Finally doing my own #3DPrinting

I finally got around to getting my own 3D printer and its cool.

My first steps were to print the objects provided by the vendor, to verify that it was set up correctly.

Next, I downloaded an item from Thingiverse and printed that out fine. At this point, I’d used up the small amount of filament that came with the printer and changed to an actual filament reel.

However, I did not get back to using the 3D printer for a couple of days due to other obligations on my time.

Next up was to design a simple item in CAD software. The design was fine but when I loaded it into the slicer software, it had shrunk! After going back and forth a bit, I realized that I’d started the CAD design using English (inches) measurements but specified some of the items in millimeters. Somewhere, some how, the CAD software managed to output the STL file storing my 68.5 mm as 6.9 mm – meaning my item had shrunk by a factor of 10!

The solution was to correctly set up the CAD software for metric from the start.

Next up, I found that my X-plane axis was 90 degrees rotated from the X-plane in the slicer. Took me a bit to figure out how to rotate my part so that the bottom would be downwards on the 3D printer bed.

My first attempt to print failed – well, it started out okay but then after after awhile the filament stopped adhering to the bed.

Again, I had to study this for a bit and then eventually realized my test prints were done with PLA filament and the reel I’d put on a couple days ago was ABS. The problem was I had the print head and bed temperatures set for PLA and not for ABS!

Got that fixed and finally got my 3D print done. Good news, the part – a replacement for something I’d lost – fits just fine. Slightly bad news, but expected: I need to make parts of it a little thicker to make it sturdier. But that’s okay, progress was made!

Part of my reason for getting a 3D printer has been to learn CAD and to learn the intricacies of 3D printing. Each of these little booboos become a learning experience for me.

Therefore, I think everything is going great!

When Women Stopped Coding : Planet Money : NPR

For decades, the share of women majoring in computer science was rising. Then, in the 1980s, something changed.

Source: When Women Stopped Coding : Planet Money : NPR

NPR makes an assertion that 1984 is when personal computers in the home emerged and that parents only bought personal computers for their sons. The first assertion is false and the second assertion is made without any supporting evidence.  The latter assertion provides no meaningful explanation for women in computer science prior to the mid-1980s nor that most young women today have a personal computer but still are, apparently, not going into computer science.

The above NPR report is one that makes you think you have just learned something but in fact, fails to explain anything.

Here is a chart I made showing the percent of homes with a PC, from 1984 to 2012. Data provided by the US Census up through 2012.  Data was not collected every year so some years have no data.

You can see that home PCs went from 8% in 1984 to 15% in 1989. Both are small values. This does not explain why fewer women students pursued computer science after the mid-1980s, contrary to the NPR report’s claim.

In roughly the last 20 years, access to personal computers, by gender and age, is widespread but there was no upsurge in computer science enrollment by women which would be expected if the NPR thesis were true.

Another issue is to understand what is being measured. Most discussions of “women in STEM” are referring to “women in computer science” or sometimes “women in computer science and engineering” – and are mistakenly presented as a proxy for women in science.   Many STEM metrics specifically omit degrees in (especially) the health sciences as “STEM” when they are also science-based degrees.

Women represent about 90% of all nursing (and elementary school teaching) jobs – fields that employ far more people than are employed in the computer sciences.  In terms of overall degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, women graduates were just barely above 50% (last I checked NSF data – It depends on how you define “STEM”). Women are way above 50% in terms of overall 4 year college degree graduates and have been since the early 1980s. 49.8% of medical school students are women and are 78% of veterinary school students.

(From National Girls Collaborative Project)

This shows the same information as trend line over time:

But there is no concern – and instead, silence – about diversity and balance in fields outside of computer science. There is a problem in computer science but unsound assertions, as described in the NPR report, do not lead to useful solutions.

#Drone pilots in India required to be licensed and to pass a security clearance #quadcopters #UAS #UAV #modelaircraft

To fly a model aircraft in India over 2 kg mass will require remote pilots to have received certified flight training from an approved training organization, to pass a government license exam and security clearance, and the operator must be at least 18 years old. Pilots will also need permission of any property owner for take off and landing on the property.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come out with strict rules to keep a tab on people operating remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). Strict rules

Source: Flying permit – Want to fly drones? Get trained first | The Economic Times

Elsewhere, the Wall Street Journal reports the FAA is behind in developing standards for remote UAV identification. There are indications, such as past FAA study papers, that the government intends to require all (or most) model aircraft to carry on board radio identification transponders to continuously report their position, with hints the government will charge an annual fee to pay the government’s tracking infrastructure. Some proposals would require model aircraft transponder signals, which would have limited range, to be received by a smart phone app and then relayed into a national air traffic infrastructure via a smart phone network connection. (Would flight be prohibited in areas without cellular service?)

Other proposals are that all commercially built craft will require “geofencing”; it is unclear what the government intends to do about home built aircraft or how this would stop terrorists (who obviously would not use geofencing or remote IDs).

Depending on what the FAA decides, the nearly century long hobby of safely flying model airplanes could be negatively impacted with burdensome new rules.

As I’ve written about on this blog in the past, I anticipate there will be a recreational UAV license requirement and a remote ID transponder requirement, with a possible exemption for craft flown only at “community-based organization” model air fields, and possibly for craft flown in Class G air space. Everywhere else will likely require licensing and ID tracking, and depending on location, the filing of a flight plan before flying.

To put this in context, model aircraft have never killed anyone but will require licensing and transponders to track their location. Similarly, the government will require automatic braking systems on new vehicles, starting in 2022. Yet guns, implicated in over 33,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017 require no licensing or tracking – presumably the government will mandate real time tracking and licensing of weapons eventually too.