Addie's place on the web...

Just some stuff I want to share with you

Light diffuser

Sunday 4 April 2021
3D

Each character of the name sign will get LEDs to light them up. By now, I know how to control the LEDs using a microcontroller. And I have a LED-matrix that I can use to figure out how much light is generated by the LEDs. It’s time to figure out how to diffuse the light and this is also a good moment to print out a character to see if the parts fit.

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Lights on - lights off

Sunday 21 March 2021
3D

Now that the outline of the name sign is clear, it’s time to look at the next topic: how to add light to it? I want to be able to control the color of the LEDs, I will need to investigate how to do that. And I need to figure out how to make sure that the front of the characters diffuses the light so that the individual LEDs are not showing.

A quick search on the Internet showed that LED strips differ by the amount of LEDs per meter. This means that I also need to figure out which one to buy. Since I have no clue how much light these strips produce, nor how much light will be lost by the front of the characters, I will probably have to experiment a bit to find the answers.

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Designing the name sign

Saturday 13 March 2021
3D

The project has started! As stated in the previous post, I will use OpenSCAD to create my name sign. OpenSCAD is not a text editor and I have no clue if it can do anything with text and fonts. So, let’s dive into OpenSCAD.

I am not big fan of reading books and long instructions, but I also don’t want to waste my time to find that it was written down in line one of a manual. This learning track was a nice mix of reading, trying, failing, searching, trying, failing, searching and finally: success.

The whole name sign thing depends on the ability to use text in OpenSCAD. I browsed the OpenSCAD website and found the Cheat Sheet; loved it. And there it is: the text module and the documentation states: “The text module creates text as a 2D geometric object, using fonts installed on the local system or provided as separate font file.”. Exactly what I need; let’s try this.

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Introducing my first 3D project

Saturday 6 March 2021
3D

I did not buy my 3D printer to only print files that are available for download. The whole idea was to learn how to create my own designs. When I got my printer, I already played a little bit with OpenSCAD and made a few ladder feet. But that was based on an existing design that I only modified. It was a nice starter, but now it is time to start from scratch.

I came up with some starting points: it should be something fun. If it is useful in daily life, then that is a plus, but it is not a requirement. It would be nice if the project includes electronics. I want to learn more about OpenSCAD, so that’s the tool to use. Preferably no drilling, cutting, or sawing required when assembling the final object.

While watching a YouTube movie, I noticed a name sign in the background. Since I spend a lot of time in video calls: why not create a name sign pointing to my website? Sounds like a plan!

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Remote control for my 3D printer

Tuesday 19 January 2021
3D

Since the 3D printer now has found its final place, it is time to look at the printing process itself.

The first topic to look at is how to get the file that needs to be printed to the printer. The printer does not have a network interface, but it does have a USB connector. To print a file there are 2 options: connect the printer to a computer and directly control the printer. Or copy the print file to a SD card and move the card to the printer and select the file in the menu on the printer. So far, I mainly used the SD card to print, but that process becomes a bit tedious over time and I can’t imagine that the card will have long lifetime.

The second topic is: how to keep an eye on what the printer is doing? The bigger the thing you want to print, the more time it takes. For example: the spool holder used in the enclosure took just over 7 hours to print. During that time, you want to monitor the process and be able to stop it when something goes wrong. But you don’t want to constantly sit in the room keeping an eye on the printer.

Time to look at how to remotely control the printer.

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