Chaucer – A Vertical 3D Printer, First Print

I completed my first successful print on Chaucer, a vertical 3d printer. The printer and associated project is called Chaucer, named after Geoffrey Chaucer, the Father of English Literature. Chaucer the printer is modeled after a vertical milling machine, making it a very useful tool for experimenting with high speed printing and prototype print heads.

Chaucer – A Vertical 3D Printer, Taking Shape

Chaucer is a derived from an earlier printer designed by David Kennell, posted on Thingiverse. When I decided to design and build a printer that would help me develop a deep understanding of the 3d print pipeline, and to provide a test platform for high speed printing with multiple experimental print heads, I knew I needed to model it after a vertical milling machine. David’s open source project, which he dubbed the Pocket Printer, gave me a great place to start. David’s generous help was instrumental to my success.

Here is an early photo of Chaucer before completion. I like the way the cloudy blue sky reflects off the mirrored print bed.

Watch the short video clip of the first print.

Chimps to The Rescue

I had been experimenting intensely for several weeks with making all my sites mobile friendly. I would get it just right, perfect on all browsers and mobile devices, then make a minor improvement that I thought had nothing to do with presentation, and … BOOM!. My site would blow up, scramble itself, or go blank with a gray screen of death — an empty web page that didn't even have enough class to default to a white background. Lots of trial and error, with the emphasis on error. I'm thankful that I do not make my living designing web sites.

Last week I stumbled on Continue reading

The Danger of Boredom

After working myself into an intellectual corner trying to develop the perfect collaborative business, I took some time off.

This morning, I wrote myself the following note. I think these are the things that have always driven me.

Don’t forget to have fun.

  • Joy of discovery and learning
  • Joy of creation and creating
  • Joy of interacting with people
  • Joy of building things, and watching things being built
  • Joy of giving something of value
  • Joy of selling something of value
  • Joy of the sight and sound of beautiful things
  • Joy of being in a place that fosters these things

Perfect can be boring.

The Hunt for The Lacamas Lake Monster

I first saw the monster about seven years ago when my Australian Shepherd Kix and I were on the return leg of an evening kayaking trip up Lacamas Creek. It was a very large fish – I don’t know what kind, but it was large enough to swallow a Cormorant whole. I wrote a blog about it, and republished here.

Staging Area

Last Saturday, the first day of Spring 2010, sixteen of us from our DoLife Kayaking group braved an exhausting yet exhilarating kayaking expedition hunting for “Massy”, our legendary Lacamas Lake Monster.

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2-Million-Year-Old Email

Just out of curiosity, I did a little calculation today to see just how long the flash memory contents in an iPhone would last. The iPhone uses an ARM processor, so based on the Philips specifications of 20-years for flash NVRAM data retention, and a maximum of 100,000 erase/write cycles, and assuming the iPhone reflashed itself every twenty years — which is possible through ARM IAP – In Application Programming, your old email and photos will be around for about 2-million years. I’m guessing the iPhone might evaporate before then, but just in case, don’t leave anything lying around that you don’t want read.

James Cameron and Avatar

Joyce and I saw Avatar today.

Avatar was entertaining, yet disappointing. James Cameron spent ten years writing and developing the story. It had the makings of a great novel, on the scale of Lord of The Rings, or perhaps Dune. It was very much like Dances With Wolves — an outsider, against all odds, bonds with an indigenous tribe, and is forced to make loyalty decisions pitted against his conscience and his own people/country. James Cameron ruined the plot with political correctness in not one, but two ways. First, he made the obvious yet banal connection with the “evil” corporation verses the “true” and “pure” Rain Forest and the “noble savage”, making the Rain Forest a living character in the story. Second, he connected the “noble” terrorists with the uncivilized imperialists. Regardless of political leanings, I think any of these themes can make for a good story, but mixing the three in the way he did, while ignoring more important threads running through the story, he made it predictable and banal. In a nutshell, Hollywood ruined what could have been great. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie, yet it was what I expected. I still recommend seeing it, though I will probably not purchase the DVD.

What is A Miracle?

I saw my new granddaughter Evelyn tonight for the first time. She looks like her sister. I held her for about half an hour, gently bouncing her when she cried, just like I did with her mother thirty years ago. And like her mother, Evelyn was easily comforted. Later, I watched mother and baby together. I glanced over to Grandma Joyce, then back to our first born, with her baby girl, and couldn’t help pondering the miracle that occured in all our lives thirty years ago. There was just Joyce and me, and we could not have children, yet there our child was, with her child. I thought of our second and third daughters, and all three wonderful sons-in-law, all created out of nothing.

Thank you Lord Jesus for your loving healing mercy, for being Who You Are, the Father of mercies, the blessed Creator of heaven and earth, the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Guardian of our souls, for knowing us before the foundation of the world.

You … are … Lord.

38 Years


Today is Joyce and my 38th wedding anniversary. Our wedding was late in the evening. We got into our little ’67′ red Volkswagen ‘Bug’ and drove away to our new home in San Luis Obispo, 500 miles away. We never looked back. I was an engineering student at Cal Poly. Joyce worked long late hours as a gas station attendant. We had each other, a couple hundred dollars, and an uncompromising love for the Lord Jesus. I nearly died that year from an undiagnosed heart condition. Continue reading