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For the last 10 years or so, 3D printing has been a popular buzzword. Proponents have long hyped the idea that if you think of something new or break something you own, you can just push a button on your computer and print a new one in minutes. Perhaps these ideas were overblown at one point, but after finally obtaining a printer following years of skepticism, it seems that many of the early issues with these devices have been worked out. I use mine all the time, for projects from printing a replacement part for a lamp, to crafting the body of a small rocket-launching robot.Make your choice
If you search the web for “3D printer” you’ll find a variety of models with prices ranging from less than $200 to well over $1,000. There is, of course, some difference in quality among printers at each price level, and you’ll want to consider specifications such as resolution, the materials it can print with, print speed, and print area, which determines how big of a print you can make.
The Ender 3, which costs a little more than $200, is a popular choice for its generous 220-by-220-by-250-millimeter print area, while the Prusa i3 MK3 is a well-respected printer that’ll run you about $1,000. Personally, I purchased a Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2, which is an exceptionally popular small-budget printer. It’s pretty basic, features-wise, with a relatively small 120-by-120-by-120-millimeter print area, but it cost less than $200 and worked extremely well out of the box for me.Getting started
After unboxing your printer, you’ll need to level the bed, which simply means adjusting screws at each corner of the printing surface to ensure it’s a consistent distance from the tip of the extruder—the part that prints. More capable printers often feature an auto-leveling function, but the Monoprice Select Mini does not.
Instead, I had to move the extruder nozzle—the tip of the extruder assembly that molten filament flows out of—to positions near the four bed adjustment screws and turn them until it was 0.05 millimeters above the bed. The manual suggests measuring this by attempting to slide a piece of paper underneath, and says that when it slides with only a slight amount of resistance, the adjustment is correct.
This method seemed a little haphazard, so I turned to a set of feeler gauges. It worked well and I didn’t have to adjust anything again for several months, but if you don’t have these gauges handy, the paper method will likely work well enough.
With bed leveling done, feed filament into your extruder. This may mean some messing about with the material until it feeds correctly, and cutting the end of the filament at an angle can assist in this endeavor. Set the extruder to the proper temperature for the material you’re using, then push filament through your extruder until you see molten plastic start to appear. Your printer may vary in its setup procedure, but after this process you’ll be ready to print.Start printing
A 3D printer producing the main body of a button-dispensing machine. Jeremy S. Cook
My printer came with a sample model on the included SD card, which is a good place to start if you want to see if your printer actually works. Personally, I had no interest in a small plastic cat, and instead turned to Thingiverse to find a small enclosure for an electronics project I was working on.
These files generally come in a stereolithography (STL) format, and you’ll need to load them into a slicing program like Cura to generate the actual G-code file that controls your printer.
Obtaining files in an STL format means you can modify the models you download to fit your printer and adjust how you want things printed. For example, you may want certain wall thicknesses, print speeds, or infill properties (how solid the inside of your print will be) that affect the final product.
There are a wide variety of printable items available on Thingiverse and many other download locations, but in my opinion, the real magic of 3D printing occurs when you design custom parts. Personally, I design most of my projects in Autodesk Fusion 360, but programs such as Tinker CAD and OpenSCAD are also popular modeling options.
After making projects for years with more traditional tools, it’s amazing to be able to simply press a button and have my printer generate a part. In my case, these have usually been brackets and small spacers for robotics and other projects, but more decorative items are also quite popular and can be finished and painted to make them really stand out.
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Your PlayStation 5 console has a feature called 3D audio that allows you to create a more immersive gaming experience. We’ll tell you what 3D audio is and how you can enable it.What Is 3D Audio on PlayStation 5
3D audio is Sony’s implementation of surround sound technology. Sony powers its 3D audio with the Tempest 3D AudioTech audio engine, which makes you feel like the sound is coming from all directions. In simpler terms, when you pay close attention to audio on headphones, you’ll almost always be able to tell that sound is coming from either the left or the right side.
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Surround sound technologies such as 3D audio take this up a notch. They’ll make you feel like the sound is coming from multiple directions, much like how you hear things in real life. If a plane passes overhead, with surround sound, you should hear the sound coming from above you and fading as the plane goes further away.
Surround sound has been around for many years, with Dolby Atmos available on the Xbox Series X and Series S. More recently, Apple’s Spatial Audio added a similar audio experience to Apple Music.
Sony introduced 3D audio with the PS5, which works with your TV speakers and headphones.How You Can Make the Most of PS5 3D Audio
Even though 3D audio is technically available for everyone, a few tips will help you make the most of it. First up, try and use 3D audio with a pair of headphones. The 3D audio experience is just not the same with speakers or soundbars.How to Enable 3D Audio on PS5
If you’re using your PS5 with speakers, here’s how you can enable 3D audio.
