Archive for January, 2017


As a followup to my previous tip, I was asked how I get my prints to stick to my build platform. My MakerBot Replicator 2X has a heated aluminum build platform that is coated in Kapton tape. ABS will still okay to this material, but it is not perfect. To help my prints stick better, I was the build platform with acetone before each print. I make sure I do this just before I start the job. Using a paper towel, I ensure there is nothing left on the platform. This also leaves a thin coating of acetone. Hitting print just after I finishing cleaning (but with a preheated bed and extruders), the first layer of HIPS or ABS sticks well. Since many of my prints are for complex parts, there is almost always a HIPS raft. Acetone is a solvent for both ABS and HIPS, making the first layer extra sticky.

I tend to use a fair bit of acetone with this process. I typically get my acetone from Walmart. Acetone is commonly used in nail polish remover and they typically sell large bottles.

If you’re having issues with prints sticking to the print bed, give this a try.

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I get a lot of questions about 3D Printing. Lots of people ask what printer I have or what materials I use. As you can see in the photo above, I have a MakerBot Replicator 2X. My printer is a few years old now, but it has a heated build platform, dual extruders, and a closed in shell. While it lakes the bells and whistles of wifi and an app, it more than meets my needs. Follow me after the break to learn how I use my printer and how to use dissolvable supports! (more…)


Back in November, I got a Phantom 3 Standard drone. The stock drone is a lot of fun, but it could use a couple upgrades. The first upgrade wanted was to replace the stock phone mount with a tablet mount. The larger screen on the table makes it easier to track objects. I got some really cool photos of an RC DC-3 flying around my drone at the local flying field, but following the small plane was difficult on the tablet, likely impossible on my phone.

The original phone mount is not very durable and after using it a few times, the plastic broke as you can see in the photo. DJI did send a replacement that was metal, but it would still limit me to my cell phone.

I found a tutorial on Phantom Help that used the DJI Inspire 1’s tablet mount. I initially decided to just screw the tablet mount into the plastic. I used some glue to add support. The upgrade was well worth it and it functioned well when out at the field flying.

However, within a week the mount broke. The plastic shell was fine, but the metal support broke. You can see the damage in the photo below. To be fair, this was after shipping my drone to my parent’s house for the holidays. While I packed the controller well, it appears some of the packing air bags broke in transit. I am still not quite sure how the plastic shell escaped damage (especially since it looks like the metal was crushed ).

Once I was home, I decided to order the metal insert. The threaded insert would allow me to remove the mount for shipping. To accommodate the new insert, I had to make the hole larger. I screwed the insert into the plastic and attached the nut. To make sure it stays secure, I used some hot glue. I also used hot glue to hold down wires that I had to reroute after the install.

The picture of the final install is below. I highly recommend this upgrade to anyone that got a DJI Phantom 3 Standard for the holidays! I also picked up a hard shell case for the drone and the accessories. For return shipping to Florida, I did remove the tablet mount and used the case. Both the controller and drone returned in perfect condition. I can’t wait to start flying again!