15 August 2013

Blog Direction and Manchester Mini Maker Faire

Hi all,
I've been wondering what to do with this blog, the name and branding scream SumPod, but I want to include more non-3D printing  projects.  I have decided to keep the name, because I believe the origins of the blog are clear and I expect some visitors to have an interest in the SumPod (if this isn't the case, please let me know in the comments) and just post about my other projects.  I hope you find the content to be interesting and inspiring.

Last weekend, the Museum of Science and Industry was the venue to a Mini Maker Faire.   The atmosphere was great, there were plenty of things for family members to do and many knowledgeable people to talk to.  Besides bumping into some mates, some of who were manning stands: David demonstrating his work on animatronics and walking robots; Jamie with a stand on automation and Hayden promoting FabLab Manchester; I had a surprise meeting with Nophead of HydraRaptor fame.

Projects I hope to cover a large format XY stage using CoreXY kinematics for a footwear scanner (pictures to follow) and some PhD stuff on remote sensing and imaging, I've been working on for longer than I care to remember.


12 November 2012

Touching Two Continents

Hi all,

November started with my PhD viva - the defense of my previous few years of research.  The cross examination undertaken by experts in the field concealed threat detection was successful and pending correction of some typos, I gain the title of Doctor.

11 September 2012

Handed In


Long time, no post.  I've now finished and submitted my thesis.  It's difficult to describe the relief and the euphoria of that weight lifting from my shoulders!  I'm looking to the many tasks I've put on hold pending my submission, that I expect I'll be even busier than before, but at least I won't be writing.  Yes, I have to defend my work in cross examination, but I know my stuff and an that in comparison to writing up should be a doddle and hope to only get minor corrections.

I'll try and not repeat my extended break from posting - I could have posted what I've been researching, but it's sufficiently off topic from my adventures into 3D printing (or not) with the SumPod, as to be irrelevant.

I see Mr Sum, has been busy with some notable changes in the design.
Take care all.
SumPod Guinea Pig

16 February 2012


I received a surprise parcel on Saturday from Mr Sum, just one day after he sent it. The postal service obviously doesn't loose all of his parcels it seems, they must be losing their touch.  The parcel contained most of the missing parts for my SumPod and an incomplete hotend v2.  It would be so much easier to tell with a picklist what parts are missing - at least at Ikea you know what you're supposed to have and tell what's missing (and the customer service is a lot better too).

Over the weekend I built the supplied parts into my SumPod and loaded the SumPod Sprinter firmware.  After double checking connections, I excitedly powered up the SumPod to test the three axis of motion and experienced a sinking feeling, not the light-headed, vomit inducing miss-typed dd or clicking hard drive variety, thank goodness, just a 'frustrated this should work, here we go again' feeling in anticipation of the inevitable fault finding.  The stepper motors were 'spazzing' (a well known technical term) and would turn when a finger was prodded onto pins of the Pololu driver - a fault finding technique I recommend (after discharging any static) to indicate floating pins with a little capacitive coupling.  I was concerned the Pololu drivers had been damaged having missed the tell tale 'magic smoke' while reassembling the electronics and connecting it to the SumPod.  Had rousing them from an extended slumber damaged them?  Who knows, they had been in a box on a shelf since mid October...