3D Printing Sample Material Swatches and Storage Box with Labels

3D printing is an incredibly useful tool for creating a wide variety of objects, from prototypes to finished products. One important aspect of 3D printing is the material you use to print your object, as different materials have different properties and can produce significantly different results.

One way to ensure that you are using the right material for your project is to print sample swatches before you begin your main print. Sample swatches are small test prints that allow you to see what a particular material will look and feel like, as well as how it will behave during the printing process.

There are a few key reasons why printing sample swatches is important:

  1. Material properties: Different materials have different properties, such as strength, flexibility, and durability. Printing sample swatches allows you to see firsthand how these properties will affect your final print.
  2. Printing quality: Some materials may require different print settings in order to achieve the best results. Printing sample swatches allows you to fine-tune your printer’s settings to ensure that your final print is of the highest quality.
  3. Cost savings: Printing sample swatches can save you money in the long run by allowing you to test different materials before committing to a full print. If you find that a particular material doesn’t work for your project, you can avoid wasting time and resources by switching to a different material before you begin your main print.

Overall, printing sample swatches is a valuable tool for anyone using a 3D printer. It allows you to make informed decisions about which material to use and how to set up your printer, which can ultimately lead to more successful and cost-effective prints.

For my personal printing I found the STL file for the swatches at the following location:


While for the box, I did not like the lid on the option above so someone had already made a compatible bottom only here:


Then to give the swatches a nice label I used QR Code Monkey to Generate QR Codes of the links that I used to purchase the material for easy ‘re-filling’ of the material when supplies run low.


To print the labels I used a Brother QL-710W label maker with the P-touch Editor to create the labels that stick onto the swatches. The QR Codes created in QR Code Monkey were simply copied and pasted directly into the label.


Upgrading Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer to a FlashForge Adventurer 3!

The Monoprice Voxel is an excellent small form factor fully enclosed 3D Printer. There are a few pitfalls however, the first of these is that the Firmware and Software have not been updated since 2019 by Monoprice. The good news is you can upgrade both of these by flashing new firmware from the FlashForge Adventurer 3!

FlashForge did a white label version of their Adventurer 3 printer for Monoprice, and they still sell it. They also are constantly making improvements to their “FlashPrint” software and are upgrading their Firmware.


Upgrading the firmware in the Voxel is a pretty easy task and made easier by the instructions that u/Jimmy0x52 on Reddit posted a couple of years ago. These instructions need a few very “small” updates that I have created below.


  1. Visit https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AX-GupCoJoM6Qhpwi5jL2lG6fnh4O4Dk and download one version newer than your Voxel’s firmware.
  2. Unzip into a new folder
  3. Format a USB stick. (Mac=MSDOS FAT, Windows=FAT32)
  4. In the firmware folder open the file flashforge_init.sh in a text editor (note: Use NotePad++, Sublime Text).
  5. Delete lines 22-31 (See below for the lines to delete)
  6. Save the updated file
  7. Copy all of the files from the firmware folder to your formatted USB Drive
  8. Power down your Voxel, Insert the drive into the front USB port, Turn the Voxel on. You should see the update screen. In a few seconds it will make three chimes. You can remove the USB and restart the printer.
  9. Finally if the Voxel is connected to the internet the firmware will automatically begin updating multiple times until the latest firmware is loaded.
  10. Your Voxel printer is now a FlashForge Adventurer 3!!!

Lines of code to comment out that allow for the Voxel firmware to be overwritten by Adventurer 3 firmware:

if [ ! -f $WORKDIR/screwflag ]; then 
	if [ "$1" != "" ] && [ "$2" != "" ];then
		if [ "$1" != "${MACHINE}" ] || [ "$2" != "${PID}" ];then
			echo "Firmware does not match machine type."
			exit 1

Now that your printer now is a FlashForge Adventerure 3 you can use the latest FlashPrint software found here:



Getting Started with SDR and HackRF One (Windows Based)

HackRF One From Great Scott Gadgets

Getting started with Software Defined Radio (SDR) has never been easier thanks to GNU Radio and the various SDRs available. I have decided to start learning about SDR using the ‘HackRF One’ from Great Scott Gadgets (link).

I am following along with the Great Scott Gadgets website tutorials put on by
Michael Ossmann. I have just completed the first set of code and instruction video. My particular notes are below on getting started with Windows, GNU Radio and my source code.

After the installation steps in the list above, it is as easy as opening up GNU Radio Companion and following the steps laid out by Michael to create your first FM Radio.

GNU Radio Companion
FM Tuner with Band Visualization GUI.

The only major hiccup that I found was that in the demonstration was that his sample rate was 20M s/sec, this was much too fast for my PC and had issues keeping up. Once I turned down the sampling rate down to 10M s/sec the tuner was crystal clear and worked great.

FM Tuner with Spectrum Visualization and Variable Tuning

More to come as I complete future lessons and eventually start listening to the ham radio bands and use this to modify my low cost radar project.


Hackerboxes.com Hackerbox #0020 Build

I have been a subscriber to hackerboxes.com for quite some time, however, I typically just get their boxes every month, review the contents and set it aside for another ‘not so busy day.’



Today I decided to pull out an older box, the ‘Summer Camp’ Badge box.  This box has you build an program an ESP32 connected to a TFT, 5 neopixels, cap touch buttons printed on the board, a lipo battery charger and a buzzer.  The board builds in about 30 minutes, and takes about 30 more to setup the IDE and test all of the functions.  A photo of my build running is below, it is scanning all of the SSIDs that it can see and displaying them to the TFT.

Hackerboxes Box 0020 Build

The notes from instructables do leave out a few key things that I will list below for anyone else working through this tutorial and having issues:

1.) You will need to get and install the following Arduino libraries from github (remember to restart the Arduino IDE after adding new libraries to the ./Arduino/libraries folder:




2.) When you install the ESP32 tool suite from github, you will need to select the ‘ESP32 Dev Module’ as your board.  The instructions are fairly straight forward, the biggest thing to remember to do after you clone the repository to your ./Arduino/hardware directory is to run the ‘get.exe’ command to install the ESP32 tools in the Arduino IDE.


Next Steps:

Next I will be adding the ability to do the following from a web interface:

1.) Change the text on the TFT

2.) Set the NeoPixels

3.) Play sounds on the Buzzer

The ultimate goal will be to use an ESP32 module on my own board to control above and under cabinet neopixel strings that can be controlled via a webapp.

*More to come!


1969 Firebird Tail Light Update

We have mounted the tail light PCBs into the enclosures using standoffs and stainless steel hardware.  We also used 16 AWG automotive grade wire using the original color code that the car used from the factory.  As can be seen in the photos below the new lights are incredibly bright and will serve the car well.

The only modification that we will be making to the lights is the driving light intensity.  It turns out that we are not dimming the LEDs enough when just the marker lights (or driving lights) are on.  We used a decade resistance box to try different values and found that 10 Ohms dimmed the lights sufficiently.  We will use a 10 Ohm high power resistor inline with the driving lights to dim them to the appropriate level.