Dehydrating All the Fruits

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.

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

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

3D Print of Roger the Alien

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.

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

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

Tiny Rick 3D Print

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.

New Ultimaker 3 3D Printer

Ultimaker 3

Ultimaker 3

Oh no, what have I done?

I may have talked myself into a new, updated and expensive 3D printer.   My old one is several years old and in 3D Printer years, that is like super ancient.

Last night, my new Ultimaker 3 printer arrived and after my nap (i’m old) I started unboxing it.   I have to say, these things have come a long way since I last bought one.  This thing is so slick.  Dual nozzles, dissolvable materials, streaming camera, self-leveling, swappable components, wifi…  Geez, Louise!

I pretty much just got it set up and didn’t get time to start printing anything.  But it arrived just as my old one broke down.   I ordered new parts for it, but this new one arrived just when I needed it and in time for the weekend!   Hopefully, lots of playing will occur.  Stay tuned for updates.

Patrick Star got the Polymaker Polysher Treatment

I put my Patrick Star through the Polysher machine a few times.  He was in there well over an hour.  I realized about then he wasn’t going to get any better than this because the machine needed to be adjusted for better printing.   You can still see lines and gaps which also probably meant my PolySmooth print materials had become moist from being in the air.

Patrick Star after using the Polymaker Polysher

Who knew plastic absorbed moisture?

So I got out my dehydrator and shoved all my rolls in there.   In the meantime, I started working on calibrating my machine.

I tried using the plastic again a few hours later and it still wasn’t printing well, so I left them in the dehydrator overnight.

The next day, things started looking up!

getting the 3d printer reconfigured

A few hours later, I noticed the same gaps and problems started showing up again.  The downstairs room must be a lot moister than I realized.

So, I think it’s time to start making a dry box that holds the plastic spools so they don’t keep rehydrating.

UGH!   Like I needed another project.

3D Printing Patrick Star

People have been asking me to print some 3D objects for them.   I finally relented and dragged out the old 3D printer.  Before I start printing things for them, I’m doing a few for myself!    Starting with Patrick Star from Spongebob.

My old printer doesn’t have all the new features of the printers these days, but it still prints at the same resolutions as the new ones.  Printer resolution hasn’t changed much, apparently.

Patrick has some accessories since the end product is him nailing a sign to his head.  On the left if the sign with the nail.  On the right is the hammer.

When you print multiple objects, it’s pretty normal to get melted plastic strands between the object.   I normally only print one item at a time because of this.

After prying him off the printer I cleaned him up by snipping off all the little strands.  Next, I broke out a Kickstarter product I bought forever ago and still hadn’t even unboxed because the printer was packed away.   This is the Polysher.   Basically, your object gets lowered into a chamber and alcohol is vaporized, which melts the very outside of the plastic creating a glassy smooth exterior.

Look at him go!  WHEEEEE!

It’s sped up pretty fast from the timelapse.  But it’s more fun looking at a fast pace.

I set the timer and walked away, so he hopefully turned out.  I’ll post later with the results.   He still needs to be painted as well.

 

Latest Painting Revealed

bears in claw machine

Finally, I can reveal the painting I’ve been working on.   It was hard not showing off the work as it progressed as I usually do on various social media.  Normally, I don’t paint for other people… I tend to do what I want on a whim, but this was an old co-worker and friend and the image was pretty cute and similar to what I normally l do.

I worked on this pretty much every night for several weeks.   It is not a hard image to reproduce, but because the size it took a while.  They wanted big enough to fille a wall but my car would only fit a 4×6.  By the time it was completed I didn’t want to give it away.   This isn’t usually the type of imagery I paint, but in person, it was pretty stunning.  Or maybe the colors just worked really well in my living room.

Like most of my stuff, this is not an original.  I was handed an image and was asked to turn it into a painting.   I’m pretty good at copying things, not so great at conceiving things. I tried googling around when I first got the image to try and attribute it to the artist, unfortunately, I couldn’t find it at that time.

 

Custom Order Out The Door

gift wrapping large canvas

Last week, I had my wisdom teeth removed.   I had put it off long enough that they were starting to cause problems so I finally got it done.   It went surprisingly well.  I just took a little nap and woke up with fewer teeth.  And much to my friend’s dismay, I didn’t even wake up groggy.  He couldn’t even take any embarrassing videos of me!

I had a long weekend at home (on painkillers) to wrap up some projects.

First, I got my latest painting out the door and delivered to the customer.   Have you ever tried to wrap something the size of a dining room table?  It’s not so easy!  Hopefully, after Christmas, I can post some pictures of it in their house.

Then, I played with some Metal Earth sculptures.  You’ve probably seen them around.  This one was a train from Harry Potter.

metal earth hogwarts express

I did a couple of them and I think I got those out of my system.   They’re a bit too delicate and flimsy for me, but I had fun.

Then, I got out some of my watercolor sets and doodled out some stuff on my watercolor pads.

bob's burgers - Mort watercolor

Turns out, I’m not a watercolor-er.   I’ll keep trying and see if I get better at it.

After a few more doodles I think I’ll break away and start putting together more miniatures.  I have a few kits laying around that still haven’t been put together.  The first one I pulled out is a sewing room:

robotime diy house dg101