Christopher Parrott

Programming | Electronics | 3D Printing | Robotics

2018 Wrap-up and Goals for Next Year

December 30, 2018 • Tags: 3D Printing YouTube eGPU LED Neopixel Stargate Misc

With the year coming to a close, I thought now would be a good time to update you all on what I’ve been up to these past months as well as talk about some of my goals for the year to come.

Starting off, the main thing I have done since the last blog post is release two more YouTube videos! The first new video was about a rack I designed and 3D printed for storing model tanks I print with various samples I receive. The second video was about the external graphics card enclosure and setup I have been using for several years. This video proved to be an interesting experience. Being a project that is quite old by this point (design files were uploaded to Thingiverse back in July) I thought that making a video for it would be easy. In the end it took 3 weeks and needed multiple retakes and editing passes to create something I was happy with. I also switched from editing with Windows Movie Maker to VideoPad, so there was a bit of a learning curve there. Thankfully all this effort has been worth it, as not only has the video received more views in the 1.5 months it has been up than my Hexapod video has in its entire 6 years, there has been renewed interest in my Thingiverse entry as well as some positive comments!

Following these videos I had hoped to get a new one out every 2 weeks as I had several smaller projects lined up that could have been video worthy. One was a small illuminated logo to have in the back of videos, one a Walking Ship model from one of my favourite video games, and the other a string of WiFi controlled Christmas lights. Although I was able to complete all three projects, I had real difficulty coming up with interesting scripts for them so ended up sidelining the videos to work on other things. Maybe I’ll try again in the new year. You can see pictures of these below.

Illuminated Infernal Robotics Logo

Cybran Walking Ship

WiFi Christmas Lights

Whilst doing these projects I was also building a new PC for video editing and 3D animation, as well as various other projects as gifts for friends and family. One particular project was a Stargate-inspired infinity mirror! If you’re not familiar, an infinity mirror is what you get when you place a regular mirror and a two-way mirror towards each other, with lighting in between. The two-way mirror reflects most of the light that hits it but also allows some to pass through. This gives the effect of an illumninated tunnel extending into whatever surface the infinity mirror is placed on. To make the infinity mirror I started with a round wall-hanging mirror from a local homeware store, and created a two-way mirror using window film and some acrylic. The acrylic was cut to shape using the lasercutters at my University’s makerspace. Applying the window film proved to be the most challenging part, taking four attempts to get a nice application without bubbles and minimal dust. To style the infinity mirror like a Stargate I found reference images online and set about 3D modelling it as 9 repeating sections. The internal lighting of the mirror was done with a cheap strip of addressable LEDs with an IR remote and controller. You can see the final model below, and can make one yourself by checking out the Thingiverse page.

Stargate Infinity Mirror

Looking forward to 2019, I really want to see if I can make something out of this whole YouTube thing. As you can tell by this post I love doing projects, so if sharing them and my experiences making them on YouTube can be a way for me to continue doing so and support myself in the process that would be great! Expecially as my day job as a Robotics Researcher is only contracted for another year. In terms of projects for 2019, I would like to revisit some of my old robot projects and update them with modern electronics and 3D print new parts. For example, Raspberry Pi’s weren’t even a thing back when I made them, so that’s one upgrade that can be done right there! These projects won’t be short term so I would like to start a video series for them in the style of XRobots, maybe throwing in one-off projects now and then. I would also like to visit more 3D printing / maker events this coming year. Sadly the UK Maker Faire is not returning, but hopefully there are plenty of other events in the UK for me to visit.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this update. See you in 2019!