- Ben Heckendorn
- Runs “The Ben Heck Show”
- Programs, designs, directs, and imagines at Spooky Pinball
- Is the Castlevania expert
- Chris Kraft
- Color Destruction Algorithm
- Program to convert HiRez images to LowRez for pinball displays
- Built his first 3D printer from scratch in 2009
- Was a pioneer in the DIY 3D printer space
- Color Destruction Algorithm
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Hello and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We are your guests today, Ben heckendorn and Chris Craft.
Host 1 00:15
And we're your hosts Parker Dolan
Host 3 00:17
And Steven Craig.
Host 2 00:18
This is episode number 75.
Host 3 00:20
Hey listeners, if you enjoy the Mac fab engineering podcast, please let others know about us. Tell your co workers, your friends, family loved ones, and share it on social media at macro fab or follow us on Facebook. At some point during the show, we're going to announce a secret code word. If you email us the code word and your address, we'll send you some cool neck fed swag. The email address is podcast at macro fab.com.
Host 2 00:44
So cool. So this week yeah, we have Ben heckendorn and Chris Kraft. Do y'all want to introduce yourselves?
Do we have to, you have to? Okay, well, I'm Ben heckendorn, aka Ben hack. I'm the host of element fourteens. The Ben Heck Show which is a weekly electronics show that we have and we use it to support the 14 community. We build cool things and talk about engineering and you know, basically with a emphasis on learning. I was awesome. A guest star on M E P macro fab injury and podcast. I figured it out episode number 23.
Host 1 01:24
He's written his own crib notes.
But I but I changed like the you know, it's like we because I and yeah, on the fly.
Host 1 01:34
And I'm Chris Craft. I'm a long time tinkerer. And I've been doing 3d printing stuff since around 2009. And yeah, like when you made that first printer, yes. And occasionally help out folks with their coding projects as my day job involves software engineering for the financial services industry. So are you like
Batman, like you have one job during the day? But then at night, you put on like a mask and you're like, I'm code man. That happened?
Host 1 02:05
Pretty close, but more like put on comfortable shorts and T shirt.
Not like a rubber latex batsu. Yeah.
Host 3 02:14
It's like, it's like the bet symbol in the skies. Just sweat pants. Yeah.
Host 2 02:19
I was thinking more of like, it's like the dollar symbol, which is like when you log into Unix, it's your username and the dollar symbol. We need code help.
If you have like rubber latex leggings, like, how many times can you urinate into them before they swell up to be too large? Right?
Host 1 02:39
It depends on their design.
And is there like I don't even know, I don't even know is there a dickhole router? That equally puts the urine in each leg so they don't like fill up? You know, non symmetrically.
Host 1 02:53
Let's go ahead and dune. You know, and then the body movement recycled weight. Which which dune the the movie? The movie you do there in the book? Yeah, okay.
Host 2 03:05
Sure, yeah. We're just Katherine, like, put a catheter in like
A Batman catheter. Yeah. It's a bath catheter.
Host 1 03:12
It's not the catheter Gotham city deserves. It's the one they need. Well,
Host 2 03:23
So So the reason why Ben and and Chris are down here is we're going fishing right now.
Host 3 03:30
Yeah, you guys do this on a yearly basis? Right?
Host 2 03:33
Yeah. So usually we go up to Wisconsin, up north. And that's actually the last time Ben was on the show, Episode 23. We actually did a remote podcast where I was up there, drinking beer, and on the edge of the lake doing a podcast and this time, we decided to have the fishing trip here in Galveston. And so they're down here this time.
Host 3 03:53
Cool. So is it just for fishing just for hanging out just for
Host 2 03:58
Hanging out fishing? Hacking electronics ends up happening is actually I think like the first full day we're down in Galveston. All we did was be on our computer working on like raspberry pi, three code. So, so yeah, oh, yeah. Remember that board? When we had the bet on? Oh, yeah. You owe me a six pack of beer, by the way. Okay,
Host 3 04:18
That's that that was actually in the show notes. Because So yeah, this was this was a your, your Raspberry Pi three compute module. Yeah, we had a bet going that it would not work on the first go round. Yeah. Well, if that was my bet, it would not work and yours. So So yeah, but I need I need confirmation from from Chris and Ben. Because because I don't necessarily have the right to trust you.
There was well, there was one issue.
Host 3 04:42
Oh, okay. What but wasn't an issue with the board?
Necessarily, okay. There was a line where Parker wasn't sure if it should be pulled higher pulled low. So, you, you you basically you had macro fab populate both resistors. So it's been pulled high and low, basically voltage divided hold mid. Yeah, yeah. And it was like digital. I don't know what's going on words, but it was causing intermittent results. The solution was to take a jackknife and basically knock off one of the resistors.
Host 2 05:15
Okay. I'll admit that's not an issue. Yeah, it was actually how we found out that was a problem is, basically it was on the LVDS chip on the FB pin of that chip. I can't remember what that pin does. I think it basically selects one not it's there, your clock signal is active, higher active low. And so it was probably floating in between there, which was causing lots of issues.
I mean, the image came up, I just had like some like vertical horizontal synchronization issues. Yeah. So it worked. But once he knocked that off, then it became perfect. So
Host 2 05:47
Yeah, like I was touching the board around that area, and it would affect the signal. And then eventually I put a heat sink, I put a heatsink on it, and then grounded the heatsink, and that like almost cleared up the screen. Yep. And then I was like, hmm, I guess I should just take a look at the schematic and I took took a look. I'm like, Oh, I'm pulling this pin high and low. So it's like 1.5 volts on the 3.3 volt line,
Host 3 06:13
Right? Yeah. floating around the threshold and your finger was adding capacitance capacitance.
Host 2 06:18
So knocking it down. Yeah. And yeah, so I actually took a little tiny screwdriver and just went because we didn't have a soldering iron at the time. And
The audio worked as well. We tested that. What yesterday? Yeah, yeah.
Host 1 06:31
I mean, I would call it success. Even with the display, kind of funky. It booted, which is a big deal. And we're able to SSH into it remotely. So all that functionality is was working. I'd call it success.
Yeah. Even when the screen was funky. I mean, the text was sort of, you know, legible, huh?
Host 3 06:53
Yeah. Okay, I can see. You've you've earned yourself a six pack Barker. Yes.
I was impressed with your ability. But that board together, what we're gonna do is we're going to take that board and bodge it onto our existing boards to make a you know, approximation of what the next system will be.
Host 2 07:09
So he's talking about bodging onto the current pin. Heck. So right now we use a parallax propeller to do audio video in the pinball machines. And so we're going to basically rip off the propeller, and then bodge the Raspberry Pi compute module
Host 3 07:24
Onto it. You're gonna dead bug a whole board onto another board.
Host 1 07:26
Yes, we're lots of hot glue.
