Tom’s guides are the best!

Thomas Sanladerer has been doing stuff with 3D Printing for a long time and can be seen as an expert on the matter.

With his latest guide to build a Prusa Mk2 guide anyone can build a 3D printer as cheap as possible. On his guide he has the build items and where to buy them. He has also added some videos on the builds.

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The build continues and my parts are still in the mail. Ooh well it will happen soon.

 

 

Arduino Robotics

If you want to learn robotics there is no better than Arduino. Get a kit and start exploring.

Sure the Mega can power a 3D Printer but with the Mega and UNO you can do so much more.

Playing around with a Sumobot design.

Having a blast at the MakerLabs club meetings.

MakerLabs and Fabrication @ MadeInWorkshop in Gauteng

When one tinkers with Arduino kits or 3D Printer kits it can be a tough process when you don’t have all the tools to make your alterations. I got to a point where my 3D Printer was just not getting past the calibration steps since going at it alone is hard.

I found a solution by attending a #MakerLabs event which is weekly with like-minded individuals all interested in building all kinds of weird things. As a bonus the location is at a workshop where one has access to laser or plasma cutting or CNC equipment. The guys there helped me figure out what was wrong with my printer and got it printing in two session where we fabricated new parts allowing mounting my new extruder.

The whole experience at #MakerLabs and hosted by #MadeInWorkshop was super exciting and one learns so much.

Now that I am past the initial issues of 3D printing is am making all kinds of things.

I had issues with fumes from my printer so I made a hood. Now I am safe and it looks amazing.

 

Lets see what to make next 🙂

Supercomputer @ Home

With my research requiring lots of processing and my PC not having enough memory or just takes to long I looked into how expensive it will be to build a Supercomputer @ home.
With the top 10 Supercomputers having from 7.235 to 125.436 Peta (1015) FLOPS (FLoating-point Operations Per Second). The Sunway TaihuLight @ National Supercomputer Center, Jiangsu, China costs US$273 million.

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This would be something I would get when my boat comes in. For now I would have to look at personal computing clusters. This guide to build a supercomputer at home is a little over simplified but shows its better to get a rack and then mount all the hard drives and boards since server blades are expensive.

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This is mostly not relevant but the tower rack is use full to add with normal cases since it takes less space and can have space to add fans for cooling.

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This design does look a little un-neat so one can rather keep the rack enclosed in case wide blade mounts.

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These mounts is about $96 so taking into consideration the cost of the CPU, GPU the cost will be around $1110 or 15,231.42 ZAR

  • $97 – Server Case
  • $150 – AMD FX-8350 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition Processor
  • $130 – ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 AM3+ AMD 990FX AMD Motherboard
  • $86 – 16GB DDR3
  • $120 – 850W Power Supply
  • $50 – 1TB SATA Hard Drive
  • $200 – Radeon RX 470 4G GDDR5 PCI-Express Video Card

$833 -> 11,430.43 ZAR

That seems like a very expensive hobby to to play around with cluster parallel computing considering one would need at least 3-4 to have a decent cluster which will cost 45K ZAR.

To the rescue comes Raspberry Pi with the Tiny Titan Project. https://tinytitan.github.io/

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“Tiny Titan is a $1,000 classroom supercomputer designed to teach aspiring scientists the basics of parallel computing. Unlike modern desktops and laptops that hide parallelism from the user, Tiny Titan makes parallel concepts explicit.”

The tiny titan in this project is full of Raspberry Pi B+ models but the performance of B+ to the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B t goes from single-core 700MHz ARM v6 to the new Pi 3’s 1.2GHz quad-core ARM v8.

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Where I can get a Pi3 for R 642.00 at RS -> http://za.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/8968660/ and the cover for only R86.18 (white/black)

The entire system will only cost R 6551.00 (ZAR) and that is way more affordable for a experiment. With Christmas approaching I hope Santa has my list.
With fibre almost in my area fast reliable internet will mean I can host all my servers myself. 2017 is going to be a rocking year!

No Man’s Sky

With all the buzz around this title: No man’s Sky (NMS), I could not be helped but try it out. But for a indie title like this at $60 is a little steep. But for exploration games sometimes it might be worth it.
With the fire they are getting for a crappy port stating that most of the issues is caused by under spech PCs is a clear indication they don’t know how the PC community works. We don’t have a minimum spec since you can have an old er generation GPU that can outperform a new generation GPU.

It kinda feels like NMS spent more time getting the game to work on smaller GPUs for nvidia than the later GPUs of Radeon (pre OpenGl4.5). My laptop has a GeForce 840M and it works but is sooooo slow it makes me get sick playing it. On my PC i have a Radeon HD 6870 and it kept crashing. So with the fix on below link that
FIX for video Card without OPENGL 4.5

With that fix that injects the version into the game allowed me to play the game on my PC and on medium it runs relatively well.

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There are some glitches with some flickering but if I get to play the game at the frame rate it was designed for i am cool with that.My i7 and 8gb ram with the HD 6870 has no problem of being less than the minimum specifications since my GPU is the later range of the HD 6000 series.
Now I get to fly around until they fix the issue in game and remove the OpenGL requirment. But one would think that is not going to happen. They have a hardon for Nvidia those biased Hello games.

Explore and find the pattern of repetition

Although it is fun at the moment i hope I don’t get bogged down when I see the repetition of the algorithm using same layouts and textures. But until that happens ill have lots of fun.

VR on the cheap

Ok, so VR is the new topic everyone is talking about. Looking at the two main VR contenders, Oculus Rift & HTV Vive, the entry level PC and device is extremely expensive. The next best thing is to use your existing mobile phone and use it as your mobile device. I started with a Google Cardboard and it is great…as a temporary solution. It starts getting dirty and falls apart with continued use. Too the rescue comes plastic VR molds. The Samsung Gear VR is great but mostly geared towards Samsung devices and is $99. That seems a little steep for a plastic mold that only holds your phone. So what do you do if you don’t have a Samsung? You go VR Box V2.

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Mine is on its way and after doing some research on the device it looks to be a cheap alternative that is comparable with many IOs and Android phones. I ordered mine on AliExpress and only costed me $28 and looks to fit my LG G4 perfectly. Some smaller phones might have issues with seeing the edges but the lenses are adjustable.

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The kit comes with a Bluetooth controller which will come in handy since the headset does not have the magnet button the google cardboard has.

Now id your thinking lame why get a cheap version when you can just get an expensive Rift. 1. You can use your current phone. 2. Google IO just showcased Daydream.

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Daydream will bring the VR world to the masses without you have to spend R20,000.00 on a new PC and R12,000.00 on just the Rift without controllers. With this platform I will stay happy until the Rift second generation comes out with higher definition screens and better tracking speeds. That might take another 2 years but at that cost of buying in I don’t mind waiting and playing with cheap alternatives such as Daydream.

All I need to do is get a better VR controller once Daydream is released.

Lets hope for some Android PC integration so I can play Star Citizen, streamed to phone VR setup.

The playground for everything tech.