Developer Aspirations

YAPB - Yet Another Programming Blog



June 2012

On Houses and Making

by Colin Miller, on House, Make, Making, Ramblings

I'm in the final stages of buying a house. This is an exciting, and stressful, event. People need to be coordinated, information must be transmitted, documents must be reviewed and signed. It's the most involved purchase I've ever made and requires a lot of people and time. That being said, the opportunities for modifications to a house that I own are totally worth it.

[caption id="attachment_437" align="aligncenter" width="645"]This is my wife, on a Dragon My wife who went with me to Maker Faire (and a lot of other places). Here she is riding a dragon, a goal of hers for a long time finally made real.[/caption]

Back in May, my wife and I, along with several of our friends, went to Maker Faire. There are always many interesting things at the Faire. I learned that I can pick a lock reasonably well. We saw a dragon made of metal with a giant red couch in it's ass. There was an indoor inflatable forest. But the reason I most wanted to go, and what I most wanted to get out of the Faire, was a 3D printer.

I've been interested in 3D printing for years now. The price and lack of space has dissuaded me for a long time. However, with a house the space becomes more reasonable. As for the price, I split the cost with a friend of mine. Our plan is to put it together, then use it to print out parts to build a second one (hopefully for cheaper than the kit). After that, I can create lots of interesting things.

The 3D printer that we bought is a printrbot. Unfortunately the guy who sells them is so far behind on his kickstarter orders that his store is pretty empty. Also, the open sourced files for the printer are mostly missing. There is a file for the wood portions of the printrbot LC on Thingiverse, but that's it so far. No parts for the Plus and none of the printed parts.

As a long-time reader of Make Magazine, I've been looking forward to having my own place to put some projects together. There have been ideas going through my head of doing things like automating the doors, building a better thermostat, making a cheese cave, regulating the pool, adjusting power usage, and adding monitoring and statistics for all of my house's metrics. I'm a geek, so these ideas appeal to me.

I've recently joined TechShop and taken a class on using a Laser Cutter. It was really fun and an interesting tool to be able to utilize. I've joined on a monthly basis and ordered a pack of classes. I'm hoping that with some additional knowledge and skills in woodworking and maybe the ability to use a CNC that I can create some useful and beautiful enhancements for our home. The possibilities seem endless which is exactly the state I like to be in. I have plans for the future, even if they're only rough sketches in my head so far.

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