After doing some initial ECG experiments with a simple Arduino shield,
I got my OpenBCI from Kickstarter just in time for 31C3.
For the time being, I'll use this blog posting to collect some links and notes until I get things sorted out.
Much of the OpenBCI documentation on the official site and source code repository is still unwritten,
so I need to do a lot of hunting, gathering, guessing and experimenting.

Results so far:
  • I see clear signals with lots of SNR for muscle movements and eye movement
  • The OpenBCI_GUI app has way too little in the ways of signal analysis.
  • I'm having trouble using my Olimex EEG designs in BrainBay with the OpenBCI

Getting started





ECG/EOG/EEG experiments

I'm a backer of OpenBCI  but they still haven't delivered.
(Other people have, 3 days ago)
So I just ordered myself a "Shield-EKG-EMG" from Watterott.

I managed to get my heatbeat.
(That's the easiest you can do.)
Next step shall be tests of Electro Oculography (electric eye tracking).

Just some notes for myself:


Signal is in the range of 1mV peak to peak .
Eye-blinking artifact is very strong.
50Hz line noise must be removed (of cause). (notch fiter)
low-frequency cutoff to 0.02 Hz
high-frequency cutoff 50Hz


Accuracy tesing 3D scanner

I want to know how well the Sense 3D scanner together with the Skanect software (since the Sense software only works on one computer per scanner and is pretty much crap without CUDA) captures mechanical dimensions.
Both in terms of absolute dimensions in millimeters (scaling of the entire part) and in terms of relative sizes of components to each other.

As a first test I scanned my camera. It's a small object and I had an error of about 10mm for a 130x70mm part in all 3 dimensions. Not very good.

Then I scanned my face.
Cleaned up that scan in Skanect, then NetFabb, then Meshlab (because the free NetFabb version doesn't allow you to fix some errors unless you buy the pro version).
Then imported that mesh into Geometric Design (my CAD program with 3D scanner and -printer integration).
Designed a mask with no allowance (not even under the nose or in the eyes).
Printed that mask on my Ultimaker II using default settings.
result?  It fits my face perfectly!

I'm currently waiting for a FabScan Cube to also scan small objects, where the Sense failes and am waiting for Skanect to support my higher resolution Kinect V2 for Windows. (I'll try the libfreenect2 software on MacOS/Linux next week.)


Im Labyrinth der Telekom

Ich habe einen Business-Tarif. 3 SIM-Karten, nutzt viele Daten (>2GB), nutze ausgiebig die Telekom-Hotspots in den DB Zügen/Bahnhöfen/Mc Donalds, LTE ist mir egal, iPhones auch, telephoniere kaum 5 Minuten im Monat und verschicke keine SMS.
So weit so einfach.
....bis man mal auf der Website von T-Mobile seinen Tarif vergleichen und ändern will.

Ok, ich kann nicht mehr.
nach Wochen kann ich in diesem verd****** Labyrinth von Website bei T-Mobile mich weder einfach mal als Kunde einloggen,
noch meinen Tarif ändern
noch die Hälfte der Tarife ohne "nur für Neukunden",
weder mit "Mit Surfstick", noch "Mit Tablet zum Basic-Tarif"  noch "Mit Tablet zum Premium-Tarif"
 überhaupt sehen.
Geschweige denn mal sinnvoll vergleichen.
Man wird mit seitenweisen PDF Formularen zum ausdrucken ,ausfüllen und per Brief schicken belästigt um sich im Business-Bereich einzuloggen obwohl man schon 3 Logins hat.
Ich will keinen Lieferstatus für ein verd***** iPhone, LTE interessiert mich nicht die Bohne,
es interessiert mich nicht was ihr für bunte Preise gewonnen haben wollt,
ich will nicht noch ein neues Handy,
ich will keine @t-mobile oder @t-online Addresse,
kein Adressbuch, kein Spotify und keinen Kalender!
Ich will einfach nur meinen Tarif für meine Nutzung mit den aktuellen Angeboten vergleichen und bequem ändern können, wenn mir das Vorteile bringt.
Und zwar ohne mich erst zu Arbeitszeiten in's Auto setzen zu müssen, zu irgend einem Laden zu fahren wo ich stundenlang warten muss und dann nur einzelne Details von Tarifen an den Kopf geworfen zu bekommen ohne übersichtlich die Kosten mit allen für mich nötigen Optionen gegenüberstellen zu können.
Das kann doch nicht so schwer sein das Kerngeschäft eines Mobilfunkanbieters zu betreiben.
Jeder schmierige Versicherungsvertreter kriegt das besser hin!


Micro Mesh Pad Holder

I'm using Micro Mesh mini sanding pads (regular and MX) extensively.
So I designed myself a pad-holder that would
  • keep them sorted
  • allow them to dry (wet sanding)
  • tell me the coarseness
  • have symbols to roughly compare the coarsness of regular and MX pads
  • interlock to extens this sorting system
  • add a module for bottles of Mr Surfacer while I'm at it anyway

I printed these on an Ultimaker II. Every module needs about 7 hours using the Cura medium quality default settings.


Adventures with a Sense 3D scanner

I have a problem.
I got a used 3D Systems "Sense" 3D scanner as an Amazon warehouse deal.
(Same manufacturer as my CAD Software, so they integrate perfectly.)

The package did not include the activation code.
Some former user has already activated the software, so I can't activate it.
Amazon has no information about the former owner, so they can't contact him/her.
3D Systems does not answer the phone on their German hotline.
So I just sent them an email about the issue....maybe they can reset it or give me an activation code.

Update: Wow! After 17 minutes I git an email with an activation code asking for my user-name, so it can be associated with my account. That's damn fast customer service!


  • I'm using 3D Systems Geomagic Design as my CAD software. Since they don't have a MacOS version, it runs in a VM with Windows XP.
  • The Sense software installs on XP but crashes on start. Only Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 are supported. :(
  • The Sense scanner registers with Windows as a Carmine Primesense and works with Skanect just like a Kinect but has MUCH BETTER RESULTS then an XBox 360 Kinect V1 sensor. (My Kinect V2 for Windows is not supported yet.) Also more ergonomic to handle.
  • The MacOS Sense software is not signed by a registred developer, so at first MacOS refuses to execute it unless you enter the system settings and add an exception for this program. 
  • On MacOS the Sense software FREEZES MY MACBOOK during entry of the activation code. No mouse or keyboard anymore. Not so on my desktop iMac.
  • The Sense software looses track every 2 seconds where Skanect works just fine, display a white page instead of the scan result and offers only ".ply" as an output format, no STL.
  • Displays a static image on the iMac. The movement commands for touchpad and 3-button wheel-mouse don't work (with a 1-button mouse).



After Autodesk 123D Catch didn't work at all even given a perfect series of photos,
I'm now trying to get VisualFSM to work.

...stay tuned.


I just found the FabScan project of RWTH Aachen.
Aparently back in January it was still quite buggy but nowadays you can get complete kits and there is a very interesting 2-laser + Z stepper spinoff being developed.

This blog post is basically for myself so I don't forget these links. ;)

Rooting Jiake P6

I finally managed to root my Jiake P6 non-camera phone.

