Saturday, July 22, 2017

About this site... Welcome!

I've been using Composer to set up and maintain my web site for many years, but most of my efforts have been devoted to working on more projects rather than learning how to set up and manage a web site, so the old site has been a little "undynamic" and lags many months behind my project activities.  I recently decided to try a different approach because I'd like the site to be more up-to-date and professional looking, and because I'd like to get some of that sweet Google Ad-sense money coming in to help offset the cost of the site.

Other factors that led to the change:

  1. About 2 years ago I wrote an Instructable on a 3D printer design and after weeks of effort gathering, organizing, and presenting the information as a contest entry, I won a tee-shirt.  After that I decided that when I get my web site/blog set up the way I like, I was never going to go through that sort of effort to drive traffic to someone else's web site again.
  2. I have numerous 3D print designs posted at Thingiverse and Youmagine.  I've decided to stop posting most of my designs to those sites, too.
In the future, I may still post relatively small projects at Instructables for contest entries, but big stuff is going to stay right here.  The same goes for Youmagine and Thingiverse.

Over the last few years I've been designing and building 3D printers, and trying to maintain and upgrade printers at the Milwaukee Makerspace.  My latest printer design will be posted here shortly, in bite-size pieces where I can describe specific aspects of the design in as much detail as I feel is necessary.  But now that that printer is just about complete, I want to move on to more creative work making use of the 3D printers I have designed, built, and maintained, so you can expect to see more print designs here.

Oh yeah, if you like my 3D printer designs and have a significant budget, I can design and build one for you.  A near duplicate of one of my existing designs will be faster turn-around, but a full custom design won't take that much longer, depending on what you want, of course.


  1. Hi Mark,
    Relatively new to 3D, but you are one of my key resources. Very sound work and great documentation/explanation. Thank you.
    Don't know if this is the right place to post a question to you, but here you go:
    I bought a used FolgerTech FT5-2. Very sloppy as originally configured. I added a lot of upgrades...Duet WiFi, E3D Titan/Volcano etc. Great improvements! Looking now at redesigning the printhead mounting. The current single cheapo guiderail and mount design allows the nozzle tip to wobble. I posted some alternate designs I want to try on the RepRap Forum. Would you mind taking a look and sharing your thoughts? Thank you very much.
    RepRap thread here:,858128

    1. Thanks! I saw and responded to the post at the forum, but this is a good place to respond too, so here goes...

      Quality linear guides have zero play in the bearing blocks. My suggestion for your situation is that you simply replace the crappy linear guide that came on the printer with a good one that doesn't have any play in the bearing block. I buy used, and sometimes new-old-stock, Japanese-made linear guides on ebay for little more than the cost of the hiwin knockoffs. When you search, try this: "linear guide -mgn -mgh iko nsk thk". The -mgn -mgh will filter out the real HiWin and the crappy knockoff parts. Real HiWin parts are good, but you never know if you're getting real ones, so unfortunately for HiWin, it's best to filter out their part numbers. IKO, THK, and NSK are quality brands.

      When you look through the search results, you'll see a lot of very expensive parts, but keep sifting through them and you'll find some good deals. The length of the rail is unimportant as long as it is long enough for your use. You can cut the rail shorter with a cut-off wheel on a grinder.

      Don't buy bearing blocks and guide rails separately! Buy the rail with as many blocks as you need.


Leave comments or a questions here and I'll try to post a response as soon as I can.