It's gonna be gloriously awful. Yeah,
Host 3 07:30
That sounds terrible. Definitely
Host 2 07:31
Are the measures when Ben gets that done? In probably what two weeks?
Oh, no, I'll probably do it next weekend. There we go.
Host 3 07:38
How many? How many wires? Is that? Is that every pin on the?
It's probably going to be? No, it should just be the communication because there's a bug in my microphone. What we're talking about doing is basically having the UART three from the pic. 32 Going over to the propeller. I'm sorry, there's yet another bug. Christ. You know the bug, you know? Me blowing the bug off the microphone is causing more of an error than the bug been on the
Host 1 08:06
Assertions. We'd never edit this. Right. So
Right now we have the parallax propeller and receives you know, Spy commands from the pic. 32. And what we're gonna do is we're going to remove the propeller and put the pie in its place and will receive you are you are commands from the pic 32 instead. Yeah, so it should be pretty easy bodge. Okay,
Host 3 08:29
And with that kind of body, you can still make it look a little bit pretty. You know, if it had like a whole bunch of wires coming off. Yeah, it automatically looks bad.
Well, I'm pretty good at wiring. I mean, I could make a, you know, a lot of wiring look nice. But in this case, one thing I really have to lots of hot glue. I mean, I've seen some pretty awful pinball bodge jobs. You it's really like, you have to think about the physicality of the wire and the memory of the metal to like know how everything's gonna bend. Yeah. Like, it doesn't have to look awful if you put some time into it. Yeah, well, sure. Yeah. But most of the time, people don't really don't care how looks just how it works. Right. Right.
Host 3 09:10
Well, cool. So you guys are doing this as a stepping stone to the next update for the pinball system. Right? Correct. So talk about that. What's What's up with that? What's new,
Host 1 09:23
What's known that what what the pinball says,
Host 3 09:25
Well, what's changing?
Host 2 09:26
Oh, basically upgrading the because right now we do what? 128 by 32? No,
64 128 by 32 or 128 by 64 colored dots for Rob Zombie Domino's and the Jetsons,
Host 1 09:41
Which is kind of a historical standard at least 32 by 120. It was always the
Yeah, which MGC were we out or figured out how we could do that? Right. Was it two years ago or three years ago?
Host 1 09:53
For Rob Zombie because we realized two years ago didn't have enough RAM on the propeller but if Use the FPGA as a double buffer. Yeah, you get away with
Host 2 10:03
It. Yeah. So basically in the current system is the parallax propeller puts shoots all the data because the Parallax Pro is not fast enough to run display fast enough. And so it shoots all the image data over to the FPGA. And the FPGA is fast enough to run the display. So I think the parallax pillar probably updates at what 15 FPS 3030 FPS, and it runs the display at at 60. Yes, yeah, that's so the actual images 30 FPS, but yeah, you have to run the screen at 60 FPS, or you get like, weird artifacts under clock it. But yeah, we were having issues when we did that, though.
Host 1 10:41
But the whole idea of like, dots goes back to the first gas plasma displays that they had on the
Yeah, the VFDs I like gods, you know, it's kind of it's an impression of what you're supposed to see not a literal display of it.
Host 2 10:56
Oh, this is he Ben doesn't like HD disc. I don't. Oh,
Host 3 11:00
Ben's good. Yeah, artsy. What? Nevermind. No, it's that's
An RD? It's some it's costly. It's like it costs a lot of money to create all those display. Yes.
Host 3 11:11
There's two, it's what you're used to. Right.
Host 1 11:13
There's a certain appeal. And, you know, I mean, it like, if you look at the popularity of, of pixel graphics today, yeah. You know, there's a subset of fans who would say they would prefer pixel graphics to some super HD, and rendered reality of real life.
Host 3 11:33
Yeah, for sure.
It's like when you see the poster for Chevy Chase, and that National Lampoon's Vacation movie, he's got all the muscles bulging out, right? He's like holding something in the air. It's like, Chevy Chase does look like that. But the artist's interpretation makes him look like a superhero. Yeah. And when you have animation or dots, you can have the same thing where it's your artistic interpretation of what something is. Not what a camera literally films. It's the same reason why people like hand drawn art and pinball machines, like, you know, it's like, I don't want to see a picture of Steven Tyler is like 75 years old. But here's a drawing of how he looked in the 70s. And people accept that
Host 2 12:13
Or you can exaggerate his mouth and stuff like that.
Yeah, yeah, you can you you can use the aspects of Animation Cartoons you know, hand drawn animation to accent like the the Metallica game, like they all have giant feet and like huge heads and people like that. Because it's, it's, you know, you're it's an artist's interpretation rather than Here's a photo of a seven year old Rockstar.
Host 2 12:37
And speaking of the dots, Chris actually does some of the software for the dots that spooky. Yeah, not really the dots themselves. But
Host 1 12:48
Know the, the converter, I wrote the software, we used to take video files, slice them into individual bitmaps for each scene of the video, and then take those individual bitmaps and basically down convert them based on a set of rules that Ben gave me into individual dots.
Or I call it the color destruction.
Host 1 13:13
Yeah, color destruction algorithm or something. Yeah, because the it's kind
Host 3 13:17
Of like that built in mode that the SNPs had, they were it did like mosaics where it it downregulated that
Mode, and every game used it
Host 1 13:25
Every game. Ah, that's like why
I hated that. Because Oh, instead of like fading to black or fading of white. It's like, let's fade to pixels is like, why?
Host 3 13:39
It was alright, it was flashy.
Host 1 13:42
It was also probably easy. from a development standpoint, I assume the hardware had some, you know, rendering facility API in there that they could just call it and, and have it show up in their game without having to actually write the code. It's
Host 2 13:57
Like the same thing with mode seven. Most of it's when they that was the scaling of pixels. And
We'll get it only No, Super Nintendo could not scale sprites, you could only scale a background. Okay to tile. Fun fact.
Host 3 14:13
Right, right. In fact, Castlevania got away with that with one of the one of the end bosses or one of the bosses you fight is actually a background Yeah, they wanted to stir and spin around. But because of that he covers up certain textures like I think it's it's something about like the points or something like that up at the top of the screen. He kind of covers up because of that because they had to use a trick to get around it
Yeah, so like they're I think they're
Host 2 14:40
Actually talking to like a Castlevania experts. They were filming.
There were four layers on the Super Nintendo. Yeah, and you can only mode seven scale or rotate or planar out those layers. You cannot actually scale sprites, right. So like in Contra Alien Wars like when the ship comes at you, or that the the airplane comes at you and drops the bombs, the airplane is static background layer that has been manipulated in such a way to appear as a sprite.
