Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
Well, everyone does things differently. I used hat pegs for the mug racks; the "flare" at the end holds the mugs on better. Those pegs didn't hold well in a vise...So printing an insert worked really well and made drilling pilot holes for the screws that passed through the slats of the racks trivial. See http://www.puresimplicity.net/~hemi/Pics/Misc/mug-rack/prototype-04.jpg if you want to see what I'm talking about...That was the first one I built, before I printed the vise insert.
Drill templates...Mine seem to be durable enough for it. In fact, I've printed off a few that the local high-school shop classes have been using for a few semesters now with no breakage.
Maybe this guy's printer wasn't set up right.
Eh, mine has practical uses, at least for me. I use it mostly to facilitate other projects...Need an odd-shaped vise insert? Just design and print! I did that with mug-rack pegs. Need a re-usable layout template for drilling holes? Just design and print! I did that for the rear shackle mounts when I wanted to design casters to carry the back of the car when there was no suspension mounted.
There's lots of uses for them...But yeah, a lot of it is printing out parts for other printers---my RepRap's plastic bits came from my friend's printer---or toys and such. If you're not a handy person...Then yes, you'll probably just print toys with it.
Also, a 3D printer. Easier start-up than a mill or router, lots of guides out there and if you're frugal you can do it for a few hundred bucks.
You know what's holding 3D printing back? As someone that's fighting with one, I've got a few thoughts.
I'm building a Prusa Mendel, with hardware mostly donated by a friend that also has a Prusa Mendel. It *should* be straightforward. It's not. At all. My friend and I got the frame built, but I brought everything else home to finish on my own.
I managed to get the mechanical end sorted out fairly well, to the point where I need the entire printer to run right to get the rest of it dialed in. I managed to get the software side sorted pretty easily, too. The electronics, however, are proving to be a major pain.
The machine has a few problems that I can not seem to sort out. The hot end temps vary wildly, in about a thirty-degree Celsius range...However, it's all built "right." At this point I'm going to build a second heatcore and replace the thermistor attached to the nozzle with a new one (that I had to order from somewhere else) in hopes that something is wrong with either of these two items.
I am proficient with electronics assembly and repair, to the point where I build my own pedals to use with my bass, repair my own bass gear, repair other folks' pedals and gear, etc. I do computer software troubleshooting and programming for work, so I'm fairly proficient with that. I'm also a hard-core gearhead; I've been playing with mechanical things from guns to cars to motorcycles to machine tools and just about everything in between for as long as I can remember...But I'm having a hell of a time sorting out a *basic* 3D printer. I've spent the past three weeks of weeknights and weekends working on the thing and, honestly, I'm about ready to throw the whole pile in the trash and forget the whole thing.
It doesn't help that no one local to me has any more experience with building these things than I do, and all the people that have pre-built 3D printers are also hating them right now...My old employer has a MakerBox Replicator 2X that they can not get to run right. It seems like the vendors themselves don't really know what's going on, either...The vendor I got the hot end parts kit from seems to supply wire that I would consider wholly inadequate for moving 12V@5A around, but apparently it works.
The guy that supplied the parts for me to build my Prusa Mendel purchased a Rostock kit for no small amount of money...And is having all kinds of trouble getting it working right, too.
What's holding back 3D printing? The fact that even people with higher-than-average technical proficiency in all the areas required to make a 3D printer run well are having problems with their 3D printers indicates that they are in no way ready for mainstream use.
It's not really any particular project...There's tons of them out there. There are some areas that are lacking, though...QA, RE and documentation practices suck. The major projects tend to be better at them, but most of the smaller projects are pretty terrible at all three.
I gave up maintainership of the port on 25 Nov 2010. Hopefully things have improved, cause they were running that project into the ground. I don't interact with the current port maintainer, so I can't say if things have improved or not from a "FreeBSD port maintainer point of view."
OpenArena is fun and may be an excellent project to play, but the OpenArena people themselves are terrible to work with.
I used to maintain the FreeBSD port for OpenArena. Used to. Why used to? Cause they were the *worst* group of open-source software people I've ever dealt with. When another open-source OS asks you what it takes to get your app built and running, the correct answer is *not* "just download the Linux version and use that." Asking FreeBSD users to use the Linux binaries when there is source available is tantamount to telling Linux users to use the Windows version when there's source available.
I had done all the work necessary to update the OpenArena port to the latest version at the time, and then played "follow the patchlevels cause their dev practices suck" for several more versions. I edited their wiki, writing out directions for getting the game running from source on FreeBSD, which was pretty easy to do...Which they promptly deleted and said, "just use the Linux version."
When I was working on the port I asked them repeatedly what the build deps were and such...They didn't know. They generally just banged on it and installed stuff until OA built and ran. Never once did they actually document what it took to build the game. They were truly representative of the kids-table level of QA/RE that seems to be commonplace in the small-project OSS development community at large. How many times did they make a major release, followed quickly by several patches to fix minor oversights that resulted in major problems and could have been avoided with checklist of "what to check before we release?"
Here's a dirty little secret for ya: they talk about making source changes to the engine but none of them matter. The FreeBSD port---now maintained by someone else, thankfully---runs on the ioquake3 engine and just uses the OA pak files and the like.
In short, they may have some decent modelers/map-makers/artists working with them, but their software-dev guys are terrible to work with. I wouldn't use OA as a benchmark for anything.