Random Thoughts (Aug ’19): Proto-Pasta, Alexa Gadgets, Dual Extruder 3D Printers

Sometimes you gotta spend more on 3D filament to Save More

Galactic Empire Metallic Purple HTPLA

I love Proto-Pasta’s filament. Yes, it costs more that what I was originally using (Inland filament), but it’s not too expensive (especially their Sparkly HTPLA line) and I find that I waste less time (and filament) on failed prints. The extra $10 I spend is well worth it…

Bonus – I can get it from my local Microcenter (10 mins away from my house)

Longing for a Dual Extrusion Printer

I love my Wanhao i3 plus 3D printer. So far, I’ve added Z braces, a new cooler, a new build plate, and a glass bed. My prints (for the most part) come out exactly how I expect. I’m planning to add a metal hot end and new extruder gear to start printing exotics…

That being said… there is one thing that the Wanhao will never give me (easily) – dual extraction/multi-modal printing. So, I’ve been thinking a lot about a Prusa MK3 or (gasp) an Ultimaker…. Maybe one of them will be my gift to myself at Christmas…

Amazon Gadgets, a game changer?

The Echo Wall Clock (an example of an Alexa Gadget)

Last month, Amazon quietly rolled out an updated Alexa Gadgets API. For those unaware, gadgets allow you to connect a smart device to an Amazon Echo. You can build smart clocks, toys, games, etc. – and have them interact with custom skills or “base” Alexa functionality (alarms, timers, wake word detection, etc.) So far, the API is limited, but this could be a game changer for the IoT/connect device landscape… if Amazon can move from Bluetooth classic to BLE…


Cool Contests:

There are a few contests that I’m considering entering

  1. Instructables Indoor Lighting Contests – I think I have a good idea… if I can find the time
  2. Either the Hackster or Element14 Avnet Azure Sphere contests: I have no good ideas for either of these contests (yet)… but I’m excited about working with a hardware chip that’s customized to work with one of the major cloud providers




… more thoughts next month!