I finally finished the physical build of the Anycubic Prusa I3 (open source) 3d printer and If I can toot my own horn for a minute, it was assembled in about 8 hours. Since there is very little material on the internet about Anycubic, or their products, I guess that means I am a world record holder. Now. If I can get the damn thing to work.
I immediately fired up the printer and ran into a snag. Not the type of snag that involves a puff of smoke, the smell of ozone, and cursing, but the type of snag where one tiny little thing isn’t quite working right. Open source printers have an “auto-home” feature which tests the X-Y-X limits of the printer. In English, this means that the moving pieces all move to the extremes on their tracks and “stop” when they hit a mechanical switch. The X works. The Y works. The Z… half works. I can only get one motor on the Z access to work at a time. Video is below for reference (note: no coffee was had when the video was made).
Sorry if you actually sat through that video. It’s not my intent to go into technical minutia of this build, because, I totally could… in a confident and meaningful way… Down to the gnats ass detail…for sure…
Oh how I wish the previous sentence fragments were true, because if I have learned one thing since delving into the Maker realm, it is that I am far from competent in (as the Emperor would say) “a great many things.” This brings us to the real purpose of this post. Something called the Dunning-Kruger effect. Let’s use the picture below as a reference.
Oh gawd. More X-Y sans Z plots Yanowski? This is the last one, I swear. What this picture is showing is the amount of stupid we deal with on a daily basis (especially on Facebook). The X axis is the actual knowledge a person has on any given subject while the Y axis is the confidence a person has on the same subject. You are probably plotting your social media friends on here right now. Aren’t you. Well stop it. It is better to realize where you, yourself fit on this plane. Admittingly, my confidence level dropped considerably at about the time I built my first oscillating circuit. It further dropped after the printer assembly. “Making” ambitions aside, even in the military, on military subjects, I feel my confidence waning as I gain more experience.
This notion is troubling to me, not because I can’t figure out if I am still at the origin or past the peak of stupid on the graph, but because the collective military profession holds confidence in high regard, and is often taught as a vanguard virtue to young, aspiring Officers. This chart makes me think that confidence is a warning sign.
So this is what was running through my head as I ran into the 3D printer snag. The problem is most likely an issue with the motor controllers on the Arduino board, but, because I’m not confident in that assessment, I have to take a few steps back and start learning about the Arduino. Luckily for me, Santa gave me just the thing I need:
If an image like this doesn’t ooze confidence….