For the past several weeks, since we announced the giveaway, The Spaghetti Detective's community has responded to the challenge with enthusiasm and creativity. More people than we ever expected printed Wekster's awesome model and tagged us and Wekster, and because we have such an involved, enthusiastic community, we have given out thousands of free Detective Hours. We love all of the prints, but after the jump are a few of my personal favorites, along with the winner announcement and winner selection process.
There's a game I like called Dark Souls, made by From Software. It's an action RPG known for its difficulty, and it has spawned its own subgenre of games, though most imitators miss the most important part about Dark Souls: Everything that goes wrong, even if it's not your fault, went wrong for a reason you can learn from and avoid the next time. Every failure gets you better at the game. 3D printing is like that. As you see above, in the prints since my successful first print, I've had a lot of print failures. Let's go into why they failed, how I know how they failed, and how I fixed them.
A lot has happened since my last post. To start, on Sunday, March 7, we finally passed the thirty million Detective Hours milestone. The Detective has kept vigilant watch over your prints for almost 3,500 years of time. While she was busy watching your prints so that you don't have to, this is:
What you've been up to
You guys have been sharing a series of beautiful prints of The Detective on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we're floored by the response. Every day, there are new shares and we've got more Detective Hours to give away. Please keep it up - the usernames to tag are below, and we'll give you 200 free, never-expiring Detective Hours for every print you share where you tag Wekster and us.
What I've been up to
Five days ago, Wekster contacted me to let me know that he had split the bust model for full multicolor printing. Below, I've included zips of the STLs for the multicolor base and the new, fully multicolor detective.
Since then, I've been trying to print her. This is how that went:
We're excited to announce that there's a new 3D-printable model of The Spaghetti Detective available for printing, designed by the great Wekster (if you don't know him, check out his stuff. He designs some of the coolest models you can print). At the end of this blog post, there are links to download it and information about how you can get 200 free Detective Hours for printing it, sharing photos of your prints, and tagging us and Wekster. You might even win a whole year of Pro service on us. Share and enjoy!
How the model came to be
Two weeks ago, I contacted Kenneth Jiang, the creator of The Spaghetti Detective, and said that it would be cool to work with a 3D designer to make a 3D printable version of our mascot, The Detective. I'd been contributing code to The Spaghetti Detective infrequently for about a year, and over that time it's become indispensable to me, and I thought a sculpt would be a cool thing to give back to the community that helped it grow. Kenneth liked the idea and told me to run with it.
I reached out to Wekster and told him what I had in mind (a stylized, film noir-style sculpt of The Detective herself, with a silhouette similar to the logo), and he liked it and agreed to try. A few days later, he sent a concept he was toying with:
I was blown away; I couldn't look at TSD's logo anymore without seeing that haircut in her silhouette.
A couple prototypes and about a week later, he had a beautiful little bust that was support free, had the eyes and hat ribbon separated for multicolor (so I could print them glow-in-the-dark), and had a base ready with our logo:
I wanted to print her in TSD's colors (black, white, and purple) and to make her eyes and hat ribbon glow in the dark so that, in appropriately noirish conditions, she'd look like our silhouette, a dark detective with glowing eyes and an upturned collar. For this, I chose FilamentPM's graphite black PLA for its dark glittery intrigue, Fusion Filaments' beautiful Plutonic Purple HTPLA for the bust (printed at a high temperature for extra sheen), and MatterHackers' blue glow in the dark PLA for the glowy bits. This is how she turned out:
The free Detective Hours
We will credit 200 free, non-expirable Detective Hours to anyone who prints out The Detective, post a picture or a time-lapse of her to a social platform of your choice (twitter, facebook, or instagram), and tags us and Weskter.
Here are the links you need:
And make sure to check out Wekster's other stuff on patreon
The most exciting news
On March 20th, we will choose one print at random that we've been tagged in and upgrade the TSD account of whoever printed it to a free Pro account with UNLIMITED Detective Hours for the next 12 months. If you win and already have a Pro account, you can choose to gift this to a friend or a fellow maker.