Host 2 15:12
Oh, that's what they must be doing that Super Metroid at the very beginning with Samsung's ship because like flying into the space going
Host 3 15:19
Face it Yeah. Or with the win when you first fight Ripley. And, and he flies like directly at the screen?
Host 2 15:27
Because yeah, that's right, because he doesn't actually move. Like he doesn't flop wings or anything. He's just kind of he flies
Host 3 15:33
Forward in a way and rotates a little bit. Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Okay, cool.
Well, there's a discussion on mode seven. Join us next time.
Host 3 15:45
But Okay, so back to the dots. Are you guys using like, are you guys sending HD imagery and then downgrading it effectively into dots?
Host 2 15:53
That's how it currently works. Yeah. So they will do the like David Van as soon as the dock guy here in Houston, he'll do the the video and animations and stuff at a higher resolution. And then
They see actually no, it's all rendered at 120 or 64. Yeah.
Host 2 16:12
And so Chris is basically just destroying the
Bid. See, what happens is, if you render graphics at higher resolution than down, you know, downsample them to the PyMol resolution, you don't know or have any control over what edges you might lose. But if you actually, you can actually go into Adobe After Effects and say, I would like to create a 128 by 64 composition, and it will work. But when you make it at that precise resolution, you know exactly what you're getting, even though it kind of looks like crap. That's what we use for Rob Zombie and Domino's and Jetsons and I guess we're going to HD in the future, although I don't totally agree with it.
Host 1 16:56
And part of the problem with the color, or the part that I call the color destruction, whatever it was the the problem I notice was the the algorithm we're using to kind of take an eight bit color and and break it down so that we could represent it with the bits we had available. We can never get back to the color that it was originally. And yeah, so evenly, I could never get a pure white output or a pure black, it would not quite get there.
Pure Black is all zeros, right? But
Host 1 17:31
I'm pretty sure by the time the math was done, you wouldn't ever get back. You're right
About the pure white though. Yeah, can't get back to it. Because you're like if you take 220-250-5255 of like RGB and divided by because we were divided down to three bits, right, so you're taking an eight bit color value divided up because Okay, the like the Rob Zombie game, or any of the ones we have right now it's eight bit color. So you have three bits of our red, three bits of green, and then two bits of blue. And they weighed it in that way, because the human eye is less sensitive to blue than it is green or red. So that's why they knock off blue first. Same thing if you have like 16 bit color. It's five bits of red, six bits of green, five bits of blue. Because you know, humans evolved to see dinosaurs or whatever other corner of the eye like in the jungle. So our eyes are more sensitive to the color green because, you know, the jungle T Rex was actually green. Yeah, it's like clever girl and like caveman language
Host 1 18:36
So if you take was what you do is you're like, Okay, how do I divide down to 55 into a three bit number which would be zero to seven. And it's never even which means if you multiply it back up, you never get back to full white. 255. Right. You're always gonna be a little bit less. Yep. Yeah, yeah. But it was a hack that did what it needed to for the time that we were doing it.
Host 3 19:01
But at the same time if you're okay, you're playing pinball, you got you're getting bombarded with noise you're focused on on the ball. You're not sitting there. You know, contemplating the color depth of a dot someone
Who's doing really well at pinball has no idea what their score even is. Yeah, they Yeah, there we go. Yeah, they let alone the color depth of the screen. Right. Exactly.
Host 1 19:22
Yeah. And that display actually 1080 P or is it 720? Oh, my
God is 16 bits per pixel, not 24. I'm gonna write my congressman.
Host 1 19:31
The only reason why a woman the owners why it mattered to me was as part of my software because I didn't have access to one of the dot displays that that they were using, and I was never sure if it was working right. So I wrote a component into my converter that would simulate the display. Ah, but then then I always had the question of, does the simulation match the reality of what it was so I was trying to convert the Down converted data back into visual data. And I was never sure what I was actually producing matched reality.
Hey, it was close enough. Although if you think about it, America's most haunted, it's the four bit monochromatic display. Next he has more shades of color more as more shades of luminance right then Rob Zombie because Rob Zombie, nothing ever have more than eight shades of luminance. So it's like, yes twice, because yeah, you're talking about four bits versus three bits. Because Americans was on it. We had almost how that work we had to K of memory and each pixel or each pixel is defined as a nibble. So one bite contain two pixels, so it's four bits per pixel, which is 16 bits of you know, shading. Yeah, so we kind of went backwards in that sense
Host 1 20:55
Yeah, eating is worse and because as Ben said, monochromatic it was green basically just green pixels sing but 16 shades of green Right,
Host 2 21:04
Right. Yeah, intensity. Yeah. And actually was a marathon was haunted. Actually, one best was the best art or best color or dots have recently
Oh, no, no, one best DMD game. Yeah, let's give me classic what does that mean? I don't even know what that mean thing
Host 2 21:19
Is all the end games that were there with dot matrix display. So like the Congo I have is a DMD game. Okay, but the space shuttle is not that's a old seven segments game solid state. Sure. And so the Congo would be a d&d game so his game one Best d&d Game at Midwest gaming classic.
Host 3 21:40
I see. Cool. So, okay, so so far, we've we've got three people in the room here, that all kind of do spooky stuff. And then you also mentioned David Venice, which is here in Houston. He also does spooky stuff. So real quick, just give the listeners an overview of what do you guys do for spooky and but like, what is your roles?
Host 2 22:00
So I do the hardware design? Yeah, that's spooky. Like electronics.
Host 3 22:05
Right? Then everything sounds like Yeah, it sounds like a no like an overhaul.
Yeah, I had the the basic system idea that I breadboard it. And then Parker, you know, took that over and made it into a real system. I did the America's most haunted game. I designed it. And then I also I don't know I do a lot of things. I'm working on another game right now.
Host 3 22:33
Yeah. Okay. So Jack of all trades in the in the spooky world. Well, the pin kind
Of Yeah. Okay. I drew the blood streaks on Rob Zombie. On the playfield. Cool, because it needed something.
Host 1 22:46
Yeah, more just a friend of the firm. I I help out when someone else needs help. But we're
Helping us with this pie stuff. Correct? Yes. Raspberry Pie. Not the kind to eat. Not orano Pumpkin 3.14?
Host 3 23:00
He's Dr. Dots. Right.
Host 2 23:03
Well, he does the he did the converter. Yeah. Okay.
Host 3 23:06
The original David Vanasse. Would
Host 1 23:07
Be Dr. Dots. Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Host 3 23:11
Okay, just because it gets it gets confusing. There's a lot of there's a Well, it seems to be like a whole like army of, of hackers and engineers and engineers.
Yeah. It's a very small army, but it's more like it's more like a platoon.
Host 1 23:27
Squad squad as well. I
Would say yes. A squad. Yeah. Is a platoon larger than a squad? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I wasn't in the military. I don't know.
Host 3 23:37
So. So this, this Raspberry Pi compute module will eventually be integrated directly into the Connect system, correct?
