Friday, August 19, 2016


Yesterday was one of those days where just nothing went right at all. Some frustrating setbacks unrelated to work, too hot to even go for a damn walk around deck without incurring diaper rash, and every single cargo movement came with breakdowns, delays, paperwork snafus, etc.

 Just a bad day, you know?  Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife nagged some details out of me, where normally I just summarize and tell her I'm having a shit day, and while she's sympathetic, she's also pretty good at getting a laugh out of me. "Honee, you hev you period today? I think so, yes."

 If that was my period yesterday, I'm looking forward to male menopause.

 Today dawned bright and early- at 2345 last night, really, when I got on watch. My turn for the midwatch. We're loading up a car ship, and while mooring alongside this particular ship is a shit show, the crew are a bunch if nice, friendly guys, helpful. Hearing guys laughing while working together to wrestle my diesel hose in place was pretty soothing.

 I don't tend to stay in a bad mood for too long. While I didn't sleep very well on my off-watch, I woke up ready to be happy, and so far it's working. By the time my watch is finished, we'll be headed for our anchorage, and are scheduled to swing on the hook for the rest of the day, which, God willing, we'll do, and which should lend itself to a decent sleep and maybe a chance to get caught up on exercise and reading my book.

 Also, I'm kind of looking at a 3d printer. Does anyone know anything about them? What I know about CAD/CAM stuff is slightly more than nothing at all.


RustyGunner said...

What do you want to do with the printer? They range in price from expensive to Oh My Fucking God, and you get what you pay for in terms of materials, work volume and resolution.

You can make your printer rather than buy it complete, look into RepRap. There are clubs called Hackerspaces you can join that usually have printers, and use theirs. Or, if you prefer, send the digital file to a company that does professional printing and get a very high-quality result.

Share, please, what's your dream here?

Dman said...

Hey Paul...Long time reader of your blog, first time commentor. I would suggest taking a look at a 3d printer called MakerBot. Somewhat affordable (lol), I got one recently for the company I work for. Think it was around $1500, give or take. You will need a decent computer, as well as a 3d modeling program for the part design. I use Solidworks, but Pro-E, Inventor, Acad all would work. It's in the yearly licensing for these design programs is where they get ya. My printer can do a roughly 8" x 8" x 10" part. be prepared to let it run for hours tho.
Keep up the good work!

Paul, Dammit! said...

I'll put a blog post up about it at some point, but I always enjoyed working with composites- fiberglassing, epoxy repairs, very simple large fabricating, things like that. I'm also building up a modular shop space in my garage- something with a small footprint that can be easily moved, with separate work areas for large heavy work and fine detail work in wood and composite. I'm comfortable enough now with fiberglass work that it's not longer fun and exciting, so I'm looking to branch out. Not committed to the idea yet, but we'll see.

RustyGunner said...

It sounds like one of the CNC routers (cheaper than a 3D printer) might be a good first step.

A RepRap machine is a good introduction to the technology, especially since you build the machine yourself. There are kits of parts on eBay. There's a brand new small printer called an Ono that uses your smartphone and light-activated plastics to make small items, for about $100.

Anonymous said...

They're pretty cool. I used my long lost engineering background (Naval Architecture undergrad) to design a custom one last year.

I have to respectfully disagree with Daryle on this one. Avoid the MakerBot at all costs. A buddy of mine had one and they're overpriced, poorly designed, not all that reliable and hard to upgrade. There are lots of cheap kits on ebay, amazon, aliexpress or any number of 3d printing websites. If you're handy and have some time to get them dialed in, they're a good starting point.