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Our vinyl cutter lies to us

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For the past couple of months I’ve been playing around with a personal project to write images to our shop’s vinyl cutter. Recently Travis discovered that if a very large image is sent to the cutter all at once, it will cause a serial buffer overflow and crash the knife.

The natural reaction is to enable flow control (page 15) on the serial device, such that the vinyl cutter can step back from the brink if the buffer fills up. But that doesn’t seem to work for whatever reason — I suspect that my shoddy USB to serial adapter doesn’t support it.

So I made a feature that will take the movement speed of the vinyl cutter, estimate the duration of each line segment’s execution, and then send the serial as smaller chunks in intervals. This does work, but we noticed that the time calculated doesn’t match up with the time it actually takes the vinyl cutter to route a shape. Sometimes it’s off target by up to half a minute… What’s up with that?

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Bowser – 2016 July

The "rim" of the giant shell helps the whole thing keep its' shape, and will soon have a thin, curved pvc pipe frame inside, to attach it to the ALICE backpack frame.

Just a quick update on new stuff.  Juggling projects as always, and progress posts on those are pending, but I figured I’d post another one of my personal pet project which is slow-going.  I have not been keeping tabs on the amount of hours invested into this, but it’s going smooth so far, even with the recent lack of laser-cutter.  I can simply print the pepakura files, trace them onto foam like in the past, and this time, use a bandsaw to cut, rather than a hot knife.  Anyway, on to photos.

The "rim" of the giant shell helps the whole thing keep its' shape, and will soon have a thin, curved pvc pipe frame inside, to attach it to the ALICE backpack frame.

The “rim” of the giant shell helps the whole thing keep its’ shape, and will soon have a thin, curved pvc pipe frame inside, to attach it to the ALICE backpack frame.

Rear view of the shell. The exterior will be covered in spray adhesive, then fiberglass mat, then a few coats of resin, sanded and carved, to simulate the carapace of an ancient, battle-hardened tyrant.

Rear view of the shell. The exterior will be covered in spray adhesive, then fiberglass mat, then a few coats of resin, sanded and carved, to simulate the carapace of an ancient, battle-hardened tyrant.

This here is the result of real teamwork. I was walking upstairs and spied a bowl on the shelf. It fit the openings in the giant shell almost perfectly, and had the proper shape for the base of any of Bowser's massive shell-spikes. Affix a posterboard cone, ModPodge it, and soon to be assisted in silicone moulding and casting this ten times by Mr. Daniel Valdez.

This here is the result of real teamwork. I was walking upstairs and spied a bowl on the shelf. It belonged to Phil, and he okayed it for use.  It fit the openings in the giant shell almost perfectly, and had the proper shape for the base of any of Bowser’s massive shell-spikes. I fashioned and affixed a posterboard cone, ModPodged it, and am soon to be assisted in silicone moulding and casting this ten times over, by Mr. Daniel Valdez.

With assistance from Dominic holding the shell, I test-fitted the body, still with incomplete tail and legs/feet. Since this is constructed using the 3d model directly from the WiiU video games, this is looking VERY on-model, and I'm very pleased.

With assistance from Dominic holding the shell, I test-fitted the body, still with incomplete tail and legs/feet. Since this is constructed using the 3d model directly from the WiiU video games, this is looking VERY on-model, and I’m very pleased.

Internal structure for the body will be needed, to keep the shape.  I’d initially thought foam pillars, but plastic “ribs” would be better, in the torso, arms and leg area.  I’ll be talking with CJ about 1-foot-tall stilt platforms soon.  More to come, thanks for reading!

Hallway Bathroom Renovation

After over a month of near daily work on the shop’s hallway bathroom, it’s finally done! The room is re-opened and this time (hopefully) leak free.

Making this project happen took a lot of help from the membership. I’d like to offer a huge thank-you to:
– Travis, who dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort to almost every aspect of this job.
– Michelle and Jeff, who donated the new light fixture.
– Daniel, who helped us out of several jams along the way.
– Hunter, who tackled rewiring the mess of a circuit behind the walls.
– Norm, who donated the new countertop and helped us brainstorm.
– Wes, who lent us tools and advice for the drywall work.
– And several other members who stopped by to lend a hand.

Rather than try to create a massive listing of everything we did, you can peruse an image album of the highlights.

1001 Projects ~ An Overview

Is this thing on?  Oh, good, at last!

For my first post, I’ll just share a little bit about all the stuff I’ve been working on, 90% of which is for costume commissioners.  A few weeks ago, I finished up a pair of Megaman boots, made from EVA Foam, and these will be getting shipped out soon.  Currently in the works are two more Ghostbusters Proton Packs (the 2009 Video Game variety, with all the enormous physical add-ons), which puts me at 10 pack builds under my belt.  Then an “Extreme” proton pack from the “Extreme Ghostbusters” cartoon, and a GB2 Slime Blower.  There is a full Batman Arkham Origins suit (sans cowl) underway as well.  Next up is a wearable EVA foam Edward Elric arm from the Japanese animated “Full Metal Alchemist” franchise, and a Fallout 4 Pipboy.

On the side of all this, for myself, as some of you may have seen, I’ve been working on what will hopefully be my first fully-enclosed suit cosplay, Bowser.

Bowser's head in progress

Bowser’s head in progress

Bowser's head in progress

Bowser’s head in progress

The head’s gonna have animatronic eyes with cameras in each sphere, connected to two small screens fitted inside a Google Cardboard headset, for stereoscopic vision.  There’ll also be some combination of e-cig vape mechanism and fog machine for smoke breath.  Feel free to ask questions if you’ve got ’em.  Much more to come!

EVA Foam Bowser Shell.

EVA Foam Bowser Shell.

Bowser suit in progress.

Bowser suit in progress.

EVA Foam cuffs with paper mache spikes from eBay, coated in plastidip.

EVA Foam cuffs with paper mache spikes from eBay, coated in plastidip.

Pig Roast PSA

NPR’s WLRH invited us back to record a PSA for the upcoming Pig Roast and LAN Party on Saturday July 9th :)