Yeah, we're ripping the propeller out. Because right now the propellers the audio video processor, we're removing it and putting the Raspberry Pi three compute module lite edition, which does not have eMMC.
Host 3 23:58
Only nine calories. Zero carb.
Anyway, ripping out the propeller and putting the Raspberry Pi and compute module in its place, which could actually be a cost reduction because right now we have that FPGA, which does the color conversion for us. Right? They have the chroma color, Chroma color. Yeah. Yeah. What do you sound like 50 or 60 bucks. I'm one of those. Yeah, that's about there. Cuz here's the weird thing. Like you have something like, okay, America's most haunted, we had a, a green dot matrix display, right? Those were like $170 from x pin. And so we're like, oh, well, you know, what if we get a $50 LCD from China, and pair it with a $50 FPGA board to draw simulated dots? That's 100 bucks. So we save 70 bucks. So the time we're like we're saving money by doing this like with Rob Zombie. But then we're like, oh my god, this FPGA board is so expensive. That's what if we had 2350 for the pi plus the sort of socket and the other accoutrements it needs. It's like, you know, as long as that's under 50 bucks, basically $30 rolled in. Okay, so we're basically saving 20 bucks, because we still have the LCD screen. Yep. But we're removing the $50 from the FPGA and spending $30 on the Raspberry Pi, and there's a $20 savings. And if you're doing like 305 100 games, it really adds up fast. Oh, talking about like, you know, send your kids to college kind of money.
Host 3 25:26
Host 1 25:27
Or Community College.
Okay, yeah, you won't be sending your kids to Harvard with that share. Well, okay, so
Host 3 25:37
What what's so you've got your compute module, and you guys were fishing and working on Compute modules.
This will during the day, not the same. Now. Okay. Now, let's
Host 1 25:48
Say again that night go fishing. So that's all working
Host 3 25:50
Well. Yeah. And do you got are you at the point where your thumbs up on the schematic ready to go towards next board? Well,
You guys had a bet going on this board. Maybe should talk about that.
Host 1 26:01
Yeah, I won the bet. Yeah.
Host 3 26:05
Yeah, so I owe Parker. The six pack of beer. Yeah. For him having a board that works flawlessly.
Host 2 26:11
Yeah. Video mostly, I have a video of it playing audio and video over the
Host 1 26:18
Screen with no glitches. The regulator gets pretty hot.
Host 2 26:21
Yeah, it does. So we can't play can't play audio for too long. Yeah, the problem with that is the five volt line. That's that regulator Chris gets a little too hot, because the tro volts come in, and 12 volts go to the screen for the backlight. And then the rest of the power basically goes through the five volt line because then after the five volt line has to drop down to 3.3 volts has dropped down to 2.5, then 1.28 volts. So all the logic is being regulated through the five volt regulator. Yeah, and the reason why I had to do that was a lot of LD O's that go to the lower voltage LDS low dropout regulator. They don't have a really high tolerance for voltage. And so a lot of them are only they can only go up to like six volts. And so you have to put them after the five volt, put a pretty beefy five volt regulator on it, they actually can do three amps which is well under the power consumption of the board, but it still has to dump you know, 12 minus five times one amp, seven watts. And to like one square inch of the board, you could always just put a buck switcher could but I was trying to design this thing as fast as possible and get a turn when
We slap it on to the existing system. We can just use the five volt rail coming off of the power supply. Exactly.
Host 3 27:42
So it'll actually have like, there's no no use and getting a switcher and designing all that. You know it's pretty warm
Though. I mean, it's definitely
Host 1 27:48
Has a heatsink on it now,
Effin bug on me.
Host 2 27:53
So it does have a heatsink on it, which keeps it cool enough.
Host 3 27:57
Oh, seven Watts is a lot in a regulator. Yeah,
I sure love fidget spinners. So
Host 2 28:02
We were come from so we actually were at the Battleship Texas earlier today. Yeah. And Ben bought a fidget spinner.
Can you hear it sounds like a bug,
Host 3 28:12
I'm sure. I'm sure that thinking it up loud and clear. Awesome.
Host 2 28:17
So I guess that'd be good segue into our next topic, which is 3d printers and the history of them. Yes,
They should make a fidget spinner fan, although it would have air resistance, which means it wouldn't spin as long.
Host 3 28:32
What do you mean what do you mean by a fan? Like a fan? That looks like a 3d?
Oh, it would blow air towards you. Oh, I got Democrat resistance which so yeah, it
Host 3 28:40
Would it would slow down pretty pretty quick.
Host 1 28:42
Yeah. Yeah, well, the thing we were the fidgets spinners as I was saying, I think I swear that they came out of the 3d printing community because they're basically a 3d printed are well now they're injection molded. But the usually they have skate bearings in them and their look like something I'm sure that if I looked on Thingiverse Well, if you look on Thingiverse now you'll oh it's jam packed full full of them. But at a lot of events Maker Faire just other events. If you have a 3d printer, you're often looking for things you can give away to people who want souvenirs and lots of 3d printer guys have lots piles of unused skate bearings laying around so it's the perfect
Host 1 29:34
What's how they used to build 3d printers.
Host 1 29:38
Yes. If he when the first rep wrap or you know as it's called, project came out. The let's see, I'm trying to find I am drawing a blank on what RepRap even means, but uh
Host 1 29:59
What's up with application.
Host 1 30:00
Yeah, the early idea with the RepRap project was that the printer would be able to be used to replicate itself. So, in 2005, this this guy out of out of the UK, Dr. Adrian Boyer, I think, is the correct pronunciation, came up with this project, replication rapid prototype. And he was at the University of Bath. And his goal, he had slightly different goals, which were, he had this idea that there's a lot of third world countries or even just kind of
No, no developing countries developing third world countries,
Host 2 30:46
You mean like the Midwest? Yeah.
Host 1 30:53
That they don't have manufacturing capacity. That even we would, you know, even places where we think we might not have manufacturing capacity, where they are, it's, it's just non existent. So the idea was that if you could build a printer that could replicate itself, then you could bring in one printer into a community, and they could use that printer to make a copy of it. And then that second printer could be then given to another community. And eventually, you'd be able to, through replication just build an industry around that it wasn't just about building the printers, they were also looking at materials, they had found a way to make one of the common materials, PLA poly lactic acid, I think is what stands for, they were experimenting with making out of milk instead of in the US, it's mostly made from corn based products, and everything is made from corn in this country. Yeah, in South America, they subsidize the corn producers. In South America, they'll use sugar. You know, but it's it's the the problem was they struggled a lot with they they could get the mechanical aspects to be easily replicated. But the electronics never, they just, I mean, it's kind of a pipe dream is like Star Trek or something to think that you'd be able to just have electronics that could build a copy of itself.
