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Norbert Rovira

ET final

Trying wood crafting

By | DIY, maker | No Comments

This summer while I was in Razecueill茅, my grand-father little village in the French Pyrenees, I took the opportunity to craft an object from a wood trunk. Away from my digital fabrication machines and my computer, it was about making something in a more classic manner just to try.

In fact I had never done something like this and I hadn’t looked for information on the applicable techniques, just the pictures in the western movies where someone uses a knife to carve a figurine from a branch. The thing is that they do this to kill time!!! and it is not much efficient, but I will discover this later 馃槈

The objective is to make a mate recipient for Natalia, a mate addict as a good Argentinian!

Crafting the recipient

So I started by the beginning, choosing a wood trunk at home and sawing it by hand with an approximate size for the recipient, of course leaving some margin in case I mess something up.

The next step was to empty the inside to create the concavity for the liquid. The wood in this country area is hard, chestnut, oaks and so on.

I think the trunk was oak, and really tough oak. I started very optimistic to carve with gauges that I had there. And I spent several ours with no real progress. This job would have been a neverending thing.

Then I got the suggestion to try a chisel, more effective but nevertheless the hole bottom was a mess of splinters and it was difficult to move in.

Form贸n
Chisel

From there, the third try was quite effective. My father has a shed for his DIY hobby where he practices a lot of wood work, so I had plenty of tools. I moved in to the most effective system up to then, to use a drill with wood drill bits. And this allowed me to quickly empty the recipient inside by making many holes in it.

There was a problem though, the drill had no way to adjust the depth of the holes, and with all the chips accumulating I wasn’t able to see how deep I was going. So I ended up with holes at really different depths, and I was worried about this having in mind my objective was to make a uniform concavity.

At this point in time I was able to see how much wood I could spare, measuring form the deepest hole, and I made another cut with the saw to reduce the height.

Next steps, the sander. With one if this hardcore sanders thought to be used in big surfaces I sanded the bottom side to smooth it and also try to make it perpendicular to its vertical shape.

After that I had to deal with the outer and inner parts, and for this I used the Dremel, a rotary tool.

For the outer part I just had to sand a bit to get the bits and pieces of bark and any other irregularities, but I left some to keep some personality.

For the inside, I got a real fight! The wood was super strong inside and I had to make the inside bottom consistent dealing with all the irregular holes I made. I was not finding theNo acababa de encontrar la herramienta adecuada para la Dremel. As the tool is rotary the majority of tools work laterally, but I need something to go straigth inside. In the end I finished it with these spheric tools mainly, but spending plenty of hours:

Rolson 24680 - Fresas para Dremel

With this I finished the recipient, after sanding it by hand with fine grain sanding paper.

Now comes decoration.

Decorating the outside

I usually work with digital fabrication technology (3D printing, laser cutting and engraving, CNC routers), and it’s been some time since my partner Natalia asks me things in this style. Pacman wood ghosts, E.T. in 3D, her name painted, etc… check my聽Instagram聽to see those examples…

So the ideal decoration was clearly to make an E.T. Talking about E.T. by the way reminds me she recently watch the TV show聽Stranger Things聽and she loved it. I had already watched and I recommended it to her, and I watched it again, of course! A must watch if you love the movie icons from the 80s…

Back to the topic, for the outside what I liked best was just to engrave the wood, no paints. Just the engraved wood and the picture can be guessed.

I searched the Internet and I found this pic. If you look for “stencil” with whatever you are looking for you will find what you need to make it in two colors. In my case it was “et stencil”.

ET
E.T. prepared to be carved from a pumpkin

Then I traced it as usual with the open source tool聽Inkscape. When you trace a bitmap into vectors you transform a picture in bitmap format which is a bunch of pixels into lines and curves. If you enlarge the first picture you loose resolution, and the image becomes pixelated, you see small squares instead of points, the more large the bigger.

However the vectorial image is a group of straight lines and curves that make up the image. If you enlarge it it keeps the relationship between those lines and curves and the surfaces they define so you can enlarge and shrink without loosing any resolution. It’s the ideal format for any later treatment.