Boot up your PS5, press the up arrow on the D-pad, and press the right arrow until you reach
(the gear icon).
Enable 3D Audio for TV Speakers
When that’s done, you can select
Apply Measurement Results to 3D Audio
to finish tweaking the audio settings.
If you’re using headphones for 3D audio on PS5, there’s a slightly different method to enable 3D audio.
Enable 3D Audio for Headphones
Adjust 3D Audio Profile
. Wear your headphones and follow the on-screen instructions to select the correct sound profile for you. This will optimize your 3D audio experience on the PS5.Choose Games That Support 3D Audio
Now that we’ve seen which sound systems work with 3D audio, it’s time to talk about PS5 games. Having 3D audio support is one thing, but implementing it well is another. Some games, such as Returnal, have been observed to have a far more noticeable implementation of 3D audio than others.
Ideally, you want to play video games that have been optimized for next-gen consoles, such as the PS5. If you pick up the PS4 version of a game, you’re less likely to have a great 3D audio experience. Gamers can try titles such as Marvel’s Avengers, Spider-Man Remastered, Final Fantasy XIV, and Resident Evil: Village to check out great implementations of 3D audio.
If you’re looking for more games with 3D audio support, here’s a helpful list.
If you are interested in scaling your Shopify business, you will need to make adjustments based on data analytics and not assumptions.
Implementing Google Analytics will give you the information you need to make store optimizations that increase your search visibility, conversions, and revenue.
Implementing Google Analytics for your Shopify store may seem daunting but in this guide, you’ll find answers to these common questions and challenges:
What is Google Analytics?
How to Implement the Google Analytics Code on Your Shopify Site.
What to Track with Google Analytics.
Key Metrics to Know in Google Analytics.What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free web analytics platform that websites can implement throughout their website to track a variety of metrics.
With Google Analytics properly implemented, you will be able to determine whether your campaigns were effective. You can see how many users interacted with your campaign, how many converted, and the total revenue generated through your efforts.
This essential data analytics platform will also enable you to see all of your marketing funnels in one place.Why Do I Need Google Analytics If I Already Have Shopify Analytics?
You may be thinking your Shopify Analytics platform offers all of the information you need to make an educated business decision.
But while this provides a general summary of how your store is performing, it does not give you all the information you need to make the best-informed business decisions.
Your Shopify Analytics dashboard can show you total sales, average order value, and conversion rate. It also has pre-built reports that require very little setup on your part.
This analytics source is convenient, but it does have some pretty impactful drawbacks.
For example, if you are looking to compare different traffic sources or what types of devices are commonly used when making a purchase, you will not be able to see this breakdown unless you use Google Analytics.
You can also use Google Analytics to identify how users engage with your site. If you discover your site is primarily visited through a mobile device, your team can begin to optimize your store’s UX experience for those end users.
Google Analytics is a little more difficult to use, but it is the best tool to give a robust overview of how customers interact with your online store.
You can gather information needed to segment your customers into more effective marketing funnels, and create marketing campaigns that scale with your business.
All of this information is free with Google Analytics. If you want to access more reports with Shopify, you will need to upgrade to a more costly plan.How To Implement The Google Analytics Code On Your Shopify Site
To help make this as simple as possible, we will break down the step-by-step process of implementing the Google Analytics code on your Shopify site.1. Create A Google Account For Your Business
You may already have a Gmail associated with your Shopify site, no worries, you can use this to access Google Analytics. If you do not have a pre-existing account, you will need to set up a free account to access Google Analytics.
It is not recommended to use your personal Gmail for your online store. Keeping them separate will help you manage access to your business information.2. Create An Analytics Account
Google has two different types of Analytics platforms, Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.
Universal Analytics is commonly referred to as the “old” Analytics.
Google Analytics 4 is the latest version, and it gives stores more detailed data analytics and cross-device measurement capabilities. Currently, Shopify does not support Google Analytics 4.
Until a change has been made, you will need to create a Universal Analytics account.
You can follow this guide to help you create your Universal Google Analytics account.3. Enable Google Analytics
Your Shopify site might already be enabled. Before you try to enable your code, double-check that it is not already enabled.
If you see a number code that begins with UA, your Google Analytics account is activated.
If you find one of these tags, it means your Analytics code has been enabled on your website.
If you have not enabled Google Analytics on your Shopify site, follow the steps below.How To Enable Google Analytics
Within Google Analytics
Login to your Google Analytics account using the Gmail account you created from previous steps.
Create your account and select your data sharing preferences.
Choose a Property name, time zone, and currency.
Select Advanced Options.
Create a Universal Analytics Property – Google Analytics 4 is selected by default but is not able to be used on Shopify. Make sure you select Universal Analytics to proceed.
Once you proceed, in the “About Your Business” section, you will need to select the appropriate settings for your store.
Accept Terms and Service Agreement.
Copy your Tracking ID – the number will start with UA.
