Update: Forums, T-Shirts, Custom Filament!

Join the forums

Hey, quick update, I’m not dead, I’ve not been abducted by aliens and replaced by a Hologram or a Cyborg or anything, I’ve just been incredibly busy renovating and furnishing my new place. But there’s still been a lot going on behind the scenes, so let’s talk about that. And…. this.

I’ve always said that I don’t give one-on-one advice to people where that information is then locked up and out of reach for everybody else. Not wanting to do that was actually one of the core reasons why I even started this very YouTube channel. So that means I’m not going to reply to your emails if you want me to help you set up or fix your 3D printer. I also turned off Facebook messages on my page because all I was getting was help requests, and replying to everyone on private messages would take me about 30 to 40 hours per day. Worst case was when a guy I never talked to before actually called me on my cellphone while I was out with my family picking up a new car and he wanted help on hooking up an LCD screen to his printer, and my brain just went into this “what is happening right now” mode. But was a bit of an “AHA” moment for me, so what I do today is that I try to reply to YouTube comments and Tweets at me, because those are public and searchable and in theory will help other people, too, without me personally having to type out the same reply again and again. But it still doesn’t feel quite easy enough to discover, and hey, wouldn’t it be nice if people would also be able to help each other somehow?

Introducing: The forums at discuss.toms3d.org.

I’ve soft-launched these a few days ago, and they are still very much a work in progress, but there are already some very constructive discussion happening there. I’ll personally also stop by every now and then, but the forums shouldn’t turn into a “me” show, YouTube is enough of that already. These boards will be moderated as lightly as possible, offensive and illegal content will get hammered, of course, but there will be no restrictions on opinions, brands, approaches etc. If you want to discuss how to get your Anet A8 converted into an CoreXY setup using TEVO parts, go for it!

For now, the forum is a relatively simple phpBB board, which isn’t the flashiest of forum softwares, but hey, it gets the job done. It’s fast, it’s secure, it does what I want it to do reliably and that’s what matters right now. I’m currently not earning a single penny from the forums, there’s no ads on there, no sponsored posts or other crap, so these forums are really something I wanted for you guys and not for me.

Now, I do realize that there already are some huge forums out there, particularly the RepRap forums, and each forum caters to a different group of users, so I have absolutely no intention of replacing those, I just felt like, you know, there should be some place other than YouTube comments or Twitter conversations to discuss stuff and preserve those constructive discussions in a way where Google will be able to pick them up and make them visible to more folks, like you, who are looking to solve a problem.
So feel free to join in at discuss.toms3d.org, and let me know if you have any requests or suggestions.

Next up, let’s talk about Patreon. And holy crap, you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for the continued support, which, as always, allows me to create unbiased reviews instead of having the manufacturer pay for them, which seems to be way too common these days, and it helps me make ends meet even when I don’t publish three viral fidget spinner videos every month. There are two more things I want to talk about here. First off, that 3k goal of getting an external editor for my video. Well, we’re not quite at 3k yet, but, whatever, let’s do that right now. I’ve got the next weeks of videos scheduled out and I’m hoping that having someone else do the editing for most of those will let me, very simply, make more and hopefully, better videos! So let’s edit that goal on Patreon real quick, there we go, done, reached, let’s do it. The Editor is hired and I think I’ll outsource editing for at least 50% of the videos from now on out.

The other thing, which you will already know if you are a Patron, is swag that’s happening, and that’s a few things! First off, obviously, T-shirts! The designs were done by a local artist, based on the classic “Dragon” and “Frog” models, in the Tom’s 3D low-poly look. I’ll have to figure out how exactly I’m going to handle getting these out to people, but the idea is they’ll be a “thank you” for my dearest supporters on Patreon, which is probably gonna be over 100 people who are going to get some sort of merchandise in the mail. I’m also looking at tea or coffee mugs for this, then of course, stickers, which are going to go out to to a whole bunch more people than shirts, obviously, and it also looks like I’ll be able to get some custom filament made by DAS FILAMENT as a Patreon reward.

I just saw these first pictures of the colorant, the masterbatch last night, and holy crap, I think this is just going to be an epic filament color, we’re doing the electric blue as a metallic tone, which actually almost looks like a bit of a flip-flop color. I’m going to get some samples next week and I can’t wait to print with this. Coincidentally, of course, it’s matching the channel color scheme, who would have thought, but it should also just be really good PLA filament. Still working on that, it’s not quite finished, but it’s gonna be good!

In other news, my move is slowly coming to point where the biggest stuff is done, I’ll finish the kitchen in the next few day and I’ll finally be able to cook food some time in the next few days, so that’s going to be great, but it also means I’ll now have time for more video stuff again. And while I have been enjoying the process of getting everything set up here, I do feel horrible for not putting out a new, full video for so long.

But as I’ve said, production is gearing up again, I can start with a fresh mind and start pumping out new videos on a regular basis again.

So if you’re already on Patreon, keep your eye on your notification emails, I’ll send out a survey pretty soon, other than that, thanks for sticking around, and I’ll see you in the next one!