In Inkscape it’s the option “Trace bitmap”.

ET vectorizado en Inkscape

The result looks like this [I added the red line later by hand]. After that it is just a question of defining the document properties to the size you want, so in this case the recipient side, and scaling the vectors to this size. In this example the image was inverted, what shows in black should be white but to engrave on wood I thought it was going to be less painful and people would get it anyway.

Here comes the botched job. I have an engraving tool for my Dremel, so I thought I could use it by hand. I printed the image in the appropriate size, kept it stuck to the recipient with tape and started hands on.

I was short on time since Natalia was coming the day after, so I sped up. I just applied the engraving bit directly on paper, thinking that I would be able to eliminate easily the remaining black pieces of paper. But in fact I lost definitio, in addition to the small definition the tool already had. So I was not seen properly where I was carving.

Grabando con Dremel
Engraving with Dremel

The result was quite tough. With plenty of imagination you could guess who it is, if you identify the long finger…

ET grabado
E.T. engraved on the recipient

It as not the result I expected in any case. So with Natalia we tried to save it, first thing was to paint in black the carved parts. But something was missing anyway, specially on eyes…Natalia got inspired and she added a moon and an “explanatory” 馃槢

It was still ok, but after that we tried to give a touch to the eyes, with a bit of blue. But it just was not fitting the eyes size and the shape so instead of an E.T. it looked more like Chucky!

ET pintado
The chucky E.T.

So nothing more here, undo and start again. In this case it was easy because we could sand it, it’s like the CTRL-Z but on wood as long as you have enough wood thickness haha.

Thsi time we were going to do a transfer. I modified the vector image in Inkscape to invert it and got this:

ET vectorizado en Inkscape inverso

It’s just not black replaced by white, I also mirrored it. The transfer method is to apply the image in paper on top of the material where you want it to stick. It has to be printed with a laser printer, because the trick is that the toner powder sticks to the material below with a substance you add on top. That’s why you have to make a mirrored image to get it on the correct side once transferred. An horizontal flip does the job with Inkscape 馃槈

We also had problems with the transfer, because the surface was not flat. It was curved either in vertical and horizontal directions, and the paper was not staying stuck to the wood at some points, creating fails. I think Natalia tried something like seven times. She had a “magic” pen for transfer that she had already used some time ago and I think it was not working as well as the first day. The usual way is a liquid you apply on top of paper. But I believe the problem was mainly due to the curves.

After these attempts and the “Undo” sanding afterwards, Natalia finally decided聽 to paint it with a pen on top of the messed transfer using it as a guide.

隆隆And it worked!!

ET final
E.T. final result

It was a bit off from the center after so many tries, but there is no doubt it is E.T., otherwise just read the text next to it!! 馃槢

After this she applied a layer of spray lacquer just in the outside, and now we just have to treat the wood inside having in mind that it will be exposed to hot water and yerba when she uses it.

Conclusion

Well, we learned plenty of things:

  • the usual one, use the appropriate tools…if you have access to them, of course.
  • to empty the inner part a drill is very effective. But ensure you can put a depth limit stopper so the hole is homogeneous.
  • If you are going to do something like this don’t take very hard wood, with pine it would have been really easy.
  • Using the Dremel with round bits is too slow, still have to find something more effective to polish the inside. But it is perfect for the outside.
  • The gauges were not much useful.
  • Inkscape works perfectly for the job,to use a stencil, trace the bitmap, rotate, mirror,scale it, etc. And in addition it’s open source.
  • Engraving with the Dremel si a very delicate job that requires a lot of precision with hands. Can work with things that do not require much detail. If I had a planar surface i could have used the CNC router, but for an object like this you need something I don’t have yet: a probe to obtain a 3D representation of the object and then be able to apply the engraving on this surface.
  • The transfer is a good technique to apply something quickly, using a laser printer. If you retrace with a pen it will not have the vintage looking that is typical from transfers, but on the other side you get a hand made touch.

