Printer Troubleshooting and Maintenance
This week we resolved a minor glitch with Bessy, our main Tektronix Phase 300X printer. It was built in 1995 and we’ve used it since 2003. Parts wear out. Recently, it had not been feeding paper correctly. We had to stand over the printer and mother it to print content for a single page. Even then, it was mis-feeding. Perhaps one in four pages successfully fed. Both of Byron and I were triaging it ad hoc over the past month as we juggled other tasks.
This week we sat down with Bessy and tried to figure out a long-term solution that would get her back to health again. The major issue was that the rubber rollers had been worn down and were not grabbing the paper from the paper tray. In nerd terms, the diameter of the rollers was less than it once was. So we looked for ways to increase the diameter. Our short term solution was to disassemble the paper feed assembly and add rubber bands to the rollers (see photograph below). In the medium term, we will cannibalize one of our printers in storage, removing its paper feed assembly and swapping that in for our current assembly. In the long term, so that we can utilize all 14 of our printers, we will address these roller challenges by fabricating new rollers with rubber rapid.
The rollers are a certain density that allows them to grab the paper in the desired way. For rapid prototyping, we would need to fabricate the correct density materials or at least a close proximity to the density. In technical terms, we would find a prototype method that could utilize materials with the right durometer. If this is your area of expertise, feel free to ping us.
Goal Setting for 2019
The New Year is here and we are goal setting. You are welcome to join us.
Our priorities are:
- Fulfilling Kickstarter Rewards
- Launching the ELIA Starter Kits to the general public
- Further beta testing both the ELIA Keyboard overlay and the ELIA Mechanical Keyboard, then launching both of them.
- Launching the ELIA Frame Game
- Launching labeling solutions and helping our community to utilize them for independent living.
- Expanding the pilot program in NYC and launching it elsewhere. This includes a pilot with an assistive living organization that has residents who have a visual impairment. In the assistive living pilot, we would measure the effect that ELIA Frames has on independent living.
These are worthy goals. They speak to building a movement, not just a business. But, at this time, the goals do not have specific metrics attached to them. To ensure that our team does not chase our shadows, we will be talking within our team and to our advisors about what these initiatives will require. You are welcome to share your thoughts with us, or ask questions. We will generate estimates for the costs of these initiatives and share them with you.
We will share another post about our professional personal goals for better work in our next posts. We are still discussing them!
Additional goals include:
- Completing the TouchPrinter’s development and launching it
- Submitting and winning an SBIR grant to build foundational design tools for tactile character and graphics generation.
- Communicate with you, our community, weekly.
- Advance the technology platform we have developedfor a tactile refreshable computer display.
- Through technical LinkedIn posts, advance our impact audience’s and target audience’s understanding of visual impairment and how we can improve the ELIA (Education, Literacy, Independence for All) in the community.
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Next week we will meet with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to discuss how we might help Brooklyn companies to better serve people who have a visual impairment. The discussion will include how to help health care providers, property managers, and government to better understand and serve the needs of folks who have a visual impairment. A friend of ours who serves on the Chamber, Anthony Woods, connected us to the Chamber.