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Stewart's Blog

Stewart Watkiss website to the world ...

(Children, computing, first aid and other ramblings ...)

Archive for the 'Computers' Category

Fixing 3D printer first layer problems – sticking to the bed

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

I have had a 3D printer for about two and half years now and I’m still learning. One of the biggest problems I have had is problems with getting the first layer to stick to the print bed. This is a common problem, but not one that I’ve been able to find a simple solution. […]

Running at Code Club at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

In the past I have run a Code Club in a mainstream first / primary school. This involved going into the school at the end of the normal school day and spending 45 minutes to an hour working on Scratch projects. This is something that I really enjoyed, watching children taking their first steps in […]

Installing Linux is getting harder but it’s not Linux at fault

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

I’ve recently bought myself a new computer. It’s a high spec laptop, a Dell Inspiron 5580 (Inspiron 5000 series), with Intel i7 processor, SSD and 1TB hard disk, and a Nvidia graphics card. The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows but I really intend to use it running Linux. I don’t want to remove Windows completely […]

Amazon Dash Button Home Automation with Raspberry Pi, Sengled home automation lights and pi-power Energenie Power Sockets

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

I have recently been upgrading some of my home automation. I already use Energenie Pi-Mote to control some electrical power sockets, I’ve now replaced some of my light switches with Sengled home automation light bulbs. Initially I’ve been using my Pi-power software running on a Raspberry Touch Screen and some timed actions to automatically turn […]

Raspberry Pi Birthday Party – Birmingham 2019

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

I was again involved with the Raspberry Pi Birthday Celebrations in Birmingham. This years event was held at the STEMHouse in Birmingham. A makerspace / startup space designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to create a product. There was a strong influence of 3D printing and games programming at the event, including my own […]

G-Scale building for garden model railway – part 3 – Adding a roof and other features

Monday, December 24th, 2018

In this final part of the design for a 3D printed model railway building I’ve added additional features such as the door, windows and roof as well as adding a smoke generator. These were all designed in TinkerCAD. These are designed in TinkerCAD and then exported for 3D printing. The smoke generator is fitted into […]

3D printed Aquarium – Gift idea for Megaquarium Computer Game

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Megaquarium is a computer game where you get a design your own aquarium tourist attraction. It’s like Roller Coaster Tycoon, based around a Sea Life Centre. My son wants it as a Christmas present, which is great except in the days of digital downloads a bunch of binary digits doesn’t quite feel the same as […]

Raspberry Pi Christmas Project – Christmas House and Neopixel Snowman

Monday, December 17th, 2018

This year I’ve been creating a 3D model of a building for an outdoor model railway. Technically it’s a building for a weigh bridge rather than a house, but I’ve given it a Santa’s Grotto make-over for Christmas and so Christmas House sounds better. The building is designed in TinkerCAD based on a real building […]

TinkerCAD 3D Snowman for 3D printing G-Scale model railway

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

This is a model that I’ve made using TinkerCAD. A snowman designed for 3D printing on a home 3D printer. It’s been created to approximate G-Scale (1:22.5) for outdoor model railways. It’s also hollow so that you can insert an LED inside and have it light-up (assuming it’s printed with a light coloured PLA) so […]

Model Railway – designing a G-Scale building for an outdoor model railway in the garden – part 1

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

This is my first attempt at creating a proper scale model for 3D printing. In this case I am creating a weigh building in G-Scale. This has been a huge learning curve. I’ve since learned from some of the issues in the first model and so part 2 will improve on the techniques shown. The […]


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