"Root Genius"  (worked)


ADB method (did not work)

using the MTK or the Google driver
MKT Driver won't be offered as a driver for this phone after install


Kinect V1 with diopters

Intended use

My CAD program of choice is Geomagic Design (started out as Alibre Design). Since the last major release it can import meshes (and even directly use 3D scanners of the same manufacturer) and convert these into solid geometries.
I already used these features heavily for 3D modelled meshes of organic, artistic parts.
What I want to do is use it's advanced features of reconstructing technical parts with flat surfaces, right angles and precise holes with an affordable 3D scanner.
So based on the promise that Skanect will support the Kinect V2 on the day of official sale, I preordered one with Microsoft half a year ago.

Current status 

Skanect still didn't deliver the promised Kinect V2 support and i am tired of waiting with my Kinect V2 in hand.
Thus I got myself a used XBox 360 Kinect V1 and am testing Skanect on MacOS with it to get some first experiences with 3D scanning using this device. Hopefully these will help me get better results with the Kinect V2 later.

...the 3D scan results are terrible so far.
Small object (size of a hand) are not much more then a blob with heavily rounded features.
It may be useful for object the size of a human, maybe barely useful for entire faces as long as dimentional accuracy is not important (no masks that actually fit well) but not for smaller objects.
I'm looking into hacks that may improve this by reducing the minimum focus distance and thus concentrating the low resolution fully onto the  (small) object.

+3 diopters didn't help at all.

Stock Kinect

Minimum focus distance in normal mode: 80cm  (1/0.8m = 1.25 dioptrien)
Minimum focus distance in near mode: 40cm  (1/0.4m = 2.5 dioptrien)
Near Mode is Kinect V1 for Windows only
Accuracy: 2-3mm in a distance of 1.5m
IR resolution: 640x480 but only 1 depth value per cluster.

Kinect V2 has a slightly lower IR resolution (only the color camera is FullHD) but 1 depth value per pixel.

Reading glasses hack

Literary taping +2.5 reading glasses (technically a dioptre[UK]/diopter[EN]) in front of IR-projector and IR-camera seem to reduce the minimum focus distance from 40cm to 35cm. Object appear 1.2x larger. (Based on the report in the thread below)

Normal Mode:
+2.0 result in 1/(1.25+2.0)  = 31cm  minimum focus distance, 1/2.0=50m maximum focus distance
+2.5 result in 1/(1.25+2.5)  = 27cm  minimum focus distance, 1/2.5=40cm maximum focus distance
+3.0 result in 1/(1.25+3.0)  = 24cm  minimum focus distance, 1/3.0=33cm maximum focus distance

Near Mode: (Kinect V1 for Windows only)
+2.0 result in 1/(2.5+2.0)  = 22cm  minimum focus distance, 1/2.0=50m maximum focus distance
+2.5 result in 1/(2.5+2.5)  = 20cm  minimum focus distance, 1/2.5=40cm maximum focus distance
+3.0 result in 1/(2.5+3.0)  = 18cm  minimum focus distance, 1/3.0=33cm maximum focus distance

I know that these also exist in higher quality as "near filters" for macro photography. I even used one of them on the Raspberry Pi camera to make it focus on closer objects to mount it on a Makibox 3D printer.

Single lens diopters cause color-halos.
Dual-lens diopters, called achromatic lenses correct these issues. (Obviously made for visible light while we are working in infrared)  There are achromatic lenses for the infrared spectrum.

You should not use a diopter stronger then 20% of the focal length of your lens.
The Kinect IR lens has a field of view of 57.8°, putting it in the 40mm ballpark.
So everything below +4.0 should be fine.


Settings for ReconstructMe 

(I'm using Skanect where I can't use them)

camera_size_x: 640
camera_size_y: 480
camera_fx: 514.16
camera_fy: 514.16
camera_px: 320
camera_py: 240
camera_near: 100
camera_far: 2000
volume_size: 512
volume_min {
x: -250
y: -250
z: 400
volume_max {
x: 250
y: 250
z: 900
integrate_truncation: 10
integrate_max_weight: 64
icp_max_iter: 20
icp_max_dist2: 200
icp_min_cos_angle: 0.9
smooth_normals: false
disable_optimizations: false
extract_step_fact: 0.5


Geomagic Design - Mesh to Solid suddenly missing

Update: FOUND IT!  You can scan meshes in the parts and the assembly editor but only in the parts editor are the other tools visible. Very confusing UI inconsistency. There's no reason this wouldn't just create a new solid part in the assembly editor.

My Geomagic Design suddenly decided to no longer allow me to convert Meshed to Solids.

That's the sole reason I purchased the last update.
I had positive email confirmation that the features would be in there (they where not on the website then, only in the promotional video for the new version) and based on that information I shelled out the money for the extended support contract that would give me that update.

My license states "Geomagic Design".
(Not "Geomagic Elements")
The website states that this feature is included in Geomagic Design.
I still used that feature extensively in May after having extended the support contract in March.
Now in October this most important feature is suddenly gone.


White Ultimaker II studio case

Due to my work, I travel A LOT.
So as with my TravelCNC I'm custom making a studio case to keep my Ultimaker II 3d printer safe.
Since the Ultimaker has a nice, white case, the studio case is going to white too.

It will not be sound-proof with Basotect foam but use a hard foam to stand on and keep the Ultimaker II centered and a soft foam for padding.

You REALLY want to use buy a pneumatic rivet gun for this.
Mounting 150 rivets by hand alone is tiring, very loud and takes weeks.
...as opposed to silent operation (except of cause the compressor recharging since cheap rivet guns take a lot of air volume) of a few hours.



I never got my 2 SYSCLK DX - USB oscilloscopes to work with their Windows software. So now I'm trying to buils the unstable version of sigrok pulseview and sigrok-cli on my Mac...

 The stable command line version seems to detect and identify the device but I can't figure out how to tell it what device to use to do any actual stuff. Last step doesn't seem to work.

bash-3.2# brew install --HEAD pulseview
==> Installing pulseview dependency: cmake
==> Downloading https://downloads.sf.net/project/machomebrew/Bottles/cmake-3.0.2.mavericks.bottle.tar.gz
######################################################################## 100,0%
==> Pouring cmake-3.0.2.mavericks.bottle.tar.gz
🍺  /usr/local/Cellar/cmake/3.0.2: 1641 files, 26M
==> Installing pulseview
==> Cloning git://sigrok.org/pulseview
Updating /Library/Caches/Homebrew/pulseview--git
==> make install
1 error generated.
make[2]: *** [CMakeFiles/pulseview.dir/pv/view/viewport.cpp.o] Error 1
make[2]: *** Waiting for unfinished jobs....
make[1]: *** [CMakeFiles/pulseview.dir/all] Error 2
make: *** [all] Error 2
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/build.rb:194:in `dump': can't dump anonymous class # (TypeError)
    from /usr/local/Library/Homebrew/build.rb:194:in `rescue in

    from /usr/local/Library/Homebrew/build.rb:179:in `
Error: marshal data too short
Please report this bug:
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/formula_installer.rb:511:in `load'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/formula_installer.rb:511:in `block in build'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/utils.rb:239:in `ignore_interrupts'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/formula_installer.rb:505:in `build'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/formula_installer.rb:181:in `install'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/install.rb:118:in `install_formula'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/install.rb:45:in `block in install'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/install.rb:45:in `each'
/usr/local/Library/Homebrew/cmd/install.rb:45:in `install'
/usr/local/Library/brew.rb:131:in `


BMPCC display shade

I finally got around to design something again.
It's not perfectly refined yet but doing it's job.

