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Deviously (3D) Printing

If you’re not familiar with 3D printing, here are some of the basics:

  • As the name suggests, 3D printing allows us to produce three dimensional objects
  • The material (think of this as the ‘ink’ of 3D printing) will depend on the printer, most systems will use plastic. Some 3D printers can print using ceramics and metal!
  • Depending on the material used for construction, it may also require support material to ensure the part will have the support it needs until it “sets”. This support material is removed afterwards
  • The model has to be designed beforehand in a 3D modelling package
  • It’s one big step towards the replicators in Star Trek…

These are some of the benefits of using 3D printing:

  • Can print unique “Once Off” objects without extortionate tooling costs (can be upwards of £10,000)
  • Can create prototypes to ensure that when you tool up, your system has the correct dimensions and can be assembled properly
  • Can use 3D printing as manufacturing method (low volume specialist parts)
  • Especially useful for producing parts for systems that are no longer available
  • If used in conjunction with a 3D scanner, can directly replicate existing parts without requiring 3D modelling experts

Tthe services available to our clients in our area have long turnaround times. This has unfortunately meant clients have not been able to produce as many incremental prototypes as they would have liked due to time constraints. As many of our customers utilise Devious Solutions for our rapid prototyping service, we have purchased a 3D printer to alleviate their woes.

If you’re interested in using our 3D printing services, then please get in touch!

 

My workspace

Preface

Some of you have asked what I actually do at work. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to write up a series of wee posts about where I work and what I do. Unfortunately, I normally can’t discuss what I’m working on – which is a shame because I’m working on some interesting stuff!

The Office

Devious Desk - please do not feed the wires

The Desk

Most of the action at Devious Solutions goes on at this neat desk. The set up is inspired by “hot desking” allowing the Technomages to easily connect the right equipment and move between designing, developing and keeping an eye on our current clients and solutions (the chair is pretty comfortable too).

The office IT infrastructure also falls under the responsibility of the Technomages and is just half spin away by office chair.

The Devious Server Cabinet - More wires. I think they're breeding...

“Server Cabinet”

While it may not look impressive, the server performs its tasks diligently . Above the server, we keep the monitoring equipment for our long-term tests, so they are always close at hand.

There is also a small cluster of computers under the desk that are used for testing. They are normally utilised for large volume processing which is particularly useful when we test code optimisation on a range of different platforms. To avoid bumped heads and sore knees, the Technomages keep these computers connected to the network where they can be logged into and controlled remotely from the desk area.

Devious Cluster - did see you something move back there?

Underdesk Cluster

Due to the combination of the set up and comfortable chair, sometimes the Technomages find their colleagues stealing their office space, so it can’t be all that bad can it?

 

Jive buys CLARA

Update – May 2013

In the Spring of 2013, CLARA was purchased by Jive Software for €6.8 million (£5.76 million or $8.75 million at the time of writing). The CLARA Insight (later renamed to Resonata), was added to Jive’s software suite.

We wish everyone at CLARA and Jive all the best and hope they can take Resonata to the next level!

 

For when the unthinkable happens…

Like it or not, today’s world is driven by digital technology. So much of our personal information is locked behind various layers of passwords. It’s not fun to think about, but what would happen if you died tomorrow? Although we don’t offer a “Dead Man’s Switch” product/service, some of our Technomages have started using this service.

The official website says it best:

The service is simple. Type an email and optionally attach a few files. Every few days we will send you an email with a link that verifies you are still alive. If something does happen we will send your emails 30 days after we last heard from you. Is 30 days too long? No problem, someone close to you can use an emergency release code to dispatch the emails early.

Meaning that the service could be used in an emergency situation when you’re away from your critical information (think: holiday). You can provide someone with a pre-generated emergency code for a specific kind of emergency. Could be extremely useful you need a photocopy of your passport information, but don’t want to pass that info out to anyone unless they need it.

 

Edinburgh Coffee Morning

We love sending along one of our Veteran Technomages to Edinburgh Coffee Morning! We try to attend every week, so if you want to have a quick informal chat to us, then feel free to pop along!

It’s a brilliant little event where ideas are shared, and has spawned a couple of ventures (such as http://edtwinge.com/ ). Our Technomages happily engage in discussion, sharing knowledge freely and giving advice.

Even if you don’t want to meet us (promise we don’t bite!), it’s worth attending if you can make it. You’ll meet a wide range of people, with different professions, skill-sets and backgrounds. I can’t recommend it enough.

Pop on any social media site (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+), and search for “Edinburgh Coffee Morning” – we promise it won’t take you too long.

 

Completed

This time, the technomages over at Devious Solutions have really outdone themselves.

In a little over 10 weeks, they have managed to design, develop, construct and test a prototype data logger system. Then travel to the opposite site of the world to commission it. Everything is ticking over quite happily, and we’re looking forward to see how it performs over the course of the year.

The technomages had to be on their best behaviour as they were operating as part of a multi-discipline team formed formed from a number of different companies. Biting was kept to a minimum.

Don’t worry though, I’m not allowing them to rest on their laurels for a job well done. The whip is already cracking and they’re industriously working away on the next stage of the project – developing a swanky web service for all that data being generated!

 

Old Site News

We’ve condensed some of the news from the old site into one bite sized post for your reading enjoyment:

January 1st, 2011

  • AutoExcel project completed!(We have since continued providing additional functionality to the system at the request of our client)
  • Devious Solutions invited to Icelandic Embassy

January 15th, 2011

March 3rd, 2011

  • Completed Embedded System Prototype
  • Began producing the Embedded System final system

June 15th, 2011

  • Embedded prototype showcased at international convention, in the United States of America
  • The system was a storming success

November 19th 2011

  • Moved to dedicated hosting
  • Improved the old website
 

New site, old hosts!

Those of you who have been following us for a while may recall that back in November we moved our site across to a dedicated web hosting company. Unfortunately, various disagreements over the months have culminated in us moving back to our old web hosting company – Devious Solutions! (That’s us by the way).

We chose to switch to the dedicated hosting for a number of reasons:

  1. The office was located in an area that suffered frequent power cuts. As a result, all web services were down, and the power outage could sometimes last days. It was unfair to some of our clients who relied on us to handle their hosting…
  2. As we received more web traffic across all the sites, things began to grind to a halt because our trusty old server was getting on a bit. Dedicated web hosting should have been able to handle the higher amounts of traffic
  3. The office was located somewhere with, let’s be fair to it, inferior internet bandwidth

However, we now have some new office space AND a new shiny server, which neatly solves all of the above problems. Our Veteran Technomages can now look forward to being able to host and fully tinker with our (and our client’s) websites to tease the most out of them.