Blender 2.8 and 2.81 turns everything white when I select an object.

Tl;dr – I didn’t figure out what was wrong with Blender 2.8 and 2.81 on Ubuntu. So I upgraded to the 2.82 alpha version, which works great. You can also go back to the 2.79 version, which also works great.

281vs279white

So, I’ve enrolled in a great course on Udemy, it is a low poly 3D modeling course, using Blender. It’s an awesome course so far! Alex, the instructor is really great at explaining everything to guys like me, who have absolutely no experience with this whatsoever. Another thing I really like is how excited he is about the material, and his enthusiasm is contagious! You can find the course here if you are interested: https://www.udemy.com/course/blenderlowpoly/

In the course, the instructor is using Blender 2.8, but the 18.04 repositories for Ubuntu only have version 2.79 available. Well, that would be fine, but the layout of the interface is actually different between the two, and I wanted to be able to follow the instructions verbatim while learning the ropes. So, I headed to the Blender website and downloaded the release version of 2.8. Unfortunately, it didn’t work right.

As you can see in the picture above, when I click on an object, the entire “view port” turns white. Then, when you move the object, you actually can’t see what you are doing anymore, as the object “disappears”. Thinking that was no good, I jumped online and found others had this specific problem also. Unfortunately, they just re-installed Blender, and that fixed it. But that fix didn’t work for me.

So, I tried out Blender 2.81a, which you can also download from their website, and it had the same issue for me. I tried running it in a terminal window so I could watch the output and try to troubleshoot, but it didn’t give any output for me to work with. I had no way of troubleshooting the issue.

Of course, 2.79 still worked great on my machine, but since the interface was different from the instructors, it made following the videos a bit difficult. So, I tried one last ditch effort, and went with the latest blender version: 2.82 alpha. I was a little concerned that there would be other issues, but everything worked and has been rock solid since I installed it.

282works

So, now I get the new interface, and I can easily follow along in the course! Sounds like a win to me!

Linux – keep it simple.

Building a Pinewood Derby Timer: 3D printing some display covers

Well, I decided to print a few display covers to go around the LED displays. This covers up the unsightly hole that I cut from the box, and seems to “class up” the displays a bit. I like the way they turned out. If I could post files here, I’d post the gcode and openCad files, but the free version of WordPress doesn’t work well that way.

Either way, took me only two tries to find a style I liked, and a couple hours total to complete this part of the project.

Linux – keep it simple.

Using my Colido 3D DIY printer with Cura

As you’ve probably seen before, I’ve got a Colido 3D DIY printer that I’ve used for some of my projects. Prior to today, I was using Repitier-Host as the software for handling the printing, and it worked great. The thing is, I’m big into open source, so I wanted to find an OS alternative. I stumbled across Cura, but I couldn’t figure out how to input my own parameters for the printer, until today.

By default, Cura comes with the option to choose between multiple printers, unfortunately, my do it yourself printer wasn’t one of them. Not to worry, though, they created a feature where you can add a new type of printer. My only problem was, I didn’t know enough about 3D printers to fill in all the details.

So, after some tinkering, I found a setup that works great and produces great prints!

colido_set1

As you can see in the pictures, you will set the fields as follows:

Printer:

  • X (width) 200 mm
  • Y (depth) 200 mm
  • X (height) 170 mm
  • Build plate shape rectangular
  • Uncheck Origin at center
  • Uncheck Heated bed
  • G-code flavor Repetier
  • X min 20
  • Y min 10
  • X max 10
  • Y max 10
  • Gantry height 999999999999 mm ( I think you can adjust this better, but for me it works, because it uses this at the end to go to the stop. )
  • Number of extruders 1

Extruder 1:

  • Nozzle size 0.35 mm
  • Compatible material 1.75 mm
  • Nozzle offset x 0 mm
  • Nozzle offset y 0 mm
  • Cooling fan number 0
  • End and start G-Code for the extruder can be left blank.

For the printer Start G-Code, use this:

M104 S195 ; set temperature

G28 ; home all axes

G1 Z5 F200 ; lift nozzle

M109 S195 ; wait for temperature to be reached

G21 ; set units to millimeters

G90 ; use absolute coordinates

M82 ; use absolute distances for extrusion

G92 E0

M106 S155.55

G1 E-3.00000 F2400.00000

G92 E0

And the printer end G-code, use this:

M104 S0 ; turn off temperature

M140 S0 ; set bed target temp

G28 X0 ; home X axis

M84 ; disable motors

G1 Z169 F200;

If you fill in these fields, then hopefully your Colido 3D DIY printer will work great for you too! It’s not the best printer, but for about $100 on Amazon, it’s a great starter kit for understanding and getting started with 3D printing!

Linux – keep it simple.

Setting up libGDX for Android Studio on Ubuntu

Every one else is probably brighter than me. However, after reading the instructions over and over again, and then attempting to follow them, it just wasn’t working. All I wanted to do was start a libGDX project in Android Studio. I finally figured out where I went wrong, so here is the step by step for any one else that gets stuck like I did. Please read all the instructions first, because step 5 becomes step 1, but doesn’t make sense unless you read them in this order:

  1. Go to https://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/download.html and click “Download Setup App”.
  2. A jar is downloaded. Don’t try to import it, or something of that nature. Clicking on it is no good either. Simply open a terminal window and cd to the Downloads directory. Once you are there, type: $ java -jar ./gdx-setup.jar
  3. A window will pop up. Fill in the usual blanks to name your app.
  4. For the Android SDK field, open Android Studio, and click File –> Project Structure. That first field is the Android SDK.
  5. For the folder to put the newly created app in, be sure that you choose a folder that is empty, because it will wipe out everything in that folder. So I recommend you make a folder for it first!
  6. Uncheck the things you don’t need, like IOS, HTML, etc, and click generate.
  7. Once it is done, go back to Android Studio, and click File –> open.
  8. Choose the folder you put it in, and Android Studio will recognize the gradle files in it, and open your new app!

Hopefully that makes sense and keeps you from wasting as much time as I did. Most of you are probabl smart enough to know this already!

Linux – keep it simple.

Scann3d, making 3d models with your cell phone camera!

I am not an artist. Nor am I a 3d modeler. I tried using Blender and other 3d modeling programs, but it just isn’t something that I have a knack for. However, when I saw this app I had to check it out! It’s called Scann3d, and it can be very addicting!

Essentially, you walk around an object while taking pictures of it, then, the app uses your phone processor to put those photographs together to make a 3d object. You don’t need the internet, because this works on your phone itself. Here was my very first try:

Don’t laugh too hard, it actually is really difficult to make a good model. The interface is really simple and it even has a numbered circle for the pictures while you walk around the object. What makes it difficult is the need for even spacing between shots, as well as great lighting and steady hands. This child’s chair was something I took in about 45 seconds with no regard to the instructions.

Once the model is built, you can twist and turn it with your finger or stylus, and the resulting object is a standard file that you can import into programs like Blender as well. Obviously my skills need a little more work, but if you want to make real objects part of your digital library, then this is a really fun way to do it!

Linux – keep it simple.