Associated Links

Other websites associated with this blog. ________________________

3D Print Training

I recently (8/2020) received a request to teach three-dimensional printing to a middle school age student.  I felt a bit flattered. I decided the teaching offer needed a bit of thought on what that task requires. I have presented my (rambling) thoughts and concerns in this article:

I have a somewhat “natural ability” towards understanding electro-mechanical devices and complex process solving. Skills required to “master” 3-D printing. I am not sure if “natural ability” just means I don’t remember being taught formally.  We all learn through some process. For me I know it has not all been through a structured formal classroom environment.

However, I have spent a huge amount […] Continue reading » 3D Print Training

Internet Outage

We experienced a two (plus) hour outage of our internet yesterday. Almost all our external communication is delivered by that system. The cable television, home phone line and of course our Internet data feeds are dependent on that connection. Its importance is second only to our electrical power feed. Our home is 100 percent electrical energy dependent.

The immediate effect was how quite everything in the house had become. The power was on but only the cell phones would communicate. The air conditioning was performing normal. The indoor temperature was still perfect. All our other electronic “toys” had become almost useless without their normal data feeds.

I liked the […] Continue reading » Internet Outage

What I Am…

Where I spent my “allowance” in the 1950’s.

Read a comment made by an old (youngish 66 year old) dude about his involvement with 3D printing. He said he is a retired engineer. The reason he loved 3D printing wasn’t from what he made. It was the complexity and constant challenge to learn and understand the technical process. The CAD; the item design; the CNC; the process; the hardware; the mental stimulation. It had to be complex and difficult or he wouldn’t be interested.

I realized I was reading my own mind. It isn’t about what I make at all. It is all about mastering the […] Continue reading » What I Am…

The Science of Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting requires a knowledge of the why and how of proper behavior or operation. I don’t troubleshoot human problems as their how and why is very complex. I do enjoy troubleshooting things mechanical because machines don’t involve emotion in their operation. At least not yet.

Controls have been my specialty for most of my life. The last part of my working career was managing construction projects involving building (the structural kind) energy management systems and making sure they operated as intended. It required intimate knowledge of the why and how mechanical systems operate.

The ability for humans to operate complex systems (operators) and the ability to troubleshoot complex systems […] Continue reading » The Science of Troubleshooting

Filters

My furnace, actually an electric heat pump, wasn’t keeping up to holding temperature too well. Checked filter. Oops… went a bit too long. Reminder to others, check your filter now. Very dirty filters will definitely reduce system efficiency (higher operating cost) and could damage equipment. Don’t put it off. Also don’t run without filters if you have a heat pump or air conditioning in your system. A few days won’t hurt but all season could plug indoor coil fins.

After 50 years in the HVAC business, I have changed and installed a lot of filters. Even electrostatic filters usually have an after filter that can get clogged due to […] Continue reading » Filters