Monthly Archives

May 2013

Comunitats karma

Comunitats and Trustcloud

By | Reputation, Startup | No Comments

I’ve been user of Comunitats for a while now, but i didn’t check the web for some days and I was amazed  to discover that they have integrated with Trustcloud. [Update March 2017: both services aren’t active anymore]

(disclaimer: I know Comunitats founders and I have a friend in their team)


Comunitats karma

Karma in Comunitats

Trustcloud added some months ago a new area for share-economy. And this is great because the added value of Trustcloud is that it can bring someone background in marketplaces where he is unknown. And typically these are the share-economy places such as taskrabbit, carpooling, airbnbcouchsurfing, etc.


Trustcloud - task sharing

Trustcloud – task sharing

I miss however to be able to integrate my blog, up to now the main source for the recognition I have since I publish my public activities there, like the 3D Printing meetups for example.

But if we speak about pure transactions, the direction Trustcloud has taken is good enough. It’s your behavior in the marketplaces transactions what counts. Share-economy is its target!

How they will monetize is the open question that still is open to me. If I was asked to pay a fee to be able to post my badge, the answer is no-brainer. I don’t perceive as a user that they are adding a value that I am ready to pay. I guess they will have to come with another type of model.

3D Print Barcelona

Introduction to 3D Printing. Meetup event

By | 3D Printing, DIY, Events | No Comments

Last Monday we had the second event of the meetup group 3D Print Barcelona. The topic: Introduction to 3D Printing.

After the first event it was clear to us that this topic was needed. Mainly because in our first meeting we noticed that 2/3 of the group did NOT have a 3D printer. Quite a few with intention to buy or build one, others just interested to know more.

40 people attended in MADE makerspace, hosted in the basement of MOB. Pure maker atmosphere 🙂

Thanks to MADE and to MOB for helping us in the organization, lending us some space for free, and the beers 😉

MADE is a collaborative organization that is creating a place in Barcelona where makers like us can go to hack and meet other makers. You become a member by paying a symbolic fee and get access to equipment that you would never have at home such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, etc. There are just looking to collect members. Currently there are 3D printers and normal tools like soldering iron and others. Next step is to get a laser cutter. They host events usually on Mondays and you can sign up to their newsletter here.

 (disclaimer: I joined MADE as a member, not an organizer)

The presentation was peformed by two speakers, members of the group: Albert Campos y Andrés Dans.

Pure voluntary work that I really appreciate and must be acknowledged here. The aim of the group is to build a community, so first is to offer to others what you can share, to then receive from others. So kudos for both of them, and kudos to the volunteers that we have already for next events!


3D Print Barcelona

Albert explaining uses of 3D printing

The presentation was about the uses of 3D Printing, the different techniques for printing including the professional ones, and then more focused in the home use, how we print with FDM with some demo video.


3D Print Barcelona

Andrés explaining parts of a RepRap

After we had an interesting round of Q&A to end up with networking.

I was a bit surprised that among the participants with no printer only one person had an object printed by others. So, that opened the need of a survey to know more that I launched yesterday in the group.

With only 11 answers up to now, nothing representative, it is interesting to see people’s aim. Home type printing and if possible an owned printer.

Here the survey results in Spanish

Encuesta Meetup


Next event: Blender!!

Open source software for objects modeling, that has added tools for 3D Printing in its last upgrade.

Still looking into dates, in around 3 weeks.

Mafalda STL

First try to 123d Catch

By | 3D Printing | No Comments

Well, another activity from this week. Try 123d catch to check if the model generation from pictures is really handy.

For my trial, I used a Mafalda plastic figurine, just dedicated to my friend Agnès, a really good fan of Mafalda.

I had the figurine from my teenager times, times when there was a trend to make keychains out of figurines 😉

Figurita Mafalda

The app lets you upload the pictures to the website or use it locally. I used the online version.

And I had to do a couple of trials for the capture.

One of the most critical points is to ensure the model gets teh same amount of light from all angles. My first capture failed because of that, I took it at night so I had shadows and it did not work out well.

It just created half of the model.

With the second attempt I did it thoroughly, this time with day light.

You must take many pictures, around 40, trying to have a good overlap between pictures. I did an horizontal 360, another one from above with higher angle, and another 360 to capture the bottom part.

There is an option for higher quality generation, but the model never ended the generation process. So working in Low-Res.


The model captured in 123d Catch:

Mafalda - Autodesk 123D CatchMafalda - Autodesk 123D Catch

You can apply adjustments afterwards, cut parts with planes, close holes and modify the mesh.

And from that moment you can store it in different formats, in my case in STL.

