Hurry up and get busy!

My days are filled with waiting for things to get here, research for my current projects and working on the other projects. My current list of projects are upgrades for my printers mainly things to keep it trammed in and such(waiting on a camera for the pi, shipping from China), the hydroponic stuff(lots of research, mainly), working PCB Cyclone(printing, printing, wait on mail) and my robot which is still in the design stage.

The printers are at a very stable stage, so basically just doing maintenance and minor things to them such as adding octoprint and things that make them easier to use. Going to have figure out a way or four to make them into a money stream, because filament ain’t free yanno! Been doing a few side jobs with them for friends, mostly just to practice and get a home cooked meal, yay for living alone. I’m still in awe of what they can do, they are tools that can make other tools and that is really awesome.

The hydroponic garden is my main focus, lots of research such as what plants share the same pH needs and such that requires a megaton of research to even get started. It’s quite complicated, especially if you are trying to maximize space and conserve on resources all the while trying to make it as hands off as possible. A very steep learning curve that requires a huge time investment, but there’s lots of information on the internet which is a boon and a bane at the same time. The great thing is that I can keep tweaking things till I get them right and I have 3D printing capability to either repair broken parts and make new designs that can be tested almost immediately.

The PCB Cyclone that I am working on is another fantastic tool(I hope), that makes other tools(again, I hope). It’s basic design is pretty awesome, my plans are to make it safer to use. I’m incorporating an emergency stop button that will cut the power to the entire machine so that it’s safe to put fingers, hands and tools in it’s enclosure for maintenance, upgrades and placing and retrieve media from it’s build volume. Guess, I let that cat out of the bag about making an enclosure to not only contain it, but from experience smaller tool ends tend to be more fragile than their larger counterparts and I really don’t want to get hit by a tiny runaway piece of metal that moments before was spinning several thousand RPM. Plus, it will help contain the debris that is the byproduct of milling fiberglass backed copper, and improve the vacuum’s ability to keep such out of the build volume.

During this time of waiting for the postman and amazon drivers to bring the various bits and pieces that are going to be incorporated into the various machines, I’ve been designing a robot that isn’t a toy to get bored with due to lack of functionality. To be fair, the current design is a rough draft and a way to hammer out problems like battery charging, drift compensation of the tracks and environmental surfaces and creating, testing and modifying subsystems when it is costing a few bucks for different key components, filament and print time. Ultimately, my hope is to design and build something that is somewhat close to having an assistant, which with the current technology is most likely a huge over reach.

Lots of stuff to do, to design and and work on.

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