Ducted Fan Part II and Octoprint

Last month I posted about installing a ducted fan on Squirty. After installing the fan I read issue 42 of MAKE magazine and became excited about two ideas to try for testing out the ducted fan. As is often the case, I got a bit distracted trying out these ideas so it’s taken me a while to get round to answering the original question of whether the ducted fan helps with print quality or not (short answer is yes, but more work needed for Squirty to match commercial desktop printers).
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Ducted Fan Part 1

The suckiness of Squirty’s ability to make nice overhangs and bridges has been getting to me recently. I have been really impressed by the cool support-free prints created by LeFabShop on thingiverse but then have been disappointed when I find that they don’t quite work for Squirty. Their elephant turned out nicely but when I tried to print their awesome car it failed to print the tougher parts of the print. I’ve also failed to make a home hydroponics kit that will hopefully stop our houseplants from dying. I’ve now installed a ducted fan attachment today which hopefully will allow me to make overhangs and bridges without support.
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Slic3r Profiles Data Directory

If you are used to using the version of Slic3r that came with your version of pronterface (V 0.9.9 for me) and then download the new version (V 1.1.7) you may be horrified to discover all of your print profiles have gone. You then may be even more horrified when you open the old version of slic3r and realise that your print profiles aren’t there either. Trying to load them by going to File-Load Config and navigating to the .ini file only allows you to load one at at time and messes up the naming.
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Project Tombstone

About 1 year after I started working on it I have posted Project Tombstone on Thingiverse. It took the approach of Halloween to make me finally upload it. You can view it here. It builds on the randomisable grassy knoll that I described back in February.

I first printed around March, but I had to make some edits before I could post online (which took me ages to get round to).

Why No RPi Wifi ?

As mentioned in the last post the Raspberry Pi I have been using to control Squirty the RepRap suddenly decided to stop connecting to my home network. It would work with a different wifi dongle, but not with the one I have been using for the last year or so. The “broken” dongle was able to connect to the network without any problems when connected to my windows desktop, so I was quite mystified as to what happened.

My usual approach when encountering problems like this is to try a few random solutions, type error messages into google, read, generate some theories about what might be going wrong, try some more things, then mope. I think this is the least effective possible approach, but somehow I do it anyway. If you spend all your time generating theories and trying solutions it is easy to become frustrated and to overlook something important, so I started this post with the intention that I was not going to solve my wifi troubles, instead I would just try to document and properly understand the problem. Unfortunately at some point I accidentally fixed the problem without really knowing how I did it. Although the solution is not as satisfying as I would like because I don’t know what caused the problem in the first place, I found the process of documenting everything I was doing in the post quite helpful. Therefore I’m keeping the rest of the post as I originally wrote it in case it is useful to anyone else or in case someone has a better idea of what went wrong in the first place Continue reading Why No RPi Wifi ?

3D printing and assorted geekery