Mafalda STL

Once in Sketchup I modify some parts, especially the feet base which was not good. And this seems normal to me, since the capture included the floor in the model.

Frankly speaking, the resolution is not good enough. but you can perfectly make up who it is.







I launched an ABS printing. My first usage of ABS…with a 3cm scale and low resolution.

Poor detail. And next to it the 6cm printing that I did later.

Mafaldas ABS


Although the shape is kept, it is not the best way to import objects. I could probably improve the capture, since I used a Pentax Optio WG-II (ideal for crazy activities in mountains but not to take professional pictures).

The model in color looks quite sufficient, because the color texture hides the capture flaws of the object mesh. But it does not seem appropriate for 3D printing.

We should try with objects more squared. Not sure if it will help or make it worse, since we look for perfect flat surfaces and the scan would probably create a complex mesh or irregular triangles very difficult to handle. I leave it to others…

And for the ABS figurine, yes, I will give it to Agnès as a gift 😉

Primer intento impresión 3d

Finding the limit of my 3D printer

By | 3D Printing | No Comments

This week I’ve been testing to find the limit of my 3D printer. The aim was to print a model with a really thin wall, to see where my printer can go.

If you follwo one of these groups you have already seen it in Google+. My main activity is in:

  • G+ community 3D Print Barcelona. Currently 26 members and growing.
  • G+ community 3D Printing. This is a global one with more than 34,000 members!

I posted my tweaking there.

The model is this one, from Thingiverse:

Vase hexagonal

First i had issues with the dimensions between the plugin I use to import in Sketchup and the Netfab importer. Sketchup was giving me dimensions 10 times bigger, I guess the problem is that the plugin is considering cms instead of mms but I did not spend time finding out and checking. I re-escalated to the size I wanted, and that’s all.

First test

Primer intento impresión 3d

The setup I used for PLA. I have a BCN3D printer (an evolution from Mendel Max).

Layer height: 0.1mm
Infill density: 1
Infill pattern: rectilinear
Speed perimeter: 40mm/s
Speed Infill: 50mm/s
Speed Travel 150mm/s
Brim width: 0
Extruder 193º
Bed: 55º

The wall is thinner than 1mm and this creates problems. Some holes and the plastic didn’t have time to cool down causing the extruder to drag the plastic on the next layer round. Disaster…

Second test

Segunda prueba impresión 3d

Even worse! I took the piece, re-escalated and ended up with a very thin base, and a wall as thin as 0.4mm.

Following G+ advice, I print two pieces at the same time to let the layer cool down before the extruder comes again for next layer.

The extruder just dragged all the plastic. I continued with a layer height of 0.1mm.

I need a thicker base, and less speed and temperature. Layer height is also something to consider, if the extruder deposits low quantity of material it is easier to be dragged at next layer print.

Third test

Tercera prueba impresión 3dTercera prueba impresión 3d

Well, quite good results.

I added a thicker base to the vase of 2mm to get a bigger one, and the wall is still 0.4mm thick after re-escalating. I got a few holes, I believe that this was due to the size of walls (usual recommendation is 2mm wall thickness), but quite good results for PLA.

I need a cooling fan. It will come soon, for sure!

The setup used is:

 Layer height: 0.15mm

Infill density: 0.4

Infill pattern: rectilinear

Speed perimeter: 25mm/s

Speed Infill: 25mm/s

Speed Travel 150mm/s

Brim width: 0

Extruder 175º

Bed: 50º

And now to play with ABS, I already got my order!



he conclusion for all this is that printing it is still not for the end consumer that expects to push a button and that’s all. There are still too many factors. Home commercial printers try to minimize them but the variability seems still high to me. To get good results you need to get experience by printing, like for anything actually.

By the way, if you need to print something, contact me. I can do that for a good price 😉

I currently have red ABS, and blue and black PLA.

There are a couple of networks starting that intend to facilitate this, so that users without a printer can get home prints done by others printers, without the need to go to a professional service like Shapeways or others. Let’s see how this evolves.

Tech Demo Day

La Salle Tech Demo Day

By | Startup | No Comments

Today I’ve been in the La Salle Tech Demo Day. An afternoon event where 100 startups can showcase what they are doing.

Tech Demo Day

Tech Demo Day

There was quite some focus on social, but also some focused on B2B and other types of problems.

For example, Natural Machines. A project to build a 3D printer for food printing. No web yet, this is the latest article I found.

We have trade business cards, given the interest it can have for our 3D Printing group.