Here is an an example of a transfer made by Natalia with a nicer result:

No molestar

 

I will be exhibiting at the Printer Party

If you follow me for some time you will know that I am the founder of聽3D Print Barcelona聽group. And we organize the Printer Party to be held on Saturday October, 28th. A full day event we make every year dedicated to 3D printing and other digital fabrication techniques used by makers. You have more details and the agenda schedule on the聽web. It covers all levels of knowledge from those who want to know about the topics to those that are pretty involved, with workshops for all ages, presentations and exhibition.

I am mentioning this because in addition of being there as organizer, I will also have a stand exhibiting some of the stuff I make and other I will prepare for this day, helped by Natalia.

I ammainly focused in decoration objects and/or geek stuff in wood or 3d printed, usually customized, and painted or not at your wish. A bit of everything 馃榾

隆More details shortly!

Introducci贸n a Fusion 360

The free meetup events and the no-shows

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

Today I am a bit angry, but I can’t do much in respect apart from venting out through my blog as a megaphone to share my pain.

The 3D Print Barcelona聽group about 3D Printing exists since 2013, and we perform events through meetup platform from the beginning.

Fusion 360 m贸dulo Sculpt

Fusion 360 interface in Sculpt module

 

Today it was my turn, an introduction event to the聽Autodesk Fusion 360聽tool. I’ve been using it for some months now and I love it.

So I felt I was empowered enough to give an Introduction session, obviously with the corresponding prep work that was a couple of days.

During the 2h that the session lasted we were going to see how to model a revolver starting from a picture model.

Revolver S&W_60_3inFusion360 Revolver SW render

I obviously modeled this before hand to have a clear view of the steps to follow. Here is a picture of the real revolver and a simplified version render.

The damn no-shows

The question is that for today we had RSVP of 27 people.

From these years experience I am used to see that more or less 1/3 do not show and do not cancel or anything at all. We are so civilized.

Buttoday, after an hour and a half preparing the eventes in place setting up all the computers software, only聽8 out of 27 came.

And honestly after this shock I looked backwards and realized that there is a growing trend this last year in this no-shows behaviour. Which is to RSVP for an event andthen don’t show up, don’t give notice, don’t cancel, or anything at all. If it was a third in the past, now I think it’s more around half or even more.

I was once in a Woocommerce event, free of course, where more than 20 people had RSVP and I found myself there with just two other guys that sowed up. I was really feeling bad for the presenter who had all the chairs setup and in place for a normal group size.

I don’t know what can be done about it, but I surely have an opinion in respect, and this is that I find it completely unacceptable.

Introducci贸n a Fusion 360

In today’s event

Solutions

There is in fact no miracle solution. I was once in meeting of meetup groups organizers to discuss the topic of no-shows and how each one was trying to solve it, with no clear conclusion.

There are groups, e.g. those of mountain activity, that directly ban the members after two no-shows because in general it implies to leave someone else without room. or if he drives to leave others with no option to come. But applying this implies creating a list and checking in every event, to setup and perform a no-show control for every member of the group. Then the group instead of being a meeting of happy and open people becomes something else. And this control job is not appealing to anyone.

Other groups request a symbolic payment of 2-3鈧 because when people pay they think better what they do in terms of RSVP and they value more the event. It’s sad but it is like this. But the drawback is that it implies someone has to become responsible for the money collected, and worse, those who cancel within the appropriate timeframe are entitled to a refund and you will have to manage a new control again.

Others just send email reminders stating that there is limited room and they have to cancel if they don’t come. It has some effect but I don’t think it is much. When we have done this we kept having no-shows. It is tru that for this Fusion360 event the date was scheduled before summer, and it can ahppen that people that RSVP at that moment already forgot, but unless the platform is not working as it should anymore they keep receiving messages in particular with the event details update few days before.

In our聽meetup group 3D Print Barcelona聽we are not in favor of setting up controls or any other coercive measures. We like to spread聽 and share our knowledge for free, and the reward is the people that appreciate this and then join us to share also themselves.

But these behaviours sort of blur the group intrinsic motivation, which is just a pure hobby.