I have a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with the Zacuto Z-Finder.
But often I don't want to use the Z-finder on my eye, yet I need something to keep the sun out.
So I designed this parametric display shade to attach to the Zacuto's quick release frame for quick swapping.


Ultimaker II - first impressions

So I have my Ultimaker II for a day now and these are my impressions so far.


It is super reliable IF before every print I freshly level the bed, then extrude some filament into thin air using the maintenance->expert->move filament function.
For that the extruder usually needs a bit of manual push on the filament.
Maybe it retracted AFTER cooling down too much, maybe it wants to start moving to early, I don't know. It certainly starts up with a bit of grinding every time.

As for reliable, my first prints where 16 and 15 hours. while I slept and while I was away at work.
Haven't done that since the RepMan 3.0 days.

You do hear a little bit of skipping all the time but it does seem to work fine nonetheless.


is easy enough to use, maybe a bit too easy.
I cannot set the name of the gcode file when using the "export" button (I probably can using the menu).
I cannot see what the 3 default settings are to just modify one or two parameters (such as infill).

Build times are very accurate and everything works very well so far.
The Ultimaker II does display a "time left", something I've never seen before as it requires out of band information from the slicer or a complete simulation of the entire g-code including acceleration and time to change temperatures. However for a 6 hour print it did jump from 6 to 15 hours and then to 5.

Cura does seem to have an issue in deciding how to support curved surfaces on a 20% infill grid.
It likes to start and stop flat areas right in the are between infill grids.
This does work out 2 or 3 layers later.

Also beware that a "Fast low quality print" will not be water tight in any way.

What next?

Next I'll prepare a specially shaped plastic bag to protect the filament mounted on the back from dust to prevent blocked nozzles.
I couldn't get +-0.05mm filament at the moment, so I ordered some +-0.1mm and will switch in a few weeks.
I also ordered a custom made stage box to transport the Ultimaker, just like I dd with my TravelCNC.


Ultimaker II

Shortly after my Kinect II (Skanect doesn't support it yet),
I received my Ultimaker II.
It's not a perfect tool but still the most reliable 3D printer I have ever seen!

Both my Makibox 3D printers (one heavily upgraded, one in stock conditon) are still for sale.
They work.
It's just that what I need is a reliable workshop tool and a $300 3D printer just doesn't reach that level.

Same as for my TravelCNC I ordered a custom made flightcase for it.
But this time I'll have a pneumatic rivet gun instead of doing this manually. ;)
I'll also custom make some plastic sheets to protect the mounted filament from any dust.
My suspicion is that my frequent filament stalls did have something to do with the slightly dusty environment. I vacuumed the filament spool regularly but there would always be some dust on it.


TravelingCNC gets a new spindle

I tried to replace the fried component in the spindle control but only managed to destroy that board completely.
Since Carving-CNC didn't answer and I could not find out the technical details to get a compatible board,
I went the easy way.
I'm replacing the 230W spindle with a 300W one that is supplied with 48W instead of require a heavy transformer spool.
Since I already have a heavy 48V supply for the steppers that should reduce the weight considerably.
For the time being I'll keep a separate supply for the spindle until I'm sure electrical noise is not an issue.


TravelCNC broken

While installing homing switches on my TravelCNC,
I replaced the broken component in the spindle driver that only allowed to run at full speed anymore.
Result is...the spindle controller is now fully broken.

So currently I'm looking at getting a new 600W spindle+controller from China or to invest a lot and get a spindle with automatic tool changer, controller box and silent, portable 8 bar compressor.
That would be a huge and great upgrade but I'm reluctant to shell out that kind of money right after ordering an Ultimaker 2 for 2000eur. :/


Makiboxes for sale

My two Makiboxes are for sale!
1 Makibox A6 HT with added heat-spreader on stock hotend. top Acrylic broke and some scratches but nothing that affects performance.
250eur fully assembled including 1 spool of ABS.

1 Makibox A6 H6 with E3D hotend, Airtripper extruder, Raspberry Pi+Wifi+Camera
350eur fully assembled including 1 spool of PLA.

Both sitting in Germany. Can be shipped via DHL or Hermes.

Anyone interested?  =>  Marcus@Wolschon.biz


My Makibox status

I have 2 Makiboxes.
1 stock Makibox A6 HT and
1 Makibox A6 HT  with an Airtripper V3 BSP extruder and E3D V5 hotend but missing a working mount for the E3D.

I have given up on the Makibox and am willing to sell both.
That Makible is in trouble with it's investors doesn't help the case.
An Ultimaker 2 is already ordered.
Nonetheless I'm sitting in the GPN Karlsruhe at the moment trying to get both to work reliably.

I upgraded the stock Makibox to the new firmware v42 with PID autotuning.
(You use PID autotuning with the M303 command described here.)
I'm using it to print this E3D v5+LM4UU mount for the other Makibox.

PID results of stock Makibox:
< 02:45:13:  Clasic PID --  PID settings:
< 02:45:13:   M301 P7627 I57 D630
< 02:45:25: ** PID Autotune Cycle: 5 **
< 02:45:25:  bias: 39 d: 39 min: 199.00000 max: 201.00000
< 02:45:25:  Ku: 49.65638 Tu: 12.33100
< 02:45:25:  Clasic PID --  PID settings:
< 02:45:25:   M301 P7627 I61 D587
< 02:45:25: PID Autotune finished !
< 02:45:25: Place the above command in console to change the PID settings.

Result: IT WORKS. Pretty rough movement, so low in detail but it works now!
Printing more replacement parts while it still works.


Experiment failed

I tried the experimental Makibox hotend upgrade Jaywward made for me.
Without a fan it didn't work out.
I'll have to try with a fan next.

I'm getting more and more frustrated with the shortcommings of the Makibox. :(


Makibox: E3D hotend installed

    The modification

    I gave up waiting for the experimental Makibox hotend upgrade.
    So as planned, I finally got my new E3d hotend.
    Last weekend, during Easterhegg someone 3d printed me a mount for it.
    I pretty much followed these instructions.
    Except that I made a different modification to the Z endstop, that can be seen below.
    I wanted my endstop to be adjustable. (See the photo below)


     If you have the PrintRboard (first generation Makibox machines), you need to swap some cables after the firmware update:

    From the top down the end-stops are:
    * e-stop (move Y endstop cable here on the PrintRboard)
    * z endstop
    * y endstop (remove this cable)
    * x endstop


    The E3D version 5 bowden 1.75mm hotend works great!
    The Airtripper versioon 3 BSP extruder works great!
    The hotend mounting has about 2mm of play in Y.
    I'll replace it with a modified version that uses LM4UU linear ball bearings as soon as the bearings get here.
    The final line is: I CAN 3D PRINT AGAIN!!!!! :)



    Makibox - the next steps

    The default hotend of the Makibox is ...crappy.
    The thermal barrier is not enough to print anything larger then a test-cube in ABS or PLA. Even with no retraction at all, the filament above the heater block expands and stalls even the strongest extruder after 30 inutes of printing. (Using the supplied Makible filament and higher temperature settings. With Makibox-supplied default settings it's much worse.)

    I already have a stronger and spring-loaded extruder and a thinner bowden tube. They help but alone they don't solve the issue. They just postpone the failure.

