3D Things

I made another thing

Parametric magazine inserts for UpLula loading tool

I labeled it as a remix of this, although I pretty much jacked up the license plates and changed the car. I think I kept his variable names.

…and I finally uploaded a thing I made two years ago

Keurig Supreme Plus mug lifter

This one indirectly got me in trouble with my sister. She had emailed me asking if I could design and 3d-print a custom cover plate for her new condo, which has a peculiar thermostat design, and I answered with a series of questions about exactly what problem she was trying to solve.

She took that perfectly-normal sysadmin behavior as a refusal and dropped the conversation, only to visit my parents’ house and discover a custom-made splash-reducing mug lifter on Mom’s Keurig. She actually told her version of this story to her work friends in Tokyo while we were there, and wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise to point out that I had not, in fact, designed Mom a custom 3d print.

I designed it for me, and when Mom revealed that she had the same coffee maker and the same problem, I sent her mine. I had mostly switched to the Nespresso by that time. I made this new one largely as a test print for the new printer.

Yes, I have a new 3D printer

Specifically, the Bambu Lab X1C, with the four-slot filament changer addon. It’s a major upgrade from my old 3D45 (which I haven’t decided what to do with yet): larger build area, better tech for reliability and speed, automated filament changes, vendor support, etc, etc. The only downside is that the original Kickstarter was built around a constantly-connected Cloud Experience, which makes absolutely no sense for a device that you have to physically retrieve every print from. There’s a whiff of “AI” in the feature set as well, but at least it’s local processing on a custom chip.

I had planned to buy the new Prusa with its filament-switcher, but between the lengthy shipping delays, the increasing complaints about build quality, and the network performance straight out of the Eighties (seriously, they promise that after they fix the firmware, you could get uploads as fast as 0.3 Mb/s wired), I started looking elsewhere, and I think I made the right decision.

So far, it has delivered on every promise. The out-of-the-box experience was terrific, and I’ve had only two failed prints out of dozens, both of them my fault (although it felt a bit tragic to see the six-inch-high narrow piece fall over about three layers before it was finished, the brim was inadequate to hold it up, and the 3-year-old cheap PETG was a bit too globby, even after drying).

I don’t like the Cloud Experience, but you can work without it, and they’ve realized what a bad idea it was (mostly due to their AWS bill scaling with their sales), and are in the middle of upgrading the firmware and slicer to make it easier to work completely offline.

Also, on Saturday they learned An Important Lesson about renewing your certs: their iOS/Android app went offline when it expired, then people couldn’t reach the web site to complain, and then new print jobs stopped working because it tried to upload them to the secure cloud and then download them again. Some folks also discovered that their convenient cloud-synced profiles were missing when the cloud went poof.

Now I just need a decently-documented MQTT client so I can query the damn thing from a shell. So far I’ve only gotten one GUI tool to connect to the printer successfully (MQTT Explorer), and the command-line ones have all thrown undocumented errors.

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