Just give me the model already!
The model was created by Weskter and is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license.
Creality Ender 3 is one of the most solid and affordable 3D printers you can get. And OctoPrint is undoubtedly the best solution for monitoring your prints with a webcam.
This brief tutorial is meant to help someone who is interested in using a camera with their 3D printer to take advantage of OctoPrint's amazing monitoring capability with an inexpensive Pi Camera. This setup will work perfectly for The Spaghetti Detective too.
The first thing I realized soon after I owned a 3D printer was that prints can take a long time. The second thing I learned was that they can fail. I was concerned about leaving the house while a print was in progress and quickly discovered that others had recognized this problem and solved it. There are several methods to achieve this, I am going to describe what seemed to be the best solution for me. I will mention the software and hardware that is needed but defer to the many excellent YouTube videos available on the actual implementation of these. The focus here will be to document the steps and provide some tips that I learned in getting it all working. The printed parts were specifically for the Ender 3 V2 printer but most of the information is not printer specific.
The solution I chose involved purchasing a Raspberry Pi computer and installing OctoPi on it. This allows you to use OctoPrint to control the printer from your computer. OctoPi is an image that is put on an SD card and resides in the Raspberry Pi computer and provides the link between your computer and your printer. The Spaghetti Detective is a plugin available to be installed in OctoPrint. While it will work on older versions, I purchased a kit that included the Raspberry Pi 4B. The Raspberry Pi has a port for a “native” camera and USB ports where you could plug some other webcam in. I chose the Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 as it was inexpensive but had decent specs. I mounted the camera on the z-axis cross beam which meant I needed a longer cable to insure it reached the top of the printer. All the mounting hardware was printed from items I found on Thingiverse (or to be honest were links in the YouTube videos I watched).
We recently stumbled across a new company in 3D printing right near us called Closed Loop Plastics. After learning more about their 100% recycled plastic filament we were ecstatic to give it a try and share our experience.
The Spaghetti Detective came out of beta about 1 year ago. Since then, The Detective has watched more than 19 million print hours for the 3D printing hobbyists. That is on average 49,625 hours a day!
And sometimes next week, we will cross the mark of 20 million watched print hours.
Those who joined TSD family early enough would probably remember we had a celebration (socially distanced and perfectly safe😉 ) when we crossed 10 million hours back in April. We will do a similar one this time too. This means the chance to get 50% discount off Pro account but you need to work for it. We will make the rules simpler than last time:
What is OctoPrint Tunneling?
OctoPrint Tunneling is a secure way to access the full OctoPrint UI even when you are not on your home network.
The Spaghetti Detective provides the access to the most critical functions - webcam feed, pause/cancel, changing heater temperature, etc. However, we understand there are times when you want to access other OctoPrint functions while you are not home, such as using its PSU plugin to turn on/off power supply to your printer.
So we built OctoPrint Tunneling to make it possible for you. 🚀🚀🚀
Is OctoPrint Tunneling secure?
Many TSD users have made it clear in their survey responses (big shout-out to everyone who gave us your feedback by filling out the survey) that the next cool thing they want the most is a The Spaghetti Detective mobile app.
So this is exactly what we will do. We will build a TSD mobile app! And we will make it available on both Android and iOS!
Features included in the TSD mobile app
If you have been churning out face masks and other PPE for coronavirus, like us, you’ve likely started to wonder if it’s possible to turn your 3D printer into an infinite 3D printer. Pulling parts off the print bed is tedious, time consuming, and requires being home when each job finishes. In this guide we teach you how to automatically eject parts from the print bed of your Ender 3 so you can start the next print while no one is around!
*Disclaimer: Follow this tutorial at your own risk. Your printer is not built to do automatic part ejection. While we’ve discovered a technique that has been fairly reliable for us, it’s possible that if you don’t tweak the GCODE commands to your specifications, you can cause your printer to smash into things and do damage. Don’t blindly copy and paste GCODE commands, make sure you understand what they will cause the printer to do first.*