Klingon Adventures – Part 2

I am not a Klingon.  I did not marry a Klingon, but my sister did.  Over the rIntaH DIS (past year)  Kur’Den and his be’nal (wife) ‘u’ leng (traveled the universe) looking for qaD (challenges).  Upon their visits to jISop Daq ‘ej leS yoS (places to eat and areas of rest) they ta mIllogh (recorded pictures) of belmoH poch (pleasant plants) and chaH Daqvo’ targhHom (transmitted them back to me).

Here are a few of the belmoH poch:

I took the flower pictures and Kur’Den’s official photo and made him a plaque.  Below is Kur’Den, Tuq BelmoH Yotlh (Clan Pleasant Pastures)!

Denzil Brown Suit

No, he will not take his Batleth to my mong (neck).  Kur’Den has received many unique and interesting gifts from me that he batlh bey’ (displays with honor).

Yes, he did send me a human version of the sign.

Seed of Life

My latest 3D project was to print a sphere with the Seed of Life Design on in.  I created it in Tinkercad; Seed of Life. On the bottom of the object I left a 12 mm hole for a LED light.

Seed of Life TopSeed of Life bottonSeed of Life Side

It took me numerous attempts to get it printed.  Finally, I had to add supports to the sphere in Cura, the 3d slicing program, to get it to adhere to the plate.  Approximately 10 hours in to the 13 hours print, I noticed the translucent filament that the printer was using was about to run out.  I therefore replaced the filament with white.

Here is the final result.  The printer obviously needs some more adjusting.

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After I put the light in the bottom of the sphere, it look so good I made a video.  The video is posted on YouTube.  Seed of Life Video

Here are some pictures with the LED light.

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I posted the STL file on Youmagine for anyone to download.

Printing – What I Have Learned

Many years ago, I had an HP Printer and it worked great.  It sat there quietly just waiting for someone to send it a print job.  Once it received an order, it printed the document with no issues.  The only things I had to check were; did the printer have paper in it, was the correct paper in the printer, and was printer turned on.  HP made this printer so well it lasted for more than a dozen years.  I had to stop using the printer and purchase a new one because HP tried to encourage the owners to buy a new printer by no longer making a printer driver for it.  

My current printer is a Epson Photo Printer.  The more the industry makes printers easier for the general public to use, the more complicated they make it for us who want to print impressive items.

There were two projects that I was trying to print.  One was a photo I edited with Corel Photo-Paint and the other was my Christmas Cards.  Challenge one: Printing the photo on metallic paper.  Challenge two: Printing the cards on high quality paper.

Color Management

  1. Make sure the color conversion is being done by the program, not the printer nor the default computer driver.  The printed colors may be different from what you intended.

2. For a better print, you may need to designate a color profile.  I used the Premium Luster for the Metallic Paper.

3. Select the correct paper type.  Select “High” Quality for detailed work.  And, turn 2-sided Printing “Off” because we want to give the front side time to dry completely before printing the reverse side.

Thick Paper

Yes, I was dealing with thick paper.  I learned after my prints were smearing, that envelopes are considered “thick”.  If an envelope is thick, maybe I should consider most paper, such as card stock, photo paper, and envelopes as thick.  There is a setting on the computer to tell the printer you are using thick paper.  Basically, it slows the printing down to allow the ink to dry.

I did a web search to find the “Thick Paper” setting.  It was little help.  I found it by looking at all the settings. It is located under the “Maintenance” tab under “Extended Settings”.

Select the check box next Thick Paper and Envelopes.  Epson only recommends turning it on if the prints are smearing, because it slows the printing down.

Smearing Prints

If your prints have smeared, you probably need to clean the inside of the printer.  Yes, the printer is designed where you can not take it apart and use a cloth to clean the inside.

To clean the inside:  Do not place any document on the scanner part of the printer.  Press Copy on the printer and make blank copies until the paper comes out clean.  For me, this was about 10 copies.

For smeared prints, you may want to slow down the printing speed to give the ink time to dry to produce a higher quality.  To do this, turn off “High Speed” by removing the check.

After all the smearing of ink, I decided it was best to clean the print nozzle before I attempted to print anything else.  This is done directly on the printer.

Success!  I got 20 prints with no smearing.

Windows Update – Argh

If you ever looked at the homepage, you would have noticed it says Technology is one thing that this blog is about.  Well, I haven’t written about technology in a long time, because I have been drawing.

First the Rant!

