I revisited my "Folding At Home" (FAH) system to see if I could improve my overall performance. My thought was to update the drivers and use the most recent FAH Client. I was hoping I could get my GPU working more than occasionally.
At the end of March, I was asked by a friend of my wife to help make face-shields for the front-line care-givers in the Durham region of Ontario. I gladly join the efforts Kim and her partner John has started. I was asked to print the headgear or halo to be used in the construction of the face shield. I started slowly and have been hard at since.
April is a weird month - you never know what you will get. Today - April 15, 2020 - we are having on and off snow showers, with intermittent sunshine. You get this really surreal feeling that it is either November or April. It really confuses the mind.
Spring started, as usual, cold nights with some warm sunny days - after all the snow was melted we started to see the tulips and buds of the - damn I can't remember the name.
Yesterday's printing was a tale of two worlds - the first 4 prints were nearly perfect with only one print having an extremely minor flaw on the first layer. So all problems solved! Not so fast, the next print was as frustrating as it can get.
The headband we are printing - the RC2 model from Prusa - has a very narrow footprint and on the first layer, things can go sideways as the hot end traces a path almost back onto itself. If the extruded material does not stick, the PLA hardens into a stringy mess. This occurred 2 times in a row, so on the 3rd occurrence, I removed the mess, and applied some diluted glue stick glue before the second layer. This worked and the remaining part of the print executed without issue.
At times the printing of these headbands gets monotonous, especially when they print well without any issues. On the other hand, when the printing starts to go badly, it gets really frustrating really fast. At that point, you start to change your procedures trying to find the "optimal" settings to regain the "it just works" scenario.
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, was one of "those" days -- I was trying to have a more family day, than babysitting the printer day. However, the printer had other plans. I was able to get 4 halos created, but each had issues and I had one complete failure. Also, I had to restart 2 others before I finally took a break and walked away from printing for a while.
So this morning - Monday, April 13th - I was ready and figuring on a fight to get a good first print. To improve my chances, I returned to printing from the printer instead of using Octoprint just incase this was part of the issues - he said grasping at straws. I washed the glass plate, positioned it so the logo was at the back, then started the print of number 76, ensuring the filament was unrestricted.
It another day like any other, but this also the anniversary of my birth in 1955. I have officially completed my 65th year yesterday. So on to my 66th year.
This birthday is regarding as a "big deal" by most. It typically signifies the end of a working life and a transition to an new life. Apparently, I should start to see changes in significant ways. So am I ready?
Progress can be subjective at times. I checked my "Folding at Home" system to see how I have "helped" since my last post on March 31st. The good news is I have complete 28 work units -- but I have fallen in the overall ranking. Say What?
Recently I awoke to a message from my Home Server indicating that one of the drives was having problems. Just what I needed at this time -- a diversion!
For the last 10 plus years, I have been running Microsoft's Home Server as just that - a home server. Basically, the server performs backups and is a common file store for all the family pictures and other miscellaneous files like commonly used software and the like. I purchased a very modest system back in the day. It's a Celeron E1600 at 2.5GHz, with 1 GB of main memory. Plods along, but does what we need as the application just works. I don't think about it often, so the message that something was amiss was an attention-getter.
Over the years I have replaced the drives as running them non-stop to over 5 years is just asking for trouble. Recently I have replaced two of the 3 drives with 2GB Western Digitals Blue drives. I would purchase them on special and have been lucky to get what I believe were good deals at the time.
The more I play with Octoprint the better I like it ... which is basically the same sentiment I have heard from every Octoprint video I have watched.
So today I started working with Octoprint -- it's a control system for 3D printers. While there are builds for desktop systems, I am using a Raspberry Pi 3B+ as the base platform. This is the typical setup for most.