This week I started assembling and trying to finish off some of the projects I’ve mentioned in previous posts:

  • Prototyping parts / Getting the Measurement Right
  • Finishing Printed Parts
  • Backlog of Todos

Prototyping parts / Getting the Measurement Right
I’ve been working on this project that combines some 3D modules/printed parts that others have made to create a pan and tilt camera setup for a Raspberry Pi Camera. In order to do so I had to create 3 separate parts in SketchUp that I then printed. It’s an interesting challenge, I made careful measurements and then printed them up, and of course, some holes were off and didn’t quite line up. No biggie, small part, easy to fix and redo but I’ve been rethinking my approach to measuring. I typically try hard to get that X & Y position right. I think the new approach is to be to measure it a few times from every edge. Like it’s 2 in from the side and 3 in from the top, then add in the far lengths, like 10in from the far edge and 12 in from the bottom. I think by doing that it’ll really help zero in the coordinate and reduce the error rather than just measuring and double checking the “easiest” measurements.

Finishing Printed Parts
I’ve been 3D printing a model that’s going to be a gift for a friend. It’s a larger piece and has some channels for some electronics that’ll go in it. This week I cleaned up the print and glued it together. For the most part the pieces came out really clean from the printer but I did have some that had supports that needed to be cleaned up. I went the simple approach with an xact-o knife, sand paper of a few grits, and some metal files. After working through it I went and found a 3d print of some sanding blocks with curves to help make the process even easier and I found out quickly that the files are great for cleaning up edges that are supposed to be straight. I used Superglue to glue the pieces, which was a first for me, and which seemed to work really well. I have to join some printed parts to some non-printed parts and I think my approach for that is going to be glue gun. On the same model I have some gaps to fill in so I was going to try Bondo and sanding for that, that should be fun, it’s been quite some time since I’ve played and shaped Bondo for a project.

Backlog of Todos / The Importance of being Bored
Finally, this week I was able to take care of some boring todos on the list. Nothing too fancy, just helping the wife fix up some furniture for our daughter and small little projects (hang a picture, fix a frame). The sanding and painting can be quite relaxing and zen-like, my mind definitely wanders on to all sorts of things. There’s been studies and books about the importance of being bored and how with phones in our hands or easily accessible we miss out on the advantages of allowing our minds to be bored and wander, and I’m a strong believer in that arena. I can be terrible with my phone, doom scrolling away, but I try to get back to this on my walks in the morning with my dogs around our HOA. (But first and foremost for me is to enjoy nature and the surroundings in the morning, don’t need a phone taking that away). My mind will go all over the place on things I need not to forget to do but then on to creative ideas and creative ways to solve problems. The same happens when I paint and sand, my mind starts to wander and starts coming up with solutions to things I’m working on before I realize it. It’s pretty cool and seems like a valuable tool to use often.

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