Building Squirty the RepRap has always seemed like a one step forward, two steps back kind of exercise. The last weeks have been a two step back phase.
First of all my lovingly handmade printer case is no more. We had family staying in our flat for a while including two small, adorable and inquisitive niblings. Having read of all the various ways that small children can injure themselves on household objects I decided to move the printer well out of their reach by putting it in our bedroom, along with anything else that could pose a threat. There wasn’t much space left in the bedroom with all of our child unsafe possessions in there, so I tucked Squirty and its case next to the bed. In this way I sealed its doom. In the night the Wife tripped and fell on it, shattering it into many pieces and getting a deep cut on her knee. So much for my efforts to improve household safety. Fortunately she is healing and still speaking to me. The printer case, however, is irreparably smashified. The printer itself looks undamaged, but I haven’t been able to try it out yet due to problem #2
The Raspberry Pi I use to control the printer has once again shown that it is not a deterministic device. After working perfectly well with a TL-WN722N WiFi adapter for about a year it suddenly decided that it would no longer deign to connect to my wireless network this way. The wireless adapter still works on my windows PC, and the TP link adapter I use for the BeerBot still works OK with the RepRap Raspberry Pi. I have tried to fix it without any results, so either I need to get a new wifi adapter or get another powerline ethernet adapter.
It’s a bit demoralising being back so many steps, but at least it gives me a chance to rebuild stuff with the benefit of experience. There are a few things I will do differently when rebuilding the case (e.g. not rely on all my cuts being exactly 90 degrees!)
On the plus side I have been a bit better recently at going to tech/maker events. I finally made it to a Singapore RepRap Users Group meeting the other week. Very interesting to meet other guys working on RepRaps and see what they are printing. I also went to a “Papers we love” session at Hackerspace.sg which was very thought provoking and checked out the tools at One Maker Group. Unfortunately the machine tools there are only set up for woodwork, but they do have a nifty laser cutter.
Update 25/10/14 – I’ve now managed to fix the wifi problem, see this post