The future ahead of us

I don’t know what I will do in the future, I think the next event I will be presenting myself and that implies preparation work is going to be paid, as per this experience. For the usual events in presentation format with no preparation required like Introduction to 3D Printing that we are used to perform, I don’t care if people does not show becuase we don’t have RSVP limits or anything like this.

In any case, I keep for myself the satisfaction of being useful for those eight people that came today and enjoyed the event at full 馃榾

If anyone has any suggestion, I really welcome them in the comments!

And I take the opportunity to remind that on Saturday, October 28th聽we organize the聽Printer Party, an open event for everyone. More info at 3D Print Barcelona.

 

Draudi paso3

First experiences with a BCN3D Sigma

By | 3D Printing | No Comments

This week Tresdenou聽delivered tome a BCN3D Sigma R17聽3D printer.

I was looking for a Dual Extruder聽and that it was quite plug’n’play for once 馃槈

And my choice was between this one and the one from Ultimaker. I went for BCN3D being cheaper and local.

Sigma R17

The first experiences this week are very positive, still few things could improve.

The packaging shows a good deal of thought behind, interface is simple and there are plenty of improvements compared to my BCN3D original 4 years old already.

As you start an assistant kicks in that lets you load filament and calibrate heated bed and the extruders. Very simple and effective.

And then you make it work as usual with a SD card.

The software seemed to me a bit basic because it is a customized version of聽Cura聽for BCN3D and it is not updated. So I am missing some functionality for example the support options are limited. There is also the option to use聽Simplify3D聽but I haven’t tried yet.

With the software you also get profiles for different materials and quality by default which makes things easier.

The same night I unboxed I was already printing, after doing the setup process 馃檪

With BCN3D I have a problem that I need to sort out. It doesn’t print with exact size on Z axis. Since I had to change the electronics a couple of months ago, I don’t have a clue of the reason behind…and I think it was happening already before that. The fact is that for 3D printing services that require exact measurements I was not in a condition to provide them, wile for figurines and other objects without precision there was no issue at all as we speak of a difference of 1 mm over 150 mm total height.

And now with the Sigma I just got a couple of requests packed in this week about parts for 3D printer kits. Waiting for the feedback 馃槈

 

While I am writing this I am 3D printing a聽Draudi聽in two colors, a must!!

Cura con Draudi

Cura customized version for BCN3D

The progress up to now:

 

From this four days here is what I liked more and what I liked less:

More

  • Initial experience. The packaging is well thought, with documentation, tools and first steps properly guided.
  • The 3D printer management is simple with clear menus, and the usual functions maximum two clicks away. Filament change and calibration are walked through and easy to perform. The slicer piece could be simplified a bit more, but they already provide default profiles and their website has a profile generator that makes its use even easier. However, I think Cura shows too many options if it is for a newbie that only wants to always get good 3D prints and that’s all.
  • Dual independent extruder. It looks pretty good and has plenty of potential. After the Draudi in two colors, PVA supports is the next thing to try 馃榾
  • Quite silent, as fara as I heard it is an important improvement to the previous Sigma version.
  • Amazing jump compared to my first 3D printer, the BCN3D, from the same company called RepRapBCN at that time.

Less

  • The interface is simple but the trade-off is that it is also limited. For instance if you have a problem in filament load process you cannot stop it. It happened to me that I started the setup again since I did not complete it in the first round and I messed up (user fault :P). The filament load started when I already had filament loaded and I could not stop it, unless I switched off the machine. The outcome was that the motor kept pushing filament as in normal procedure and made a dent to the filament while it was blocked in the end. Then it could not push anymore. I had to find a way to push the filament a bit more so it got grip again. It also happened to me that when the filament is not caught at first try it pushes following the procedure but may get only to half the bowden tube. Then, following the next procedure step of fine tuning load you have to keep pushing the button many times at low speed until you get it loaded properly, caught in a process that was thought for the last mm probably.
  • I understand it has bowden because there is enough complexity in X axis with the IDEX system, but it does not seem to me that it get the speed advantage that a lighter carry would bring. Like in Delta printers for example. For now I 3d printed properly at 100 mm/s.
  • LEDs are nice, but I am afraid there is no way to switch them off. If oyu leave the printer working at night, you know the drill…

Several disclaimers

Although I know BCN3D Technologies聽and its CEO Roger, I have no relationship with them. I bought this printer because I think this is a good machine among Dual Extruders.

