Business Embroidery Patches

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A friend asked me to make some embroidery patches for his work.  Which, at first, I rolled my eyes.   Then, to my surprise, he sent me the image.   For once, someone actually knew exactly what they wanted.  THAT I can work with.  I rolled my eyes back from inside my head and got to work.

I grabbed my laptop and pulled up my embroidery software and started poking around.  Embroidery software — good software — is extremely expensive.  We’re talking thousands.  So it was nice to have a new project to actually use it on.

Digitizing artwork for embroidery isn’t very easy.  The software is great, but there’s a lot to know.   My first few attempts at stitching this out were flops.  I realized pretty quickly how the layers were building up and getting too thick to stitch.   A needle broke on one of them trying to get the letters on top of 2 other layers.

Finally, I got the project down to 2 layers: a background and lettering.  I could’ve even got it down to 1 layers, but I wasn’t confident it would look great when it was done based off what I was seeing on the screen.   It looked like there would it was producing a gap between the letters and background. So I did 2 layers and slowed the machine way down to minimize mistakes and breaking of needles.

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It looks like it came out great.  Though I am wondering if they’ll say it has the wrong colors.  The problem is that businesses have very specific colors for their brand and embroidery thread does not come in a color range that will support that pickiness.  I sent it off last weekend so I hope to hear back that they like it.

Putting shelves in the closet

Making shelves for the broom closet

Last weekend, I found my new table saw.  By Friday night I finally got down to the workshop and put it together.

This closet has been a pain since we moved in.  It didn’t have shelves and we always just stacked everything inside.  Then all those things toppled over and we couldn’t shut the door.

Do you think anyone fixed it?  Fast forward about 5 years and it still won’t close and we just keep walking past it every day.

Saturday morning I headed down to the shop and cut some wood for the shelves.   Circular style saws scare me.  I have used handheld for years and it has scared the bejezus out of me every time I use it.  It always kicks back and I drop everything and go running while it’s soaring through the air.

My voice may have jumped a few octaves on some occasions.  So far I haven’t cut anything off so I may still have some dignity left.

So I take all the wood I cut upstairs only to find out I cut everything wrong.   I realized after remeasuring that I misread the little laser measuring thing.  It said 2.0′ and not 20″.  Everything was 4″ short.    Of course, I only bought exactly how much wood I needed because I don’t make mistakes.

I threw things down and walked away for a bit.  Shortly after I told my roommate how I screwed up and he pointed at his old bed he had just finished tearing apart.   Glorious sideboards that were only slightly smaller than the boards I bought.

I dragged it down a few flights of stairs to the basement, removed all the metal hardware and started chopping his bed into pieces.

putting shelves in the closet

As you can see it all worked out in the end.  Is it perfect?  Nope.

Do I care?   Nope.  You can see some of the 4″ short pieces holding up those shelves.

I do have to go back and repaint all the replaced pieces.  Only some of them got primed through the whole process.  But for now, it is done.   I have other shelves around the house to make and a fence to rebuild, so I’ll be back to finish painting this when I’m running around the house painting those things.

I’m just happy the vacuum and mops have a place to be now and they are not just randomly found around the house.  Oh, and I’m happy the door shuts now.

My life is pretty boring lately

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To be honest, my life is pretty boring lately.  I’ve been working long hours and by the time I get home, I have enough time to eat and go to bed.  Fun, right?

I am working on some commissioned paintings, but I can’t really report those either since they are a surprise for someone which makes my blog even more lackluster until it’s complete and given away.

I did, however, do some shopping this weekend and bought a table saw.  I don’t like saws as they like to scare me by kicking back on me.  But I have some closet shelves and DIY projects around the house to get done.

I don’t plan on using a saw much so I got one of the cheaper ones.  But, it came with a cart so that sold me on this low-end model.

Make sure to stay tuned for some boring shelves in my boring closets!

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3D Print Painting

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This weekend, I promised my co-worker I would spend some time doing some painting on some of the 3D items he requested. Why? Because I volunteer myself for everything.

I’ve done many many paintings, but 3D Prints are a bit hard to paint. First, they have a texture from the plastic layers (unless you do some post-processing). Second, they’re 3D, and unlike a painting, they don’t have any definite lines where the paint should stop. Third, I didn’t prime the object, because I printed it in the character’s main color so it took many layers to cover the green plastic. And last, I didn’t give it a clear coat to lock it all in, so I’m just waiting for him to accidentally scrape some of the paint off.

Basically, it can easily come out looking very messy. My co-worker seemed to really like it this morning when I brought it in, so maybe I’m being too picky. I hope it gets easier once I get a few more painted.

