PROJECT UPDATE 09/25/19: The Return of the Keytar

Okay, so it’s been a while since I had made some progress on my keytar cyberdeck build, mostly because my 3D printer had broken down and I had to send it in for replacement.  As seen in last week’s post, I have the printer back and I was testing it out with some other prints that I’d been wanting to do.

This week I’ve printed the remaining components for the tray mount, most of which had been waiting on the SD card already.  Except that bottom middle piece…. I had to shave 2.53 millimeters off of the model, re-export, re-slice, and re-print it.  Oh well, more experience in modifying parts in Fusion 360.  I’ve been learning a lot about that program while using it… including that it sucks when they run an update to change the interface at inopportune times!

To make sure the finish quality was as good as possible I printed these parts at the same settings I used for printing miniatures.  Takes longer, but it was higher density, thinner layers, etc.

Now I’ve got to figure out how I want to measure where to drill the holes, then continue the litany of things to do (order more stickers, redesign the power system, prime, sand,  sticker, clear coat, matte coat, assemble).

By the way, if anyone happens to be interested in looking at the models, I’ve posted them on thingiverse here with a really lengthy name:

I should note that these files would need tweaking if anybody else were to print these.  The tolerances make the connecting bits fit loosely.  They’re more like guidelines to help get the parts where they need to be, but not a solid fit.  By the time I realized it I was very much not interested in going through every connection point and adjusting.  I’ll add that to my mental lessons learned folder: design test fit parts for the connections before going into full production mode.  Just make the connection you are trying to test and a bit of material to be able to handle it for testing.

New Logo/Maker Coin

So, if anyone’s been paying attention, I’ve created a new logo for this site, based on a new maker coin that I designed.

For a brief explanation/history of these, here’s the guy who came up with them.

Video made by Maker’s Muse, please support his videos

It’s an object you can use as the equivalent of a filament swatch and to show people what 3D printing can make.  It’s helpful as a “1 standard print” for testing filaments, printer calibration, and slicer settings.

I thought it was about time that I made one of my own.  Then, through some manipulation in a couple programs, I converted it into a logo.  I think the symbolism is kinda obvious.  Technology + magic + a medieval wooden door = Technomancer’s Sanctum.

If you want to print one of your own, you can find it on Thingiverse here:

Technomancer’s Sanctum Maker Coin

This one I printed (in two pieces) on my replacement 3D printer, which finally arrived today!  Seems to work pretty well.  The parts printed fine on the first attempt, and the center door pressfit solidly into the coin!


In other news:

Borderlands 3 came out last week, so I’ve been playing that over the weekend, and having a blast.  I’m playing as Moze, so when the fecal matter hits the cooling unit I can jump into my mech and lay waste to my foes!  Still… in the words of the greenskins… NEED MOAR DAKKA!  I’m gonna have to see if I can fire more bullets per second.  I’m playing a gunner, after all.

I have business cards now!  I got tired of trying to find a scrap of paper to write down the web address for my blog when I get questions about my hobbies, so I’m now carrying some business cards wherever I go.  It should make it much easier to get the word out.

Concrete 3D Printing: Printable House

So, this has been one of my favorite topics of conversation related to 3D printing for a while… yet I don’t think I’ve ever discussed it here on my blog.  Go figure.

Anyway, in recent years multiple companies have been pursuing making 3D printers that use concrete to print custom houses.  Using 3D printing techniques, houses can theoretically be built quickly, inexpensively, and incorporate shapes (especially curves) that would be difficult and/or expensive to build using traditional methods.

Here’s one that I always liked looking at as kind of a touchstone:

A company called Apis Cor, a collaboration between US and Russian businesses, built a tiny house with a fraction the time of a similarly sized house.  Less than $11,000 worth of materials, the house was printed and fitted out within a day, as compared to spending months to build a do it yourself house for a similar price.

This kind of speed and customization gives me all sorts of ideas for what could be done with housing in the future, though I’d rather not share some of them here (I can’t give away all my ideas for free)!  I’d love to own/run a company that uses these machines to build custom homes for people, though I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I’m hoping that by the time I get around to build a house of my own one day, that I’ll be able to get one of these 3D printers to come in, if only to make a cool workshop (I doubt I’d be allowed to build the house that way).  What I’d really like to do is have one of these printers of my own, and when it’s not being used to print houses for other people, print a bunch of test designs on a large plot of land.  I’d see what kinds of crazy structures I could make, and maybe get people to use the property as a location for some scifi shows!


For further reading, here are a few links to articles on the subject of 3D printed concrete homes:

World of Warcraft – Classic

I, like a number of gamers, decided to give WoW classic a shot.  If you’re interested in meeting up with me, I’m a dwarf named Odrek on the Atiesh server.  Those who know my gaming history know that Odrek is my dwarf fighter who has been around in 1st and 5th editions of Dungeons and Dragons, and I thought it appropriate to add another world to his slowly growing multiverse.

