A few months back, I gave a hand to Layla

Literally. http://bit.ly/hotpinkcyborgbeast

I worked with a couple other volunteers in the evenings for a few months to create a website where people can go to easily create prosthetic hands for kids. Like Layla. This website tool has been called the Hand-O-Matic. Layla's hand was the very first hand to come from this website. http://bit.ly/handomatic Welcome to the future. A future of 3D printers and where 2 measurements and half a dozen clicks and a custom prosthetic hand is created.

Time to finish this quest. 

I have given Layla a hand in the literal sense, I have given Layla a hand in the virtual sense by making it easy for her to get the ready-to-print files to make more hands as she grows. Now I am giving Layla a hand by helping her get her own 3D printer.

And I need your help.

November 8th, Layla's real-world community is getting together to finish what a virtual, on-line community started.

We are hosting a fund-raiser benefit to get Layla a 3D printer of her very own. We are going to get a computer that she can use easily with her 1 good hand. We are going to get her the supplies she needs to put new prosthetic hands together. And then this real, local, community is going to give the larger, virtual community a hand as everything above and beyond Layla's needs will be donated to http://enablingthefuture.org/ so we will give other kids a hand – Literally.

So come. Learn about the future. There will be 3d printers there that you can touch and ask questions about. Come, and be a part of a girls future and donate a few bucks – enter the raffle, bid on something in the silent auction.

Come and Give a Hand to Layla.

In album 2014-11-04

Layla’s hand

Give a hand to Layla

I made a new wallet last night

A coworker has had some pretty thin ones over the years, folded tyvek, and currently a big skinny brand one that's really nice. 

I've been wanting one of those stainless steel ones for a few years now, but they are much more money then I am willing to spend.

So I decided to make my own wallet. Out of garbage, of course. Well, I did buy the leather in a 3lb pack from Hobby Lobby, but the piece I used looks like it was cut for a vest maybe? The Tyvek is from a mailing envelope from 1997, the clear pocket is from a plastic cover from an old report. The RFID shielding is a motherboard static protection bag. I collect old junk just for projects such as this.

The design of this one is wider and taller then a bifold or trifold. It is a bifold wallet, but has 2 pockets per face. This means you only keep half the cards in a given thickness. There is also no extra pockets separating the cards, so no extra bulk for that either. Just stack the cards. 

I have the thinness of a tyvek wallet with the finish of a leather wallet. It can bend in the middle, contouring by butt better. I think I am really liking this so far.

The next one, I would sew the card pockets onto just 1 layer of the folded center piece rather then through both. This one give a nicer finish on the inside of the bill area. I would also cut the leather a bit bigger so I can roll the edges and sew through 2 layers of leather for a nicer edge finish. Also, mark on the BACK side of the Tyvek. I kept marking on the front side even though I know better!

I also like keeping fortune cookie fortunes in my wallet. So I may have some clear pockets just for my fortunes. I also carry SD cards, so I will have pockets for that as well.

In album Thin Wide RFID blocking Tyvek & Leather Wallet

It doesn’t look too much bigger this way, right?

My wallet is too fat. It’s slowly grown thicker in pace with my belly. Something has got to change. The wallet is the easier thing to make thinner.

An old Tyvek mailer envelope (From 1997!) a bit of scrap leather, my sewing machine, and about 3 hours….

No plans, just an idea, and a standard sized card to use as a template.

I used an old motherboard static bag for the RFID blocking layer. It’s sandwiched in the divider to deflect enough energy to keep the cards from activating and broadcasting. In theory. I don’t know if it works or not.

4 pockets, one of which is clear sewn onto the tyvek holding the static bag bit.

Trying to get the size of the leather right for the pockets.

Just a quick and dirty build. Trying to proof the concept and the sizes. I will probably make another one in a few months once I gauge how long this one will last.

Leather looks to be big enough to cover the inside pockets.

Binder clips. I don’t know how people did leather work before these things where invented. I love these things.

The leather is bigger then the liner, and needs an unsewn gap at the fold so it can open up correctly.

I sewed the leather on by hand with a glovers needle.

The wood block is for poking the needle down through the layers on so I don’t stab myself or the table. The pliers are to pull the needle through the rest of the way – it likes catching at the eye.

One side sewn up. Not very neat stitching, but it should hold it together.

I found it easier to sew with a card in each pocket. No wonder my wallet is so thick! I carry a metal plate for sharpening knives in it.

I recently printed a prosthetic hand for a little girl back home, where I grew up….

I recently printed a prosthetic hand for a little girl back home, where I grew up.  I did this as part of http://enablingthefuture.org/ 

It took a couple of months to get this done as I was working with a few other programmers in the evenings to create a website that allows for easy(er) prosthetic hand creation. With our new website, about a dozen simple hand measurements need to be typed into the page, and select some options, like what style hand, and you get the printable files, already sized correctly. It's magic! An awful lot of work was done by other people to get us to this state where we could put this site together. 

This hand was the first hand created with this new site. When we tweak the site based one the lessons learned on this hand, it will be announced to the public soon.

My 4 year old LOVED helping put this prosthetic together. She is quite proud of herself for helping a stranger in this way, as she should be! she even gave her own toy hand to the little brother, so he would leave big sister's hand alone.

The family of the new hand owner, including grandparents showed up and my parent's place to help put the hand together.  Over the course of 2 days, we assembled and fitted the hand.

I believe that part of the mission of http://enablingthefuture.org/ is to truly enable this little girl to overcome her handy-cap. By simply giving her an assembled prosthetic, she would be no better off than if her parents had purchased a commercial prosthetic (although the family would be a great deal poorer buying an expensive prosthesis). With the whole family taking part in assembling the hand, they truly own the prosthetic – if it breaks, they know how to fix it.

