Author: Luis Rodriguez

3d Printer Filament box done quick

Keep your filament dry! Filament used for 3d printers will absorb moisture from the air and damp filament prints very poorly. With Buffalo’s high humidity and our printer being run in a basement, we absolutely need a dry box for our spools. We ordered parts ahead of time, slammed this box together in an afternoon, and then baked our spools to rid them of moisture.

We’re using a large plastic bin for storage, teflon tubing to run from the box to the printer, and pneumatic connectors to ensure the filament feeds smoothly into the tubing without snagging. A large pack of silica gel keeps the box dry over time. Our basement also has an additional air dehumidifier that we keep at 50% to prevent mold growing on our wood/mdf surfaces.

Supplies:

  • Sterilite Air Tight Bin, fits about 8-10 reels. (Amazon)
  • 5-10 Meters of PTFE Teflon Tube OD 4mm ID 2mm (Amazon)
  • M5 Lock Nuts, 1 per reel (Amazon)
  • 5mm Male Thread 4mm Push in Joint Pneumatic Connector, 2x per reel (Amazon)
  • Scrap Wood Strip
  • 608ZZ Bearings, 4x per reel (Amazon)
  • DRY&DRY Silica Gel Desiccant Packet, Rechargeable (Amazon)

Tools:

  • Power Drill
  • 5mm or 3/16″ Drill Bit
  • 1/4″ Drill bit or larger
  • Sander/Sandpaper (optional)
  • Rubber Mallet, Optional but makes it easier to fit bearings
  • Oven

3D Prints

 

Preparing the Feed Strip:

This strip is where the filament goes from dry air to the printer. Drill holes (3/16″ Drill Bit) about 2cm apart on a strip of wood. I drilled as many as I could to future proof my design.

 

Bevel the holes to clean up the edge and give the filament room to wiggle (1/4″ Drill Bit).

 

Sand to prevent splinters and clean up drill shavings.

 

Screw in the pneumatic connectors to the bottom of the wood strip. Threading the holes with an M5 bolt made this much easier. If you’re fancy you could make a real tap from a threaded rod or bolt but we don’t have time for that.

 

We mount it on our shelving with some more M5 bolts. It locks in just like the shelves.

 

Preparing the Bin:

Drill holes (3/16″ Drill Bit) through the bin lid. Clean off any plastic shavings that may be left. Our bin holds 8-10 spools depends on their width.

 

Screw in the pneumatic connectors from the top.

 

On the underside, use an M5 nut to secure the connectors. The coated nut also helps the filament feed smoothly.

 

Connecting the two together:

Cut tubing to connect the feed strip and the bin.

 

Cutting the tube caused some burs that interfered with the filament. Clean up the end with a blade. Slightly widen the end with a round tool (screwdriver, pencil, etc) to help insert the filament.

Connect the two ends.

 

Supporting your Reels:

Using the design from Thingiverse, print off as many spool rollers as needed. We picked this roller because the two halves are independent, allowing us to use the same rollers for various width spools. Another option is using a rod that goes through the length of the bin, but that would be a nuisance with so many spools. If your bin is only 1 or 2 spools then a rod would be a good choice. I may end up using double sided tape to secure them firmly in place if they move too much.

Use a mallet if necessary to fit the bearing into the guide.

 

Now that the spools roll freely, push the plastic into the tubing and out the wood strip.

 

Finishing off:

Adding your Silica Gel Desiccant Packet. I recook mine about every 6 months. Warning! Not all packets are reusable, please read the instructions for your specific packet.

  • Packet Reactivation:
    • Oven for 2.0 hrs at 200°F
    • Oven for 0.5 hrs at 250°F
    • Microwave for About 10 Minutes at DEFROST.
    • Bonus: Free packets located in shoe boxes, and other items. I date them and toss them in there. Just trash these after 6 months.

 

  • Reel Dehydration:
    • ABS: 4.0 hrs at 180°F
    • ABS: 6.0 hrs at 160°F
    • PLA: 6.0 hrs 100°F (your oven may not go this low, you can try a food dehydrator, untested by us. Let us know in the comments)
    • PLA: 4.0 hrs 105°F (your oven may not go this low, you can try a food dehydrator, untested by us. Let us know in the comments)

 

More images:

433MHZ More Things for Smart Things

Finally – off the breadboard and into a working environment. It’s currently working for 433mhz sensors, I will possibly be adding more frequencies later. For now I will continue refining the code to release it on github.

 

Day 1:

A few issues. I accidentally flipped the polarities on the siren. I will eventually implement a 12v regulator to up the voltage for the siren for the full 120db power.

 

Day 2:

My cat set off one of the motion sensors at 6AM, activating the siren. I need to adjust the sensitivity or get pet-friendly motion sensors.

How to get a free Nest E (1/2018)

Share the Love. Get a Nest.

Ready to upgrade your home with a free Nest Thermostat E while helping your friends and family access a cleaner energy experience?

When you refer 5 people to Arcadia Power, you’ll receive a Nest Thermostat E and up to $25 per friend that becomes an Arcadia Power member.

Nest Thermostats combine smart technology with energy-saving features to help you reduce your monthly energy costs, saving people an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.

To get started, invite your friends and family through your dashboard or by sending them your own personalized link. You can keep track of how many friends you’ve successfully referred in the control panel.

Get Started

Complete Smart Home Setup

 

I wanted to talk about my smart home setup from the ground up. I have many articles describing my setup in pieces but not everyone gets an entire overview of everything I have setup here. I don’t have a mansion or anything fancy like built in sprinkler/irrigation, so this will be more catered to your average city home.

 

The Assistant:

Google Home and/or Mini manage my random routines that aren’t part of a automation rule. Going to the basement to do laundry, or going to sleep at random times. I can just send a command and google home will handle it. Link your SmartThings account and Google Home together for best results. Give all your devices aliases to make it easier to command via Google. I want one located in every central room of the house, Kitchen, Living room, Master Bedroom.

Control Center:

What controls my entire setup and why I chose this hub vs others. My only hub is a Samsung SmartThings hub. This manages just about everything in my home minus the security cameras. I did heavy research on many hubs including Wink, IOT (hub-less), and Phillips hue. Why SmartThings?

Continue reading . . .

SmartThings zigbee vs Dome light cover

For Christmas my mother got a full smart home kit. Samsung SmartThings, sengled bulbs, google home. After pluging everything in the hub was having issues. Finding all bulbs in dome covers. I removed the glass from the dome cover and tried again with no luck. Afterwards I removed the bulb from the socket and put it in a lamp. Detected and added to smartthings fine in the lamp. Readded it to the dome cover and it works now!! Seems all I had to do is add it to the network beforehand so that it joined the zigbee mesh network. Has anyome faced similar issues?

SmartThings + Vision Micro Switch [Update]

How to get a cheap smart home that actually works. Vision Micro switches lets you use the old fashion switch and also continue to use your old bulbs. Instead of paying $10-30 per smart bulb, you pay around $25 for a single or $30 for a 2 relay switch. 2 relay switches help you save a ton more money, you can use one for 2 gang boxes saving you 2x more money ($15/switch). If you think about it, most ceiling lights have 2-3 bulbs, Why buy so many bulbs when you can buy a single switch.


Continue reading . . .