Host 2 32:20
I, I'd see electronics actually, from my machine standpoint, you can probably turn a 3d printer into like a rudimentary pick and place. But like, the stepper motors,
Host 1 32:33
Yeah. The stepper motors, stepper drivers, I mean, just the circuits, how well
Your point is, it's not truly self replicating.
Host 1 32:41
Well, my point is that they, they were never able to achieve full replication.
Like when I look at a rep rat, it's like, oh, look a bunch of like, threaded rod from the hardware store with a few 3d printed parts connecting the elbows.
Host 1 32:56
Yeah, that well, the early designs, they were using a combination of parts that could get it a hardware store. But even if you think about that, parts that you can find at a hardware store increases the likelihood that you'll be able to find those parts in, say, Central America, or, you know, parts of Africa where the odds of finding a, you know, highly machined, you know, MC six, you know, aluminum, machine grade, whatever, you know, it's just not going to exist at all right? So, I believe the ideals were good and out of it. And well, the deals were good, because if it hadn't happened, I don't think we'd have 3d printing in the way we do today. Because, you know, we're talking, you know, he started 2005. I started doing this in 2009. And back then, you didn't even know anyone who had a 3d printer. So just getting the parts even though replication was the idea, how do you replicate something when you don't even have someone to give you that first generation of parts. So back then you would build things however you could. And one of the there was another kind of grade machine we call them rep straps are kind of the idea of a bootstrap pulling you up by your bootstraps. So build a machine that is very crude, but it's just good enough to build the parts that you need for the next generation of machine. And that and at that point, we didn't have barrels, nozzles, heater cartridges, and none of this stuff existed that people can just, you know, hecking go on Amazon now and buy it. I mean, we can go into micro center and buy these things. Back then it just didn't exist. So you would go to the hardware store and buy like a TIG welding nozzle, and wrap some nice chrome wire around it and put Some, this like hardening clay paste stuff on there, you'd pump about, I don't know, you know, seven amps into the thing and you could heat plastic and the plastic we're using was it was available in the industry and it was used for plastic welding, which I had never actually seen up to that point I to be honest, I have not actually seen a plastic welding rig. So I don't know what it looks like. I know that some of these sticks kind of like a stick welder but I think they work more like like a I actually don't know what the principle is behind a plastic welder butts up
Host 2 35:37
Friction welding. Yeah, so they take the stick of a spin it really to do with a drum and it kind of melts into it.
Host 1 35:43
Okay. Yeah, and, and I was able to buy a spool of plastic from some company that usually supplied plastic welding. And then then just piecing things together. And the thing is the leap in how well they've worked, how well 3d printers work between then and now is just outstanding,
Host 1 36:07
Because how was your first printer built?
Host 1 36:11
My first printer was built, I used I used a laser cut acrylic pieces, and Ben actually cut the acrylic pieces for me. And I used a NEMA 23 mortars, and they were direct drive. So it wasn't particularly fast. I think when I got it done, it was about six millimeters per second of all lead screws instead of belts. It wasn't even that I just I just took a a threaded rod A and not even a machine thread just you know what you get at Home Depot, yeah, and, and a captive not. So I basically had an A Not that I that I, you know bolted to the acrylic platform. So when the shaft would turn, the nut had nowhere to go. So it would pull the platform in whichever direction and to join it I think I just used some like like rubber tubing or something to the shaft of the of the stepper motor. And it so that direct drive. Although it has a lot of torque, it has no speed at all. And I was trying to figure out ways of making it faster. So I switched to a uni polar stepper motors and got some unipolar drivers. And at that point, I was able to get it up to about nine millimeters per second. The stand was made out of plumbing parts. It's very, very crude. But again, it only had to be good enough to print the parts for the its replacement.
Host 3 37:49
Yeah, yeah, asexual reproduction, that
Being at a company and having to train your own replacements, yeah.
Host 1 38:05
Host 3 38:06
Wait, do you have pictures of this?
Host 1 38:07
I do have pictures of it. We're
Host 3 38:09
Gonna need though you still have the original part we printed? Remember that?
Host 1 38:12
Yes. And so Ben came to visit. And I was after I cuz I built this thing using parts that he had laser cut for me. And he was interested in seeing it. And at the time, I didn't really have anything to print that that I had done. And in the software back then was a nightmare, too. We use this software called Skyn Forge. And every everything was difficult. Everything was crude. And yeah, it just it's hard to even quantify how know
How easy they have it. Yeah.
Host 1 38:43
But Ben Ben was looking at for Bill when he was building as Bill Paxton pinball. We talked about having a toy of the Apollo module, Command Module, the command module. So he using I think it was SketchUp. Yes, it designed a command module
Host 3 39:02
With what version of SketchUp was it at that time?
I don't remember it would have been 2009. So that's like, that's like way early SketchUp.
Host 1 39:11
Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. That
Was back when they were owned by Google before they sold them back to another company or whatever.
Host 3 39:16
And that was back when they had direct DX F support. When you could you could do things in between DX f that is now a paid feature. Oh, no. Yeah.
Host 1 39:28
That's too bad.
Host 3 39:29
They got you but that one?
Host 1 39:31
Yeah. So Ben designed the command module and I printed it. It turned out awful. It was just awful. I mean, there's no you still have that print?
I do. I do have a funny like Chris reprinted it recently, right? Yes. So you have the comparison of like, okay, here's the same model, printed on a DIY 2009 3d printer versus like a modern 3d printer. You can see it's like it was not the models fault. It was a printer But it's amazing because you can see the evolution that it's happened. That's really cool.
Host 1 40:04
Yeah. And, and the part of the part of the challenge was, and it's funny because back then, I was blazing territory this for me, I was blazing territory, I didn't know anyone who I could go to for advice. So often, I would just assume that other people who were doing it just knew what they were doing, and I didn't. And therefore, I assumed if someone if I could get a component from someone else, it would be superior to anything I could build myself. So I built the printer. But I decided that the extruder was the Voodoo part to me. And I thought it made sense to buy that, or to get a design from someone else who would know how to do that, and in theory, do it well. And in that case, I ended up getting the extruder design from MakerBot at the time, which in between had started producing their cupcake cupcake printer. So I thought they must know what they're doing. But it was still DC motors, right? Yes, yeah, big DC gear motor on it. And I just thought, well, they must know what they're doing, because they're a company and they have a product, and I'm not so. And in retrospect, that is why the prints turned out as bad as they did was because their design was so awful. In that generation, I mean, you know, because it was pretty crude. Because eventually, I built a better printer. And I tried to reuse that part. And I still had terrible results. And then I went to a company called maker gear, and bought replacement parts for my extruder from them. And as soon as I did that, it was as you know, as if someone wave the magic wand over my my machine, and the print started coming out. Good. And I keep thinking, occasionally, I'd like to build an brand new extruder and attach it to my old machine. Just to close the loop on that, you know, you say you're old. Yeah. Even if even if only row has it, even if it only runs nine millimeters per second, just to be able to say, look at it produces very good results. Very, very slow way
To the so you have the original print, the modern 3d printer print, and you could print a new print, say, okay, here are the three differences. Yeah, actually, can
Host 2 42:25
You send me the model? But I love the print on on my?