    I'm currently waiting for a modification from a forum user in the US that adds a cooling block to the existing hotend. The modiciation is as simple as screwing it on and mounting a fan.

    In parallel I already have an E3D hotend version 5.
    During Easterhegg I'll try to find someone to print me a mount (or another mount for LM4UU linear ball bearings) for that and follow the instruction of user my_makibox to install it.
    If not, that mount looks simple enough that maybe I can CNC mill it out of a piece of wood.
    (Having E3D print a mount for me was not avaliable when I ordered my hotend.)
    Not that is does require a firmware update because it has a different thermistor.
    my_makibox supplied a compiled firmware here .


    CNC6040 updates

    Just to give everyon an update:
    This weekend I made a few modification to my larger CNC.

    The new E-Stop button got it's cable properly mounted to the wooden case I build.
    Just below the thick glass front.

    Proper sockets for 3 end-stops have been added. The original end-stops I got where too small to fit mechanically but bigger ones where in stock this weekend. They have not been installed yet.
    I'll install them together with bellows to protect the Y axis from dirt and shavings.

    The probe input didn't want to work when using 5V from one of the Enable-outputs of the PLCM-B1 breakout board. I added a separate 5V supply just for the tool height probe and it works now.
    Here is the answer from Purelogic regarding this issue:
      Hello Marcus,

      Thank you very much for your notice.
    You are right that you need another power supply for external sensors.
    PLCM-B1 has too many inputs and we could not place another on-board power supply which could power all inputs. (Of cause we could make it, but will be too expensive and large).
      Small on-board power supply with limited current (for ex. enough for 5 inputs only) can cause more problems because not all users read a manual carefully and they can easily overload this power supply. Nevertheless this way seems most right for me now.

      We will consider your notice in feature. Thank you very much.

    Oleg Gladyshev,
    Purelogic R&D, Russia. 

    The earth cable of the spindle VFD got ripped out. I repaired it and secured it somewhat better.

    The power sockets for all parts of the CNC are now permanently screwed onto the frame and can no longer fall off due to the drag of the heavy cables.

    My cheap MACH3 remote is still acting up. The jog buttons get stuck and the machine just keeps moving.
    I replaced the keyboard with the flaky USB port and the constant USB attach/detach cycles no longer mess up the communication of MACH3 via Ethernet to the PLCM-E3p+B1 boards.

    For the smaller TravelCNC I managed to drill an XL timing belt pulley from 5mm D-shaped to 8mm round shafts. It shall replace the 3D printed one I made a while ago because that one developed some serious backlash after 6 month of usage.

    I will give a small workshop on CNC machining for people who have used only 3D printers during Eaterhegg next weekend.


    Accidentally deleted FreeCAD development VM :(

    I just accidentally deleted my FreeCAD development VM. :/
    Now I need to download my empty VM again, checkout my own GitHub repository, add the upstreams of the other developers, the main upstream and then continue developing.


    Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 25fps endurance test


    25fps, 180° shutter, ISO800
    2x Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB
    USRobotics dual UHS-1 USB card reader
    manual lens, drawing no power for autofocus or optical stabilisation.
    focus peaking ON

    Test 1 raw

      20min 3 seconds of raw footage.

    Test 2 raw

    BMPCC stops at 19min45sec with 48% battery having filled up the 64GB card.
    However it starts blinking a "card full" message after about 15min of recording.
    29649 frames
    Resolve reports just: 19min 45sec
    40minutes to transfer footage to iMac
     => you can't run on 2 cards, dumping one while the other is being recorded to.
    59.538.769.788 Byte (59,59 GB on disk)
    29.649 frames
    3min 33sec to erase all files on the SD-card

    With the remaining 48% battery
    19 minutes 45 seconds (exactly like before down to the second) onto another SD card.
    After 15min 11 seconds the "card full" message starts to blink.
    2% battery left
    transfer to PC: 42min
    59.370.355.068 Byte (59,44 GB on disk)
    29.594 frames
    Resolve reports: 19min 43sec

    With remaining 2% battery left, the camera nearly instantly shuts down in an attempts to record some more.

    Test 3 ProRes

    39min 43 seconds of ProRes before the battery and not the SD-card ran out.
    There was enough space for another 4minutes 52 seconds


    CNC6040 upgrade

    I finally found the time to finish the upgrade of my large YOOCNC 6040 from the USB control board (that was already a huge improvement and now works in my smaller TravelCNC) to the russian PLCM-E3 and it's huge breakout board PLCM-B1.

    The 4 existing axis all work fine now, both E-Stops (on control box and on the machine) work as does the tool-height-probe input and I have the ability to upgrade to 5 (and even 6) axis later.
    I actually want to do that when my "SimpleMultiAxisCAM" is finished.

    The dozens of inputs and the 6x 250V 6A relays are not used yet.
    I'll connect the 2 E-Stop buttons and the Probe input later.
    The relays will probably be used to control the water pump for the spindle cooling water and the compressor for my existing mist-cooling for metal working.

    6 axis,
    15 inputs,
    16 outputs,
    6x 250V 6A relays,
    controlled via Ethernet and with proper optocouplers and galvanic isolation.
    I'll not use the PWM feature as my spindle is controlled via RS485.
    28 leds for all axis and inputs can e wired to the front of the enclorure.
    ...what an upgrade.
    BTW: That breakout board is HUGE.

    I also found the reson for the "stuck axis" and the "connection lost" issues.
    The stuck axis seems to be a fault in the chinese MACH3 remote control and the "connection lost" a faulty USB keyboard that detaches and reattaches from USB and messes up the system for half a second each time.


    Makibox Hotend and power improvements - Version 2

    This is my second attempt to fix the issues of the Makibox hotend.
    This time In added a number of large and small M4 washers and placed my fan deeper.

    Also: Powering the fan and Raspberry Pi from the same 12V supply seems to cause random crashes of the Makibox firmware. Particularly when it's supposed to start heating the hotend. I have gone back to powering the Raspberry Pi via a second power supply and am observing the situation to confirm this as the cause.
    Result: It still crashes. Something else must be at fault. Searching...

    The washers are perfectly cool.
    The PID control has a hard time reaching target-temperature and usually stays 5°C below what the hot-end should be at. I will need to change the PID settings or block air flow from cooling the hot zone instead of just the washers and shaft.
    The bed needed to be leveled again because the length of the hot-end changed a bit.

    The TEST PRINT FAILED AGAIN with the same filament stalls as all the others.
    At the time of failing the washers where perfectly cool.

    Second attempt:
    I changed the target temperature to 218°C.
    This is a temperature that worked well before and has less mechanical resistance because of lower viscosity.


    Third attempt:
    I changed the target temperature to 190°C.



    Makibox Hotend and power improvements

    After switching to the AirTripper V3 BSP extruder, I wanted to improve the hotend to finally get reliable printing...

    But the first thing that happened was, that the BSP connector of my extruder ...fell out.
    I did add a small heat sink and a 12V fan to the top of the hotend.
    Since I cannot prevent heat from creeping up from the hot zone to the parts of the hotend that are supposed to stay cool. the intention is to cool the upper parts and dissipate as much of that heat as possible.

