball and monitor to make a standalone 3D printer
This post follows on from the PiBee post where I described how I combined a RaspberryPi with the Portabee 3D printer for WiFi printing. In this post I talk about how I added a 3.5" TFT LCD monitor and a mini trackball mouse to the PiBee to make it a fully stand alone 3D printing unit.
Extrudifier updated to version 1.2
I've updated Extrudifier to version 1.2 with the following changes:
Extrudifier - 2D to 3D 8-bit Object Designer
I've been starting to play around with 3D printed 8-bit designs and didn't want to have to do lots of manual work in OpenSCAD to generate them, so I wrote this tool that lets you draw the design and export it to OpenSCAD with a single mouse click. It's easy to use and it works!
PiBee: Combining a Portabee 3D printer with a RaspberryPi for remote WiFi 3D printing
I've had to shift my office space twice in the past two months and one of the things I hate are the tangle of wires that you got to deal with all the time, so I decided to use my spare RaspberryPi to control my 3D printer (Portabee) to reduce at least some of the wire clutter. These are the results: in a nutshell, it works great!
Custom SGI Octane light bar
When I modded my SGI Octane, the light bar was not working properly because it had some burned out bulbs in, which I fixed, but I wasn't too happy with the result. It took a bit of time, but I finally got a lightbar that I am happy with and all I had to do was design a PCB and some custom fittings, solder the components in and 3D print the fittings. The new light bar sports four bright white LEDs that make the whole bar light up.
Comparing fan cooled vs not cooled 3D print quality
I had a request to show some results of adding a cooling fan to the Portabee, so here's the first comparison. The model is from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:106595, I'm just showing the head piece in these photos. I think the results speak for themselves, fan cooling creates a sharper model.
Cura 13.06.2 allows you to split your models before print
The new version of Cura has come out and it has a whole bunch of great features, but what got me most excited is the ability to split a model before printing. I was looking for a feature like this and was considering using OpenSCAD to modify the model file, but that's impractical in all cases, with Cura you can do it with a few clicks now.
Improving the Portabee 3D printer
Now that I've had the Portabee for quite some time, I've made a few essential improvements that every Portabee owner should have I think. These are: motor/cooling fan wire arm to keep the wiring out of the way and off the heating bed, glass surface to print on, an additional cooling fan mounted onto the extruder assembly and wing nuts for the print bed to make adjustments easier.
3D printer box parts posted on Thingverse
I've put together all the STLs and SCAD files that I used for the 3D Printer Box and posted them on Thingiverse, free of charge. Hopefully these will be of some use to others.
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 4 - Adding a bit of style to the box
This post follows on from Part 3 where I added some stabilisers to the box, in this post I cover the aesthetic aspects of the box, namely making it look like something you want to look at every day.
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 3 - Stabilising the printer and covering the corners
This post follows on from Part 2 where I showed how I've added an exhaust vent to the box. This post deals with the extra bits I've added to stabilise the printer inside the box and to add corner pieces to the aluminium frame to cover sharp edges.
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 2 - Adding an exhaust vent
This post follows on from Part 1 where I showed how I've built the box for the 3D printer. In this post I show how I added an exhaust vent to the box.
A clear acrylic box for the Portabee 3D printer - Part 1 - Making the box
I've finally got around to putting together a clear acrylic box/enclosure for my Portabee 3D printer. I made it so that the noise will be reduced and so any dust and bits of plastic stay in the enclosure instead of going all over my table. The noise is only slightly reduced, so it was only partially successful for that purpose, but it makes the printer look a lot more professional.
3D Printer, Faraday cage and filament spool holders
I've had my 3D printer for about a week now, there were and still are some teething problems with it, but I'm fixing them one at a time. So here are the main issues I had so far and the solutions I found for them: filament spools unwinding in all crazy directions and fluorescent lights giving off electromagnetic interference and crashing the printer.
Portabee 3D printer
After ordering my Portabee 3D printer from RomScraj 4 weeks ago, it finally arrived in a heavy jumbo DHL box. It took me about 2 days to assemble with a total of around 8-10 hours of assembly time. I wasn't quite expecting so many components, but it's all together now.

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