Host 1 42:29
Absolutely, yes. It doesn't show up as well. On a modern printer, it starts showing the weakness in the model. Because the whatever we use to slice it, it produced, the curves aren't full curves, Yo, that's
Host 2 42:45
Actually a SketchUp problem. Oh, okay. So in SketchUp, when you draw a circle, it'll automatically default to 24 segments per circle, got it over small circles, that's okay. But when you get to large circles, you start getting
The things that big, it's probably like, what, 20 millimeters across diameter?
Host 1 43:04
That sounds about right, maybe, maybe,
Host 2 43:06
That's when you start seeing older, that's when you start seeing segments. So like when I did the the Jeep airfilter, that's actually like 128 segments for a circle.
Host 1 43:17
Okay. Yeah. Yeah. The interesting thing is, when all this stuff started popping, probably 2010 2011 was started getting the news. People kind of assume that 3d printing just appeared in you know, the late aughts, I guess, or no, that would be not for another 80 years or something. But around, you know, the end of 2000. Around 2010. There's this there's this perception, correct? Yeah. 000.
Like, double opt boxshot It's like 00. And then a number. Double ot means double zeros. Right. Right. To double lot. Eight. Right. Yeah. 2008 double lot
Host 1 44:07
Odds. But but the actual kind of technology behind the 3d printing we're talking about, which is the FDM. The fused deposition modeling. Yeah. The that that was developed back in the 80s. And, and the company eventually held a lot held and holds a lot of patents on Stratasys. And so there there are a lot of if someone's looking to buy a commercial 3d printing unit, odds are, that's what they're looking at, or there's they're pretty popular units. And that's the other thing that's led to some of the explosion in 3d printing is a lot of the patents are starting to expire now. And so a lot of commercial entities are more willing. It's one thing for a bunch of hobbyists to build something in the basement You might not be concerned about patents. But if you're a company trying to sell a product, you're not too keen to jump into a market where, you know, you're going to step on patents that belong to their active patents. Right. So the expiration of a lot of those patents have helped a lot of development, 3d printing. 3d printing is
Host 2 45:20
Awesome. So you're so basically the hobbyists or at least the companies are basically waiting for patents to expire. It's like the explosion in the Nintendo Nintendo on a chip and oases. Yeah. Which was huge. What, like, five, six years ago, 10 years ago, even years ago. Oh, man. I guess that would be when I was hacking Nintendo's. But like, Yeah, cuz when the Nintendo patents expired, there was a huge explosion of Nintendo on a chip and OAC. No X, no X. And snus just crossed that line a couple years back to
Host 1 45:58
Okay. Yeah, I definitely think that has an impact, at least on the commercial interest. It also helps that there was more interest in 3d printing, so more people want to buy them. And the prices have gotten quite reasonable. Although I've noticed that, and I had kind of predicted this, or at least I'd gotten to some discussions with other hobbyists. And the argument I would hear is that 3d printing will explode when it says, you know, you can buy one for 80 bucks, and there'll be one in every home. And I've never believed that I I always felt like, my counter argument was always Is there a laser printer in every home? Is there an inkjet printer in every home there? There can be but there's people just don't need that. My belief was that the market will be the prosumer market. Sure, where you know, companies that want that see the value of oh, I have a mechanical engineering team. Oh, you mean, I can afford to put a 3d printer on every one of their desks? That's huge, you know, instead of having to share one
True Star Trek replicator kind of thing, where it's like, tea, Earl Grey hot, and it came on to the machine that could so they were they would be in every home. Absolutely, yeah. But with a 3d printer, it's like, oh, I have to design a model. It has to be you know, it has to be designed in order for it to actually be 3d printable. Because like, people think 3d printers are magic, but they're not like you have to design something that can actually work in it. So since 3d printing actually takes some sort of thought and some sort of maintenance, it's not in skill. It's it's not going to be in every home. Yeah, the machines
Host 2 47:42
Have gotten good enough now, where if you make a model that can be 3d printed, and you hit go, the machine will print it. Right, right. If you make a model that can be 3d, yeah, the problem is getting the data in there. It's like, oh, well, that's the thing is like, what how, why does an average household need a 3d printer anyways?
They don't, because if you think about it, like the amount of energy it takes for a big machine to stamp on a plastic spoon is infinite decimal, compared to what a 3d printer will spend making that same plastic spoon. So most people aren't creative. Most people are dumb, they just want like the same shit to seen over and over. They want they want a spoon, they want a shower curtain rod, they want a drain plug. And these are all things you can go to Target and get,
Host 3 48:29
But they want the expected spoon. They want the spoon that they're used to. They're not they don't want a spoon that's different in some way.
Right? I guess my point is, like, if you're a creative engine, individual or a prototyper, you are creating new things. And the 3d printer facilitates that right. The average person just wants whatever shit keeps their phone running or their sink running or like
Host 1 48:51
That fidget spinner you're
Holding. Exactly. It doesn't change, it doesn't move. Like some some redneck is not going to sit around and like redesign the ultimate spoon. They were like shit, I can go down to Walmart and buy it for for 10 cents, I'm just going to Walmart and buy it. It's more efficient to like think about it the amount of energy, the amount of energy consumed by a 3d printer printing the spoon far exceeds the machine in the factory stamping that out 10 times a second.
Host 1 49:24
The area where I would say that there would be a huge value increase in 3d printers for on a consumer level is if devices were manufactured with the idea that they would have components that could be replaceable by 3d printed components. So like if you imagine, you know your washing machine, and they said oh on our website, we're going to put the STL files for all the various pulleys and other knives and stuff. Yeah, because sometimes if you have a you know if you have an appliance are like me, you're a homeowner and you find something that's broken. You go to Home Depot or whatever, they don't even have the parts anymore. You can't even get the parts. And
Host 2 50:09
When you order the parts, it's like 30 bucks for a knob. Yeah, I've known that before. It's my jeep.
Host 1 50:14
And you have to wait for it. So if if 3d printing caught on as an idea, that company said, Hey, we're gonna put all the models on our website so that if you need to replace a component in you know, someone a 3d printer, you could just print it.
Yeah, that still seems like a service though, where you'd go to Home Depot. And instead of them having it in stock, they can print it from a file. Yeah, that to absolutely. I mean, that'd be nice. Which actually makes sense.
Host 2 50:41
Because they can have even nicer printers like a What's the powder printer?