    While connecting the 12V for the fan, I also connected power for the camera-equipped Raspberry Pi that lives inside the Makibox.
    Beware that you need a gas powered or very strong electric soldering iron to solder anything to this PCB. It dissipates all the heat you put into it before the solder has any chance to melt.

    I'm currently testing the setup.
    The hotend is staying at 235°C for an hour and I'm touching the upper part to feel for any warmth every now and then.
    I already know that the "L" shaped heat spreader does get warm to the touch during long running print jobs before friction due to expanding filament above the hot zone ruins the print as even the strongest extruder cannot push hard enough to overcome this.
    The "L" shape stays cool while the threaded part and the M4 nut at the top of the threaded part of the Makibox hotend is too hot to touch.
    The TEST PRINT FAILED AGAIN with the same filament stalls as all the others.
    Either this isn't the issue at all or I need a way to cool the threaded filament tube above the hot zone.

    >>> Part II


    Weekend update

    Just a quick update on what happened recently.

    large CNC:
    I'm still waiting for my PLCM-B1 Breakout-Board to fix some electrical noise issues due to not having opto-couplers at the moment.

    I'm bringing some wires and small parts to change the wiring to use new stepper drivers.
    The original, chinese ones where rated far above what they could survive. (advertised as 50V, used at 48V, rated at 45V absolute maximum)

    Blackmagic Pocket camera:
    I got my Pocket Speed  Booster (0.58x, +1,33 stops) and 50mm f1.4 as well as 30mm f1.4 lenses.
    I did find a used Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM but it was no longer for sale a day after.
    I'll soon make a comparison of
    50mm f1.4 +SB
    30mm f1.4 + SB
    25mm f0.95 Voightländer
    17.5mm f0.95 Voightländer
    25mm f1.4 Leica
    12-35 f2.8 Panasonic
    CCTV f1.4 C-mount lenses for 2/3" sensors

    4 axis CAM for FreeCAD:
    I'm stuck. My plugin compiles but there's no .so file being generated.
    Aparently I don't understand enough about cmake.

    Makibox A6 HT:
    I'm bringing some parts to add a passiv cooler and a cooling fan to the cool part of the hotend.
    After exchanging the extruder this seems to be the root cause.


    Using an AirTripper extruder on the Makibox A6

       Because of frequent filament stalls on my Makibox A6 HT, I'm currently upgrading to a different hotend that (hopefully) can transfer more force onto the filament. That should allow it to overcome added resistance in the hotend due to heating and thus expanding filament. That in turn would make the printer more reliable.
      Problem 1
      The stock drive gear is 9.5mm away from where the filament would be with the Aitripper V3.
    Solution: Get an MK7 Drive Gear Pulley (for 1.75mm filament).
    It came out the best for this purpose in a nice test.
    Don't install the MK7 just yet! Read to the end first!

      Problem 2 
      The BSP Air Tripper has a thinner bowden tube.
    Solution: Cut an M4 thread into the end of the tube, place an M4 nut on it.
    Now it will be compatible with the Makibox hot-end.


      Problem 3

      The shaft is too short to hold the MK7 drive gear in reverse.
      Also the hole in the MK7 is tappered, so you cannot even insert the shaft into the other end and need excessive force to push it on the right way.

    Obviously spacers of 4.5mm for the stepper motor are needed.
    You need to print this space before installing the MK7 because you can't get it off anymore.
    You need an allen key of 1.4mm diameter for the grub screw.
    Also the long screws need to be 11mm longer (6mm for the acrylic, 5mm for the spacers).
    Thus M3x41mm or M3 threaded rod is needed.

    Solution: M3 threaded rod, 4x2 M3 nuts as spacer, 4x M3 nut for mounting

    Problem 4
    Let's mount everything up!
    The Makibox has only 3 mounting holes.
    The Airtripper only needs 3 bolts.
    ...different 3 bolts then the ones we have holes for.
    Solution: an M4 nut can mount your extruder on top of the Makibox through one of the air cooling slits.

    Problem 5
    So let's do a dry-run first!
    You can't push the filament through.
    The exit-hole and the center of the BSP connector are not aligned and the filament hits the wal of it's hole with no way of manual intervention. Force can't overcome this issue.

    The photo shows the abolute maximum how far you can insert the filament.
    Solution: none yet. You may get it to push through with excessive force and trying serveral dozen times.

    Note 6

    The new drive gear is larger.  You need to multiply a factor of 0.57 to the amount of filament to transport in your slicer settings.


    3d printable quick relase - spring loaded

    It's done!
    I managed to design a quick release adapter.
    It uses a cloth peg spring for the arm and has a second spring (from ballpoint pens) to keep the arm open until you push down with your camera to lock it in place without touching the lever.


    Makibox A6 HT - reliable Slic3r settings?

    I may have found reliable setting for the default extruder of the Makibox A6 HT!

    It finished several prints from 5 minutes to more then 3 hours without any manual intervention.
    Something I haven't seen since I own this printer!
    There is some grinding and blockage but only every 1-2 days and for obvious reasons (plastic blobs accumulating in the parking position,...)


    Do all the tuning steps. Especially check the stepper motor reference voltages.
    Make sure the X and Y axis and the hot end are loose enough to slide without any unusual sounds and nearly no force at all.
    Make sure the springy plastic wheel in your extruder can rotate. If not, use a round file to widen the axis holes slightly. I filed a small filament-shaped grove into the surface of the wheel to reduce pressure to the filament.
    Oil the trapezoidal rods of X and Y axis, the smooth rods and also the 4 plastic axes of the filament reel holder in the back.
    Insert the filament spool into the back of the machine

    Make sure the machine is cool (hotend less then 60°C) before you start printing.
    Make sure the outside of your nozzle is clean. (Don't care for the hole.)
    Always retract the filament until it is completely outside the hot end after printing.
    Before starting to actualy print, manually insert the filament until it has overcome the barrier between bowden tube and the actual hot end (there's a slight change in resistance and a noise), then slooooowly go further until you feel the resistance of the plastic hitting the bottom of the extruder.

    Basic settings

    I started with the default Slic3r profile "A6 General (HT PLA) v0.3" from Makibox.
    Then I did the following modifications:

    Printer Settings

    1. Leave layer height at 0.2mm
    2. Leave the first layer height at 150%
    3. Speed: Reduce External Perimeter and Perimeter speed to 20mm/s
    4. Advanced: Extrusion width of First Layer: 200% 
    The first layer needs to stick. So we push out twice as muchfilament as needed, to make sure it does.
    The slow perimeters help making round holes round instead of D-shaped.

    Filament Settings

    1. Increase PLA temperature from 193°C to 218°C
    2. Leave printer bed temperature at 60°C 
    The increased temperature lowers viscosity and thus the force required by the extruder.
    Thus reducing filament stalls due to the extruder grinding.
    It also makes the first layer stick much better.

    Printer Settings

    1.  Reduce retraction speed from 70mm/s to 25mm/s
    2. Reduce the retraction from 4mm to 2mm.
    3. Increase "minimum travel after retraction" from 2mm to 4mm (At least twice the retraction.)
     Together with the increased temperature this seems to prevent filament stalls due to the extruder grinding.

    CAM in FreeCAD progress

    I'm making very slow process on porting SimpleMultiAxisCAM to the unfinished FreeCAD CAM2 module. I'm slowly getting a good understanding of how everything works but there are a lot of parts in the CAM module and Geometry classes that I still need to understand. Currently I'm working on it every thursday, when the local hackerspace meets. See here for my plan and status.