The graphics may be old, and some of the gameplay clunky, but I’m finding it rather charming at the moment, with a decent amount of verisimilitude with regards to the distances one would travel in such a world.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always enjoyed the process of levelling up a character, perhaps moreso than playing an endgame character at times.  While I’m making the climb, I have goals to strive towards.  New skills and armor tiers to unlock!

Since I was spending so much time walking in-game, I was considering hooking my VR treadmill up to it, so I’d get some exercise alongside my character.  I could really go for a VR interface in this game!  I love the feel and art style.  I mentioned this to the devs in the forums, and they said it would be questionable whether such an activity would get my account banned, and I’d much rather not have that happen, so I haven’t got that hooked up.
Anyway, back to the level grind!

General Updates:

I’ve sent my 3D printer in for replacement, finally!  Looking forward to getting back to work on the keytar and some other stuff that’s been queueing up.

I’ve ordered business cards, so I won’t have to keep writing down the contact info on bits of paper anymore!  I’ll try to keep some handy, as I keep running across people who perk up when I mention that I do 3D printing, especially in conjunction with tabletop gaming.

Dungeons and Dragons Worksheets

So, in playing Adventurer’s League Dungeons and Dragons, I often come across players who are new to the game, and/or haven’t learned the rules very well yet.

Another issue that often comes up is that DMs (myself included) often don’t hand out inspiration much.  We tend to forget that it is even a mechanic that we can hand out to reward people playing in a way the DM likes.

I’ve come up with an idea that might at least help a bit with both.  Technically it’s bending the roleplaying-based intent of inspiration, but would definitely help with people playing in a way that we all enjoy more.


Dungeons and Dragons Inspiration Sheets

Start by creating a series of one page worksheets that ask a small number of questions related to the rules of dungeons and dragons.   Start with the basics.

Early example questions:

1. Which die is rolled to determine success or failure in Dungeons and Dragons (circle below)?

Beginner's Dice.png

2.  Please label the dice above.

3.  If you are told you have advantage on a roll, you roll two d20s and take which result?

4.   If you are told you have disadvantage on a roll, you roll two d20s and take which result?

5.  Who is the final arbiter of rules at the game table in dungeons and dragons?

Each player at the table would be given one sheet each night.

Each sheet of correct answers would be worth an inspiration to the person that completed it.  The sheets would only be given one per night, but I might allow them to turn in two on any given night.  This would allow them to take some home to work on, without allowing them to stack up a lot for boss battles.

The idea of this is to use a reward-based system to get people to actually take the time to learn the game.  This way it would be broken into manageable bite-sized chunks instead of throwing a book at them and telling them to RTFM.  *breathes deeply*

To make it more reasonable to complete in a short period of time, I’d list the chapter and/or the pages that contain the answers.  This would hopefully serve the added benefit of getting the players more familiar with their Player’s Handbook.

Over time, I would ramp up the complexity and specificity.  I would start with basic rules, with a theme for each sheet (physical combat rolls, equipment types, conditions, death saves, spellcasting rules, etc).  Interspersed with those I’d probably put in sheets that are specifically designed around things people get wrong or confused about consistently.


What type of action does it take to drink a potion?

When can you transfer hunter’s mark?

Should you pay attention and try to plan your moves ahead between your turns?

Should you spend at least a little time learning HOW TO PLAY YOUR CHARACTER BETWEEN SESSIONS?!?!?!?

….I’m calm.  I’m calm………

Let’s just say that people have hit some nerves repeatedly and I’m hoping I can convince my group to try some things to avoid that a bit.  *remembers that one guy who never remembers his character’s second attack even though all he really DOES as a character is hit things*  *twitches*


So, since my printer is down for a while pending some work with the manufacturer, I may be working on these sheets for a bit.  I’ll start with dissecting my PHB into bite-sized chunks of questions, and hopefully find a way to make these things look nice with open-source/creative commons artwork and templates.  Maybe I’ll get better at the rules myself (and avoid hypocrisy) in the meantime.

If I can figure out how the licensing works, I may even see about publishing them to DMsguild.


General Updates:

3D printer is still out of commission, I have to get it returned to the manufacturer for replacement.

I’ve decided to replace the title Non-Post with COM|POST.  I think it’s punny and more memorable.  It’s communications, it’s a post, and it might be a random assortment of… stuff that isn’t always so fresh or long-term relevant.

COM|POST: Weekly Update 8/11/19

Here’s another non-post this week.  Not a specific topic or update on a project… due to lack of progress on the project this week.  My 3D printer has stopped working, and I’m waiting for tech support to get back to me.  The Z-axis stop is constantly reporting that the Z-axis travel is at the bottom… when it’s at the top instead.  Really frustrating, as I had about two more print runs before I can progress further on the project.  If it were my Colido DIY I’d tinker with it… but I don’t recall if there is a warranty on the Monoprice Select Mini Pro, and I would not want to void that if there is one.

Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve been looking around my site a bit, and decided to update the following two pages:

Welcome to the Sanctum

Tools of the Trade

I realized that the Tools of the Trade page hadn’t been updated in about a year, as I had some tools that I have used about that long that weren’t on the page.

Maintained by Adept Ral