In fact I bought it at Tresdenou, a shop in Poble Nou (Barcelona) managed by Rafa and C茅sar. They are members of the聽3D Print Barcelona聽group for three years I guess, but less involved lately since they have to cover the commercial schedule and we meet just at the other side of Barcelona.

Good people, always willing to help, and I did not doubt for a second buying from them since I know I would have excellent local support if I need it. 隆隆Very recommended!!

I bet for local. You know, if you buy from China you better be independent to repair all the issues that the machine may bring at the beginning, or those that you can make afterwards.

This post is not in any case a review of the machine, simply my first impression as advanced user. I do not perform thorough reviews and I do not have intention to perform them. For this you have several youtubers that have already published.

Stepcraft kit

Starting with the Stepcraft CNC router

By | DIY, maker | No Comments

About three months ago I bought a聽Stepcraft聽CNC router, following the advice of a friend that already has it.
It’s not an industrial CNC router, but you can play quite with some stuff given its size and the ability to cut aluminum.

Stepcraft is a German company that also has a branch in the USA. The machine went through a kickstarter聽campaign successfully.
Since then they have improved documentation and the available information, and have also added optional upgrades to perform tasks such as laser cutting, wood engraving, vinyl cut, 3D printing, etc.

What I liked more from Stepcraft is the community behind their product. The聽Facebook group聽is very active and there is a lot of sharing, ideas to make, suggestions, solutions, etc. And of course there is the brand support.

I bought the 840/2 kit version, the biggest one. And with this the HF500 Spindle and aluminum base to add sturdiness.
Assembling instructions are excellent, with step by step videos.
So the assembly did not have any relevant issue.

Stepcraft kit

Stepcraft kit in the middle of the assembly

I did some screw ups, like tightening one of the axis too much to the point of making it bend without noticing because it was covered.

Or break the first mill out of stupidity. Looks like the “Hello World” for coders applied to CNC routers 馃槢

First cuts were done with MDF, making basically siple 2D cuts. I painted and varnished them afterwards.

I made names, hashtags, logos, PacMan and its ghosts, etc…

First thing Natalia name, my girlfriend 馃槈

Next steps are testing with other materials and other mills. But I’ve been over a month now tied in a 3D project for a multinational company where I am 3D modeling a prototype and 3D printing several versions and materials options. When this is over I’ll come back to the CNC router.

I leave a small gallery of stuff I’ve been making or still work in progress 馃槈

Nexus 5 sin c谩mara

Nexus 5 camera replacement

By | DIY | No Comments

It looks like planned obsolescence is quite applied to smartphones, since they don’t last more than a couple of years without issues. It may be because the battery slowly dies or because or failures that are piling up.

Nexus 5 camera

In my case the rear camera started to fail. Looking at the screen before shooting you were seeing the image vibrate, and the pictures were all blurry. It was not happening with the front camera, and the same issue was happening with other camera apps, so I assumed it was a hardware issue.

As usual Internet is the knowledge source, and pretty soon I identified a video explaining the replacement process.

 

Same as I did with the sticky button聽issue, you have to take out the cover and unscrew more covers until you reach the camera. This time there is no need to take the battery off 馃檪

So don’t follow all the step in this video. In the Sticky button post you have the video with with the part explaining how to get access to the camera without disassembling the battery.

I bought the camera at聽Repuestos Fuentes聽and it had a price lower than 20 Eur. At least it’s a cheap way of extending my smartphone life…

A couple of pictures:

Nexus 5 camara

You can see here the location of the camera once the covers are out, with no need to unplug battery or connectors.

The camera gets out easily, disconnect and lift it smoothly. You only have to replace it.