    More 3d printed camera equipment

    I'm finally back to 3d printing and it feels good!

    That $300 Makibox is so much more reliable then my old $1225 Thing-O-Matic (notice how the press release says "reliable" and "fully automatic"? My Ass!)!
    The Makibox does have filament stalls and sometimes prints are slanted but nowhere near the issues I have with the Makerbot Industries ToM.

    So here are the latest things I have designed and made:

    A Zoom H6 version of my old Zoom H4n remote control grip for camera rigs....

    3d printable quick release plates (including a printed, custom bolt).
    Adjusted to be able to still open the battery compartment on the GH2 and GH1 cameras.

    I'm currently working on a 3d printed quick release adapter using common cloth peg springs and ballpoint pen springs, new shoulder rig parts and a GoPro version of this quick release plate.


    3d printed quick release plates

    Actually I finished these on thursday but I wanted to publish them only after I checked them with every tripod and quick release adapter I had.

    The nice thing is, that this also fits the Calumet adapters (different edges) and that the cutom bolt is also 3d printed (with a slight rapper to make using a thread-cutter after printing easy).

    Of cause everything is parametric, so you can choose between 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 and any depth for the bolt.

    I'm currently working on designing the quick release adapter too and to make custom versions of this one (e.g. with a GoPro socket on top, a hot-shoe, a 15mm tails mount or a microphone mount.)


    My design sold on Shapeways...but not by me

    Aparently some user named "Next Copter" has copied one of my designs.
    Version 2 of my GoPro to NERF rail connector including all photos to shapeways.
    I'm publishing this design as Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA,
    that means NON COMMERCIAL
    that means ATTRIBUTION
    that means SHARE ALIKE
    that means the design, I didn't license the photos at all.

    I have already contacted the Shapways abuse department and am waiting for the legal identity of the offender and how many he did sell there.
    Then I'll decide about further steps. Update: Shapeways informed me that another copy by a user named "Svenstead" has appeared.


    Using OctoPi with Slic3r instead of cura

    I installed OctoPi onto a Raspberry Pi embedded in my Makibox A6 HT 3d printer.
    The development brance allows experimental slicing on the Raspi.
    However it only allows to select a cura executable and config-file.
    So here are the steps to do the same with Slic3r:

    ssh pi@octopi.local

    git clone https://github.com/hendricksonrw/OctoPrint/tree/cura-integration

    wget http://makibox.com/tl_files/support/slic3r_configs/slic3r_configs.zip
    unzip  slic3r_configs.zip
    cp slicer_config/A6\ General\ \(HT\ PLA\)\ v0.3.ini slicer_default.ini 

    git clone git://github.com/alexrj/Slic3r cd Slic3R
    sudo perl Build.PL #this will take a LONG time and 1 or 2 tests may fail

    vi cura_dummy

    # ['/home/pi/Cura-13.01-linux/Cura', '-i', '/home/pi/cura_profile.ini', '-s', '/home/pi/.octoprint/uploads/Spritzen-Brett.stl', '-o', '/home/pi/.octoprint/uploads/Spritzen-Brett.gcode']

    echo ----
    echo ./slic3r.pl –load $2 -output $6 $4
    echo ----
    ./slic3r.pl -load $2 -output $6 $4

    chmod a+x cura_dummy

    Then enter
    "path to cura" = "/home/pi/Slic3r/cura_dummy"
    "path to cura config" = "/home/pi/slicer_default.ini"


    FreeCAD development VM

    It took me an entire afternoon to set up a development environment for FreeCAD.
    ...so I'm publishing the ready made environment including kdevelop as a virtual machine.

    For use with VirtualBox but the HDD is compatible with qemu.

    The best option to extend the disk space is to add a second, virtual disk and mount it as /home/freecad/source or similar.

    If there are issues where a (X)_python3.3.cmake file cannot be found, it may be required to change "python3.3" to "python2.7" via sudo in the respective (X).cmake file.

    Developing a CAM for FreeCAD

    This posting is just a list of links and notes for myself on how to get started contributing to the CAM project in FreeCAD.


    Ultimately my aim is to integrate my SimpleMultiAxisCAM code for 4 and 5 axis CNC machining as a TPG (tool path generator) that post-processes the toolpath generated by another TPG. It shall add the inverse kinematic needed to use the 4th and 5th axis to follow the surface normal. Where that is not possible due to the tool or collet colliding with another point of the part or the machine, it shall try to follow the surface normal as close as possible.

    CAM2 notes:

     'Tool Path Generator' (TPG) include a 'Geometry' setting.
       This 'Geometry' setting includes a list of object names from the current file.
     cam::Paths accepts these geometry names
       looks for those that are based on the Part::Feature class (and hence have a TopoDS_Shape reference).

       recursively iterates through the TopoDS_Shape objects until it finds the TopoDS_Edge objects.
    It assembles these edges into lists of contiguous edges based on their endpoints.
    The Cam::Path class does also allow Cam::Point objects to be contained so that point-based operations such as drilling, tapping, counterbore, boring etc.

       Stored these contiguous edges.

       represents a single 'curve' (i.e. line, arc, or spline, bezier curve).


    For new developers:


    large CNC converted to Ethernet

    I did so much on the TravelCNC and the new Makibox 3D printer that all work on my large (very non-mobile) CNC got delayed quite a bit.
    This weekend I finally got around to convert it from shielded USB cables to Ethernet.
    The board was already capable of this but obviously I needed a way to supply 5V power when the USB cable was no longer used.

    As a test-project I finished a very custom too-shelf for my tiny workshop out of scrap wood.
    I tried to do deeper cuts into wood to use more of the actual cutting length of my thick 10 flute cutter and not wear out the tip as much but everything below Z-1.5mm was problematic.


    Makibox with embedded Raspberry Pi

    My Makibox is finally printing fine except for some MacOS related random freezes during long prints.
    So I'm currently working on repling the desktop PC altogether and integrating a Raspberry Pi directly into the case of the Makibox.
    Thus it will be remote operated via WiFi/Ethernet and a secured web UI.


    Since I used MacOS, it was difficult to just DD the image onto the SD card.
    (You can't do that while it's mounted and while it's not mounted you are missing the device entry.)
    So I downloaded a small utility program to do that for me.


    SSH was already configured. Pasword pi/paspberry. WiFi was already configured sans the networks keys.
    With sudo I could easily edit the wpa_supplicant config.
    At first it didn't want to boot unless Ethernet was connected.
    I don't know why it works now.


    My plan is to connect the Raspberry Pi camery but I haven't done so yet.
    Octopi does support it.
    There  is a nice swivel camera mount here but the base doesn't slice correctly with Slic3r and it is missing the back of the camera PCB case.


    (Not done yet)
    The Printrboard inside the Makibox seems to already provide 5V that I could use to power the Raspberry Pi.
    GND Pin 6
    5V Pin 2

    Physical mounting

    I'm working on it and will post the design files and STL exports on YouMagine soon. (No Thingiverse for me any more, sorry.)

    Printer Settings 

    You just need to set default temperatures and feedrates for jogging.
    For some reason Octoprint/Octopi are not interested in the physical limits of your printer at all.

    On-board slicing

    Very experimental, so I haven't done that yet.
    Here is the tutorial.