Host 3 50:47
Is the SLA
So yeah, yeah, no, no, the powder printers different SLA is stereo lithography that uses the lasers in the resin. So what's the powder powder printer use form one just came out with one yet uses like a it uses pesos? Not?
Host 3 51:01
I'm sorry. Not talcum dust disposition or DEP is it's basically Yeah,
It's like your inkjet printer where you're extruding the ink through the the through the apertures it extrudes glue basically, right. Well,
Host 1 51:15
There's different versions that are ones that use lasers to fuse the metal. And then
We'll get into that where it's like, Hey, do you need a three you know, I'm sure that if you go on Amazon right now, there's all sorts of things that are like plastic parts, you know, like plastic, or rings, plastic fidget spinner fidget spinners, you know, adapters, whatever, like, why you don't even need to ship that, like you send the file to like a local distribution center. And they 3d printed. And even though it's decentralized, like you don't have to have on every home, so it doesn't have to be affordable for a home. It can be affordable for like your local post office or your local. You know, whatever, you know, it cost $20,000, who cares? And it can serve as many people like they will print it for you. It's not really teleportation is like interpretation of an idea. But they can print it and go pick it up. And you're good to go.
Host 3 52:10
Okay, guys, so here's the idea. Amazon creates biodegradable printing, what it does is it prints whatever plastic parts you want, but it also prints a biodegradable quadcopter that delivers it to your place, and then biodegrades in your front lawn.
That doesn't make any sense.
Host 3 52:30
Of course, it doesn't.
Host 1 52:31
Nothing makes sense on this podcast.
Host 1 52:34
But like even the military and I was exploring 3d printing, because if they can, not on the front line, but if they could forward deploy 3d printing equipment, and if they're if the soldiers equipment is designed with replaceable parts in mind, then you know, you they would be able to print the parts they need right
Out, and they wouldn't have to worry about their rear supply chain, right, or disruption. So even if they're cut off, they could reprint things they need.
Host 2 53:06
Yeah, like they probably design the say inside their their M sixteenths. With sintered metal parts instead of pressed steel and bent parts. They could just reprint the insides of their weapons if they needed to. Yeah, and that would make a lot of sense. Yeah,
You wouldn't have to worry about the chain of command or the chain of supply chain supply.
Host 2 53:27
Yeah, you still have to worry about the command part.
Host 1 53:29
Yeah. A modern aircraft carrier is like the machine shop and an aircraft carrier is impressive that because they are equipped to essentially manufacture almost any part they need on the ship. Now, when it comes to repairing the aircraft, that's a whole different matter that the jet engines are, they probably just yank them and send them back. Even jet
Engines are being 3d printed these days like the 3d printed and then they refine it through CNC milling.
Host 1 53:58
Yeah. It's definitely come a long way and continues to come a long ways. The materials that they're using the different home fuse, the FDM but also the resin SLA is interesting, although messy, but it's a there's something magical about seeing a resin printer run because it's it almost looks like something of a science fiction movie because you see this vat of goo basically. And if you get the ones that are you illuminated from underneath, you basically see this glowing object kind of rise out of the goo it did. It looks just like something out of a movie.
Host 2 54:40
So I think everyone here uses 3d printers. So how to like Chris, what do you use 3d printers for nowadays? I use it
Host 1 54:49
Mostly for prototyping, building other things, experimental devices that I'm working on. If I need a custom bracket or just something that doesn't exist, or I don't know it exists until I've thought of it. And outside of that I'll occasionally print things just to give away to people. Because everyone always seems to want something that's 3d printed.
Host 1 55:15
I asked for things.
Host 1 55:18
No, but you asked for practical things. I'm talking about things like octopus, you know, everyone wants me to print them an octopus. Even though they could get one at the toy store that looks about 1000 times better. But they they go crazy for octopus, so I don't
Host 2 55:34
Think that'd be the code word. Crazy for octopus crazy for octopus. Hashtag. Thanks.
Host 3 55:41
Send that in with your address to podcast at Mac fab.com. And we'll send you some cool swag.
Host 2 55:46
Yep. So Ben? Yeah, what do you use 3d printers for?
They're great for prototyping. I use them all the time. There's a bug me again. I have seven or eight 3d printers, I can't quite remember how many
Host 2 56:02
Would imagine how wild that room is.
What I love about 3d printers is like you can design something like whatever like a fidget spinner, whatever you design, and you can like send it to the printer. And then while it's printing, you can design the next iteration of it. So when that one's done pretty, like pull it off the printer, see what you did wrong. And then work that into your next design. It's so quickly iterative that I love it. You can like just keep pounding things out, like one after the other. i When I first saw 3d printers, like probably 2009 2010, you know, maker fairs. All they would do with them at the demonstrations is like print bottle openers, and key chains and all this other BS and like, Oh, that's cute. But until I started using them for myself, I you know, I thought they were kind of a gimmick, but I'm like, This is amazing. Like once I realized what they could do, like once I realized your potential. And now I mean, I would still probably keep my laser cutter above a 3d printer. You know, like if I was in some sort of Sophie's Choice thing where they put a gun to my head.
Host 2 57:07
See you CNC 3d printer or laser cutter.
CNC would go first. Yeah, then the 3d printer and then the laser cutter. laser cutters like cold dead fingers.
Host 1 57:18
Laser cutters. I really like
I have an epilogue mini helix a 40 watt. I really love it. It's great. It's fast. That's a big thing. 3d printing is not super fast. Yeah. But it is nice that you can like okay, I'm going to print this part. I can go to lunch. And come come back. It's done and your
Host 1 57:37
Buildings on fire.
I'd love to see like well I know I'm sure there's a lot less of
Host 3 57:42
That with then CNC and laser stuff. Yeah, I guess I'm way more comfortable with a 3d printer going without
Host 2 57:51
Penzo Cuz you see a lot of times online of like house burns down because 3d printer.
Host 1 57:57
Although usually there's some other reason like the one kid's house burned down but it turned out he was in a magic and he kept that that magic people have that paper that poofs, you know burst into flames that like the slightest thing. And he had like a box of it sitting in the room. Like right next to the 30 printer. Yeah. And then he filled the whole room with 101 papers what you think enough? Yeah. Could be a magic paper.
Host 2 58:24
Yeah, gun paper. It's a kind of it's really thin paper. And it's basically got I don't know if it's actually gunpowder, but it's got a chemical in it that basically when it hits a an oxidizer, yeah, it's got an oxidizer. And so when it gets hit really hard, and you can cause ignition source, it will immediately Ignite, it burns,
Almost, I'm going to Google this
Host 1 58:43
And convey and he was also using hairspray to make his you know, printer bed stickier. And he must have misunderstood something because they say basically emptied a whole can of hairspray into the room. And it was unventilated. So, you know, it's a terrible tragedy, but at the same time, it's my advice to people would be if you're going to print have ventilated area, you know, if you're going to fill it full of air spray and keep expulsive explosives in the same space. Or maybe you just don't know what
Host 2 59:17
You don't keep explosives next to your print. That
Was my illusion, Michael. But I think Ben make
Host 2 59:23
That the title of this podcast. Don't keep explosives next 3d printer.