Nexus 5 sin c谩mara

Same picture with the camera out

Then you just mount everything back and that’s all.

Nexus 5 microphone

The bad thing, after so much opening and closing of the phone, is that some connector suffered in the process and one day the microphone stopped working, well intermittently.

Looking up again in Google it seems it is not an isolated problem.

It’s simply because the connector stops connecting properly. All solutions applied were about adding more pressure to keep the connection well joined.

And I decided for the option that seemed more clean and simple. To add a piece of duct tape on top of the connector to put more volume and ensure proper contact under pressure.

Micr贸fono Nexus 5

You can see the piece of red duct tape, with the protection on the upper side kept. Anything that keeps there and adds volume works well.

makerfaire rome

Enjoying our 3D printing project: the VIT

By | 3D Printing, Startup | No Comments

We are just few days from the Makerfaire Rome, after the craziness of Barcelona Printer Party this Saturday where I am also part of the organization. And in just a couple of days we leave for Rome.
makerfaire rome

Days of intense activity. We continue at top speed with the last external finish details of the third VIT prototype, a low cost laser sintering 3D printer. There are few options in the low cost range for 3D printers of SLS technology, and we expect high demand at least from the request received up to now from interested resellers.

VIT 3D printer front

The VIT 3D printer prototype version 2
In addition, we are preparing a crowdfunding campaign for Kickstarter, to be launched when I return form Nepal. The initial aim was to launch by mid October, but the campaign preparation requires more work than we thought.
When you watch others campaigns you get the feeling that it鈥檚 two guys that met, made a video and took some pictures and that鈥檚 all…but everything needs to be thought and calculated. The major difficulty is to define what you get in exchange of the rewards. Because if you make a mistake it goes against you, and it does not happen often to ask for additional money and it is not well considered anyway.

One aspect that is becoming more complex than expected is shipment, for example, since the volume of a machine plus the 10kg powder is a European pallet of 130cm height and almost 140kg.
Well, I said this before shooting the video!! this will really be difficult 馃槢
These are intense moments, but also very exciting. What we do now determines the future of the Natural Robotics company and its growth. Let鈥檚 see how we remember this in a while!!
I got friends that started an entrepreneurial activity related to 3D printing and had to shut down. I hope I learnt something from the mistakes they shared with me…

Mochila reparada

Backpack repair with 3D printing and the Delta Black

By | 3D Printing, DIY | No Comments

3D printing is so polyvalent, that one gets lost with the amount of things you can do, be printing existing objects from repositories such as聽Thingiverse or聽Youmagine or create new designs.

My view is that at he beginning people get caught with printing things from those repositories, but quickly discover he part that brings more passion in 3D printing: to imagine something, to model it and to print it. What I like most is to build small solutions. Quick and pragmatic. And I applied this to several things at home or with mountain equipment. Knowing that the strength of pieces is almost zero compared to what is required in mountain activity, just be careful. No belay material. And don’t dare to print a carabiner!

The problem

The other day I broke a backpack, one of those you get in courses, a piece of cloth with metallic parts that did not last long. But looking at the design, it does not surprise me.

Mochila rota

The metallic supports for the small ropes had a very small contact surface, so the cloth just broke apart from the metallic piece. Then I took the caliper, and started measuring the current piece in order to have a starting point to improve it.

The solution

I just had to do a top for the small ropes that as enough wide to avoid breaking the cloth again.

I keep using MOI聽for modeling, especially when you look at something more organic. In fact it’s a spin-off form Rhino…

MOI tope mochila

I uploaded the model to Thingiverse here.

Mochila reparada

This is what I really like from 3D printing, the capacity to solve things. You will see plenty of jars and figurines 3D printed in the fairs. But what really adds value is the ability to design, model and create useful objects, and not talking about prototypes. In my case what gives me more satisfaction i exactly this, to repair or to improve something in a matter of minutes of design work. And some more to 3D print it.

3D printing at ultrafast speed 500 mm/s

In addition, since I co-founded Natural Robotics聽I have plenty of Delta Black聽3D printers at my disposal. If there is something to mention that makes them special its their speed.

