A FreeCAD Case Study: Designing a Light Bar Clip

A while ago we bought rechargeable light bars for our pantry shelves, and we love them. The only problem was that because they were held to the underside of the shelf by weak magnets, every time we bumped a light or dropped a heavy jar into the pantry, the light would clatter to the floor.

This post covers my process of creating, in FreeCAD, clips that would hold the lights securely. I’m really pleased at how they turned out.

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Debugging 3D Printer Thickness Errors

I recently found my 2016 Lulzbot Mini 3D printer wasn’t printing the sides of models accurately: when I tried to print a box and lid pair, the lid was too small to fit the box. This error worried me, because the last time that problem happened it was the fault of stress fractures in the Y carriage supports, which took a lot of time and money to repair.

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Adding a Link inside your Vellum Paperback

Links are very handy in eBooks generated by Vellum, but how do you add links inside your paperback? This post covers one alternative: QR Codes.

What is a QR Code?

A QR, “Quick Response” code is a 2-dimensional barcode, that can represent arbitrary text. In your paperbacks, you can use QR codes to embed URLs – links to web pages – for your web site and for your books’ pages on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, etc.

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We’ve Annexed The Independent Nation of Needhamia

It’s expensive and confusing to maintain two web sites (hobby and work), now that any of my hobbies could develop into a small business.

As of April 8, 2023 I’ve finished moving all of the Needhamia.com posts to this site. Going forward, I will post both work and hobby notes here.

Welcome, to followers of The Independent Nation of Needhamia!

Featured Image: Cuneiform tablet: commercial note concerning caravan expenses, Middle Bronze Age–Old Assyrian Trading Colony. Public Domain, courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Choosing the List Price of My IngramSpark Paperback

UPDATE September 9, 2023: I’ve changed all our books on IngramSpark from “Returns=Yes-Destroy” to “Returns=No”, after reading Lisa Chavari’s April 2023 post, “Why my books are no longer returnable through Ingram“.

Once you’ve written your self-published paperback book, how do you choose a list price for it? How much will you make per book? How will book returns affect how much you make? And what about the list price in different countries, with different currencies?

This post covers my attempt to answer those questions for myself, printing and distributing a paperback book through IngramSpark. Please come along for the ride!

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Putting Your eBook on Kindle Unlimited

We recently moved Linda’s eBook The Maiden Bride to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. This post covers what we learned.

Disclaimers: I’m not a lawyer; You should seek legal advice before pursuing the publication process I describe below. This post covers my personal experience at the time of posting; the process and Amazon’s Terms of Use will likely change over time.

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Printing an ABS Dishwasher Detergent Door

I recently needed to print a replacement door for the Whirlpool dishwasher’s detergent dispenser. This post details my adventure, which took three prints to get it right.

For the short version of the story, see All3DP’s brief page on how to stop ABS print warping. For the whole story, read on.

LATE UPDATE: Prusa’s excellent post on food safe printing basically says ABS = bad and that it’s really hard to make a safe 3D print regardless of the type of filament. In my opinion, you’re probably better off buying the Whirlpool replacement part rather than printing something that will harbor bacteria and fungi.

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Adding an Air Filter to a Box Fan

During the wildfires of 2020 I saw many instructions for how to quickly duct-tape air filters to a box fan, to remove smoke from household air. Years before that I was interested in buying a woodworking shop air filter that would remove fine sawdust that otherwise floats in the air for days or weeks.

This post describes my experience making a air-filter-box-fan design, using 3D printed clips instead of duct tape to hold the filter to the fan.

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Product Concept Technology and Invention Consulting