27 November 2013

New Synths in the Studio

After a very long time of buying completely nothing, suddenly I saw a synthesizer that has been on my wish list for the collection from day one. Never before I found one for sale in a condition like this one. It is an EMS 'Putney' VCS3. It is quite a rare synthesizer that was made in 1969. That is also the year that I was born, so that makes it extra special for me. It is a modular synthesizer that became famous famous because of its unique joystick, envelope fire button and the patch matrix. The matrix works with little pins and is actually quite convenient compared to plugging in patch cables to modules.

The machine is really in a great state, everything works and I'm so proud :) There is actually one in the London science museum you know :) That was the last time I saw one. The EMS's are actually perfect for creating sound effects and that is what Jean-Michel Jarre has used it for a lot. He made EMS famous together with Pink Floyd I guess who made there famous 'on the run' sequence on it. Well on the right is a nice pictures of the other machine I love for sound effects the ARP 2600.

And here is another syntesizer that I added to the collection. It is a Sequential Circuits Pro One. It is of the same make as the famous Prophet 5. This one is monophonic though. It is supposed to be great for bass sounds. To be honest I never played on one before, so this is new territory for me as well. A very nice feature is that it also has a sequencer on board. I can't wait to play around with it, but first I have to have a go at the VCS3 :)

24 November 2013

Another 3D Print - Star Wars Tie Fighter

Last week suddenly I heard a noise and I saw the extruder of the 3D printer I build hanging on only one screw. I tried to fasten everything again, but I had no luck what so ever. So before I could do any more printing I had to take the whole extruder apart, fasten the screws a but more and put it back together. That was a little setback, but unfortunately it didn't end there. After that I had to recalibrate the head distance and I had no luck in that.

The material just didn't want to stick to the heated print bed anymore. I tried cleaning with alcohol, rubbing it a bit with sand paper like I did before, but no luck. Then I started looking on some forums for a solution and I found one. Painters tape! Very cheap stuff that you can just stick on the print bed and after that I printed like a charm. I guess by now you would have guessed from seeing the pictures of a print in progress.

The model I printed came from ThingiVerse and it is a tie fighter from Star Wars. I really like the look of that model. It consisted of three separate printable parts that you eventually have to glue together. But before I got to this point there was some more trouble. After the first print was finished, the material was stuck to the painters tape so well, that I couldn't get it off. I printed in PLA and that is quite fragile, so I could not use too much force since then the material would break.

So again I went to look for a solution and I found one. The tip was to use a spraycan with compressed air, put it up side down on purpose so that the stuff coming out is frozen. This cools the object to quickly that it shrinks a bit and pops loose. And guess what? It worked :) I will go and look now though for blue painters tape since they say this is less sticky. So that is worth the experiment. All in all the model is done and I really like it. But again I found out that printing on a DIY 3D printer is not so easy as it looks. Ah well most important thing. It still works. Up to the next project.

VrayForC4D update on RenderFarm.NL

Last week I upgraded all the VrayForC4D installations on the render farm to version 1.8.1. This version is quite a major upgrade and is now based on the Vray 2.45 kernel. I am running this on C4D R13, R14 and R15 now on the farm.

If you are interested in running a job on my render farm then do contact me on michel@renderfarm.nl

New Website for Biz2Be

I showed you the Biz2Be 3D logo and 3D under construction page before, but now the website is finished. The customer selected the 3 pictures and I made the header graphic in Cinema 4D. I think the graphs complement the logo and general theme of the company. I made the rest of the website in Joomla 2.5 for the customer so that he can update the content himself. The website is hosted on a shared Joomla webserver at Virtiso. You can visit the website if you like at http://www.biz2be.nl. The customer did call me last week that he had a spontaneous potential customer already. Always nice to hear :)

15 November 2013

First 3D Printer Output

Last time I promised to show you the first thing I outputted on the Velleman K8200 3D Printer. Well here it is. It is actually kind of a puzzle that you have to put together. It was originally designed for laser cutters to be made of wood or metal, but someone transformed this into an STL and put it on ThingiVerse. This site is filled up with nice projects, but I decided this would be a nice first test. So here is a picture with all the finished parts.

