Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Amazon: Yes, yes, yes!

When one of my kids told me his Kindle had stopped working I thought it was his fault. On closer inspection I could not see any damage to the screen. None of the suggestions of the troubleshooting guide worked so things did not look good.

After some reading on Amazon forums it was clear I was not alone and other customers had experience a similar problem that required a replacement of their unit.

I was very happy to learn my unit was less than a year old, so I contacted customer service to see what to do next. I had bought the unit while being in the states but I was now living in Europe, so I was uncertain about my choices.

Once I explained the problem I was having with the unit, to a very nice representative named Stacey, I was told unit had to be replaced. I was told a replacement unit has been sent to my address in Europe and paid with a gift voucher. I was told that using that same box I should return the defective unit once I've got the replacement.

I was even provided with a prepaid return label ready to be printed and attached to the return box. I received the replacement in two days time. I pack the defective unit and I dopped it on the nearest Mailboxes etc. It all seemed solved: wrong! I've got a call from Mailboxes asking me for some return pages I had to print from Amazon website.

A few days later I've got another email from Amazon stating they received the defective unit.

I rather prefer my device not to stop working but I am extremely pleased on the way Amazon has handled this situation. I use to complain when companies do not do the right thing, but I think it is cool when the opposite happens too.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Slicing and nesting working together

The initial idea was to slice 3D models into a sequence of thin slices. Once that was working it was suggested that thicker slices may reduce the total machining time.

The problem is that vertical cuts for the slices will create an ugly rendering of the desired surface that will later need to be fixed by an artist.

The next idea was to put together the milling action for each slice sides and the nesting algorithm that will distribute the slices into the available stock sheets.

As usual it is easier to say than to do, and though it seems Aspire and Rhinoceros allow you to do a similar process, my code is now performing both tasks without user intervention. Blue or green color on the outline represent whether the slice has to be flipped or not (each slice has to be machined from top to bottom).