3D Printer

Elegant solution for a broken PVC pipe

A couple of years ago my dad and I had the crazy idea of running ethernet cables to every building with power on the property. We did this so we can theoretically sit anywhere, and still have a 1gbit/s connection to our NAS at home, and going wire-only until the very last step also helps getting a more stable wifi connection throughout the property.

After a couple of years, some mishaps are bound to happen, and our 100m+ ethernet run was no exception. Luckily for us we protected the FTP cat6 cable with a 5/8 (16mm) size PVC pipe, and the piece that broke was only the outer shell and not the cable itself.

The broken PVC pipe, with an ethernet cable inside.

How the pipe got broken so badly is still a mystery to us. We had used an impact resistent PVC pipe, and the pipe is free to move a little bit in the way that we have mounted it, so it must have been a very hard hit. Regardless of how it happened though, we now have an exposed ethernet cable and it needs to be fixed.

Admittedly, about a year has passed since we first saw the broken pipe. There were lots of things to do which were more important, because we didn’t exactly depend on the ethernet cable working, and thus the project was put on hold. We could have put a little electrical tape on it and call it a day of course, but that isn’t a good long-term solution for obvious reasons. Replacing the PVC pipe or ethernet cable also wasn’t an option, because either of them had to be cut/replaced completely. Fast forward to a couple of days ago, where we are now in possession of a 3D printer and I have a little design skills in Solidworks, it was about time to fix it the “good” way.

I got my electronic caliper to the pipe and did some measurements for the diameter of the pipe and the length of the broken piece. These turned out to be 16mm and about 90mm respectively. After about 15 minutes of modeling on my laptop, I managed to design something that doesn’t look half bad if I say so myself:

One half of the “pvc patch” I designed.

I designed the part around a semi-circle, such that it can be printed twice and will make a perfect circle when mounted using the included screw holes. Now it was just a matter of printing the part two times, and mounting them to the PVC pipe.

The printed piece mounted on the broken pipe.

And that’s it! A broken PVC pipe fixed without cutting either the ethernet cable or the pipe itself, and it can withstand some (more..) abuse again.
If you happen to have found yourself in a similar situation, I have uploaded the Solidworks and STL files to Thingiverse, so you can adjust and/or print the models for yourself: <link t.b.a.>

3D Printer CS:GO bomb

Wrapping up the CS:GO bomb project

The making of

In the last post about the project I left you off with a picture of the yet to be finished 3D print of the bottom of the case. I’m glad to tell you that the bomb has been finished, and works perfectly!
If you haven’t read the last (and first) post about this project, I highly suggest having a look at the post here.

So: at this point all the parts have been 3D-printed. It was time to see if everything fits in the bottom part of the case! Remember, I designed (or rather: remixed) this model on my own, so there was a great chance that the dimensions would be a bit off. Luckily, everything fit together nicely at the first print. The most critical holes were the defuse-button hole, the XT60-shaped hole and the hole for the battery voltage indicator. The other 2 holes for the wires and the battery strap weren’t really that critical, since it’s fine if there’s a little wiggle room.

Fitting all parts in the bottom of the case for the first time.

As you can see from the picture, I have also soldered the D1 mini board to some perfboard, with lots of connectors on it and once single resistor (which is a pull-up resistor for the defuse button).

Closeups of the perfboard.

The block-terminals are used for power (+5v and ground), data pins (LEDs and beeper) and the button connectors. The male pin-headers are used for the keypad and the LCD screen. The D1 mini board is also installed using female pin-headers, so the board can be removed if needs be.

After hot-gluing the 5v buck converter and the custom-made perfboard in place, it was time to place the buzzer and lots of LEDs on the outside of the bomb. The LEDs are individually addressable WS2812B LEDs, so I can easily control each LED while only using one data wire. In the end I did not add any code to control each LED independently, but I can add this in the future if I want to.

After wiring and gluing the LEDs and beeper to the outside, the bomb was done! Well, the physical side of it at least. The firmware still needed some changes, more on this later.

Photos of the finished product.

Like I said, the firmware still needed some adjustment. I wanted to be able to change the time after which the bomb would explode, and I also wanted to be able to change the defuse time on the fly. I thought about making these changes over the air using my laptop, but I have an LCD and a keypad on the bomb.. Might as well use it! So I made a little menu with which I can change a couple of parameters. These values are stored in the built-in EEPROM of the ESP8266.

And with this, the project is done. With the web server the bomb is hosting, I can write a program on my laptop to keep track of the state of the bomb. This way I can play certain audio files when, for example, the bomb explodes. I could connect my laptop to a big audio installation and a subwoofer, for example, to make it sound like an actual bomb exploded!

Bill of materials (BOM)

A full BOM for the bomb (get it?). I bought almost all parts from Banggood, but I’m sure the parts can also be found on websites like Amazon. I had most parts laying around at home which made it a bit cheaper for me.

Possible revision 2

There are a couple things that I could have done better. If there will ever be a rev. 2 of my bomb design, these are the things I would change:

  • Built-in battery with a charging circuit to allow charging from a USB port. I used a drone battery, battery strap and XT60 connector to save cost because these are things I have laying around at home;
  • Change the loudness of the beeper in the menu, the beeper I got can’t be adjusted in loudness;
  • Use a microcontroller with more pins. I would love to have controlled the LED in the defuse button through the microcontroller as well, but I couldn’t because there are simply not enough pins on the D1 mini board;
  • Make a case design using the real bomb model in the game. I found the model of the in-game bomb here, but my design skills are simply not good enough to make changes to a model this complicated.


Case design:
Arduino code:

And now..

The project is done! Now I’ll have to start finding something else to make.. However, we can start playing some CS:GO matches in our garden using laser guns!

It was a lot of fun to make a CS:GO bomb simulation in hardware, in real life. I learned a lot, especially how to do more advanced 3D model design. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these 3 blog posts as much as I did making the bomb!

3D Printer CS:GO bomb

Advanced CS:GO in-real-life bomb

So, my dad has gotten this crazy idea to play an in-real-life match of CS:GO in our backyard, being a fan of the game himself just like me.
But where’s the fun in CS:GO with (laser) guns, even a bomb-site A and B, but no bomb?

Having done some Arduino/ESP projects before, I started the task to make a hardware simulation of the bomb in the game. The bomb needed to fulfill a couple of things:
– A keypad to enter the code to “arm” the bomb.
– A (loud) beeper, just like in the game.
– An LCD to show the status of the bomb.
– Has to be able to communicate with a computer, to indicate the status of the bomb (for future things like a large projector screen, or a large audio installation).
– Lastly, of course: fancy lights!

Being all hyped, I ordered the parts we did not have lying around at home from Banggood and waited for it to arrive. As soon as it arrived I started connecting the parts together and writing some software. I got a basic CS:GO bomb simulator up and running pretty quickly!

Very early stage of the bomb.

I got the LCD connected and running pretty soon afterwards. In the mean time I was printing an enclosure for it all with my (well, actually, my dad’s) Creality3D Ender 3 3D-printer. I found a nice model made by NightfuryGamer on Thingiverse:
This model contains a hole for the same keypad I am using for my bomb. However, it does not have any hole for an LCD display which I of course wanted to use. I haven’t done any real 3D model designing in the past, so I wasn’t looking forward to designing or editing the enclosure.

The software I had written for the board (in my case: a D1 mini clone, based on an ESP8266 chip) was far from done, so I put the thought of having to do 3D-designing in the back of my mind. In the mean time, it was time to give this bomb it’s own IP address so it can communicate with my laptop wirelessly!

Shortly after this I found myself having a very unique problem I’d never thought I have. Being a CS:GO player for a long time, you develop a good sense for when the bomb is going to explode in the game, based off of the beeps you hear. See, there is no timer in the game that tells you when exactly it’s going to explode. When trying some basic “algorithms” for the time between beeps, everything just felt a bit off. I tried some basic linear functions, even exponential functions, but nothing worked. I needed to get the exact timing. I couldn’t find anything on Google, so I took the task upon me to find the exact mathematical function for the beeps (can you tell I’m a computer/math nerd yet?). More about this on my other blog post. In short: it involved Audacity, a weird program that fits an exponential curve on a data-set and a lot of time. In the end I managed to get it done!

With the software and hardware part being mostly done now, it was time to start thinking about the enclosure again. Like I mentioned before, I have never really touched 3D modeling before, so I wasn’t looking forward to this part. I have access to a full student version of solidworks, so this is what I was going to use. After half an hour and a ton of struggles, I was finally able to remove some existing features in the model of the top-plate of the existing design. Another half an hour later, I was able to make a hole for the LCD screen. Victory!

Five hours of printing later, it fits perfectly!
Now it was time for the next task: changing the design of the bottom part of the enclosure to remove all existing holes, and make a few of my own. Mainly:
– A hole for the defuse button.
– An XT60 shaped hole for the XT60 connector (more on this in a bit).
– Two holes for a battery strap.
– A hole for the battery voltage meter.
– A tiny hole for the wires for all the lights and the beeper.

The bomb will be powered by an FPV drone battery. This is because I own one, and I have a couple of batteries for it. This way it’s a bit cheaper because I didn’t have to buy extra batteries. And there’s another bonus: the final product will look bad-ass with a battery mounted on the side and wires coming out of it! One disadvantage of this is that the batteries do not have any protection circuit on them, and LiPo batteries need to be handled with care. This is why I needed to put a battery voltage meter on the design as well.
My plan is to wire the buzzer and all LEDs with the wires visible and sticking out, to make it look more like the CS:GO bomb.

Anddddd… That’s it! This is my progress on this project so far. The new bottom design should be done printing in about 10 hours. When it’s done I can start assembling the bomb in its final form!

The models I designed/remixed can be found on Thingiverse:

A screenshot of OctoPrint, the software I use to manage the 3D printer. Note that the printed time left is way off for some reason..