Open your Shopify admin account.
Go to Online Store – Preferences
Next to Google Analytics, enter the Tracking ID you copied from our previous step.
Remember to remove password protection from your Shopify store. This will make sure Google Analytics will show data.
You did it! Google Analytics is now enabled on your Shopify site.How To Enable Ecommerce Tracking Codes
Enabling ecommerce tracking codes gives you more insight into your customer’s user experience.
You can use two different options of ecommerce tracking codes.
Basic Ecommerce Tracking
Track transaction and revenue data using a confirmation landing page.
How to enable basic ecommerce tracking in GA:
Open Google Analytics
Turn on the Enable Ecommerce button
Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking
Track every page a user visits before they make a purchase. This includes tracking a user as they peruse different product pages, tracking what is added to their cart, and whether or not they make a purchase or a return.
How to enable enhanced ecommerce tracking:
Open Shopify admin page.
Online Store → Preferences.
Open Google Analytics.
Turn on the Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking Button.What To Track With Google Analytics
Focusing on traffic is helpful, but it won’t give you enough info to make long-term meaningful optimizations for your business.
Making Google Analytics a beneficial tool requires that you to ask specific questions and compare analytics over different periods of time.
Here are some examples of the questions you should focus on answering using Google Analytics.
Who Are Your Best Customers?
Use Google Analytics as a tool to help you build buyer profiles that can influence how you manage your marketing campaigns to help maximize conversions.
Analyze Demographics, Interest, And Geographic Data
Access demographics by navigating to Audience → Demographics → Overview. This dashboard will help you identify what age group and gender of people most commonly convert on your website.
Likewise, if you notice a geographic region that does not convert, you can limit your spend in those areas.
How Do People Interact With Your Shopify Site?
You may have an ideal image in your head about how your users navigate and interact with your site. However, it’s entirely possible that your end users are not using your site the same way you imagined.
You can find a general overview of behavioral information by going to Behavior → Overview.
From here, you can drill down into site content and landing pages and see whether you have outstanding product pages or some that may require a bit of work.Key Metrics To Know In Google Analytics
Sessions: Interactions with your Shopify store during a specific period of time.
Page Views: The total number of page views on a certain page. Repeated page views are counted. So if you look at one product, navigate to another product for comparison and decide to come back to the first product page, it would count as three different page views.
Unique Page Views: The number of sessions during which the specific page was viewed at least once. Several visits to your product page A during the same session would count as one unique page view.
Average Time on Page: How long an end-user will stay on a webpage.
Revenue: Total revenue generated through the website.
Transactions: Number of purchases made.
Conversion Rate: Number of sessions that ended with a transaction.
Now that you’ve got everything set up and have a general understanding of the key metrics in GA, here’s a great guide on everything you need to know about Google Analytics for Shopify to help you get the most out of it.
This resource will help you truly understand the data in your account and use it to make more informed decisions to help you scale.
Featured image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock
How to Set Up a Pokemon Showdown Private Server Follow the steps below to play Pokemon with your friends!
There’s not much you can do with Pokemon showdown offline.
With the new Friends feature in the Pokemon showdown, users can create a friends list.
However, to create a private space for you and your friends to battle, you need a private Pokemon showdown server.
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Pokemon is a popular video game series by Game Freak. It is one of the oldest games in the series, and it’s been through several changes over time. It has features like the oddball RPG, fierce battles, characters, and legends. The game has millions of players following up from the start, which is amazing for such an old game.
Though the changes over time aren’t as interesting to some, the game is still one of the best in the market.
Pokemon Showdown is a battle simulator for Pokemon that allows you to play with a specific player or random players. We shall take you through how to set up your private server in this article.How do you do a private battle on Pokemon Showdown?
Doing a private battle on the Pokemon showdown means you want to challenge a particular player. It is a tool for competitive play. You can do this with these steps:
Can you friend in Pokemon Showdown?
You can also view your list of friends with the command /friendsHow can I create a private server in the Pokemon showdown? 1. Set up your server 2. Create an Administrator account
Create a file named config/usergroups.csv and it will contain USER,&
Change the USER to your Pokemon shutdown username.
This is how to set up your own Pokemon Showdown server. However, your computer will be the server computer that others will connect to via port forwarding.Can you play Pokémon showdown offline?
Pokemon Showdown is a simulator that allows you to battle with other players. However, there isn’t much you can do with Showdown without an internet connection.
It is because you need to play with others through an online connection, and there’s no way this can be possible offline. So, to use showdown, you need to be online to add opponents.
Games like Pokémon are fun to play. They have many features that you can enjoy. Also, Pokémon showdown makes it even better because you can set up battles with friends and specific players. Furthermore, there are Pokémon browser games that you can access on your browsers.
More so, you can learn about the best Pokémon Go emulators for PC and how to use them.