Host 1 59:28
The I been hit on something that I think is really important there though, which is the idea of iterative development. And because in software engineering, once the compilers got good enough, and the CPUs got fast enough, it was easy to start writing code in a different way, which was he didn't have to pre think out everything before you actually wrote the code and then set the compiler off and went to you know, take a coffee break. It got to the point where everything was so fast that it changed the way development was done to iterative development. So you change something, run it, change something, run it, change some of the run, and then, and it changes the way you think about doing development. And this is very true with what has been as described, which is, you know, you, instead of trying to get the design perfect, you might just keep iterating, you know, 100 times before you find that perfect design that meets your Yeah, you
Design the main parts of it, you print it, see how it feels in your hand, like, see if like the fidget spinner bearings fit into it. And then, you know, you immediately print another one. Yeah, I really like it. Yeah, I agree.
Host 3 1:00:42
It's a low cost solution for finding issues.
Host 2 1:00:45
Just Steven, what do you use 3d printers for us to be the biggest hater of 3d printers? See,
Host 3 1:00:52
I somehow I don't I do not know how that I kind of gained that reputation. And, and listeners have actually told me that I've kind of gained that reputation. I don't hate 3d printers. I think they're really freakin cool. I just don't use them personally, myself on a regular basis. And the along the same line has been saying like, most of the time, I've seen them just print toys, you know? And like, that's cool. I don't have any problem with that. And frankly, what I'm using them for right now is to print toys. Yeah, no. So we're building we're building terrain tiles for
Dungeons and Dragons do say though it is highest technology to amuse itself a toys. Oh, well,
Host 3 1:01:37
Then there we go. This is the highest level of engineering.
Host 2 1:01:40
I think the quote was 3d printers just print plastic junk. I didn't that was Did I say that? Yeah, that was your quote? Oh, well, okay.
Host 3 1:01:49
Well, okay. So I do have a, there's a useful thing that I'm going to be printing soon, I have a I have a board that needs a very unique standoff in order to set it away from the chassis that I'm going to fix it to. And a 3d printed bezel would be fantastic. Because I only need one, I could cut it on my CNC. But that requires me going to my chop programming my CNC spending a couple hours, or I could just give it to Parker and have it printed on it. So so it's useful in that sense, you know, if I need one part, and I need it, you know, and it's something I can do in the air conditioning it macro fab that Yeah, that's great. I love it.
So guys, what is to come in 3d printing, aka the future?
Host 1 1:02:42
Well, I think that besides the normal, progressive development we've seen of faster and you know, nine, arterioles and high resolution, the area that is most fascinating to me is where they start using 3d printers for biological items are, and I've seen them me use modified inkjet printers, to print organs. Yeah, Organ replacements, and, you know, being able to print biological materials, I think would be pretty amazing. If you could have a replacement in Oregon, or I don't know how far they'll go. But to me that, that'll be pretty remarkable.
We think about the movie The Fifth Element, they 3d print. Mila Jovovich Oh, yeah, I really only had like, one they have like, a hand or whatever. Yeah, the gauntlet and a 3d printer. Look, you see the slices coming in, like?
Host 1 1:03:46
That's the OG 3d printer, then.
Totally. I was 90s wasn't 1997 I would love a 3d printer for circuit boards. Or that's sort
Host 3 1:03:57
Of already I can't remember the name of the printer. But it's, it's it's one of those. It's one of those circuit board printers that's ends up being useful for like, led circuits and things like that.
Now, if you think about okay, people, you know, he says he could say the same thing about consumer 3d printers back in 2008 or 2009. I think whoever perfects the quote unquote, 3d printer for circuit boards, I mean, it probably it's not gonna work that way, but whoever does that, figures it out. They're gonna make a lot of money.
Host 2 1:04:30
Oh, there's a lot of money. There's a couple of companies that make like pro level machines that do that. There's a big company out in in Germany that does that. Well. You can basically slop in a board and it will laser everything you put on solder mask and all that stuff. But I think we're, you know, I've seen some CNC, you know, PCBs and stuff, but I think we're quite a ways away from, pop it and get it a two layer. The big thing with two layer boards is the vias that go in between. And right now, I haven't seen a good solution for that yet. Of course,
If you take a 3d printer back to the 80s, and sort of someone they think it was fucking magic. Yeah, that's magic that took half a day to happen. Yes, I'm just saying, it will happen. They'll figure it out.
Host 3 1:05:19
But But think about it, if an engineer in his lab at x company, could XCOM crap out a PCB in eight hours, as opposed to a two week turn somewhere. Yep. I mean, that'll
Be huge, saying Whoever figures that out, it's just like, it's like male birth control pill, like whoever figures it out is going to be a fucking billionaire.
Host 3 1:05:44
There's some truth to that. Another
Host 1 1:05:45
Another thing that and I would build it if I knew. If I had the, I mean, I have it written out on paper. But I don't know how to get from point A to point B on the design. But I had an idea for a 3d printer that is basically kind of like a machine that has say six or eight, multiple legs. And it would carry, it would essentially almost have a mouth, which would be the extrusion mechanism. And it would climb up a structure and then extrude the material and basically work its way up as it extrudes. So it'd be used for building, you know.
Host 1 1:06:26
He has no idea what that machine is.
Host 1 1:06:29
So, but it would, you know, if you envision almost kind of like a spider, I guess, you know, but it would be kind of climbing up. So instead of you know, buildings would be built by these machines that would be extruding the materials as they climb up the structures they're building. And I just don't know how to do it. I haven't figured out how to do it yet. But that's something that I think would be pretty cool to see.
Host 2 1:06:57
So that guys, we all sign us out.
Yeah, I think it's a good edit point. Okay, here you go, Chris. That was a macro fab engineering podcast. We were your host, Ben heckendorn and Chris Craft.
Host 2 1:07:11
Well, y'all were the guests but okay. Oh, yes, Parker.
Let everyone that that was a macro fab podcast. That was a macro fab engineering podcast. We were your guests, Ben heckendorn and Chris Craft.
Host 2 1:07:29
You know, we're just gonna keep all the sin
Host 3 1:07:30
Down. And we were your host, Stephen Couric.
Host 2 1:07:37
We're gonna have like four outros. Yeah, absolutely. Okay.
Let's wrap it up, Chris. Thanks.
Host 3 1:07:45
Take it easy, guys. Later,
This is episode 75.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai