2021.10.30 meeting

Although I haven’t posted anything lately, the Blackpool lug and makerspace have continued to meet virtually every Saturday at 10am ( using Jitsi).

This week, Barry talked about putting Ubuntu touch on his phone. Theo was waiting for parts to repair his robot and Tony showed a model pickup truck he had restored the previous week.

2017-10-21 Build day

Today we opened 10.00 until 17.00 to prepare for our open day next weekend (27th and 28th).

We are running a Make:Shift:Do open day event in association with the Craft Council on Friday 27th October from 17.00 until 21.00 and Saturday 28th October 2017, 10.00 until 17.00.

The laser cutter was put through it’s paces. After a few adjustments and a modification to the extraction system, the laser cutter was pronounced fit for use next weekend. A set of guidelines for use are here:- https://github.com/lesp/BlackpoolMakerspaceLaserCutter

Tony2 took a series of pictures with a Raspberry Pi camera for testing with photogrammetry software, then went home to set up a better picture taking environment with lightbox and turntable to try again.

Tony1 donated an i7 tower unit as the basis for a workstation to run the photogrammetry software. It will need the Radeon graphics card replacing with a CUDA compatible Nvidia card with at least 1G memory on board, and the computer memory will also need upgrading.

The Colmap photogrammetry software was tested on Mike2 laptop which had CUDA compatible graphics and Colmap was found to be very fast, but a bit of a learning curve is involved to use it effectively.

The 3D printer was found to have a drive belt with not enough tension causing it to slip and loose position while printing. There is no obvious way to tighten the tension, so the belt has either stretched or it is the wrong belt. The manufacturers are going to be contacted for advice on the problem.  See Note1.

The proposed photogrammetry demonstration for Make:Shift:Do is ready in theory.  The complete demo would involve taking pictures of an object, feeding the pictures into photogrammetry software to produce a 3D representation, converting that representation into a file suitable for use in the 3D printer, then printing out a 3D replica of the object we photographed. Unfortunately, with the 3D printer out of action, we will be unable to do the final part of the demo, which is to print the replica.

Note1: 2018-10-6  The problem with the 3D printer has been resolved. The repair involved replacing the drive wheels with items which had two locking screws instead of one screw. Then realigning all the belts and the drive wheels to enable free movement.




Make:Shift:Do project – Photogrammetry

For the Craft Council Make:Shift:Do project at the end of the October 2017, we want to build a system which can scan a component or item and produce a 3D file which can be fed into the 3D printer to manufacture an identical component or item.

here is an example of a scanner: http://freelss.org/

Here is a wikipedia article with lots of photogrammetry software, 24 of which are free.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_photogrammetry_software.Of the 24, 3 are web based.
Web based systems do not require us to have software or a high powered computer. We just supply the photographs.
The trade off is the time and bandwidth required to upload the required number of high resolution pictures, and the complete lack of control over the workflow.

here is one example:
http://www.arc3d.be/     Free web powered converter.

Here is the 3DF Zephyr.  A standalone, non web based system.
The generally suggested hardware specification to run such software is:

i7, 8G min, 16G preferred memory and a CUDA capable graphics card. Depending on the software, CUDA is not always required, but slows things down if not available.

I am sure several of us have have capable hardware to test the various software, and Tony has kindly offered to loan a suitable machine to the club.
I would be interested in knowing how long such a machine would take to do the job.
Quote from ARC3D cloud based system mention above:

“Depending on the size, number and quality of the images that have been uploaded, a typical job may take from 15 minutes to 2 or 3 hours. “On the picture taking side, a lot of writeups are using the pi camera on it’s own or in multiples, but equally,  some are suggesting better results are obtained with higher quality pictures.

I have seen everything from a smartphone to a high end SLR suggested and it seems like one camera is good enough to get the job done. Multiple cameras do not seem to be required. Several members probably have high quality cameras.

In summary,  we have everything we need to start testing the various options.

Some articles describe pipeline style workflows, where defects/holes in the mesh can be identified, and extra pictures of the area can be taken and added to correct the problem.

But maybe we will be looking for “pictures in, 3D printer file out” with no intervention from the user.

Here is a good article describing the different workflows.

Written by Dr. P.L. Falkingham who wrote this white paper in 2012;

Acquisition of high resolution three-dimensional models using free, open-source, photogrammetric software:
http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/issue1-2012technical-articles/92-3d-photogrammetryDr. Falkingham says this about Agisoft Photoscan, one of the two suggestions Olly picked out in his first email.
“This program has become something of a standard among colleagues who use photogrammetry, and for good reason.  At $59 for the educational standard version, it’s a bargain, and it’s easy to use interface means anyone can use it. “

Next is an open source pi laser scanning kit.  Similar in concept to what we want to attempt.
FreeLSS is a free as in open source, open hardware, and open electronic design 3D printable turn table laser scanning platform based on the Raspberry Pi.

Available in kit form here:http://store.murobo.com/atlas-3d-kit/
It is written in C++ and licensed under the GPL.
The scanning software runs self-contained on the Raspberry Pi without the need for a connected computer via USB.
The user interface is completely web based and is exposed via libmicrohttpd on the Pi. Laser sensing is performed via the official 5 MP Raspberry Pi camera.
The camera can be operated in either video or still mode.
Video mode camera access is provided by the Raspicam library.
Reference designs for the electronics to control the lasers and turn table are available as Fritzing files.
Access to the GPIO pins are provided by wiringPi.
FeaturesFully 3D Printable
Point cloud export
Triangle mesh export
Assisted calibration
Support for dual laser lines (right and left)
Up to 6400 samples per table revolution (with reference electronics)
5 megapixel camera sensor
Support for camera Still mode and Video code
Configurable Image Processing Settings
Ability to generate images at different stages of the image processing pipeline for debugging
Persistant storage of previous scans
Manual control of lasers and turn table
Flexible architecture

FreeLSS can generate results in the following formats.

PLY – Colored Point Cloud
XYZ – Comma Delimited 3D Point Cloud
STL – 3D Triangle Mesh



3D Scanner Buying Guide 2016

Price: Kinect (varies) ReconstructME (Free)
Technology: RGB camera, depth sensor

This is about as DIY as it gets when it comes to building a low-cost 3D scanner. Thankfully Microsoft has released a peripheral that is really an extremely high-powered depth sensor and RGB camera, and left it open enough to be used for other applications. In this case, pairing an Xbox Kinect (You can easily find them on eBay) with free software like ReconstructMe is all you’ll need to 3D scan people or objects.

Resolution: Varies
Pros: Inexpensive, versatile, free software
Cons: Windows only, limited resolution, uneven quality




4. BQ Ciclop 3D scanner kit – $199 USD 

This open source hardware project has been released under an open source license, so all information on the mechanical design, electronics and software is available to the community to allow for continued development. The full package is roughly $199 USD. You can even download the design and 3D print it for yourself!



Craft Council – Make:Shift:Do

A nationwide programme of craft innovation workshops for children and young people, 27-28 October 2017.

Makerspaces, fablabs, museums, galleries, and libraries nationwide are throwing open their doors and offering a tinker-tastic range of making workshops and activities to open your eyes to the potential of new craft.



Blackpool Makerspace will be participating in the Craft Council Make:Shift:Do event again this year on Friday evening 27th October 2017 and all day Saturday 28th October 2017. Times to be confirmed.

Links to pictures from the 2015 and 2016 Make:Shift:Do events at Blackpool Makerspace.





Focus on Ultimaker 3D printers

In 2015, Ultimaker loaned Blackpool Makerspace a 3D printer to use during the Craft Council sponsored  Make:Shift:Do event.



In 2016, Ultimaker again loaned Blackpool Makerspace a 3D printer. This time, it was an Ultimaker 2. The Ultimaker 2 was used at the 2016 Make:Shift:Do event to make parts for a CNC router the Makerspace is building. Here is a picture of the Ultimaker 2 in action, with a completed part in the foreground.



Pictures from the Make:Shift:Do event, and more parts being printed here:-https://blackpoolmakerspace.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/make-shift-do-2016/

Ultimaker is a Dutch based 3D printer company founded in 2011 by Martijn Elserman, Erik de Bruijn, and Siert Wijnia.

The company’s founders started as a participants of the open-source RepRap project. Here is a picture from the FabLab ProtoSpace hosted RepRap 3D printer workshop.


Ultimaker started selling products in 2011. The first 3d printer developed by Ultimaker was the protobox Ultimaker. After several months of development, Ultimaker released a new model as a kit, (now known as the Ultimaker Original) under a Creative Commons BY-NC license.

In 2013, Ultimaker original won an award for most accurate and fastest3D printer from MAKE magazine.

Ultimaker used the knowledge and experience gained from development of the Ultimaker Original, and in September 2013 released the Ultimaker 2. In 2014, Ultimaker officially launched products in North America.

In 2015, Ultimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 extended were released at CES, a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show.


In 2016, Ultimaker 3 and Ultimaker 3 extended were revealed at a New York City keynote.


This is a link to a Lancashire Telegraph article from 2014, about the Chorley based Ultimaker(UK) who were kind enough to loan Blackpool Makerspace the two printers mentioned earlier: http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/business/11049446.East_Lancashire_3D_printing_business_set_for_expansion/

Contact details for Ultimaker in the UK.

Railway House, Railway Rd, Chorley, Lancashire PR6 0HW.  T:01257 276116 http://ultimaker.com

Link to Ultimaker ‘about’ page: https://ultimaker.com/en/about-ultimaker


Make-Shift-Do 2016

The theme of our event in 2016, was to demonstrate how a 3D printer can be used to print parts used in the construction of a CNC router.





These large parts took several hours each to print.


Close up of almost complete part being printed.


A collection of parts after a week long session of printing.


Assembly of the CNC router begins while more parts are being printed.


Starting to take shape. More pictures will be added later when another batch of parts come off the printer.

Craftscouncil Make:Shift:Do

Blackpool Makerspace is participating in the Craft Council Make:Shift:Do event.
We will be open for the 2016 event on:
Friday Oct 28th, 17.00-2100 and  Saturday Oct 29th 10.00-17.00.

Pictures and words from our 2015 Make:Shift:Do event  Make:Shift:Do October 2015

A new piece of equipment for our Makerspace in 2015 was a laser cutter, which we demonstrated at the Make:Shift:Do event.

At our Make:Shift:Do event this time, we intend to show a 3D printer printing parts for a CNC machine we will be building.

There will be a demonstrations of  3D printing using this machine kindly loaned to us for the event by Ultimaker




The Ultimaker finishes the first 8 parts for the CNC machine.

Preparing for Craft Council open day

Mike spent the morning re-siting the laser cutter to a shelf underneath one of the work benches, freeing up some more work area on the bench.

Heavy duty rails have been used to allow the cutter to slide out from underneath the bench for setup and use. Flexible hose connects the cutter to the extractor unit and ducting.

Cutter pulled out from under bench:-



Extractor ducting with inline fan:-


Cutter pushed back under bench:-