To take this mission to completion, we will be having a fund-raiser in a few months to raise money to purchase a 3d printer of her very own.  She will then be able to create new hands that fit, as she grows up. She can also take her future into her own hands (pun intended) and design improvements and special purpose hands for herself which she can share back to the community if she so chooses (I can hope, but I will not dictate).

In album 2014-06-25

My 4 year old assistant LOVED helping build this hand.

Showing how bending one’s wrist is supposed to make it work.

So very pink!

The finished hand.

The spaghetti monster ate my printer. The black thing sticking out on the right side is supposed to be around the hot end.

The dyed palm and the undyed guantlet. Chicago screws are used to hold the pieces together.

Such a sweet little girl, she let the little brother of the recipient  have her black hand.

Some sodas have phosphoric acid and some glass cleaners have ammonia. These are supposed to treat the nylon and allow it to take and hold onto the dye better.

My 4 year old helping dye the finger pieces. The dye is in the plastic bag. The bowl has hot water to warm up the dye bath. Checking on the color. It starts out really purple looking.

Leaching the excess dye out of the big parts which ended up printing more porous than the finger parts.

Tilting the wrist will cause the fingers to curl up.

The padding is some leather I glued in. It’s probably Elk. Soft, but a little bit grippy.

I am hot pink iron man!

Pink and Chrome!

The RepRap revolution started 6 years ago, today.

6 years ago, today is when the first ‘child’ printer was created.

6 years ago, today, the RepRap revolution started.

RepRaps, or Reproducing Rapid Prototypers are 3d printers that are designed in such a way that you can use one to make a copy of itself. The goal is to be able to use ‘stuff’ that is easily available locally. Today, I could make one using parts bought from Radio Shack, Home Depot, Walmart, and junk inkjet printers sitting in people’s closets, and my existing 3d printer. It’s easier and cheaper to order parts of ebay, but I can cobble one together after a couple hour bike ride.

The hardware is open source –  that means I can download, view, edit, and distribute my changes to the machine for free & legally.

The software is open source – that means I can download, view, edit, and distribute my changes to the software for free & legally.

There are thousands of people who are actively making tweaks and adjustments to the printers & software every single day. Thousands of people who are making these 3d printers better, every day, just for the fun of it.

6 years ago today, the first RepRap begat the 2nd RepRap and the world changed forever.

My college, MSOE, had the largest Rapid Prototyping lab in the world at that time if memory serves correctly. They had millions of dollars in equipment. I remember walking past the glassed windowed RPC and looking at the cool stuff they where making there. Engines for GM, hands for NASA to fit gloves, skulls to solve murder mysteries.

2 years ago, I got my first RepRap for as much money as the TV in my living room – http://mike.creuzer.com/2012/02/i-ordered-my-3d-printer-last-weekend.html. I ordered a kit of parts, and built it over the course of 2 days with help from strangers who where also putting their printers together at the same time.

6 years ago today, RepRaps started a revolution that made 3d printers accessible to me, in my home. My children will grow up never not knowing having having easy access to 3d printers. In their home. My dad remembers when he got indoor plumbing growing up, I remember when our house got it’s own phone number and not a shared number with several of the neighbors. My kids will never not remember a 3d printer or two in their house. This blows my mind. The paradigm shift in their thought processes is revolutionary – http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/07/bella-printed-a-missing-part-for-one-of-her-toys.html.

I’ve come up with a few ideas of my own – hybrid drivelines http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/04/delta-reprap-using-both-belts-and-spectra-fishing-line.html, hooking up my printer to my fish tank http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/01/watercooling-my-makergear-prusa-reprap.html, and a temp monitoring idea across the printer as a hole.

The people who have made the RepRap revolution possible deserve much gratitude. I’ve been able to meet in person many of the ‘key’ people who have made RepRaps possible – the (re)designers of the hardware, the (re)designers of the firmware, the (re)designers of the electronics.

Today, today is Mr. Bowyer’s day. Thank you. We will probably never meet in person, but you have changed my life & my children’s life. For that, Thank you.

I finally got my Delta RepRap moving correctly

I've been fighting it for over a year. First it was a bad RAMPS board/pololu drivers. I replaced that with a SmoothieBoard (which is awesome by the way) and then it took me a month to figure out that my bed center, homing and gcode combo is causing the machine to calculate out-of-bounds which gives some VERY odd movement.

But now it moves right, with just a single config setting change in slic3r. Set the print center to 0,0 and not 100,100 like I do on my Cartesian printer.

So, now I get to re-wire the printer, as the printer has grown a foot taller over the last year. The existing wires are now too short.

Then, I get to make it print!

In album 2014-04-28

The extruder motor doesn’t move near as much as the effector does. I hope this will allow me to get better prints than if I had a long bowden tube or a heavy effector.

Looking down from the top. You can see that the effector moves much more than the extruder motor.

I was SO happy I got it to move right, that I just HAD to mount the extruder right away. With the printer running. I was THAT excited about it moving correctly that I didn’t even stop the test-print.

Looking down a pillar. I was hoping to see the carriage move up and down more and that the belt & spectra hybrid drive works well. But, this is what is shown. Instead, this shows that the extruder motor moves very little in relation to the effector.

It moves!
I ‘borrowed’ some of my wife’s hair bands and zip tied up the extruder so it balances on a short bowden tube.  I saw this at MRRF and liked it so much that I decided to buy a SeeMeCNC EZstruder even though I already had an extruder for this printer.