Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Household expenses

Just a quick note to say something about household expenses.

Expenditure = Income

(… unless you max out your credit card… but you can only do this once)

So if any houshold item increases in cost, for example gas/electricity, then something else has to either be abandoned, or its cost has to go down.

The question is what will go down, under financial pressures?

It seems that little is susceptible to these pressures… Mortgage? No the banks have got you by the short and curlies here, even if the housing market goes down, they still want the full value of their loan to be paid back… Food? Yes you could starve yourself, but only so far! …Energy? Yes you can cut this down by 18C freezing instead of 21C warm, by sitting in the dark, by not watching TV or using the internet, by eating cold meals, by insulating your house. But none of these choices are pleasant, and insulation is expensive in capital terms (why spend capital to save expenses… Taxes? Very unlikely as these taxes pay for local services, but there is some room to demand they are cut… what else??? Oh yes, insurance! Have you ever seen this come down, yet again financial services have you by the short and curlies.

The problem then is that very little is susceptible to market pressures, and that is a major problem which is causing people to scream and shout about any price increases.

We need to look at things very differently and keep in mind the best split in expenditures for your family.

Of course the other solution is higher wages and pensions. But both of these are highly dependant on market conditions. You can change your job, if you have guts and qualifications. But you are unlikely to be able - no really it is impossible - to increase your pension.

More Reprap

What we have discovered about our Reprap 3D printer is that the plastic delivered with the kit was PLA, not ABS as we expected - after all the kit was called ABS - Prusa! For weeks we had poor prints, lots of misaligned squirts from the extruder, wiggly output, poor adhesion.

But now we have purchased some correct ABS material, and tuned the slicing software "Slic3r" to have the best parameters for our setup, and whoopee great prints. By the way we are also using Replicator Host on both PCs and Macs for printing. Great software!

For example,

2012 10 16 13 47 55

Looks good, eh?

We have also printed a sturdy and quite large item, a reel support which clips onto the side vertical support of a chair and holds the reel of plastic. This is a great idea and the plastic un-reels easily as we print.

Two projects are in progress, like everyone an iPhone case! and a complicated, many pieced, heat exchanger for a kitchen extraction system. Here's the iPhone case downloaded from Thingyverse, thanks.

Screen Shot 2012 10 16 at 14 16 12