Tag Archives: Karen Blumberg

Zen and the art of 3D printer maintenance redux. @BrearleyNYC #MakerEd #STEAM

Over the years, I’ve learned a fair amount about maintaining (or coddling) a few different models of 3D printers: Makerbot (Cupcake, 2, 2x, 5th Gen), Printrbot (Simple Metal), Bits from Bytes (3D Touch and Cube), and Ultimaker (2+, Go, and Original+). Like the book about maintaining motorcycles, you can either buy a top of the line printer with awesome customer support and expect it to work amazingly, or you can get to know one intimately because you built it from a kit or from scratch and/or you found yourself elbow deep in a machine trying to troubleshoot with the help of Google, user forums, willpower, and luck. Desktop 3D printers are not “plug and play” — I have almost never been able to simply turn on and use a 3D printer without any frustrations.

I’ve spent the past two weeks in close proximity with two Ultimaker Original+ kit printers (built by Brearley students a few years ago). For better or worse, I removed and rebuilt the feeder assembly on both printers, and I’m still not satisfied with the feeder on the one sitting on my desk right now. I feel like I need to either remodel the students’ designs, change the Ultimaker’s settings, buy newer filament, and/or only print one thing at a time, as having the extruder “retract” during the print is causing problems with an already problematic feeder. I think I’ve narrowed it down to possibly needing a new ball bearing on the feeder clamp. When I notice filament isn’t advancing properly, I manually apply force to guide it from the spool to the opening of the feeder. It’s beyond tedious, and I’m sure the fumes (even from PLA) are making me stoopider.

I’ve taken to making tick marks on the filament with a permanent marker and anxiously staring to see if the filament advances properly. Essentially, I’ve learnt that the trick is to continually glare at it. As soon as I convince myself it’s working and walk away to attend to something else (or gloat), it fails. Every. Single. Time. I’m officially naming this one Christine.

But, oh, the satisfaction when it works…

(​I wrote a similarly titled post about 3D printer nerd-ery in 2013 here: https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/zen3dtouch/)

 

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I coded some interactive faces with @p5xjs! Excited to share these with @BrearleyNYC’s Math Dept. #STEMed #STEAM #mathchat #CCfestNYC

1. Mouse movements cause eyes to look left or right

 

2. Mouse movements cause eyes to cross:

 

3. Sounds animate facial features (a work in progress):

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Thanks to @Dfenjves, I can finally finish the @p5xjs code for #SingingFaces shared by @sofisagarcia_! #CCfestNYC #STEAM #ArtEdTech

Yesterday was another incarnation of CC Fest in New York City hosted at NYU ITP, and I’m proud to have attended all of their NYC-based events. It’s such an awesome, friendly, and welcoming way to delve into p5.js for both novices and advanced coders. [Per the p5.js website: p5.js is a JavaScript library that starts with the original goal of Processing to make coding accessible for artists, designers, educators, and beginners.] CC Fest has recently launched in Los Angeles and may branch out to other cities. My friend Saber Khan (@ed_saber) is a founder and organizer of CC Fest and an incredible thinker, thought leader, and educator. On their website, CC Fest describes itself as:

A Celebration of Creative Coding for Teachers and Students
CC Fest is an opportunity for students and teachers to engage in creative coding. Come spend a day making interactive and engaging digital art with the p5.js library. Teachers will work on bringing p5.js projects to their classes. Students will learn the basics of p5.js and build their creative coding portfolios. Read about the first CC Fest at NYU ITP in October 2016. We hosted a second CC Fest at NYU MAGNET in Brooklyn in April 2017. And a third at UCLA in September 2017. Checkout the tweets at #ccfestnyc and #ccfestla.

After a keynote from Cassie Tarakajian (@hellothisiscass), there were two sessions of learning opportunities led by educators, designers, tinkerers, programmers, artists, and other awesome volunteers. For my first session, I joined Danny Fenjves to learn about integrating microphones to alter shapes (Danny is the founder of Upperline Code.) In this workshop, I finally learned the shockingly simple code necessary for making mouths open/close along with music, thus solving a mystery that has been troubling me since March! I loved the wonderful compilation of Singing Faces (see video at the top of this post) shared by Sofia Isabel Garcia at a previous #CCfestNYC in March of 2017. These animations were created by girls in Grades 4-12 taught by Sofia as part of Code/Art in Miami. I never understood how to get the mouth shapes to dilate and contract along to the music, and I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even try to locate a solution on my own. Thank you, Danny! Here are Danny’s shared links:
1. Starter code: https://glitch.com/edit/#!/p5-sound-base
2. Finished code: https://glictch.com/edit/#!/95-sound-1-solved
3. And here’s the code I wrote that helped me dilate an ellipse based on mic.Level:

var mic;

function setup() {
createCanvas(800, 600);
mic = new p5.AudioIn()
mic.start()}

function draw() {
var micLevel = mic.getLevel() * 400
console.log(micLevel)
background(20, 30, 150);
noStroke();
fill(255);
ellipse(width/2, height/2, micLevel, micLevel);
fill (0,255,0);
ellipse(100, 200, 40, 40);
fill(255, 0, 0);
ellipse(micLevel, 300, 75, 75);
}

For the second session, I attended Serena Parr’s introduction to creating a Photobooth with p5.js using video capture from your camera’s webcam. It was awesome and made even more fun since I sat with three amazing ladies who inspire me daily with their ideas, insights, prototypes, and creative solutions: Maureen Reilly (@MaureenrReilly, Erin Riley (@eeriley99), and Tracy Rudzitis (@wagongrrl)! Serena’s super fun session helped me feel so much more comfortable about exploring Processing and p5.js libraries for more filters. Here are Serena’s shared links:
1. Serena’s presentation: bit.ly/photoboothsITP
2. Serena’s button photobooth program: bit.ly/buttonBoothITP
3. Serena’s emoji photobooth code: bit.ly/emojiBoothITP
4. Here’s Erik Nauman’s code for a Photobooth! Thanks, @openblackboard: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-IMQ38H3Y5GQJF6rGVfSItE7dXezlrzEWBYASeOXPTI/edit
5. And here’s my code for the project:

var capture;
var button;

function setup(){
createCanvas(320, 240);
capture = createCapture(VIDEO);
capture.size(320, 240);
button = createButton(‘Say Cheese’);
button.mousePressed(takePic)
capture.hide();
}

function takePic(){
image(capture, 0, 0, 320, 240);
// filter(‘INVERT’);
}

function draw(){
// background(255);
}

I had to leave after the second session and missed out on the sharing at the end of the day and the closing keynote by Todd Anderson (@toddwords).Here are some of my tweets from the day (I was too busy learning and shmoozing to share more):

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