Dehydrating All the Fruits

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I don’t know why I do the things I do.  Most things I decide to do are done on a whim.  Last week I went to Costco and bought a ton of fruit.  Why?  I don’t know, I just felt like doing it. I bought apples, pears, dragonfruit…   Then I  took it home to dehydrate all the fruit.

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Mostly, I was excited to try this fruit and vegetable sheet cutter by Kitchenade.

How easy would it be to dehydrate the fruits with this?  No slicing or peeling.

And it was easy, except when you do it this way, a single apple will fill several levels of my large dehydrator because the apple sheets are so thin.   Days later I have almost all the fruit dehydrated.  I still have one batch left to do tonight.

I learned 2 things from this experience:

First, dragonfruit is gross when dehydrated.  Like, really gross.   When it’s dehydrated it turns into a dry slice of seeds and tastes like dirt.    At $5 or $6 a fruit, it’s basically a lot of expensive garbage.  So don’t do that…. or try blending it and remove the seeds.

Second, the sheet cutter does not do well with very ripe fruit.   My pears were pretty ripe and it basically made pulverized it into pear sauce.  I got a bunch of pear sheets, but most of them ended up being a mess and I had to slice what was left by hand.

John is the Terminator

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I’m pretty sure John is trying to take over my 3D Printer.  He decided we needed to do another 3D scan and turn him into the terminator.

Surrounding his print with gallium, now he’s the Terminator being melted at the end of the movie.  He may need to do some chrome spray paint, but overall it’s was a pretty fun idea.

Roger Smith

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I finally printed something for my desk.  Everyone else has little chotskies all over their desks and mine just has paper everywhere. So I browsed the 3D repositories for something I’d like and found Roger Smith from American Dad on thingyverse.

3D Print of Roger the Alien

As soon as John (the guy I 3D scanned) saw it on my desk he took it.  What a jerk!  This is why I can’t have nice things.  And why I shouldn’t bring my 3D prints into the office.

At least I can just print another.

3D Body Scanning of John

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My coworker John was excited when I came in this morning.  “WHERE IS IT?” he shouted as I passed his office.

I had been annoying him with different methods of 3D scanning.  I kept taking him to one of the big open rooms in the office so I could walk around him and take photos or use different types software on my phone to see what would work best.    I was excited someone was willing to let me do it, turns out not many people want to be 3D scanned.   After many attempts, we found nothing was really working well.

Finally, I remembered I had bought a Structure sensor for my iPad years ago.   I had the sensor but couldn’t find the darn cables anywhere.  I ordered new ones and as soon as they came in I bothered him again to stand perfectly still in the middle of an open room while I slowly walked around him letting the software do its thing.

I dumped the results to my workstation and found we finally had a usable result.

So this morning when he was shouting at me, I produced the mini-John printing.

It could use some work, especially on the top of the head.  But, overall, I was pretty happy that we finally got it to work.  I still need to work on full body scans.  We tried that as well but the room we were in was making it pretty difficult.  I told him on a nice day we’ll have to go to the parking lot and give it another shot.

3D Printing Tiny Rick

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3D Printing Hercules Statue

Over the weekend, I got to sit down and do some playing with the new 3D printer.   I have to admit, the Ultimaker 3 is pretty amazing, especially when I compare it to my old machine.   Once I got it up and running, you pretty much just push the button and it does everything for you.   So I loaded up a Tiny Rick 3D file (by 3D Print Guy) that I downloaded from MyMiniFactory.com.  His prints are pretty stinking cute and I think I’ll be watching his account for new files.

Tiny Rick 3D Print

The new printer prints with water-dissolvable supports, which means I can pretty much print anything.  What used to be impossible (or just a huge pain) to print is now not an issue.  I can print a lot of these on my old printer also, but I’d have to sit there and cut away a lot of material it needed to print in order to prop things up while it printed.

So now, things come out looking like this:

(You can thank me for that tushy on your screen later.)

This print comes from the Scan The World Project which mostly consists of 3D scans of famous artworks.  This one is of a statue of Hercules from the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Once the print is done, it’s just tossed into a bucket of water and all the clear/white plastic will disappear within a few hours.

The only downside to 3D Printing is the patience required.  This machine is super easy to use, but printing with such detail takes literally forever.

Over a day to print a 5-inch statue… YIKES!   At least this printer is just a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing.  I think I got the print started early enough yesterday that it should be done printing before I get home from work today.

I also spent some time fixing my old machine.  The replacement parts came in and now I have dueling 3D printers in my basement.