Embracing the Beast!

 

You know, when you slap yourself in the face enough times you can really learn something. Let's face it, there are no easy CAD software solutions for making your own 3D models that are free. Even the cheapest ones are like $40 a month (we all love this subscription based new era of not owning ANYTHING) or even upwards of $200 a month. If they are free it comes with a major catch like 'anything you make we own and we are gonna let everyone make money off it except you'.  

Little things like that.

Well I try not to swear but I'm tired of paying a monthly fee for every F-ing thing I have or use. Even my Internet provider tried to tell me the WiFi built into the modem/router they provide me is $5 extra a month. I said whoa there Mr. Milk and Honey, I got 3 routers of my own so take that off my bill. So yea, I actually can't use the WiFi feature that is already present in the equipment because I refuse to pay extra for it. Stop and think about that crap for a moment. It's like buying a new car except you can't drive at night because turning on the headlights costs $5 a month. Whoops, I probably just gave some corporate creep a new idea. My routers are better anyway.

Back to the topic:

So I decided to start climbing the mountain known as FreeCAD. The truly free, open source, CAD software package. It's at version 0.21 at the time of this post. That's a long way from version 1.0, and it's been between versions 0.18 and 0.21 for a few years. But there are a lot of people dedicated to the project.

You could say FreeCAD has some bugs and you would be right. You could say it is convoluted, confusing, and all the tutorials out there on YouTube often don't work because they are for version 0.??.??, and you would be also right. You could say that I learned how to do that in 60 seconds in the free version of -insert you poison- CAD ... and if I want to figure out how to do it in FreeCAD I'll have to watch like 5 videos and spend 3 hours for a simple vase/box/whatever.

And you would be right.

But it's like stopping smoking... or giving up crack. You gotta throw away your bong. Smash those little glass tubes that came with the little rose inside (umm.. so I hear) Get rid of your ash trays. Look at that last pack of cigs and say to yourself 'I know this little box of cancer sticks that has a huge warning on it that I ignore is bad for me, but I got filament to buy.' 

That may be a bad analogy for you, but that's how I stopped smoking. All the health warnings, nagging relatives, coughing, ... nada. It came down to the Benjamins and constantly being shackled to the local Stop-N-Stab to get a pack every other day. No withdrawal. Done. Just like that. It's not cold turkey, if you truly made up your mind to stop smoking or use a drug you just let it go and it's easy. No amount of nicotine patches or gum or methadone (all substitutes for a person who really hasn't made the decision to stop) will work. It is in your mind. Some people might argue with that, but I've been an addict, known a lot of addicts, and helped people quit and watched people die. 

Again I am off the rails here. FREECAD

So I said to myself, I refuse to pay anymore. I'm gonna learn how tame this beast. I'd do a tutorial, then a few days later I did it again. Ran into moments where I could just export what I got and import it into TinkerCad to finish up... but NO!! I am going to figure out how to do it in FreeCAD.

I'm really just getting started on my journey to learn all of FreeCAD, but the boat is moving ... and it's moving FAST. I can now do just about everything I could in those more polished programs in FreeCAD. I can do it OFFLINE. And I can do it WITHOUT A SUBSCRIPTION. 

Looking back, I did the same thing with GIMP. I refused to pay the insane price of Photoshop and learned how to use the fully open source GIMP program. I actually put together a very large art portfolio that made me quite a chunk of change. Like FreeCAD, GIMP is also very complex with a steep learning curve. Photoshop isn't exactly a walk in the park, but the benefit of premium apps is an abundance of up-to-date tutorials, online courses, etc.. These days I can do in GIMP what just about any fresh college grad can do in Photoshop. 

Inside of a few months, I'll be able to say that about FreeCAD. 

Peace out - Wyqid

Cool Breeze


 

Need a desk fan but don't have room on your desk? Yep, me too. So I created this wall mount kit for a 12025 (120mm square by 25mm deep) computer fan. 

Download the STL files on Printables

QR Codes - One Color Filament - Easy-Peasy


 Newest model up is custom QR Codes you can print with only a single color of filament. Check it out on Printables

The Stakes are High!

 


I've added a large garden stake collection to Printables. Over 100 stakes for marking the plants in your garden. There are all the most common herbs, veggies, and many flowers. If what you want isn't in the collection, simply comment what you would like added and I'll probably add it during my next update.

100+ Garden Stakes on Printables

The Cat's Meow

 Had to build a cat penthouse in the backyard. Had this 3.5 inch pipe sticking out of the ground I cemented in for a 10 foot satellite dish. So I 3D printed a platform to fit the pipe to mount the cat house on. Happy kitties.



New Models Posted

 It seems like I've really fallen off the edge of the flat Earth here, but I assure you I have not. I've actually uploaded several new models including the long awaited Kingroon KP5L Essential Mod kit. Check out my latest submissions on Printables



Re-Branding


I've made a little change from Wyqid's 3D Lab to Wyqid's Lab. Although it seems I've been an absentee landlord, I've been working on many projects. Some of these projects will be published simultaneously. Although the essence of most projects is using 3D printing, some will use only a few 3D printed elements and thus it's more of just the goings on in my lab. 

Current projects include:

* An RC Boat that deploys buoys.

* A ball mill for mixing chemical agents.

* Arduino projects.

* Raspberry Pi projects.

* Photography projects.

* Mindless dribble.

New Filament Rack Brackets

 Designed to hold your filament spools using 1/2 inch PVC pipe. These clip on to most wire rack shelves.


Download the STL files on Printables

Power Failure

 I'm out of POWA!!!! Seriously, I ran out of power. After adding two more printers to the farm I was throwing breakers left and right. I was feeling like Dynamo from The Running Man:


You know, after Arnold flips his go-kart over and he is like 'Go to commercial!! I have no power'. No? Guess I'm too old, you are too young, or you have never seen The Running Man. Probably all three. 

Anywho, I installed 3 more dedicated 20 Amp circuits to my lab. I've got some new designs coming that are better than ever, including a set of designs that turn a seemingly mediocre printer (The Kingroon KP5L) into a beast! Basically, the KP5L is a fantastic printer with a direct drive, heavy duty 3-axis linear rails, and a massive 310mm x 310mm x 340mm heated build plate. It can be found on sale often for right around $200. 

So why isn't this printer popular? Because it seriously sucks. Well not really, it just has a couple of glaringly obvious engineering flaws and terrible firmware support. It was like getting a Ferrari for the price of a Toyota except they put the steering wheel in the back seat and ran the exhaust into the AC. You know, little things. 

Well I saw the diamond in the rough so I bought one. As soon as I got it I realized it was very much a diamond and not a lump of coal, I bought a second one before I even finished fixing the design flaws of the first one. Got one on Black Friday for $160 and another one a week before X-Mas for $195. 

I am proud to say I actually polished those turds into actual diamonds. I had to move parts, design new parts, and write custom versions of both Marlin and Robin Nano firmware about a dozen times. But finally... FINALLY... the Ferrari roars like a lion. *meow*

I also got some time off of work... three whole days in a row. Which I spent getting MORE POWA!!! Yep, installed the breakers in the panel, ran the Romex through the attic, and installed power outlets. Everything is up to code and I didn't even get electrocuted once. (I have been electrocuted many times, blame my dad.)