It Has Been A While

So I am finally back at doing what I love. Making things.

I haven’t posted her since June of 2018. That is over three years of not being super active. I have been working at a machine shop first as a drafting estimator and moved up to being head of their quality department. It is a lot of work, and sometimes weird hours. It didn’t really leave me with a lot of time – or energy – to make much outside of work. The other par of the reason I haven’t spent my time creating was due to lack of space. I didn’t really have space in the studio apartment I was renting, nor the one bedroom I moved into. That part has definitely changed. I have rented my own art studio and moved almost all of my art stuff in. I still have some of my stuff at my apartment, but it is coming over in small increments. I figured it was the same amount to rent an individual space as it would have been to move into a two bedroom apartment. And this way I get some of the home/art separation.

I spent the first week in the new studio painting and getting things setup. I bought a better computer than the 2011 Macbook I had been using. It was far too slow for what I want to eventually accomplish. The downfall to the new computer is having to get new software and transfer all of the files I have on all of my different devices so that they are all in one place. I am also trying to justify the cost to buy Rhino 7 for this computer. I have Rhino 5 on the Mac, but it is slow as I mentioned before. Rhino is great for a lot of things, and it is what I learned CAD on. I have Fusion 360 on this computer, and it too is good for some things, but I prefer Rhino for most of what I do.

$1,000.00 is a lot for a piece of software.

I also bought a new 3D printer. I gave the Anet A8 to my brother for his birthday a few years ago. He enjoyed taking it apart and putting it back together with new and better components. He hasn’t really printer with it much though. He says that any time he wants to feel like a failure he takes out the 3D printer and tries to make something. It really was a finicky device. I guess I had just gotten used to its quirks because I had used it so much. The new printer is a Creality CR-10 V3. Gotta love plug and play devices. It came mostly assembled, which was a god send after the ordeal of putting the Anet together. It took a little leveling after that to get it running.

It is funny though, because I was having trouble getting a good print out of it. I found out what was wrong by accident. I was helping a friend try to figure out how something went together when a piece popped off and went flying. As I was looking for it I saw a random cable sticking out from under the right side of the printer. I was really confused and looked at what it was attached to and where it was supposed to go. Turns out I had missed the connector cable to the right side stepper motor. Well, I plugged it in and my print instantly improved.

Yah… Not my smartest moment.

Now it is printing like a champ. I even got some wood filament again because I remember how much I really enjoyed working with it. The downfall to filament purchasing now is that my favorite brands do not exist anymore. Worksteel white was my favorite white, and I think that company went out of business. ZYLtech made a really good wood filament, but that isn’t available anymore either. And Aluminum filament has drastically increased in cost. $49 for a 0.5kg roll is way too much. There are a lot more filaments now than when I was printing years ago. I even found some carbon fiber filament that though pricey would be so much fun to try out. And the colors. OH! THE COLORS! There are so many to choose from it is hard to pick just a few and stay within a budget.

I did make one thing while I was a some kind of hiatus. A penguin. He is absolutely adorable. He started as a doodle, then I made a 3D model of him, then I did a 3 color print. He is designed to kind of snap together with locator pins.

He never really came out perfect. It is a project that I am going to continue working on. I tried printing in PETG with him. It is not my favorite material. It turned out really stringy. I ordered some new filament to try making him with. The biggest problem I had was with getting the white front plate to print right. I always ended up with some gapping. I will be working on solutions to that.

I am also still working with my bunnies. I am picking up The Warren project again. I need to find my files for it though. That will be the hard part. I think they may be on my brother’s server somewhere. I will have to go Madison and do some digging for those. They got pulled off the Mac when we wiped it and loaded new OS on it. I could try to remake it, but it won’t be the same. I have a few people who rent studios at the space with me that showed some interest in participating in the project.

There is an even coming up at the House of RAD call Feed Your Soul and I am going to try to have a display set up of The Warren to see if people who come to visit for the event want to participate in the project. I just remember how much I enjoyed working on it last time.

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