    To update Octoprint on the Raspberry Pi, just SSH into the board and git-checkout the newest version.


    The Raspberry Pi has one very important issue.
    The SD card slot may loose contact at any time.
    When that happens you get an "internal server error" in the middle of a print and cannot do anything via SSH because you are lacking all commands and files because...your file system is suddenly gone.
    You can apply pressure to the SD card to counter this effect.
    My Raspberry mounting above contains a pressure arm for that purpose.


    Leaving Thingiverse

    I like Thingiverse!
    I put this step off for a long time, hoping for the best.
    But Makerbot Industries has gone way too far and I can no longer support that site by hosting my designs there. Sorry.

    My personal Makerbot Industries history?

     For my first 3d printer I decided on a RepMan 3.0. Back then the Makerbot Cupcake was out and it was clear that it had a ton of design flaws and was shipping with mistakes lots of others had already fixed in their designs.

    When Makerbot Industries announced the Thing-O-Matic it looked like they had fixed their issues and had a new printer that was so reliable, it could print dozens of parts on a conveyor belt unobserved during the night. (That's what the official promo video showed a timelapse of after all.)
    I was wrong. It was to be 2 years of fixing and tuning and replacing parts of that printer.

    After such an experience I skipped the Replicator.
    I learned that Makerbot doesn't release upgrade kits for their designs to fix hardware issues they know about.

    Then a lot of features from Thingivere was removed (Bill of Materials, selecting required tools) that I had used up to that point. That got me quite upset but I didn't leave as there was not good alternative at that point.

    Then they turned turbo-capitalist.
    With the replicator II they stopped publishing hardware plans and switched to closed source software.
    That step caused huge waves and a lot of people left Thingiverse and started alternative sites and a lound #OccupyThingiverse move.

    I am subscribed to the Thingiverse Blog's RSS feed via a Reprap feed aggregator.
    It turned out that the Thingiverse Blog became but a tag on the Makerbot blog.
    Okay, I don't like that but I can live with that.

    Nowadays the Thingiverse Blog's RSS feed consists entirely of Makerbot Industries marketing spam.
    Not a single of these postings even mentions the word Thingiverse anymore. They are about Makerbot Stores and stuff.

    Now the Thingiverse site login became a "Makerbot login". It's clearly no longer an independent site that happens to have a ton of Makerbox banner ads on it.

    The last bit was their CES show now.
    Chipped, proprietary filament cartridges in non-standard dimensions. This is a move I can absolutely not tollerate.
    I'm leaving.


    The most prominent alternative and the one I'm leaving for seems to be
    Youmagine (It is operated by Ultimaker.)
    They seem to be quite fair and open at the moment. I would have liked something not bound to any printer manufacturer but there is no better alternative now.

    Youmagine allows me to include embed a design iFrame into this blog similar to embedded YouTube videos.
    I guess I'll use that feature a lot.

    My current plan is to keep the Thingiverse entries but remove the files and add a link to my Blog (most already have that) and to the Youmagine entry. Let's see if this will trigger any abuse response but I hope not.
    I'm planning to use that opportunity to clean up many old designs, add more technical drawings,... .

    I am thinking of having a copy on GitHub using this GitHub template for 3D printed projects.
    The  problem with the GitHub -approach is that there is no index listing all  designs hosted where and that GitHub itself may at one point choose not to give free resources to projects that are not software at all.

    About Youmagine

    It's pretty new and still being improved at a very quick rate.

    As far as the relation to Ultimaker goes, for the moment it seems to act only as a sponsor.
    I would however really like an official word about this. Company managements change and so do their opinions.

    It has this "send to 3d printer" button. It takes me to "You are not authorized to access this page." and I can't see a way to disable this or how it would ever select what file (if many) to send.

    I get to have a Bill of Materials again! Yea!!!

    I can't see anything about version control or deriving designs from other designs. The later feater I found quite important as you can navigate this ancestry both way. It was however seldomly used. Most designs I ever found are write-only and nobody ever improves on them. (Heck, hardly any 2 people use the same software or software able to import the original file. So people are often stuck with reverse engineering a design from an STL export.)

    There is an empty "" block when editing a design. No idea what it means.

    As for Creative Commons licenses: There is a nice feature "download printable attributions tag for this design" feature!

    About Images: I cannot remove automatically rendered images for STL files. They will always be shown next to my uploaded images.

    Profile page: You have to look up your password first. If you forget to enter it you are warned. Entering it THEN however takes you to the login page and after that all the text you already typed it lost. :(


    Makibox issues

    After I assembled my Makibox last night, I ran into a number of software issues.

    Firmware: current 2.11
    OS: MacOS

    1 Lockups

    Makible 5D Print in Google Chrome

    In layer 5 of a test shotglass it just stopped and locked up. Wouldn't resume after power-cycling the printer and using the pause+resume function.
    No error messages.

    No manual jog controls for the extruder or Z axis => can't quickly move the head to a safe height and retract the filament after a failure.


    Stock Pronterface/Printrun with Makibox settings.
    I can jog each axis but loading any gcode and executing it, nothing happens.
    It stays in line 0 (line 0 is a comment), doesn't heat up, doesn't home, nothing.

    Update: gave Pronterface another try. This time it started printing but locked up just like 5D print did. So clearly this is a firmware issue or an issue in the common codebase (5D print started with a fork of Pronterface or so I've reat.)

    Pronterface is incabable of stopping a print.
    Pause, Reset, Stop, even Disconnect doesnt work. On Disconnect it executes the last 2 lines of g-code over and over again.This means the firmware has a bug and doesn't forget about already executed commands. At most it should finish the current command and then stop!


    I tried RepetierHost with these settings.
    I cannot navigate to any but the first page in the preferences window. ("Host", "Slicer", "3D visualisation", "Colors")
    It seems to not update the graph or textual output of the current temperatures.
    Do NOT check the "( ) printer sends OK even after error" box for the Makibox to work.

    ....it just locks up like all the others.

    Temporary solution: I switch from a Macbook Pro to a desktop iMac and a different USB cable.

    • On the MacBook Pro with MacOS 10.9 "Maverick" the printer just randomly locks up independent of the host-software used.
    • On the iMac with MacOS 10.8.5 this doesn't happen.
    • It seems to happen less on the iMac when I move the mouse every few minuted to prevent any kind of light sleep mode.
    Currently investigating the USB port power requirements as a possible reason.
    (Original Printsboard allows for being powered by USB or internal regulators from it's stepper/heater power supply.)
    If so, a powered USB hub should solve the lockups.

    Solution: Raspberry Pi with Octoprint

    2 Stalls and filament grinding

    At random points in the print, the filament stops.
    The drive gear has ground a hole into the filament.
    The filament above that hole is nearly half ground away by the drive wheel.
    1. Repeated the bed leveling and all the tuning steps on the Makibox support page
    2. The hole for the axis of the plastic wheel in the extruder was too small. sanded it and the wheel now spins freely. (all injection molded parts where oversized on this Makibox.)
    3. Raised the temperature of the supplied "makibox HT test cube v0.2 PLA" from 192 to 218°C.
    4. Retract the filament after printing. Don't leave the filament to cool inside the hotend. Don't re-insert it before the hotend is <120 br="">
     Currently testing....