In less than four minutes I had the object printed. I took the opportunity to record a video, the first ever that I am talking :O

And the thing is that it went very improvised, and so you notice because yes, it’s totally improvised 馃槢

 

This is the perfect use case to print at maximum speed, the amazing 500 mm/s. The piece was a top that goes inside the backpack, and is not visible so if the print finish is not completely perfect nothing happens. My goal is to print it in the lower possible amount of time.

This is also applicable to prototypes where you only want to check the shape, more than details. We have performed quality printings at 350 mm/s, which is a speed highly outstanding already if we take into consideration that a cartesian 3D printer usually prints at 100 mm/s.

New spool holder

Updating my 3D printer – spool holder

By | 3D Printing, DIY | No Comments

I have a BCN3D 3D printer that starts to be a relic now. I built it three years ago in a workshop聽from bcn3dtechnologies, reprapbcn at that time.

And during these years I did several upgrades at different moments: layer fan, full聽metal extruder, and an auto bed leveling that I have not finished yet because I need to tweak聽the firmware. Hardware is in place and I am waiting that we organize the next 3D Printer聽maintenance workshop in 3dprint Barcelona group to finish the job.

The Marlin firmware provided by RepRapBCN had several functions skimmed, so I need to pick聽up a recent Marlin version and transfer all the configs from my printer, plus check if there is聽any function out of standard that I need to transfer.

It’s in my ToDo list…

In the meantime, some weeks ago I upgraded the spool holder.聽The original one broke in several points, due to a design shortcoming. This is clearly due to

moving the 3d printer around, to different events such as maker faires, printer parties and so聽on. By the way, we are organizing a Printer Party in Barcelona for October 8th.
I took the original spool holder STL files from BCN3D+ 3D printer and reused some of the聽material I had in my broken spool holder.

Old spool holder

Final result is here. I would have liked something more flexible to change the holder position聽according to the spool size, but I do not have time to work on it right now. In fact with聽independent screws for both sides it’s probably easy to adjust.

New spool holder

Anyway this is more for nostalgic feeling, I got now plenty of Natural Robotics 3D printers at my聽disposal 馃榾

Check the Delta Black, a fast FDM 3D printer…

Feria in3dustry

Cambio de vida

By | Startup, Thoughts | No Comments

After 17 years working for a multinational and at 46 years old I’ve done a change of life, a big bet that I hope works well.

It did not happen overnight, well the exit yes obviously, but I had entrepreneurial desires that became more and more strong. At the beginning I was thinking about starting up something and it was like looking at a megaproject like buitnding a castle on my own, but then I got myself involved in the meetup groups related to startups in Barcelona (strongly recommended). Her ethe majority of people has around 25 to 33 years, so less risk averse that older people to say it nicely 馃槢

When there are no kids, no mortgage, etc everything gets easier: change of job, live with no income for a while, change of country, etc…

Kudos for the people who start businesses with kids, mortgages and other responsibilities on top!! it’s not my case so risk is lower for me. The truth is that my mother, who was from the conservative generation with the concept of a lifetime job, would have had a heart attack!!

In these groups there is usually networking time and people talk about their projects and somehow you get caught with this atmosphere.

I got bored of the current format “I have an idea – build a team – pitch and more pitch – raise interest from an investor that wants to multiply its investment 10 times – …”. The TV show “Silicon Valley” shows it very well, don’t miss any opportunity to watch it!!

In my case I prefer businesses that generate revenue form the beginning and grow organically. No “change the world” and no “take the world”…

After this I moved into action and did some attempt聽as a side project with members of the聽3D聽group. It did not work out but I saw it was feasible to build something. That was two years ago. It was the moment to build a DLP 3D printer, now there are even too many…

After this project and some other stuff related to 3D y came back to focus on my mountain activities, with always great satisfaction 馃榾

LynxCross gym

But the need stays there, and at the beginning of last year I joined聽Christian Ducos聽and Flor to open a gym. It was not an usual gym and it was more a proof of concept to see how the methodology worked. It’s called LynxCross. Functional training where climbing walls is an important element in the high intensity circuits that we practice there. Wood walls and holds and climbing with socks, a new concept for all public that is working really well.