By the way next Monday 27th there is an event Introduction to 3D Printing (hosted in Spanish or Catalan), prepared for the people that have interest in the topic but do not know much or seems difficult to them to find their way. You can RSVP in the meetup group. It will be hosted at MOB, thanks to Makers of Barcelona and in particular to MADE, the makerspace that is being created in the basement of MOB. The topics are fully aligned with our group!

Ah, an don’t miss the Mini Maker Faire in Barcelona on June 29th. I will attend, of course, but not showing anything yet.

I also helped funding the event here in Ulule. Hopefully they get enough funding to make it.

Well, writing about the Maker Faire was a pending ToDo for a while, so glad to have done it yet. Let’s get back to Tech Demo Day.

Tech Demo Day

As you can see by the blog content, I am interested in almost anything, no focus, so I spoke to many people.

I was really glad to meet Josep Velasco, a colleague from the first company I worked in!! and he has a startup GEOPLUS that provides geolocalization services through SaaS.

I’ve been discussing with a company that facilitates marketing campaigns with NFC and QR codes. You can check at [Upate March 2017: it no longer exists].

It took my attention because I played with NFC some months ago, here a post of my tumblr, and I have some tags that run automatic tasks when I swipe my cellphone over them. For example in my car it activates the GPS, runs Waze, etc…on my bicycle it activates the GPS, runs Endomondo and stuff like this. If someone is interested you can write me, I can give advice around the topic and recommend the best apps for that 😉

I was caught by the lively enthusiasm of a guy from Vic (I’m so bad for names) who sold his startup idea. Bhappy, based in Manresa [Upate March 2017: it no longer exists]. The thing is to spend few minutes at the end of the day to remember the good moments that made you happy, alone or in company. The idea is to share it with the people that made you happy directly to the persons or through hashtags. I downloaded the app but it’s just too late to play with it today 🙁



I liked the concept, especially now that we all live by our ToDo lists, not sure if GTD helped us to live better or worse…at least before you could forget things. Now you have it in a written list reminding you that you procrastinated, again haha. The fact is that it is good to review the day looking for the positive aspects.

I also spoke for a while with Tobias Maier, from Recently [Upate March 2017: it no longer exists]. An app specifically dedicated to biomedic scientists. You provide a set of your reference articles and through an algorythm developed by themselves it makes content curation, so suggesting the most relevant papers. There will be a premiun service in the future.




And well, I met more people but I stop here to make it short.

I also joined the Betabeers conference about failure in startups. Found some pieces of relevant advice. There has been a lively discussion about investors topic, in terms of when you need to take the money and accept investors conditions and control, try to self-fund, fund through growth as early as possible, etc…

And that’s all, another day of lively activity in Barcelona!

Printed jellybean

Should we end hunger in the world with 3d printed food?

By | 3D Printing | No Comments

I read in Quartz the article “The audacious plan to end hunger with 3d printed food” and cannot avoid smiling with the future presented about 3d printed food.

3D Printing has definitely become a hype. We can even offer it as the solution to end hunger in the world, even in population growth scenarios.


3D printing does NOT create anything, it gives form to materials.

Sure, it will let us eat matter that we would never eat before, like proteins from insects. We eat through sight, says a Spanish idiom.

But nothing we couldn’t do giving form through other means. Just molds.

It makes sense to me that NASA uses this technology in long space trips, since they can keep the ingredients dehydrated and separated, perfectly fit for the moment you need to consume them. The 3d printer will mix/cook them and add the moisture or other needed elements.

But from there, moving to bake pizzas?

Food 3d printer

Food 3d printer

Food is already used for 3d printing. In fact you can already buy a commercial home printer that prints chocolate.

There are other home-made options, such as what Luis Rodriguez does, a colleague from the meetup group 3D Print Barcelona. It is all about having an adequate extruder (and some other pieces). The working mechanism is the same: FDM. Deposition of matter in layers to create objects.

Printed jellybean
Printed jellybean – photo extracted from Luis blog

I’m quite skeptical about the solution. Coming from a Mediterranean culture very focused on food, I don’t buy untasty food in nice shapes just with a short set of standard ingredients.

Cooking is time, it’s the appropriate mix of ingredients, it’s the cooking time for each one, and finally presentation. However, this is what I care less provided food is good.

So, it is in presentation where I see the biggest potential for 3d printers. But they will not solve hunger in the world by themselves. This fully relies on our change of feeding patterns. Starting by a reduction in meat consumption (disclaimer: I am NOT a veggie 😉 )

Soporte cadena WC v2

Plumbing repair with a 3D printer

By | 3D Printing, DIY | No Comments

Since I manage the meetup group 3D Print Barcelona I spoke quite often with people who ask themselves, and also ask me, what I am doing with my 3d printer.

