New Year, New and Old Projects

Well, I'm starting off the New Year 2019 with a bang! The Prusa is, as I write this, hard at work printing the pieces of a Storm Trooper helmet. Why? Because I can. No better reason needed. I just thought it would be something cool to make, and I really have never done any serious finishing of 3D-printed parts, just used them as they came off the printer. I'm sure much will be learned.

Yes, work is continuing on the DSKY. I am right now doing the very difficult work of laying out the SMD LEDs for the display unit. It's challenging because the LEDS are many, the space very small, and the position of each LED very important. My plan is to do a YouTube video update before the end of the month.

On New Year's Eve, I sent out the first prototype of the PiUPS board for fabrication, and just a couple of days ago got notification that my boards are scheduled for fab around the 14th. I'm using OSH Park for this fab, and I haven't used them before, but the ordering was easy and I really liked the way their site worked. They aren't the cheapest or the fastest, but they are a domestic manufacturer, so if they do a good job, I'll likely use them for anything that isn't a rush. It took several days after Christmas to get the board layout done. Lots of tiny SMD parts, including a few for which there were no footprints in Eagle, so I had to do all of that.

After I see what the PiUPS boards look like, I'll probably send out the LightShow16 board prototypes for first fab. This is a much easier board to lay out, because all the parts are pretty common.

R2D2 work is always in the background, with so much to do. The Facebook group has been quite lively with people showing off their 3D-printed R2s. These are really starting to look good. When faced with an over $200 expense for an aluminum part, it's hard not to look at some of the recent part prints that have been posted and think that's the way to go. Besides, you can always change them out later. Hmmm....

Some kind of rocketry looms in the future. My older son is gunning for a career in aerospace, and if that's going to happen, we can't wait too much longer before getting things in the air.

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