Cross posting from G+ This is a great…

Cross posting from G+. This is a great list of engineering design and analysis software that’s available for Ubuntu Linux.

#analysis, #cad, #engineering

I have been meaning to post this news…

I have been meaning to post this news for a few days… I finally have my first 3D printer (a Printrbot Simple Metal). Check it out!

NASA 3D Printed Wrench

And, yes, one of the first things I printed was the wrench NASA emailed to the ISS ( It is supposed to have a ratcheting action, but some of the moving parts fused together on my run. Guessing I need to calibrate the printer some more before the wrench will turn out correctly (but it is still cool).

Speaking of calibrating a 3D printer, Matt M. has some experience in that area so I asked him for some advice. Here is what he told me (the comments about pressure vessels relate to our hardware project for 2015 – a classroom scale (hopefully 3D printed) cold gas thruster – more news on that as it becomes available).

I did some blogging on the subject. It dates itself by the posts devoted to surveying the printers available since today there are way too many to bother with that kind of thing.

Joshua Pearce published a paper on the mechanical properties of 3D printed parts

Do you have some aspect of calibration in mind that isn’t covered by the existing calibration files? I’d recommend starting with the Make Magazine test files

I laid out the framework for a definitive guide to calibrating FFF 3D printers because I couldn’t find anything that anybody else had written that both made sense and covered the entire process.

Containing pressure is going to be an interesting stress test for FFF 3D printed parts. The layers pretty much guarantee delamination prior to actual material failure. Now that you’re going to be experimenting with it my suggestion is to try something that I never got around to. Since the problem is that the layers aren’t bonded to each other as well as to themselves I used to wonder if the plastic could be “stitched” together by having the nozzle move up and down as it extrudes. That way one layer will have bits that dip down and spread out in/under lower layers so that they’re hooked together. You can also do post-processing like using acetone (for ABS) to weld the outer surfaces together, or wrapping the printed part, or just using the printed part as a negative for a mold.

Oh, hey, another thing to think about is that if you’re going to make parts where the most important dimensions are round you could use a printer that has a rotating bed instead of all the motion being perpendicular.

Thanks Matt for all the great links. I will be catching up on all of these ASAP.

#3dprinting, #open-source-space, #oshw, #tools

New blog post is up http mach30 org…

New blog post is up –

Thanks Aaron for the assist with the writing!

#blog, #hangouts

Open till April 30 Forwarded to that Alfred…

Open till April 30. Forwarded to that Alfred guy, who needs an internship for this summer!

#sgac, #socis2015, #space-code

Chance for schools to use a camera on…

Chance for schools to use a camera on MAVEN to image Mars. Wow!

#mars, #maven

SOHO 3000 contest Win stuff http sohowww nascom…

SOHO 3000 contest! Win stuff.

#comet, #soho, #space

Getting ready for the March Reports Hangout I…

Getting ready for the March Reports Hangout. I am continuing to experiment with the format and process. Here is the planning/reports document for this month –

For those with edit access, please fill in any topics that you think we need to discuss, everyone else post a comment with topic ideas below.

#hangouts, #reports