by John

The 6th Victorian Covid lockdown was the shortest, but seemed to hit me the hardest. It was unexpectedly relaxed after only 5 days in regional Victoria, where I live. With escalating numbers in Melbourne, and Sydney, and NSW reacting by putting its collective heads in the sand we expected the be in lockdown for weeks or months, and frankly it was quite depressing. For the first 3-4 days I did a bit of garden tidying (with a chainsaw, much to SWMBO’s horror), and time on YouTube, Ebay, Banggood and Amazon. A fair bit of impulse buying, as follows.

Paragraph deleted. My political and religious views have predictably caused offense to some of my readers. While I do not resile from any of those views I accept that others have different views, and me having a rant is unlikely to be at all persuasive. So I have removed the paragraph. For those who agree with my views, my apology. Any further conversation about Trump, Liberal and labor politics in Oz, and religion, will have to be in private. (I still consider Trump to be a lying, ignorant, con man, and a disaster for USA and western democracies.)

So, having offended and lost 3/4 of my readers I will get back to my little buying spree…..

Firstly, a book.

I read some good reviews about this book, and since I have had considerable frustration with my 3D printing of late, I decided to buy it. 3D PRINTING FAILURES by SEAN ARANDA.

Paper back, 298 pages, large format, large print font size, 2020 edition. Under $AUD30 including postage from Amazon.Australia.

And it looks excellent. Clearly laid out and written, lots of pictures and diagrams, and the author even gives his email address and offers expert help if there should be a problem not covered in the book.

Some of the pictures admittedly are not great quality, but the author has a service which astounded me. If proof of purchase is emailed to him he will send high definition colour photographs for download. He sent me all of the photographs within 24 hours of my request. AND, a pdf version of the entire book. AND, a promise to send me free of charge a PDF version of the 2022 edition which will be published near the end of this year!

I have cherry picked some of the chapters and I am VERY impressed. They are VERY helpful. Some random pages follow….

This book should be included with every 3D filament printer purchased. Note that it does not cover liquid 3D printers.

In my previous post I showed a photograph of the enclosure which I cobbled together from cartons and a blanket to try and avoid printing problems arising from overnight temperature drops, and draughts. I intended to make an enclosure from MDF and perspex, but while browsing Ebay came across this one.

As you can see it was not a trivial cost. But when I factored in the difficulty in obtaining the materials during the lockdown, and the fact that the commercial one claimed some fire resistance, I bought it.

It came today, and with some levering of the cover on the frame, it assembled quite neatly, tightly, and well. Here it is with my printer.

As you can see the electronic control box is outside the enclosure. There is a flap on top for those who prefer the filament reel on top.

The front and top zip open. And there is some spare room for bits and pieces. It does look slightly neater than the previously used cardboard boxes. The printer is fully enclosed, even with a build in floor. The price seems to have risen a bit since I paid for this one. Time will tell if the print quality improves. I am predicting that the print quality will improve. After reading the chapter on fire safety and 3D printing in the book above I will feel more comfortable about leaving the printer unattended with this “Fire proof” enclosure. I suggest interpret that as “fire resistant”. I will be watching temperatures closely for the first few runs.

Still on the subject of retail therapy, a couple more purchases….

This is a woodworker’s gauge from Banggood. I bought it after watching a YouTube video about its uses. Nicely made, and reasonably accurate by wood working standards. I will do a separate post about it when I have more fully explored its applications. (it is for making perfect grooves and lap joints on a table saw).

And finally, this one was a splurge, impulse buy. But something that I had wished I had on quite a few occasions when making models.

As you can see it is a pin gauge set. It is Imperial because it was a fraction of the cost of a metric set. 190 pieces of ground and laser labelled cylinders, up to 1/4″. They seem to be as accurate as my Mitutoyo micrometer can assess. It does mean that I will be committed to a moment of calculation to metric when in use. Cost? About 50 cents per piece, including the case and postage.

Fortunately for my credit card, the lockdown ended 2 days ago. I have spent a couple of short sessions in the workshop, tidying up and doing some machine repairs and maintenance. Nothing really to show. But it is nice to be back.