Microsoft, why do you make my PC starting acting up the day you release a new Windows Update, even though the update hasn’t been installed on the PC?  The web browser start hanging up and sometimes crashing.  The PC gets so slow, I want to pull my hair out!  It was perfect fine the day before you release the new update.  But, on update day – Argh!  I have to stop everything and update my PC just to get it to work like it did the day before.  If it only takes me an hour to get my PC updated, I am lucky.  But, most of the time it takes me days because of an error.

End of Rant!

It start off as a normal day, a nice day, and a quiet day.  I was going to spend time designing and printing things on my computer.  But, the browser was hanging up.  Programs were slow to open.  I did what I always did when my PC is acting up, I checked Windows Update.  Click Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.  There was an update.  No problem.  I will let the update finish and everything would be good again.  Wrong!  An hour later I checked and the update was at 70%.  Two hours later no change, and Adobe was reporting it failed to install.

The first step, do a web search to find out why it is stuck at 70%. Numerous website wants you to download their product to fix this problem.  I don’t know which ones to trust, so that is not the solution for me.  On one of the sites, it recommended downloading the update directly from Microsoft’s Catalog. 

https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/home.aspx

All you need is the Update Number to search and download the update.  For Adobe is was KB4467694.  There are multiple updates for each number, just make sure it matches the description as shown on the PC’s Windows Update.

I tried the Adobe Update first, because it had failed.  It opened a Window stating it was checking the system for updates.  So, I let it run.  Hours later, it was still running.   I rebooted the PC while it was still running.  I checked Windows Update again and the Adobe Error was gone.  I started the Windows Update again.  It failed, but this time I go an error message.  Error 0x800f0984.

The web search results said that Error 0x800f0984 was related to .Net Framework.  That did not help.  I booted my PC into Safe Mode.  I learned that you can’t install Windows Update in Safe Mode.  When I tried to run Windows Update again for the 100th time, maybe not the 100th, I got a new error code: 0x80073712.  That was better, It was pointing to a Windows Component.  

In my previous attempts to get my PC working after a Windows Update, one of the recommended actions was to boot the PC with only the Windows Processes running.

  • In the search box, type in MSConfig and open the System Configuration.
  • Click the Service tab and click Hide all Microsoft service
  • Click Disable All to stop all the remaining services

This time, when I opened the System Configuration, I noticed that it had changed.

Instead of going through the process of disabling the services, I selected “Diagnostic startup”, clicked OK and rebooted my PC.

After my PC rebooting, I ran the Command prompt, as Administrator:

  • Type CMD in search window
  • After Command Prompt displays, select Run as Administrator

In the Command Prompt window, I ran these commands:

  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth
  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Both commands gave error messages, but I tried Windows Update again and it successfully updated.  The next time, I may just give in and reinstall Windows.

I do not know if I fixed the problem, or Microsoft fixed the Windows Update.  Now, I off to reboot my PC in the Normal Startup mode.  Yes, I type this blog post in the Diagnostic startup mode.

The Art of Concentration: Day 1

For many years, I did not doodle in meeting.  I did not doodle in classes.  I did not doodle in my spare time.  What I did, was grab a piece of paper (any size) draw some black lines on a page, and color every other section on the page until the page was full.  During computer classes, I would open up Microsoft Paint and do the same thing.

Some people may call it OP Art, Optical Art.  I never got that detail.  I never tried to create an optical illusion.  It just was lines on a page.  It was like a game.  If helped me from falling asleep in meetings and classes.  I could do this task and still pay attention to what was going on around me.  In computer classes, the people sitting behind me would watch my monitor as I was creating a piece.  Microsoft Paint was always installed on the computers, even if games or the internet was not.

The rules were:

  1. Draw black lines on a page.  Circles, squares, squiggly lines, it did not matter.
  2. Color every other section
  3. If you were brave, use multiple colors.  Sections of the same color not could touch.

I am going to try over the next few days to repeat this experiment.  I am going to call it the Art of Concentration.  Even though, this art work sound simple enough, it requires concentration.  You have to figure out what section to color.  If you lose concentration, you may color the wrong section.

Today’s piece, I thought is was something simple.  Wrong!

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Now to color every other section:  Where did I go wrong?

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Flower Madness

To figure it out, I created the line drawing in Corel Draw and created a bitmap.

AofC Flower BMP

I opened the line drawing in Microsoft Paint and colored the page.  Paint vs. paper – if you mess up in Paint, you can correct it.