Christian already designed the activity like more than a year ago before we joined our forces, in an indoor boulder. And we have been defining the activity in this year and a half, since in fact we all came from rock climbing and we changed the concept to leave the climbing shoes out. You can check a good article in Catalan in聽TimeOut.

Christian is fully dedicated to the gym and we have been growing organically with the resources we had, so if it requires a certain amount of dedication form my side it is not full-time requirement and in fact I could not make a proper living form it now. Now that we have plans to open a second center we’ll see….

Here you can see my crazy partner having fun in a moment he did not have clients months ago 馃槢

Every Friday at 19h30 there is a free Introduction session. It really works because people can try by themselves and make their minds if they like it or not. The usual client profile is a person that is bored already of doing workouts with machines or weights.

Circuito Lynxcross

An example of an Intro session. Practicing a LynxCross cricuit

To have a better idea of what we do the best is to look at our Instagram聽account. Plenty of creativity, signature of Christian!

Natural Robotics 3D printers

But I kept having interest on 3D printing, and so I joined H茅ctor Esteller聽to start a company to design and make 3D printers. It’s not the best moment for consumer segment, the hype is over, but for professional it still works and will continue working.

I spoke with H茅ctor a year ago already but I had too many things starting at the same time so each one followed his path. We kept seeing each other frequently with the 3D Print Barcelona聽group, in fact we perform together the Introduction to 3D Printing talks with a very good connection, and finally we met again this year.

And we started Natural Robotics. With a filament 3D printer, the聽Delta Black,聽that H茅ctor had already developed and tested some time ago, and with good expectations with our SLS low cost prototype, the聽VIT. So I just jumped into this, plenty of stress for some months because I had to combine activities in both projects with my job in the multinational, and now fully dedicated to both.

 

Feria in3dustry

In In(3D)ustry fair in June in Barcelona

The thing I most enjoyed since the very first day of my new life, especially with the current hot weather, is to not have to ear a suit anymore. I love going with shorts and flip-flops 馃榾

How can go back now haha. I had already abandoned the tie a while ago at least…

And the other thing is not having an alarm in the morning. But here I have to find a balance because I am a night guy by nature. I was already going to sleep late when I had work schedule and now without time schedule pressure well…no comments…my body will adjust over time, I can pretend to change everything in a row!!

I will active and in Barcelona in August so if you have any topic you need to know, you want to know more about my experience because you are in a similar phase, etc… glad to talk over a beer.

Nexus 5 back

Nexus 5 sticky button solved

By | DIY | No Comments

One day my Nexus 5 started to reboot in an endless loop, I was just heading to a via ferrata so no way to look for a solution at that moment. We managed to stop the behavior. But it was happening over and over again later.

Checking in the internet I found some misleading comments in forums about the issue caused by a software update and things like this.

The fact is the issue comes from a design problem. With time, dirt gets into the switch inside the cellphone. Not the button but the switch behind it. And it gets sticky.

So when you push the button, the switch gets activated but stays there forever or not. No predictable behavior. If can happen that it stays activated and creates a never ending loop of reboots, or that it just shuts down.

At the same time, the cellphone battery had gradually lost its power capacity. It’s usually the same timing, about two years 馃槢

There is a simple solution for the sticky button. Simply clean the switch properly to eliminate all the dirt.

The process is explained in detail here:

 

First release the cover gently. Be careful if you use a screwdriver. In my case I scratched a bit the cover.

Nexus 5 cover

Remove the screws and then the plastic cover.

Nexus 5 back

Now take all the connectors out, I count six.

Nexus 5 cover out

This is the switch to clean

Nexus 5 sticky button

As I was also in the same process, I changed the battery.

First cleaned the switch, checked that it worked, and then changed the battery.

Don’t apply several changes at the same time otherwise you cannot troubleshoot where the problem is in case of an issue.

It has been working fine for several days, so happy to extend my Nexus 5 life 馃榾