3D-printer projects?

What skills to learn, what tools to get
DutchGirl
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by DutchGirl »

@Sclass... so yeah, you'd better stick around for 7Wannabe5 benevolent robot project, okay?

I wanted to add a short list of the things my boyfriend made/is making with his 3D printer:

1. Lots of encasings / boxes to hold computer parts/ printed circuit boards
2. A rack to organize glass bottles within the fridge
3. A replacement for a guitar part (apparently it's called the nut in English)
4. bird peanutbutter jar holders/ bird feeders
5. A cup for the winner of a game he organized

To be fair, the machine has been sitting idle for about 75% of the time that he owns it now. But it can come in handy.

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Sclass
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Sclass »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:45 am
@Sclass:

I was semi-planning to ask you for help with design of solar powered permaculture robots made out of salvage someday.
Cool! What kind of work will the robots perform?

I had a friend in grad school who did a very successful potable water system design using solar power. The big challenge was storing energy during the day that could maintain the work flow required to have uninterrupted service. She did this using gravity rather than expensive batteries. The water was pumped way up a tower during the day and the head pressure was used for filtering at night. The takeaway was the energy needed to be stored up somehow. She solved it with minimal dependence on batteries.

jacob
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by jacob »

In pursuing my clock building hobby, I've so far come across the following way to provide sustained power storage. Most of these can be scaled. Some are more "dangerous" than others (the main spring!). Basically a mechanical clock (any one) is a driven gear train with an escapement that can be dialed into some robust people. Using a gravity on a pulley to drive a cog wheel (to show the time) at a beat (using the escapement) is one way, for example. Clock design is basically just a combination of long-known options of those three systems.

1) Gravity on a pulley. What you have in grandfather clocks.
2) Gravity on a system of pulleys. This allows shorter distances and a heavier weight => longer running time.
3) A lever that holds a weight that slowly drops.
4) A spring (usually called a main spring) that slowly unwinds. These are the dangerous ones because it doesn't need to be that big in order to whip out and into an eye-ball. It is however more compact than the gravity systems.
5) Electrical batteries or wall current driving a motor.
6) A human putting a thumb on the driving ["great"] wheel.
7) A pez dispenser inside an elevator on a spring that traps a squirrel at the top which only gets released when the elevator reaches the bottom after which the spring resets the mechanism.

All of these but one are in common use.

7Wannabe5
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Sclass:

One of the problems with agricultural is that humans are quite large and our fossil-fueled tools are even larger, whereas most everything else in a garden is happening and could be gently encouraged or discouraged at much lower levels of power.

What I imagine is a suite of robots at approximately 1/12 = dollhouse scale= human hand scale. So, the “hands”, “mauls”, accessory tools, of the robots will also be approximately 1/12 scale of human hand tools.

One model in the suite might be something like The Guerilla Gardener. It would have a belly loaded with seeds and something like an injection planter mechanism. It could head out on damp mornings in stealth mode across the vacant lots of Detroit planting pumpkin seeds in a novel solar energy maximizing grid which will be micro-mapped to the “brain” of the system/field. Since the system will remember exactly where each seed was planted, a Teeny Weeder could tirelessly visit each planting site and clear a micro-field around each seedling. Etc.

Similarly, rather than removing invasive shrubs with brute force or chemicals, any sign of green could be literally, very repetively nipped in the bud by PintSize Pruner, leaving nothing but a dry branching structure which could support under planted vining annuals.

Obviously, an intelligent system such as this would violate purist closed system permaculture design, but most permaculture designs “cheat” at the macro or initial set-up level, for instance by bringing in heavy equipment to dig swales. Then management is favored at human size/time scale; like an apple tree with hand-sized fruit and lifespan that approximates human lifespan. IMO, human scale is too big and wasteful.

Alphaville
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Alphaville »

hah, i love the idea of these little gardening wall-es, but i think it’s currently more at science fiction level than at implementable technological one, due to fundamental stupidity of ai as currently developed. e.g. roombas are still overpriced and dumb as bricks at handling the simple task of moving around a room and getting around your couch. even a centralized server array like siri can’t reason at all. the delicate complexity of tending to a garden is too vast for the brute-force sorters we can build. this is at least decades away, i suspect, if not perhaps even longer. quantum computers maybe? who knows...

-

speaking of squirrels, might be easier to train/reprogram them to serve as gardening aides than to manufacture ai from scratch. not sure if it makes sense thermodynamically but they already have most of what’s needed and they’re way cleverer than siri.

7Wannabe5
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Alphaville:

True-ish. AI ability to identify plant species surpassed that of knowledgeable humans in 2017. I have very weak skills in robotics, but it seems like I could strap my smartphone running a Plant ID app on to a radio control vehicle with an electric razor strapped to the side, and accomplish some portion of what I suggested already. Generalized, human-like intelligence would not be necessary.

Humans do trick squirrels into doing work for them in the garden. If you put out buckets of easy to dig sand, the squirrels will sometimes harvest and bury nuts for you.

Alphaville
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:15 am
True-ish. AI ability to identify plant species surpassed that of knowledgeable humans in 2017.
that’s just a sorting function from a preloaded database. my money is on the squirrels—especially after you said they’re almost there! :mrgreen:

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Sclass
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Sclass »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:46 am
One of the problems with agricultural is that humans are quite large and our fossil-fueled tools are even larger, whereas most everything else in a garden is happening and could be gently encouraged or discouraged at much lower levels of power.
It took me awhile to get my mind around this concept. It’s beautiful. Basically what we think of as farming is built around human scales not plant scale. I think on an extreme scale we can have a tub of microbes working autonomously on some valuable food product kind of like we do cheese and beer. I guess the extreme example is algae farming where the mechanical labor is done by fluid flow. The efficiency of land use is fascinating...I wonder if there are other constraints like sunlight flux, root surface area etc. that may constrain the yields.

