Jeremy's almost but not quite entirely moribund blog

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cura settings for QiDi Tech X-one2 3D printer

We got a QiDi Tech X-one2 3D printer for Christmas. It came with a custom-skinned ancient version of Cura. I had a bit of difficulty finding the information needed to use the real Cura software, so I decided to post it online, here on my blog with zero Google fu that nobody will ever find.

(Tested with Cura 3.1.0. This information was found in the QiDi program folder in resources/definitions/fdmprinter.def.json and resources/definitions/x-one2.def.json)

In the Add Printer dialog, select "Other" and "Julia", enter a name, and click "Add Printer".

X (Width): 150mm
Y (Depth): 150mm
Z (Height): 145mm

Build plate shape: Rectangular
Origin at center: UNCHECKED
Heated bed: CHECKED
Gcode flavor: Marlin

Material diameter: 1.75mm
Nozzle size: 0.4mm

Printhead settings / Gantry height: all 0mm (i.e., don't print multiple models in "one at a time" mode, not even with QiDi's software, because not even they define the printhead dimensions. the printhead could collide with other models.)

Start Gcode:
G92 A0 B0
G1 X0 Y0 Z50 F3600
G1 X0 Y0 F3600
M140 S{material_bed_temperature}
M104 S{material_print_temperature} T0
M190 S{material_bed_temperature}
M109 S{material_print_temperature} T0
G92 E0
G92 A0 B0
G0 X0 Y4 Z0.3 F3600
G1 X{machine_width} Y5 F2400
G1 X5 A14 F2400
G1 X5 F2400
G92 A0 B0

End Gcode:
M104 S0
M104 S0 T1
M140 S0
G92 E0
G1 Z{machine_height} F900
G28 X0 Y0

There are still a few differences:
  • The QiDi software embeds a preview image in the gcode file, which the printer displays on its LCD screen while printing. Cura does not do this.
  • Cura can print via USB, with no SD-card shuffling required.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Playing Portal 2 co-op on LAN, with one account

My wife bought me Portal 2 a few months ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed the single-player campaign. The puzzles are clever, and there are lots of 'em. The story is funny and engaging, and the voice acting is superb. The procedural music adds a lot of atmosphere. I particularly liked the historic Aperture Science Innovators levels deep underground.

After completing the single-player game, I wanted more. My wife suggested that our 7-year-old boy would enjoy playing co-op with me. I said it probably won't work unless I register another Steam account and buy another copy of the game... but I did some Google searches and found that offline LAN play is possible with a single copy. There are varying instructions given, and some work better than others, so I decided to record the best way here. Specifically, if you do it right, Atlas (the blue robot) can save progress and earn achievements. (They can't both do it, because only one can be connected to Steam at a time.)

Start with the guest machine (this machine will play P-body, the orange robot):
  1. Launch Steam in offline mode.
  2. Start Portal 2.
  3. Enable the developer console (under advanced keyboard options). This only has to be done once.
  4. Enter the developer console by pressing the back-quote (`) key, to the left of the number 1.
Now, on the host machine (this machine will play Atlas, the blue robot):
  1. Launch Steam in online mode.
  2. Start Portal 2.
  3. Enable the developer console (again, this only needs to be done the first time).
  4. Select "Play cooperative game" from the main menu.
  5. Select "Standard co-op"
  6. Wait for the "Invite friends" page to appear. It's okay if the page is empty.
  7. Enter the developer console by pressing the back-quote (`) key.
  8. Type sv_lan 1
Back on the guest machine:
  1. Type connect (IP address of host machine)
And then on the host:
  1. Type map mp_coop_start (for the calibration level, if you haven't played before), or map mp_coop_lobby_2 (for the hub)
Using these steps, I am able to play co-op with my son, and still save progress and earn achievements on my account (I play as Atlas).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Windshield wipers

A few months ago, the windshield wiper switch on my 2000 Honda Civic broke, resulting in funny behavior like the blades stopping the second you let go of the lever, even in the middle of the windshield, and when you pull the lever back to squirt the windshield, it'd keep squirting forever until you push it back.

The car was due for a safety inspection, and I figured it wouldn't pass in this condition. I picked up a new switch at the local Honda dealer and installed it this morning. The wipers worked like they should, but the windshield squirty-things didn't squirt.

Just yesterday I topped off the wiper fluid, so I knew that wasn't the problem. This pointed at the pump. Looking under the hood, I couldn't even see the pump. Only the top of the reservoir poked through the maze of frobnitzes and gormishes. Looking up from below, I couldn't see it either. I was worried I'd have to remove the front bumper, but it turned out the pump is situated just in front of the front wheel and is accessible through the wheel well once the cover is removed. I picked up a new pump at AutoZone (which was much less expensive than the switch, interestingly enough), drained the fluid into a bucket, and swapped pumps. Now I can squirt the windshield again; in fact, the new pump almost overshoots the windshield entirely. I guess it's a little more powerful.

With a working windshield wiper system, I took my car to Jiffy Lube for the inspection, and they told me my blades needed replacement... so one more trip to AutoZone.

Side note: Jiffy Lube also told me my air filter needed replacement, and they offered to do it for $15. I declined, because I knew the air filter is easy to install, so I thought I'd save a few bucks. Until I saw what the new air filter cost at AutoZone: $15. I guess next time I'll just let Jiffy Lube do it.

I also replaced the cabin air filter and windshield wiper blades on the family van. And my Civic has a door that won't open from the outside... maybe I'll make a clean sweep of it and look at that this evening.

Aren't cars fun?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Making Vista x64 print to an XP Home box

My printer, an HP Laserjet 1012, is connected via USB to my desktop computer, which runs Windows XP. The printer is shared from the desktop, and my wife regularly prints to it from her Eee PC (also running XP) and the MythTV box (running Linux, of course). No problem setting either of these up.

I was just working on a document on my shiny Dell laptop that runs Windows Vista x64 Edition, and I had a bear of a time getting it to talk to the printer. It sees the printer in the Add Printer Wizard, but when I go to install it, it claims it couldn't find a suitable driver, even if I point it directly at the Vista x64 driver I downloaded from HP's website.

I thought, maybe if I plug the printer directly into the computer, it'll let me install the driver--so I yanked the USB cable from the desktop and plugged it into the laptop. It saw the printer appear, chewed on this information for awhile, and then told me it couldn't find a driver. So I pointed it at the one I downloaded, and lo and behold, this time it worked.

So I reconnected the printer to the desktop and went back to the Add Printer wizard, figuring this time it'd realize the printer was installed and not complain about the lack of a driver. Nope. It still complained that there was no suitable driver, even though a suitable driver was already installed. Stupid Windows.

I did some Googling and found the answer: lie to Windows and say you're adding a local printer, on a local port that happens to be named \\server\printername. This way it noticed that the appropriate driver was installed, and it actually completed the installation and printed.

Stupid Windows.