MakerBot 3D Printed Yoda

Due to a recent fan failure on my MakerBot Replicators main board, my 3d printer had been consigned to the ‘needs to be repaired room’, this magical room has a collection of accumulated computers, vintage games consoles and other gadgets all in need of repairs or refurbishment.

However after chatting with my brother in law and realising he had never seen the 3d printer in action, also having spotted a few prints on Thingiverse I wanted to try, a repair session was in order, with a free evening looming dismantling of the MakerBot Replicator began, secretly hoping one of my many spare computer fans would be a perfect replacement.

Having soon discovered the MakerBot Replicator used 24 volt fans, with plenty of 12 volt fans on hand in my spares box but no 24 volt 40mm fans, a quick online search revealed some high quality PAPST fans as possible replacements, after looking over the specification sheet these indeed were a suitable replacement, for those interested the replacement fan is the PAPST TYPE 414F 24V DC 33mA 0.8W.

Once the new fan arrived it was promptly fitted, the MakerBot firmware was updated to the latest version and printing began. My favourite test is this Yoda bust, I have printed the bust in PLA and ABS plastics without any chin or ear supports in a wide range of sizes. The Yoda busts below were all printed in white ABS 1.75mm filament, the largest Yoda taking about 15 hours, to the smallest taking about 2 hours to print!

3D Printed Yoda in White ABS Plastic

The new PAPST 414F fan is much quieter than the stock MakerBot fan, and I have experienced no issues at all in over 40 hours of printing with the new fan, the bearing on one of my extruder’s fans is also now beginning to fail, so this will be eventually be replaced with a PAPST 414F.

Below is one of my older YouTube videos, showing a time lapse of my MakerBot printing Yoda in PLA plastic. The time lapse was shot with an iPad 2, I have since learned my lesson and purchased a GoPro Hero 3+ for much better quality videos!

LEGO Star Wars R2-D2 Ultimate Collector’s Series 10225 Stop Motion Build

One of my many interests is building and collecting Lego usually Star Wars themed. I have not posted an update here in a while so decided to link to one of my old YouTube videos, this is a stop motion build of the R2-D2 Ultimate Collector’s Series. R2-D2 was built with the help of my wife Jo, she built the head section of R2-D2 all on her lonesome one Friday evening when I was laid up in bed feeling unwell, we wanted to complete the build as R2-D2 had been hogging the dining room table for a couple of weeks during construction.

The stop motion was produced on an iPad 3, with hindsight I wish for the amount of time invested to produce this video we had used a better camera for capturing the build, you live and learn…Apple iPad cameras are very poor in low or electric light!

Flashing / Updating Firmware Chuwi V88 HOWTO

Updating and flashing a new firmware on the Chuwi V88 Pad mini is a straight forward process, I will document the steps involved. Firstly you will need to download the updated firmware see the links below, as the flashing tools were by default Chinese language I have enabled the English language settings by default. I have provided just the firmware package, with the update.img, The Rock Chip Batch Tools v1.7 are a seperate download. Remember to download the correct firmware for your V88, the variants are Chuwi V88’s with Bluetooth and without.

Chuwi V88 Pad mini Firmwares & Flash Tools:

Chuwi V88 All Models With Bluetooth :

Latest Android 4.2.2 Version Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-06-20
Change Log:
1. Improved stability.
2. Tablet sleep/wake issues fixed.

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-06-03
Change Log:
1. Initial Android 4.2.2 Release

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-05-25
Change Log:
1. Solve camera stops running bug.
2. Optimized for lower power usage.
3. HDMI Push optimized connection.
4. Optimizing wakeup, fix touch function not detecting input.

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-05-09
Change Log:
1. Increased stability.

Download V88 Firmware Build Date 2013-04-26
Initial release.

Chuwi V88 All Models Without Bluetooth :

Download V88 No Bluetooth Firmware Build Date 2013-04-25
Initial release.

Rockchip Flash Tool v1.7:
RKBatchTool and USB Drivers : Download RKBatchTool v1.7

1. Unrar the update.img firmware archive, they are .rar and will need to be extracted then you must download and install the Rockchip USB drivers on your PC, these are in the Drivers folder in the RKBatchTool archive, make sure you install the correct version for your operating system and the corresponding 32 or 64 bit version specific to your operating system, this is important.

2. Power on your Chuwi V88 Pad mini, I suggest you have at least 50% battery. Now enter Settings, then under the DEVICE section select the Storage option then press the Settings icon (three square dots) located in the top right corner of the screen. The press the USB computer connection option, make sure you have checked the Mass Storage Device option.

3. Now connect the Chuwi V88 to your PC with the micro USB to USB lead. Now navigate on your PC to the folder labled BatchTool, and double click and run RKBatchTool.

4. Rockchip Batch Tool 1.7 will load, you should see a pink indicator box under the Connected Devices section, this shows your V88 has been detected.

5. You will now need to select the firmware (update.img) you wish to flash, click the location button its  at the opposite end of the FW Path: line, now navigate to the update.img file and select. The Rockchip Batch Tool will then load the file and display the files details in the info boxes.

6. Now press the button at the bottom of the Rockchip Batch Tool marked Switch this will enable firmware flashing mode. The Chuwi V88 will now have a black screen, however the Connected Devices indicator box will change from pink to green.

7. Now press the Restore button, the Connected Devices indicator box will now flash yellow as the V88 is formatted, the new firmware will then be uploaded.

8. Once this flashing process has finished the V88 will reboot into the Andriod recovery system, this will format the /data /cache and the /mnt/sdcard/ then the V88 will then reboot.

9. The first time boot is very sloooooow, just be patient.

10. Once booted the Chuwi V88 will be in the default Chinese language, you will need to change your language unless you are Chinese. Press the settings icon on the V88 main screen, now in the left hand column scroll down to the A… symbol in a square box, press it. The very first option in the right hand side menu is languages, press this it will now list all the language options, scroll down to your choice and select. Enjoy the upgraded V88.

Rockchip Batch Tool

Chuwi V88 AnTuTu Benchmarking

After a short wait my Android Chuwi V88 Pad mini has arrived, after charging the battery to 100% I decided to download AnTuTu for a quick bench mark having seen scores on the internet range from 15,000 to a claimed 18,000.

I have not tweaked the Android OS in any way and this is the stock factory supplied firmware, I do however have the updated Chuwi V88 firmware my intention is to update, and will post a how to flash guide for the Chuwi V88 soon. The unit I have been supplied is the 1GB / 16GB version in white, I did actually order the 2GB / 16GB version, however I will take this up with the company who supplied me as I paid the premuim for the 2GB memory.

Below is a screen capture of the current settings page to show the current Andriod version being 4.1.1 and kernel and build details.

Chuwi v88 Settings Page

I then ran two AnTuTu benchmarks, to give an average feel for the numbers and I was very impressed! See for yourself, the highest being 17673! See the two screen captures below for more information, suffice to say this is indeed a pocket rocket Android tablet, the build quality is great overall I am very happy with my purchase apart from the missing 1GB of memory, however a partial refund will resolve this problem.
Chuwi v88 AnTuTu Benchmark

v88 Chuwi Pad mini Benchmark