My initial thoughts about approaching this problem are designing the plant to suit the machine. You can make the machine design easier this way. For example using a plant that facilitates small machine use like moss, fungi or algae(for lack of a better example). I am a fan of Palm computing’s Jeff Hawkins. He simplified the human language to make things easier for a primitive 68000 based computer to do handwriting recognition. What he got back was time to market (we weren’t ready then), low power consumption, speed and small form factor. Just reminded me of this. Raising the requirements on the plant can reduce the burden on the machine.

Probably not what you were envisioning. Hmmm, like your idea but with something easy. Like R2D2 hunting down trees in parks and shooting mushroom spores out in the best places then returning to collect them up, brine and dry them on board, then signal a social network that there is free food to be claimed at the robot’s location. Basically force the humans to covet dried fungus and make them locate the robot to empty it out. This is actually easily built using existing robotics and image processing (I hate how they call this AI now).

7Wannabe5
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Sclass:

Yes, that’s exactly the sort of thing. I also like the idea of the robots creating micro-swales and streams. Maybe someday they could even facilitate the fungal network communication between trees. Stuff like that.

I started thinking about this after watching a video about a permaculture orchardist who basically assigned himself/staff the algorithm of “As soon as you pull a weed, plant something else in its place.” So, for instance, maybe a worker would be popping a marigold in every random spot a weed was flourishing on Tuesday, and then another worker might have a different tray of seedlings at hand on Friday, but eventually without any overall planning, some kind of preferred poly culture would pop or emerge from the simple rule.

Alphaville
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Alphaville »

i started searching squirrel army , squirrel worker, squirrel brain interface, etc., and found.... planet of the apes?

https://www.popularmechanics.com/scienc ... ey-brains/

yikes

https://www.heart.co.uk/photos/feelgood ... rdening-1/

7Wannabe5
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Of course, I could always just hire street urchins too. They were always wanting to help with my urban project. Would probably work for hot chips. Main problem would be liability. I literally encountered 3 different babies wandering alone in the street by my project. That’s why I couldn’t make a pond.

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Sclass
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Sclass »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:01 am
Of course, I could always just hire street urchins too. They were always wanting to help with my urban project.
That’s what Uber or Mechanical Terk did. Low cost humans vs. AI.

7Wannabe5
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Sclass:

Yup. I think all sorts of novel combinations of human labor and tech/AI are son to come. I just finished reading “A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond” by Daniel Susskind. Many of the problems he suggests will soon be near universal are already being experienced by members of this forum. Even given Susskind’s suggestion of CBI (conditional basic income) or personally accumulated funds towards FI, a world without work can easily leave a vacuum of “meaning”, “purpose”, and/or social identity/status. Susskind recommends that government distribution of basic income (provided by robots/AI doing most needful tasks) should be tied to something like community service so that everybody still feels like everybody else is doing their part, at least until we can untie the cultural links between work and personal worth.

This is one of the reasons why I believe/experience that doing something like substitute teaching 2x/week is better than not working at all. My great idea for you is that you should go volunteer in the vocational education wing of whatever high school that has needy kids and is near to you. They will love you and I bet you will have a lot of fun!

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Sclass
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Sclass »

I printed up these rings for a DIY cup holder. My old Mercedes cars do not have cup holders! I made the base board out of black foam core board. This had some advantages. First the black foam core poster board is easy to cut with a razor knife. Second, in an accident it won't become a hard projectile when launched around the passenger compartment. Originally I wanted wood but I rationalized the foam board. I don't own good enough wood working tools to make the cuts. Also I'm not sure where to locally get good quality plywood. The filament was about $1 and the board was $4. Enough to make two cup holders.

The underside has strips of foam core board hot glued in to create support and stiffness.

It's a nice custom fit for my coffee cup. Also good for hand sanitizer.

Image

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a good custom fit. this is the advantage of the 3d printer.

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the old one looked like this. I cut it out of foam core board. It had a white core that looked worse. The holes got enlarged over time as the cup wore them out. It was time to redo it. Hopefully the plastic rings will make it last longer.

Image

Another day in the lockdown.

jacob
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by jacob »

Sclass wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:24 pm
I don't own good enough wood working tools to make the cuts. Also I'm not sure where to locally get good quality plywood.
Yeah, scrollsawing would have been my solution. (Probably also what holds me back on committing to a 3D printer. Scrollsawing is the previous generation "printing".) You can get good baltic plywood online from woodcraft (widest selection) and rockler (not so wide). They also have brick&mortar presences. Also JoAnn's will have some; sometimes (rarely) Menards and HD have really good deals.

The downside of scrollsawing is that you'll still have some "kerf"-precision issues, so a disc or spindle sander or the manual equivalent would be required anyway if you need tight fits. Also, plywood can warp a bit in the sun/humidity.

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Sclass
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Sclass »

Thanks for the tips on Baltic plywood. I forgot what the good stuff was called. That light beige super smooth stuff used for pretty projects. Good to know where to get it. Working it will be another hurdle. My saws tend to splinter up nice edges.

Toska2
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Re: 3D-printer projects?

Post by Toska2 »

My friends are getting into a series of mystery games. All the clues come in a box and the group works together as investigators. Many of them have "code" using letter shifting. A simple fixed alphabet on a disk and another alphabet on a rotating dial would work beautifully.

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