My new 3d Printer

I have now gotten a Creality Ender 5 printer; which I have been experimenting with for a couple of weeks. Used nearly a kilo of PLA+ filament already. Quality of prints are very dependent on filament quality; PLA+ (from 3dFillies very good; Cocoon from Aldi, OK, no-name filament that came with the unit, crap).

It is a CoreXY style machine, uses Marlin firmware, has a ‘proprietary’ slicer based on Cura which works moderately well (v. slow to start because Python 2 – and I like Python!). Have resliced some of my OpenSCAD designs and they print quite well. My only reservation is the the Ender 5 doesn’t have autolevelling (yet!)

The Duinotech is still going, needs a cleanup and relevelling. It works quite well with the cocoon filament. The i3 clone was not finished, broken printed parts need to be reprinted and the frame needs stiffening..maybe it could be repurposed as a CNC style PCB mill or laser burner thingie..


Social media(=Facebook, etc) is taking over; I really don’t like that..

I followed yet another link from Thingiverse which pointed to yet another blocked Facebook page. Doesn’t seem much point in advertising the link publically if you have have a login to Facebook, etc to access it..

Tried it once, could make no sense of the torrent of irrelevant and rather unpleasant stuff, it then took weeks to flush the crap email from our mail server after I deleted the account (a complex job in itself). I would not go back there without an alias and burnable email account; but Mr Zuckerberg doesn’t like that…

Found another way around the email avalanche and other crap (courtesy of rellies who are up with this sort of platform…

Real soon now…

from a while back (2015!): My 3D printer (RepRap Prusa Mendel i2) is still in bits – but space is being made and I expect to start on it very soon.

much later (now); the Mendel i2 was not very reliable, it may become something else! I am now using a Duinotech TL4036 mini printer to make parts for a Prusa i3 clone which is nearly ready!

Another Year gone…

My main site, has just undergone a change which one would think be straightforward. I want to avoid copying the side menus and links into every page,; once upon a time, this could be done with ServerSideIncludes in Apache2, but it meant extra apache config and renaming all the affected pages to .shtml. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I found that JQuery can do this relatively easily. I broke out the code that I wanted to appear in every page and put it into a html page of its own, then added a JQuery script to the page’s <head> and a suitable <div> befor the main content in the <body> of the page. If you look at the page-source in your browser, you will see how it was done. My main concern was keeping all the CSS3 markup intact..


And now, The CleO is here!

fresh from FTDI’s indiegogo project, my CleO arrived last week, but I had to wait until last Friday for the necessary software to be available from the CleOstuff website .

Now it is going, here is a demo using the NerO card as the Arduino-style processor.  The stopwatch is one of the software items that comes with the CleO Arduino libraries. A neat demo of the touch screen. The rear view shoes the NerO fitted with long pin sockets that plug into the CleO device. I need to read up one the CleO commands and arguments to do something interesting with it!

FTDI have set up a CleO forum to get users together and exchange info and queries for Fred Dart and FTDI.


The IoT hat for Rasberry Pi Zero with Bluetooth and WiFi builtin!

I have backed another interesting Kickstarter project from RedBear labs – The IoT hat for Raspberry Pi Zero (etc) –  It will be good for keeping Pi Zero based devices nice and small and connected…


The picture is from the Kickstarter site and shows how small an addon card can be for a Pi Zero; since there are free (11?) GPIO pins, another hat could be added to do more stuff!

Plus the RedBear folk are looking at selling these devices for USD10 or thereabouts!!

A new (old) Arduino-like card – the Nero

I have just backed a kickstarter project for FTDI’s Nero Arduino uno like card, .  FTDI Chip is using Kickstarter to fund an open source reference design for an Arduino UNO compatible board. The NerO is based on the company’s FT231X USB UART, and delivers 5V at 1A without overheating. (from Electronics

In the past, I used the FTDI devices without any problems, and it is good to see an Arduino compatible with decent current sourcing!