Usable Wifi Radio

For those of you who’ve not seen Doug in a bit I had a chance for a quick meeting with him. Check out this Wifi radio project.


Was on CBC Radio last Monday.

Mini Wind Turbine

I’m working with my friend Don to make a small version of his wind turbine design.


Ottawa Bluesfest Stage Collapse on Sunday July 17th

What were you doing on this day last year? It’s amazing how something so destructive can be going on in your town yet very few people are aware. What was I doing? I had just pulled off the road on my motorcycle to look inside a pub to assess it for the future. This is what I saw (video below).

Another thing I’m not a fan of is on a July 17th in the early 90’s I was getting married. I had the displeasure of finding out what happens when your spouse loves drugs. In retrospect the signs where there before I married her but hindsight is always 20:20. And sometimes we’re optimistic and naive. I’m glad to be away from all that.

Knob Support Raft

I made a knob for a shelf for fun.

One problem I’m having is that the raft/support is pretty big so the printer switches back and forth between the two colors for quite some time.

The other is that the raft needs to be destroyed to remove it. I guess that’s the design of it.


I noticed this magnet on the bottom of the build table of my 3D printer. Does it have a purpose or is it just lost?

Also, can I assume the plastic in the picture is PLA natural?


Homing 3D printer

Home seems to be a little too far towards the front of the machine. I’m not sure but I think that little thing below the motor is the homing sensor.


And this magnet triggers it.

Am I right?

3D printing toolpaths

I’m doing my first parts with the new 3D printer. Very fun stuff.

My current challenge with the object below is that the tool path (shown further down) does not close the top of this channel.

I’m using Axon software which comes with the printer to convert the STL file. I have this other software called KISSlicer but I’ve not get that running yet. There are lots of settings.

The part is coming out very nice except for this one thing.


Here are the instructions I have for KISSlicer. I’m still working on getting it working.


If you mouse-over each settings’ box, there should be a pop-up tool-tip…certainly not as good as a manual, but at least a little help.  Regarding the quality of prints and tweaking settings here’s what I do when calibrating:

  • Make sure you have the latest version of KISSlicer (v1.0.9)
  • start with a fresh copy of Glasswalker’s settings, unzipped into the exe directory
  • run KISSlicer
  • select the printer profile to match your hardware
  • on the main GUI screen, set the precision to 50% (mostly you just don’t want to run too fast)
  • open the advanced preferences for the material you are using, and update the following:
    • temperature (this is very manufacturer dependent…use whatever temp worked well in Axon)
    • filament diameter (if you have calipers, great, otherwise just go with 3.0)
    • Destring Suck and Prime to 1.25 mm
    • Start with “Flow Tweak” set to 1.0
  • On the [Extruders] setting tab, make sure that material is selected
  • slice and print a small rectangle (maybe 25x25x10 mm) solid (infill = 100%)
    • the bottom layers may look weird, especially if the distance from the head to bed is not set precisely, but it should recover by the higher layers
    • you are looking for the material flow rate to be perfect on the large solid part (the back and forth…not the loops)
    • if there is too much material, looking globby or bulgy, reduce the material’s “flow tweak” (if it looks like you have 10% too much material, reduce flow tweak by 10%, etc.) and try again
    • if there isn’t enough material, with dips or grooves between the extruded paths, increase the material’s flow tweak and try again.
That’s basically it for getting the printer to print what you ask for.  After that, there are lots of settings for the actual style with loops and such, and support on prints that require it.  If the above procedure doesn’t work for you, go ahead and zip up a bfb from Axon and one from KISSlicer (for the same part) and I can look at them to see what setting changes I would recommend to match the known good configuration.

Development of hobbies

Baby Erica seems to be developing some ongoing hobbies.

Organizing shoes, playing with her toys and of course, making things! (Not to mention singing and dancing seen in other posts).  She’s getting good at painting and gluing cardboard parts together to make objects and animals.


Styrofoam Cup Sculpture

Styrofoam Cup Sculpture by US-American artist Tara Donovan, who utilizes disposables materials to create her installations.

I found this interesting because it may have some ideas for a piece Britta and I are working on.

Britta Business Card

Speaking of cool business cards here’s a nice one made on the laser. This is cool paper from Deserre in st Laurent Shopping Center. The color is only on the outside so when you engrave it, it turns white. Being paper of course you can cut it out in any shape and as you can see she put a bunch of holes which make it pretty unique.