    Possible next steps:
    1. Sanding down the surface of that springly plastic wheel to reduce friction.
    2. lubricating the rods and the axis in the extruder.
    3. Designing a different extruder with multiple drive-gears to increase grip without increasing pressure on the filament.

    3. Slanted prints

    ...still working on this issue.
    1. Check your stepper voltages. Maybe go slightly above the recommed 1.45V reference volrage
    2. Check that your axis and hotend aren't fastened too tight.
    3. Check the motor coupling for breakage or being loose
    4. Check the bed-leveling bolts.
    5. ...TODO


    Assembling my Makibox

    I received my Makibox HT and am trying to assemble it as per the
    assembly instructions.

    General improvements

    • Label the bags!
    • Numerate and label the parts! 
    • Slot and tap contructions are always tedious. Especially in soft materials. It would have helped to tapper the taps (or the short side of the slots) of the slots to make insertion easier without affecting final stiffness. I get the impression that nobody ever thought about tollerances and how the parts have to move during assembly. A 5mm peg does NOT fit a 5mm hole. You make a 4.99mm peg and a 5.01mm hole!
    • Other kits often include 1 extra back with 1 instance of each bolt type used. So you have 1 spare in case one gets lots and don't get confused with having bolts left. (because they come in an extra bag)
    • The direct drive extruder is extremely prone to  get stuck and grind into the filament. It cannot transfer enough force, so a leadscrew or at least 2 driven gears on either side would have been a better idea.

    Step 1

    • There is a vertical feature on one of the 170mm parts that is missing in the drawing. Thus being confusing.
    • Makible should label the parts by having a number be part of the mold. So you can refer to them.
    • Step C looks like there are 2 of the parts used in step B. Image isn't clear enough.
    • Use larger allowances for shrinkage in their taps

    Step 2a+b

    • My kit was missing the M4 washers
    • The only M4x8 bolts in the kit have a different head (round) then in the image (flat).
    • ...and need a different size of hex key then in the video.
    • You need a broad screwdriver to hold the part for step B because you can't hold these with your fingers. (Too tight thread). In the video this is done by hand using the larger hex key...impossible in my kit because the bolts needs the smaller hex key and the part is made out of a denser material. One way is to clamp the screwdriver between your legs, hold the plate with one hand and very carefully turn the hex key with the other hand.
    • The round parts have no thread to hold the M4x8 bolts but these types of bolts are not ment to cut their own thread (That's why you need pliers. To force them).

    Step 2c

    • A limit switch on the Y plate collides with a motor mount of the X plate. They don't fit. It looks like the limit switch on the X+Z plate is 4mm too long for it's position.
    • The M4x8 bolt thus can't reach the box on the other side that it is supposed to cut into. :/
    • Solution: That small, rectangular tab at the base of the cylindrical motor mount should not be there.
      If blocks the end stop and thus prevents the plates from matching up.
    • Problem: That M4x8 bolt is way too short! If you can, get a longer bolt to replace it!

    Step 3

    • If you have magnetic (metric) hex keys, that could help in the fiddling with these tiny M3 bolts.
    • As always with steppers, check the orientation of the cable in the drawing to sew how to insert the stepper.
    • The image is not showing where one of the end-stop cables has to go when attaching the Z stage. 
    • The z axis in step C has no bolts securing it in place. It falls right of then you lift the assembly to continue with step 4.

    Step 4

    • There are multiple parts that fit the drawing in 4a.
    • The parts added in 4a will fall off during 4b-d all the time.
    • 4d: You have to bend the thick wires to fit through the slots.
    • In 4d the on-off switch is not shown in the drawing and it it completely unobvious where it has to go.
    • Doing 4b before 4d makes fiddling the plug trough in 4d more tiresome then it needs to be.
    • In 4c it is not obvious from the drawing what part to use. (2 parts fit,  4 parts look like the drawing. 1 part is correct)
    • Seriously....Makible wants you to join about a dozen taps at once? In a tap&slot construction with no tapper and 0 allowances? Did they ever assembly any tap&slot or T-slot construction before? This is insane!
    • Tools required: flat rasp and mallet!
    • The bolts are too short to compress the parts together!

    Step 5

    • This step requires some force. It would actually be easier if the part was not pre-assembled because the rods block the way for the hex-key.
    • For Step 5 B and C the flat part is one of the metal parts.

    Step 6

    • easy

    Step 7

    • 7b is tricky. The bolt has to cut it's own thread, yet there is not support form the other side. Why the plastic part had not been designed to fit is a mystery.
    • Page 7 (like others) doesn't follow western reading traditions of left to right and then up to down. So make sure where steps A, B and C are and execute them in alphabetic order.
    • The spring loaded platform is something I know from the old Repman. However this one is not good. The holes in the heated bed should be larger then the bolts! This way the plate tilts and then cants on the bolts and the springs have no effect anymore.
    • The position of the bolts makes leveling the bed and adjusting extruder height a nightmare!

    Step 8

    • 8c : I'm not sure about their way of routing the cables. I usually try to keep cables away from heated metal plates
    • Warning! The printed instructions forgets to tell you that the bowden tube has 2 DIFFERENT ends. Check this video to see what end goes where!(The end with the deeper support goes in the hotend)

    Step 9

    • I'm not sure that using bolts on acrylics without washers is a good idea.
    • Attaching the edges is very difficult without using a thread-cutter first.
    • Force the bolts into the edged first without the acrylivs, then remove them and then mount them. This requires enough force that the bolt actually gets hot (no powertools involved). Again this would be much simpler with another type of bolt that was designed to cut it's own thread.
    • Do NOT put that cable through there like instucted. It's too short later!

    Step 10

    • Yes, you have to partly disassemble your preassembled extruder. That's correct.

    Step 11

    • If you mounted your Z stepper wrong...now you'll regret it.
    • Also...what direction is X and what is Y? There is no imprinted hint! (Y is the longer axis)
    • HE?
    • HB? Maybe "Heated Bed" 
    • The drawing shows 3 endstop-headers but the board has 4. 
    • The video doesn't do the cabling in step 11 but aparently wires X and Y in some previous step. 

    Step 13

    • aparently as with any other hole nobody thought of allowances and tollerances for the hole for the power plug. Even though that hole could easily be 8mm bigger and still nobody would notice.
    • I'm not exactly looking forward to installing Google Chrome just to run the damn printer software. A standalone Java program would have done exactly the same without installing such a thing on my Macbook. I don't see why I need to enter my Google account somewhere to use my local and offline 3D printer.

    After Step 13 - Software

    1. Power up the board with the power supply and plug in the micro-USB cable
    2. Remove the jumper in the middle of the board at connector JP14
    • Right after we are told how to screw the case shut above the board..
    • I absolutely don't like that the host app is a Google Chrome app. Standalone Java already has a serial port API and doesn't require a new browser that auto updates without asking me, no knowledge of my Google Account and works!
    • Installed the Google Chrome app.
    • "Über die Chrome-App-Übersicht können Sie Ihre Lieblings-Apps direkt vom Desktop aus starten." Had to search a while to find that this damn thing has nested in my launcher WITHOUT ASKING FOR PERMISSION TO DO SO.
    • 5D print says "no device". No hint how to tell it that my printer is already connected and running.
    • bed leveling is a nigthmare.
    • The PID control is not good. I tell the bed to go to 35°C...it goes to 35....then slowly to 36....37....38..stays at 38.