TL;DR: I designed and printed a custom hook to store our oil screen on the back of our cabinet door to save some space.
Inspired by similar projects seen in various places online, I spent about an hour’s time measuring, designing, and printing a small custom hook to hang an oil screen on the back of a cabinet door.
Due to the simplicity of the part and the application, I decided to spend some time making deliberate choices to optimize performance. First was the design of the part itself. While I could have used a generic 3M command hook to achieve a similar effect, the tight custom fit of this hook prevents excessive movement and noise. Second, I decided to use PETG instead of PLA, a no-brainer for when strength is required. My last optimization was in the chosen print orientation. Despite requiring more support material, the orientation I used is actually ideal for the loading expected in this application. FDM printed parts are weakest parallel to the layer lines—that is, they are susceptible to delamination when loads pull the layers apart.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got–here’s to a year full of fun projects in 2021!
TL;DR: I printed a slow feeder bowl for Bailey out of food safe filament and coated it with an FDA-compliant food safe resin. It works, but I think she hates it and me for making it.
I’ve wanted to experiment with 3D prints out of PETG for a while, and finally found some time to do so during this long Thanksgiving weekend. PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified) is a 3D-printable plastic with numerous advantageous properties:
The drawback is that it is a bit trickier than PLA (the most typical home 3D printed filament) to print. I invested an hour’s worth of time to adjust settings and complete two quick test prints before deciding I dialed my printer in enough to start a real project.
Our dog Bailey is a voraciously fast eater and I recently learned that various slow feeder bowls existed. However, most of the products on the market seem designed for larger dogs, and I wanted to make something that would fit in our existing holder. Spoiler image below:
The design of the bowl was straightforward. I measured the dimensions of our existing metal bowl, added another mm of thickness of the bowl for strength, added an extruded “B” in the middle to act as an obstacle, and finally made some cuts in the B to allow Bailey to access all the nooks and crannies. I took care to fillet any sharp edges away to ensure safety:
The quality of my first real PETG print exceeded my expectations… Based on troubles I’ve read about people having, I expected some blobs/zits or stringing issues, but surprisingly, I didn’t have any real problems at all. The ease of support material separation was shocking too–99.8+% of my support came off in a single piece, and the remaining two pieces were easily removed with pliers:
After the print was complete, I coated the bowl with this neat FDA 21 CFR 175.300 compliant resin I bought a while ago but hadn’t tried out before. The biggest pain point with the coating process was the 48-hour cure time. Luckily this was a long weekend, haha.
After washing the bowl with soap and water, I tested it out with Bailey by putting in a few training treats. She did not look very happy…
She eventually came around to eating, but clearly wasn’t happy:
I hope she doesn’t hate me forever because of this…
Winter storm Juno hasn’t quite hit Boston yet, despite the predictions calling for her wrath last night. It’s fine by me, and figure a good chance for me to write about my more recent travels. Early last week I was in SF for an interview, I flew back to Boston and then flew out to San Antonio for the first ever PAX South. (more…)
I am a bit surprised at how much skepticism I’ve gotten on facebook about Soylent… Today was my second day eating it, and my first full day consuming nothing but Soylent. I didn’t realize that I was under-eating yesterday until this morning, when I poured my breakfast. There was clearly much more than 1/3 leftover… which definitely helps to explain why I was getting so hungry in between meals yesterday. I was definitely better at partitioning out proper portions. I personally don’t mind the original flavor, but I actually enjoyed the taste after I added chocolate protein powder to the mix.
For those who still remain unconvinced, I have compiled a list of the best uses of Soylent: (more…)
I ordered a month’s supply of Soylent a long time ago, but have always had a lot of food in my fridge which prevented me from really trying to subsist solely on Soylent. For those who don’t know, Soylent is a powder which is meant to provide 100% of daily nutrition. Even though I’m not going to be able to eat only Soylent for this first week because I’ve got dinner plans with friends, I figured it is better to just start doing it. (more…)
Okay, so I got many more likes than I originally anticipated for my picture of my first meatloaf attempt. I figured it may be helpful to share the recipe I used. The thing is though, meatloaf is pretty flexible so you can more or less use whatever you have in your fridge. As usual, I wanted to do something that was simple and didn’t take a lot of hands-on time. (more…)
For the past few years, whenever I have visited home, my mom has stuffed my luggage with frozen food like Zhongzi or homemade sausages. The last time I was at home was the first week of September, so I haven’t really needed to cook for the last month.
I wanted to make something really easy, so I went with a basic chicken bake. It was like 10 minutes of prep, and 1.5 hours of cooking (mostly because my chicken breasts were still partially frozen).
– 1.5lb Chicken Breasts
– 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
– 1 Bottle Black Ale
– 1/4 Stick Butter
– 1/3lb Frozen Vegetables
– Bread Crumbs
– Spices (thyme, garlic powder, pepper, salt, etc.)
– Pam Spray
Making it was super easy:
– Preheat oven to 350F
– Spray 13×9 pan with Pam
– Place chicken breasts and half of the vegetables into pan
– Add spices to chicken
– Add cream of chicken on top
– Add more vegetables and spices
– Pour 2/3 of the beer into the pan (drink the rest)
– Put butter onto chicken
– Add bread crumbs
– Bake for ~1.5 hours
I was a bit concerned because my chicken was still a bit frozen. I put a meat thermometer into the chicken and just checked up on it every half hour or so to make sure the meat stayed juicy. It didn’t end up being the prettiest looking meal, but it still smelled good and tested better.
After getting home at about 2am last night, Sophia and I made a 3 hour drive down to UIUC in the afternoon. I’m crashing w/ our cousins Adam and Abraham, while she is staying w/ some friends from school.
Sophia really wanted to come down to hang out with her friends, and the timing worked out really well because I have Khang and Kathryn’s wedding this weekend. Urbana is pretty much the halfway point between home and New Harmony (where the wedding is), but this way I get to split the 5-6 hour drive across 2 days instead of one. Plus I now I’m not in the car on my own either. (more…)