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The mailman always rings twice...

Or in this case he will ring many, many times. :) Lately I've started to work a bit more on my projects again. But I soon realized I'm missing many parts and various stuff, so I had to order a bunch of things. Yay!

There's a lot of stuff incoming including but not limited to some PTFE tubes (for various reasons), nylon air hoses in various sizes (for the diy blower), some new tiny motors and a new worm gear set (for the next iteration of NanoBlock), and finally a new belt pack for my Poor Old Ultimaker(TM). That is if the +Ultimaker crew ever decides to ship them. Funny how I ordered all the stuff AFTER I ordered the belts, and everything is well on it's way here, but the belts haven't been sent yet. Ultimaker please work on shipping things faster!!!

My +MatterAndForm  3D scanner is in the mail too, so expect a thorough review with pictures (and maaaaaybe a video) when it arrives.

In the meantime I scrapped my DD-1 lasercut direct drive project in favor of Nick Foley's motor corner, which is a far superior design, I must admit. But alas, I wouldn't be me if I didn't redesign it to my liking.

You can find my version HERE. The main difference is that this version should have less potential flex and be a bit more tough all around, and it prints supportless, but spends more material and takes longer to print than Nick's. Print with 25% infill at whichever layer size you want. I use 0.2 for mehanical parts mostly.

My lasercutter is up and running again, thanks to a new focusing lens. The last one exploded while cutting OSB boards. Have I shown you my laser cutter yet? No? Well, here's me and my girlfriend next to it after we installed it in the garage. :) Quite tiny, eh?

PRO TIP: Never laser cut OSB boards, the epoxy that binds them together acts like a mirror for the laser beam and your laser will literally cut itself. A lesson I learned the hard way.

Now when I mentioned the NanoBlock, I'm happy to say I've made significant progress in the last two days. It was a true eureka moment, and I suddenly found myself spending a whole day rethinking everything I've done with it so far. The results look promising and I have already assembled a prototype, I'm just waiting for the new motors to arrive so I can test it out.

It turned out even smaller (40x40x27mm without the motor), lighter (I expect the complete assembly with the motor to be around 120-125 grams), and much sturdier all around than before. It also features a completely new spring-tensioned idler based on... err... cigar cutters! Yes, you read that right, it uses the same simple concept.

Since I just accidentally dropped it three times in a row, I can safely say it's tough enough. It has one small printed part and the rest is laser cut, unlike the previous prototypes which were mostly printed. The reason behind this decision is twofold: at the sizes I'm working with, printed parts are just too fragile, so I waste space making things thick enough they don't break, and laser cutting is SO much faster. I takes 1 minute to cut all the necessary parts. Also this new revision resulted in something which can be assembled in two minutes (which is really different from the previous versions which were usually a bi+c# to assemble).

Now, I know I've been quite cryptic about it in the past, but I'm preparing a big post about how it came to be and where I'm at with it currently. I always want to improve it even further so never seems to be a good moment when I'm ready to show it to the world. But I promise, (after this test, for better or worse) I will explain it in detail.

I'm also planning to cut a new frame for my Poor Old Ultimaker(TM) since the original one looks like swiss cheese after all the holes I drilled into it. Which of course is an excellent opportunity to do some changes to the design of the original UM frame! (What can I do, I just can't resist it...)

Keep your fingers crossed the new NanoBlock works and I'll see you soon. :)
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