Finally, a thief has ended


Last night, after working through 4 games, my adventures with Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series of games has reached it’s conclusion (and that battle on the harbour full of ships was hard!)

I’ll avoid plot spoilers of course, but it’s great to have played through a game driven by story and character – some frustrating moments, some hugely improbably fire-fights – but it’s been a fun journey.

I really appreciated that Naughty Dog went to the trouble of including the epilogue chapter, not only to close the door to any more sequels, but to give the player the satisfaction of knowing how those characters continued after the events in the games finished.

From finding Drake’s tomb to Eldorado, and the search for Avery’s treasure – it’s been fun.

Now to look forward to whatever Naughty Dog games are working on next!


The Day of the Tentacle

Day of the Tentacle Remastered logo.png2016 saw the release of the remastered version of a classic game from twenty-three years ago Lucasarts Day of the Tentacle (Maniac Mansion 2) (available for Windows, Mac and PS4/PSVita)

Day of the Tentacle is a point-and-click time-travel adventure game, very much in the mould of the “Monkey Island” games – similar humour, and puzzles which take the usual “take object to location to do something”, while interacting with a series of bizarre semi-historical characters including George Washington and Ben Franklin…

The core aim of the game is defeat the evil Purple Tentacle – a creature mutated by industrial waste and hell-bent on world domination (as usual), the animation, music and style are very reminiscent of “Scooby Doo” adventures, and you can even play with the original soundtrack and graphics (which look very blocky on modern HD screens!)

They even kept the “game within a game” easter egg – if you want to play the original Maniac Mansion game, it’s in there too…  along with an all-new playalong Director’s commentary from the original creators.

It may be retro, but it harks back to a simpler time in gaming where puzzles ruled the roost rather than shooting and battles…  for £12 it’s a fun way to pass a few hours exploring the way games used to be in the days before HD photo-realistic environments and vast open worlds were the way things

Watch the trailer here:

E3D Titan – Final Thoughts

Well, it’s been about a month, and I have to say, the Titan seems to be rock-solid reliable, and the spring lever makes filament changes a snap – no manually feeding 400mm of filament by cranking the gear wheel any more!

I have to say, I’m very happy with the extruder, and if/when I make the jump to dual extrusion, I can safely say a second Titan will be at the top of the shopping list.

Thanks E3D – a great product.

Note: I have no association with E3D, other than being a happy customer.

Useful Links:

E3D Titan bracket on Thingiverse

Other articles in this series:

  1. Introduction
  2. Unboxing and Assembly
  3. Physical Installation and calibration on the T3P3 delta
  4. Final thoughts (this post)

Installing the Titan on a Kossel Mini

The T3P3 Kossel mini is a delta design built with belt drives, NEMA17 motors, David Crockers firmware, IR probe and on my machine, the PanelDue display.

My machine has some modifcations from the original design include a side-mounted spool holder, some cosmetic in-fill strips to hide some of the wiring in the aluminum struts, and LED lighting on the top frame from IKEA.

The installation of the Titan is one of the largest changes from the orginal design I’m doing, and the first change that alters the mechanical characteristics of the machine.

The first thing I needed to do was print a bracket to mount the titan to the printer – I could have just bought this with the extruder, but instead elected to 3D print it using the design on Thingiverse – which will give me more flexibility if I need to alter it to fit the Kossel frame.

It then turned out that the bolts I was using were too long – so a quick trip to the hardware store later and I had some washers to pad things with…  the end result is the Titan mounted to the top frame of the printer.

Wiring was fairly simple – I just had to remove the print bed to access the electronics, connect the wires instead of the current extruder wiring, and route the cable up the frame of the printer so it wouldn’t foul any of the moving parts.

Before re-installing the print bed, I did a quick extrusion test to ensure the direction was correct

With no filament loaded, send this g-code to override the cold extrusion protection.  Doing this with filament loaded can damage your printer.

M302 P1

Running an extruder test with G1 E300 F300 it quickly became obvious that this extruder runs in the reverse direction to my previous one.

This can be fixed by reversing the motor definition in the config.g file (on DC42 firmware anywhere) – find the line that reads:

M569 P3 S1                ; Drive 3 goes forwards

and change it to

M569 P3 S0                ; Drive 3 (extruder) goes in reverse

All that was left to do was set the extruder steps to 456 (as per the instructions from E3D) and perform an extruder calibration test to make sure it actually moved 100mm of filament when asked.

Extruding 100mm of filament is done with

g1 e100 f100

As always, the instructions from E3D cover how to check this and tweak the value.

Mine came out at 114mm of filament when asked to extrude 100, so I had to tweak the value to

456 * (100/114) = 400

Retesting the 100mm extrusion confirmed that was correct confirmed that 400 was correct.

Finally, I trimmed the bowden tube to length and installing it into the end of the E3D v6 hotend, tidied up the wiring, reinstalled the print bed and ran a print test before removing the old extruder (however the bracket remains as a usual point for wiring to be attached)


Useful Links:

E3D Titan bracket on Thingiverse
E3D Titan Assembly Guide

Other articles in this series:

  1. Introduction
  2. Unboxing and Assembly
  3. Physical Installation and calibration on the T3P3 delta (this post)
  4. Final thoughts

Unboxing and Assembling the Titan

The unboxing and assembly of the Titan was simple (apart from at one point where I realised I put my printed mount (the red part which I printed from the design on Thingiverse) on upside down…

I won’t re-hash the excellent instructions from E3D (there’s no point) – so what follows is a series of photographs showing the assembly process

Useful Links:

E3D Titan Assembly Guide

Other articles in this series:

  1. Introduction
  2. Unboxing and Assembly (this post)
  3. Physical Installation and calibration on the T3P3 delta
  4. Final thoughts