Tag Archives: 3D printing

3D printing

3D Printing and the Arcade Machine

So here is a bit of an interesting problem that I was able to solve with the help of Hacker Lab’s 3D printer.

So as I posted earlier, I’ve been working on an homebrew arcade machine and had to scrounge quite a bit of parts for that cause. It turns out that one of the Joysticks i managed to lay my hands on was missing a vital component, the plastic actuator that engages the microswitches on the bottom of the stick assembly.

Now, I had one good joystick with all the components and the other which was missing this plastic part. (Technically, it was missing an e-ring and a spring as well, but a quick trip to Home Depot remedied that issue.)  As I’m mulling over possible solutions to this problem – Do I really want to order this tiny plastic part? Do I really want to wait on it to come…it hits me. I have access to this amazing 3D printer. I can measure it, model it, print it. Problem solved.

It took 2 tries but I’m happy to report that I was able to print my replacement part and the joystick is holding okay. Things like this are what 3D printers are excellent for. With a little bit of creativity and unchained thinking, you’d be surprised at what applications you could come up with? What could you do with this tech?

Intro to CAD for 3D Printing – The Postmortem

CAD Class 01So if you’re not aware, I taught a class recently. Overall, I thought it was a good experience, but of course there were/are areas for improvement. It goes without saying that I am incredibly grateful to everyone that attended that class, and also to everyone that thought enough to give me their feedback. I think I could have slowed my pacing a bit, having the benefit of hindsight I now see that my schedule was a bit ambitious. I think I was so worried about not being able to get through all the material, that my speed increased accordingly. Making sure that everyone was keeping up was a very high priority for me, but I think that in subsequent classes just asking “Is everyone still with me?” isn’t going to cut it.

I’ve worked as a tutor, both formally and informally, so I’d like to think that teaching people is a skill I posess. I always like to say whenever I teach someone that I take their learning personally. I feel that how well they perform whatever task or function I’ve helped them learn reflects directly on my skill as an instructor, and indirectly, my own skill at the task. I can’t have people out there screwing up and saying Alan M. Ware taught them. I’ve got a reputation to uphold here. I don’t know if that is a reasonable position to uphold or not, but that’s the way my head works.

One of my biggest takeaways from this class is how teaching scales. That is, there is a big difference between teaching 1,2, max 5 people, and teaching a class of 20 or more. The same methods don’t always scale as well. I mean I’ve presented to large groups before, but I think that this was the first time where I’ve given a class where so much information had to be taught and (hopefully) retained. I believe a lot of my natural abilities skew towards teaching smaller groups, and now I’m thinking about better ways to approach larger groups.

Regardless, it seems that everyone who attended the class got something out of it, which is important. Also, despite whatever I write here, I think I did okay. Still plenty of lessons to apply to the next one though.