There is a part of people with an engineer profile that love the process of building their printer and all the challenges they have to face for calibration and other adjustments, not few. but when they finish comes the: And now what?

There is another completely different group. The designers. They only want something that works form the very first day. The printer is only a mean to obtain their designs.

And I am sort of in the middle, learning CAD by myself.

I am bringing today an example that is quite enlightening in regards to the future. DIY to the highest level.


The WC tank is leaking a bit and I finally decide to open it and check what happens. As always whenever you touch something, there is something more.

The rod from the piece that activates the flush is broken. Not a big deal, but I have to repair it now 🙁 . The water leakage is easily solved by cleaning up the lime stocked there.

But the rod repair is quite a challenge.

Varilla rota

It’s broken at the angle, so there is nothing I can do. If I glue them it will not work for long. But, if I make a reinforcement? Let’s get to work!. I open Sketchup (some day I will learn something more powerful…do not miss the Blender session that we will organize) and start sketching.

And by designing I get to this: it’s so simple that it only takes 2 min. I go through all the boring process of getting into NetFabb to place it properly and check for errors or issues, and then Slic3r to generate the g-code file. That’s what the printer understands.

Soporte cadena WCRefuerzo cadena v1
Support WC flush v1

The object gets printed in 6 minutes, so in 10 min I got a perfectly working repair. From the moment I start designing the model to the moment I have it in my hands. Cool, right?

First really useful usage of my printer 🙂

And this is a heads up of what comes for the future. Instead of designing the model you will just download it from a repository!

Then I glued the pieces and waited 24h, to find out that when I mount it I did short of material. I used 2 mm thickness and it was not enough. If anything is needed is the experience to design…but you learn quickly!

The solution

Looking at the forces that the piece has to stand in the angle, I decide to do it properly, with additional reinforcement.

And in v2 version I got this. A sort of capsule that fits with the piece:

Soporte cadena WC v2

Support WC flush v2

Refuerzo montado

Reinforcement mounted

It looks good 🙂

Final result. You can see that I missed some milimeters decimals to contact the vertical piece, and that’s why I did not post it in Thingiverse or similar.

WC reparado!

WC repaired!

By the way Thingiverse is the most known repository of 3d models, but it is from the Makerbot printer.

In Spain, we have a repository fully open: Rascomras.

And now, whenever I flush the toilet I remember and feel proud of my small DIY 🙂

As Chris Anderson says in “Makers” and others, we are all potential makers.

(Disclaimer: I’m affiliated to Amazon, although I have never sold anything by recommendation…)

Blog clutter

Organizing my chaos with blogs

By | Blogging, Reputation | No Comments

After some months maintaining four blogs, I quickly went to the conclusion that this is not sustainable and this generates some chaos.

Blog clutter

It’s not only the work to write, as in fact I will keep generating more or less the same content volume, but the work to publish, maintain, etc.

In fact what drives me to change is precisely the dispersion in my interests. Up to now this was covered in several blogs, but none of them really reflect who I am and what I am passionate about.

I tried to follow the usual advice, keep focus in one topic, but this does not match with my nature.

I started with online reputation, and although I believe there is a field with plenty of potential since we will do more and more online transactions and exchanges, there are other topics that I was already following but that now have big and active attention.

I’m talking about the universe of startups in Barcelona, and 3D Printing, but of course I cover more than this 😛

So from now on this blog will cover different topics and I will identify them through categories. I will continue with Spanish and English as I feel comfortable to write in both languages. And I have friends here and there.

I continuo as with third party hosting and using the Stella plugin to provide th etwo languages in a simple manner. In fact translation time for a post is short because by copy and pasting it respects images and structure.

I am waiting for the paid version to be provided. This one lets you change translaton for all elements: categories, tags, etc…

I love blogging

I will also continue with the two tumblrlogs that I have, due to the easyness to upload videos and pictures on the go while I surf the web o walk in the street.

  • for personal life. Plenty of content related to mountains climbing, less now, and running. The name is inspired on Sisifo, obliged to move a rock uphill eternally to find out that when he get to the top he has to start again from the bottom. The people like me who climb summits experience the same a bit, that there is some futility on it. However we enjoy the process, not like Sisifo 😉
  • for techie stuff. I post comics that I like, videos or artticles that I enjoy but do not deserve a serious or longer post. The name is inspired by the fact that my passion for Tech has been there with me forever, but I don’t make a living out of it.

So now, new phase!!

Next post will be about my starting experiences with design and 3D printing.