Friday, March 6, 2015


Use it against them.  Spread it far and wide.

noun ag·it·prop \ˈa-jət-ˌpräp\
Definition of AGITPROP
:  propaganda; especially :  political propaganda promulgated chiefly in literature, drama, music, or art
— agitprop adjective

Origin of AGITPROP
Russian, ultimately from agitatsiya agitation + propaganda
First Known Use: 1935

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

People in General Are Dumb

I was going thru my social media news feed today, and was a more than a little annoyed at what I saw.

A good friend posted a stupid joke and it garnered a lot of likes and comments.

I posted a quote from the Nazi history article from WSRA, and it got 4 likes and one comment.  

My post was very thought provoking and insightful.  

I have noticed this a lot lately.  

Years ago I read a article that said "With the unlimited knowledge in the world available for free on the Internet, you would think there would be a explosion of thought and invention"

Instead we have 9gag and Justin Bieber.  

Where the previous generations this dumb?  

I am not a young guy, but neither am I very old.  However I remember listening to my grandfather talk about growing up in the 1920's.  He was born in 1913, so he would have come of age somewhere around the late 1920's early 1930's.  

He was a farmer. German type.  He used to rail about the "damn dirty Irish" and the Swiss that also lived in that area.  He told me about being 13 years old and taking a neighbor girl for a romp in the cornfield for a nickel.  He talked fondly of his mule team, and of his John Deere model B.

Yet philosophically and education wise he was as smart and educated as anyone today.  I mean he had the understanding of human nature and could debate things in a logical manner.  Yet he only attended a one room school house.

He was a man who could raise his pig, slaughter it, smoke and preserve it.  A man who built a homemade sawmill for his tractor, and then used it to saw oak logs to build a barn.

Today, I see my family members occupied by some of the worst television dramas I have ever seen. Stuff that makes American Daytime soap operas high philosophy by comparison.  

It is like we are in the idiotocracy now.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Real World Carbon Fiber 3D Printing Results.

Photo credit Ryan Carag and Thingiverse file by NeverDun

The 3D printing filament is getting better with the availability of this new carbon fiber filled 3D printer filament.  

Manufacturers are claiming a 60% increase in tensile strength, however that is not the advantage.  Nor is the weight issue, as it only results in a moderate weight reduction over regular plastic.  The real issue is dimensional accuracy and resistance to warping.

Plastic when printed is a liquid and like most things, they shrink as they cool.  Just the way it is.  

However the addition of carbon fiber to the filament changes this.  Not by chemical effect, rather by a physical interaction between the tiny solid carbon fibers mixed into the plastic that have different rates of contraction. With this filament they effectively cancel each other out. 

This results in parts that are much more accurate vs the previous methods used by the big company printers that used a heated build chamber to prevent warping but did nothing about overall shrinkage.

However more research is needed on this material.   We do not yet know its weather resistance, temperature resistance, or even it's radar cross section. All useful things to know for applications ranging from aeronautical to automotive, to electronics.  

One interesting theory, is that stealth parts could be made easier by tailoring the infill length to the wavelength of the radar frequency.  Radar absorbing foam is made this way by adding graphite to open cell foam with the cells being the size of the radar wavelength. One could adjust the infill percentage to get this same effect. 

With weather resistance data we will know how suitable it is for automotive parts like trim, or engine parts.

Other data needed is how post processing will need to be handled.  Currently the usual method is lots of wet sanding, and filing to get a final finish on a item.  Carbon fiber presents special health issues using this type of processing.

Finally due to the materials stiffness, could is be the material for 3D  printing musical instruments?

The stiffness could lend a resonance that most other 3D printing filaments lack.

Exciting times we are in.

3D printing and noobs.

Just a quick update.  

Posts have been sparse lately due to getting the new 3D printer production started.

I learned a very important lesson the other day about 3D Printing.  I guess it is cause I have spent so long working and studying it that I neglected to tell people this.

3D printing is not easy!

It will not be pushbutton easy in the next few years!

Recently I let one of my prototype machines out in the wild to a total noob.  I had planned on a full day of instruction to get him up to speed.  I demonstrated the machine, gave him pointers and tips, but he was in a hurry and did not want to spend the time learning.

Lo and behold, I get angry messages saying the machine does not work a day later.  

He expected something easy and pushbutton right off the bat.  

Well hate to burst your bubble and the bubble of those thousands of idiots out there marketing 3D printers.  

3D printing is a SKILL.  It takes study, practice and hard work to learn.  

You don't buy a milling machine with no experience, and the next day expect to make racing engines when you barely know the basics of CAD.