Monthly Archives: November 2015

No printing :(

Well after printing BB-8’s holoprojector, I came home the next day at lunch and was going to show my wife how the printer works. However, I couldn’t power it on.

I tried multiple outlets, a new power cord. Nothing was working.

I then grabbed my multimeter and confirmed that power was coming into the power supply, but nothing was going out. There’s also a little LED on the power supply and it wasn’t turning on.

I contacted the vendor and they are sending me a new power supply. This in mind, I decided to open the power supply up and take a look.

Burnt PSU

Burnt PSU

As you can see, the thermistor is fried. It almost looks like due to it’s placement on the board, being so close to the fuse… that the fuse might of arc’d and caused the problem.

Now it’s a waiting game… which sucks cause it took several weeks to get the unit in the first place…

Review: CTC 3D Printer

I ordered a CTC Bezier 3D printer from eBay on the 9th. It arrived last night. The CTC is a MakerBot Replicator 2 clone.

CTC 3D Printer

CTC 3D Printer

Once I got home, I took it out of the box. The printer is pretty solid, made of wood. I came with 3D printed feet for it, a 3D printed rod to hold the spool of filament, a 2 gig SD card, that contains the instructions and software (more on this later) and a bag of spare screws, nuts, washers and Allen keys, as well as a half spool of filament. The filament I got was black PLA.

So I took it out of the box, and had to attach the extruder and rod for the filament. I also attached the feet. One of which was broken. I was expecting to get feeding tubes for the filament as the pictures on eBay and YouTube reviews showed these, but they weren’t included.

Next thing I noticed, a majority of the screws on the printer were loose. So I tightened them, only to notice that a few were missing. I looked in the box and found a dozen screws and nuts just at the bottom. After attaching these, I decided it was time to  plug the printer in. I heard a chime melody playing and then the LCD display came on. Going through the menu options I found the leveling mode. This moved the extruder to various spots on the bed and would prompt me to try and slide a business card between the bed and the extruder. The card didn’t fit, so I had to adjust a few butterfly nuts under the bed. I repeated this with each spot the extruder would move to. I highly suggest repeating the process a few times as I ended up having some leveling problems on my second print attempt.

Now with everything set up, I was ready to print something. The SD card that comes with the printer contained software for the printer, for both Windows and Mac. However the software was in Chinese. It also included instructions in a .doc file… but they were badly translated from Chinese as well. The card also contained several 3D models to test print. As excited as I was, I decided to skip these and launched the MakerBot Desktop software I had already installed. I loaded up a BB-8 file, changed the properties to those suggested in the BB-8 builders club documents and saved the file to the SD card.

I walked the SD card over to the printer, tried to place the filament spool, but the hole in the spool is a bit smaller than the rod. So for now, until I print a new one, it was just sitting there.

I put the SD card in and selected Print from SD card. This gave me a menu of all the files on the card that I could print. I selected the BB-8 Holoprojector. At this point the printer started making some noise and discharging an ozone smell. After a few seconds, the print bed moved up and the extruder started printing. After 26 minutes, that felt like 3 because of my awe and intrigue in this Star Trek Replicator type device, I had a fully printed Holoprojector! I reach in and tried to pull it off… it wasn’t budging… I grabbed a bondo style spatula that I had on hand and tried to scrape it off… it still wasn’t budging. I reached for my OLFA knife…. and started prying at it… SUCCESS! It came off… but so did the blue painters’ tape that was on the bed. Later on, I found out that PLA, the filament type I used, doesn’t like heated beds. You should set the bed to 50 degrees. Mine was set way hotter than this.


Printed HP

After examining the printed piece I decided I needed to print more! I didn’t want to print something that would take hours… so I loaded the file for the antenna… it was multiple pieces so I laid one in the back and one on the front of the bed. I start the print… after the first layer, I noticed that the print in the back wasn’t extruding onto the bed properly… This is why I suggest running through the leveling a few times.

All in all, I can’t say I’m disappointed at all! Especially when you consider the price I paid for this printer. It’s got a nice sized bed 225x 145 ×150 mm. A double extruder, so I can print things in 2 colors. USB and SD printing options. A heated bed and it’s enclosed.

Once I’m at the point to get a second printer, I’d highly consider getting a second one of these.


Now, as for the missing and broken parts, I emailed the seller and he’s offered to replace the broken foot, mentioned that the screws are loose intentionally for safer travel, but mentioned nothing about the feeder tubes.

R2 Updates

I’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting the updates to R2 on here for a while.

Well I got the foot drives done. They’re absolutely gorgeous.


Foot Drive


Foot Drive

I also got both legs completed, and got the shoulders attached. I then went on to glaze the seems. Still need to paint them.





I finished painting the skins and all the blue parts. Rob then came over and we attached them. At this point, it really started looking like R2 🙂

Center Foot Skirting

Center Foot Skirting

Then this past weekend, I started assembling the skirting for the center foot. I should be able to attach them to the foot this week and then finish off the outer feet.
Hopefully I won’t forget to post more as I go 🙂

How I Like To Spend My Saturday Evenings

Make A Wish Gala Wish Reveal

Make A Wish Gala Wish Reveal


Some people like to spend their Saturday evening watching a movie, or simply hanging out with friends. Others like to watch TV or go out for drinks.
I like all those things, however what I really love is how I got to spend this past Saturday night.

As part of the 501st/Rebel Legion/Mando Mercs/Astromech Builders I get to do some pretty cool things. I build costumes, props and droids that bring smiles to kids and grownups alike. But on occasion we get to do stuff that’s even more meaningful. We get to help Make A Wish grant wishes.

This past Saturday hit closer to home than usual. One of our handler’s son was getting his wish granted and Make A Wish contacted us to be there for the reveal at their annual Gala. Now, her son is a huge Chewbacca fan. Every event we do together, he freaks out over Chewie and is always wearing a chewie hoodie.

Make A Wish had asked us to keep this a surprise. So we made sure she didn’t know that we would be heading there.

We arrived and didn’t want to be seen, so we hid in a hallway. The coordinator arrived and escorted us to the changing room. Once suited up, we went back out, just outside of the hall and waited for our queue. People walking by would see the troopers and Vader and freak out, then they’d notice the 8′ tall wookiee and their jaws would drop.

Then the Star Wars theme started to play and we marched in. We had a Tie pilot and gunner, followed by two Jawas, then Vader with 2 troopers and lastly Chewie and Han. The look on our friend’s face was priceless.

We walked up to them and the MC got the crowd to yell out that the wish was being granted and that they’d be going on a Disney Star Wars themed cruise. You could feel the magic in the air.

Once we were done there, we walked out to the hallway and posed for pictures for over an hour. CTV News and the Italian News recorded us.

Such a great night. I love what we do.