AofC Flower

If you would like to try coloring the page, I have created a PDF.  Click Here.  You do not have to color the same section that I colored, just pick a section to start.

You can also find it on my newly created Coloring Page.

3D Printing – The Easter Egg

Yesterday, I designed an Easter Egg using Tinkercad.  Today, I printed the Easter Egg.  Creating the Egg in Tinkercad is easy.  They have a egg object.  Hollowing out the egg is easy; copy egg, reduce the size, make it a hole, align the solid egg with the hole egg, and group.

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Making the two egg halves with the crack was more complicated than making the chick.  The chick is two circles for the body, two circles for the eyes, two flatten and stretched trapezoid for the wings, the heart shape for the head, and Tinkercad’s  chicken foot object for the feet.

To see how I created the crack in the egg, check it out here.  Note:  I am working on other cool chicks, so the design my change.

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I probably could have made the chicken bigger, maybe I will.

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The egg was printed on Ultimaker 2+ printer.  I read that beta version of the Cura Software allows more control over supports.  Yay!

Tinkercad – the free, online 3D CAD app

Amazon Echo Show Privacy Shield

I do not believe that Amazon is spying on us, but there are a numerous hackers in the world.  And, getting dressed in front of a camera….

This privacy shield is for the Amazon Echo Show to cover the camera.  It will put the device to sleep because it can not detect movement in the room.   You can still access the three buttons on top of the device with the shield installed.

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The Camera is in the top center of the device.

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I put “Alexa” on the shield because that is the wake up word for the AI.

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This gadget was made with Tinkercad, and is published on Thingiverse and YouMagine.

Tinkercad, the free, online 3D design and 3D printing app.

Clackers

It all started on Facebook and someone saying “Do you remember…”  Yes, I do remember Clackers, they were fun to play with, but dangerous (will at least in today’s world.)  We would get hit with one or both of the glass balls and go ouch or whoops.  However, in today’s world, they are safer than the Tide Pod challenge.

My 3D printer and I were not getting along, so we both took a break from each other.  After the Facebook posting, I decided it was time to put the print back to work.  And, one of the simplest thinks to design and print would be a ball with at hole in the middle.

I used Tinkercad to design it.  5cm ball with a hole in the middle.  I then did the thing I been regretting for a while, I cleaned, oiled and balanced the printer.  The first print failed, the item was not adhering to build plate.  Failure.  I rebalanced the build plate.  Failure.  I removed the build plate and cleaned it with soap and warm water and rebalanced the build plate.  Success, I had one ball for my clackers, so I printed a second one.

The string is only nylon string with a loop tied at the top and a knot at the end of each ball.

My family have official declared me weird.

 

Stand For Fluid Painting

Fluid Painting can be messy.  You pour paint over the canvas and it drips over the edges.  What a mess!  I am not a clean freak, just a person working in limited space and I need my table to draw and do other things.  So far, I have limited myself to 4″ canvases, and I have a 3D printer sitting right next to my work table… I decided I would design and print a stand for my pour paintings.

The maximum print size of my Ultimaker 3d printer is around 8 inches, width and length.  The height can go up to around 12 inches.  So, this project was perfect.

The catch basin is 5″ square, or in my design world 127mm, and 1″ (25.4mm) high.  Just in case different colors dropped from the different edges of the canvas, I divided off the catch basin and add drain notches.  It didn’t need it, but I placed pegs to hold the stand, and divided off this compartment to keep paint off of the stand.  It took around 11 hours to print.

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The design was done in Tinkercad and export as a STL file.  The file was imported into Cura and where a .gcode file was made.  I used the “normal” setting because the “fine” setting indicated it would take 23 hours to print.  Therefore, some warping occurred because of the setting and because I select not to add a Brim support.

The stand was also designed in Tinkercad.  It is 3 inches high.  The break in the structure allows for air to flow under the canvas.  It took around 4 hours to print.

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The notches on top of the stand, allows me to put some other type of support under the canvas to lift off, in case I want to reuse the stand before drying is complete.

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The finished product.

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The colors, yes I used Color Shift paint by Folk Art and grab the black and 4 other colors.

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The test.

Ok, some of the holes leaked.  The center dividers should have been larger and I did not pour out of the basin as I expected.  I do not know if I am going to tweak the design and reprint it or not.  Probably.

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I did get a cup (one ounce) out of the basin.  It should go nicely with another pour.

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