And this is what it looks like when you put it all together. It is actually a Tyrannosaurus Rex model. I think it looks quite neat. I printed it in transparent PLA and in thick layers that turns out to be a bit white. It is made with 50% infill and the nice thing is when there is light on it you can see the honeycomb structure inside. I think it is quite cool. Well this was the first print as I promised. A very decorative and non functional make :)

And here is another picture of it. I probably should have taken it from the other side, but I didn't think of that ;)

I did print a lot of other stuff in the mean time, but nothing is quite finished yet. I'm still very busy with other stuff and don't get to printing too much unfortunately.

I will try to update you all soon on that, but first things first. Work is taking up a lot of time at the moment.

10 November 2013

Autodesk 3D Studio Max now on RenderFarm.NL

I'm happy to announce that now also Autodesk 3D Studio Max is installed on the Render Farm. We installed versions 2014, 2013 and 2012. We also did an initial test with a customer, but unfortunately we are seeing some problems with path references. My own knowledge lies with Cinema 4D so we are looking for a solution at the moment. If you have experience with 3D Studio Max and Render Farms and can help us out, do let me know. I will give some premium time on the Render Farm in return. We also added some new servers. We have 114 dedicated CPU cores at your service and the Render Farm scores 18.360 Cinebench R15 points at the moment. We also just updated Blender to version 2.69. You can contact me on michel@renderfarm.nl if you are interested in rendering on the farm or have experience with 3D Studio Max and Render Farms.

Velleman K8200 3D Printer (Part 6)

I know it has been a while since I wrote on here and that some of you are waiting on the final part of this series about the Velleman K8200 kit. I have been very busy lately with my new company Virtiso BV and didn't have much time for anything actually. But today finally I found some time to catch up on here. First of all here is a picture of the finished printer doing its first test prints. As I wrote before though this didn't go as I planned.

On the picture on the right you can see what happened on my first test prints. I was quite puzzled and had no idea what to do next, since the manual ended here. I started reading a bit on several forums and started asking around. The first thing I learned (and it is in the manual now) that you really need to roughen up the print bed a bit with some sand paper. It is just to smooth as it comes. Secondly you really need to clean it with some alcohol. This has to be 70% the least, but more is better. This is because when you touch it with your fingers it will become greasy.

And then I think the hardest part was calibrating the print head Z distance. The head needs to be exactly 0,25 mm from the bed. And in every direction. So you need first to level the print bed with the screws below and then you need to turn a screw that touches a microswitch to calibrate it. I tried to do that on eyesight, but that really is impossible. You need a tool like you see in the picture on the left. I don't know what it is called in English though but it consists of small metalic blades that you can use to 'feel' the distance of the head to the bed. When you can put the 0.2 5mm blade just in between and you feel some friction it is OK. Then don't forget to securely fasten the calibration screw since it will come loose from vibration.

And then you need to calibrate the software settings as well depending on your material and print object. It took me about as long to calibrate the printer as it took me to build it. So do keep this in mind. Printing in 3D is not as easy as it looks at first sight. It takes time, skill and a lot of patience :) Then I had another problem that turned out to be the USB driver on windows. I finally swapped to a RaspBerry Pi running Octoprint and in the picture on the right is the first part that was finally printed successfully. What it is I'll show you in a later post ;) This concludes the building series. I hope to post some stuff that I printed over time on here. I'll keep you updated when I can.

08 November 2013

Henry RIP!

We just said a last goodbye to our good friend and ex-colleague Henry Verbeek who was taken away at only 41 years of age. Leaving his wife Suzanna Verbeek and 9 year old daughter Fabienne behind. Tough times Henry we miss you already. RIP! And all the strength in the world to family and friends.