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When it comes to the web browsers, like other software, there is a plethora of choice. While most Windows users stick with Internet Explorer – perhaps largely because it comes bundled with the operating system, and they don’t really know about others – Chrome and Firefox have also become popular selections. Even Opera and Safari are available, to name only a couple of alternatives to the big three.
One of several draws in Chrome is the ability to sync the browser. Install it on a new PC or open it on a second system and you are just a Google account log-in away from having your history, passwords, tabs and more. It’s a brilliant and easy solution, and one that should be part of every web browser.
Now Mozilla is testing the waters in Firefox with an improved version of its own – you won’t see it quite yet, unless you happen to reside on the bleeding edge of technology. In that case, you will discover Mozilla Firefox Accounts, which is aiming to be competitive with the Google feature.Background
I would be remiss if I didn’t spend a moment explaining things here. Firefox comes in four different versions – stable, beta, aurora and nightly. Those names represent the descending path of stability. When beta becomes stable and gets released, then aurora moves to beta – it’s a steady test bed of ideas and features.Firefox Aurora and Accounts
If you wish to experiment with this new addition to the browser, then you’ll need to be running aurora – a step down in stability from beta, but it isn’t going to simply fail and crash all the time – don’t worry. For the most part, it remains solid, though the occasional glitch is not unheard of.
Sync isn’t entirely new to the platform as Mozilla points out. The company has simply gone to greater lengths to improve the service.
If you have an account, then go ahead and sign in. If not you will need to create one. This requires the usual email and password, but for some strange reason also a year of birth. Depending on your age, this is not precise, as it only goes back to 1991 and then offers a “1990 or prior” option.Conclusion
As I previously stated, this is not entirely new, but has been greatly improved in the new aurora build of the browser. If you already have a Firefox account for sync, then this won’t affect you, but will make it a bit easier to set up on a new system or alter an existing one. It is simple to set up and use, and I encountered no issues in the process.
Alan is an avid fan of all things technology, including Microsoft, Android, Google, and more. When not writing about or using gadgets and software, he can be found on the trails hiking or mountain biking.
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In most scenarios, audio devices are designed to go solo so that it’s just you who’s listening to a song or enjoying a movie. If you’re using a Mac, you must now be accustomed to three modes of listening – using the built-in speaker that’s under your keyboard, plugging in a headphone or speaker into the audio jack, or connecting a wireless audio device via Bluetooth.
Before you begin…
Before we proceed to set up your speakers and headphones as a single output, you need to connect all of them to your Mac. Following are some of the configurations that you could be setting up based on the devices you may have at your disposal:
1. Connect more than one wireless headphone or speaker using Bluetooth
2. Plug in one Wired audio device using the audio jack and connect the rest via Bluetooth
How to Set Up Multiple Audio Output on a Mac
You’ll now see a Multi-Output Device option listed on the left sidebar.
You can now connect all the devices you want to add to the Multiple Output setup. When you do that, they will start appearing on the right-side pane inside the ‘Audio Devices’ window.
To add the devices to your Multiple Output setup, check the boxes under Use adjacent to their names in this list. If you have a wired headphone or speaker connected to your Mac, you will have to check the Built-in Output box to add it to your setup.
Now, select the audio output you wish to use as a Master device from the menu that appears on the right-side of the ‘Master Device’ section. This is the device that has all the control over the playback and volume adjustment.
Once that’s done, check the box adjacent to your secondary device under Drift Correction. This makes sure the audio on all your other devices doesn’t go out of sync because of varying sample rates.
That’s it. Your Multi-Output setup will now up and running. You can try playing a song or video on your Mac and see if you can hear its audio on all of your connected devices.
When would you need to set up more than one audio output?
If you are wondering why would you ever need to use more than one audio device as an output on your Mac. While you can get through most of your daily routine using a single speaker or headphone, there are some occasions when setting up multiple audio outputs can become a blessing.
When you watch a movie with someone but in public: On most occasions, you may keep whatever you’re listening to yourself but when you’re with your friends or family in a public place, like on a flight or an airport, you may want to watch a movie or listen to songs with them. Since you won’t be playing them on your Mac’s speakers, you may want to connect two headphones to the Mac so that you and your friend can watch a movie without annoying others around you. You can use the steps mentioned below to connect multiple headphones on your Mac.
When you have multiple speakers lying around and you want audio to be played on all of them: If you have a bunch of wireless speakers with you and you want to use all of them at once to enjoy a song or a movie, you can set up Multiple Audio Output. This will let you connect all of your speakers to the Mac and you can set it up in your room to have a surround sound effect.
When you want one device to control all other audio devices: Setting up more than one speaker or headphone on a Mac is one thing but if you were wondering how you might control all of them, the Multiple Audio Output utility on a Mac lets you set a Master device. This Master Device is what has all the rights to adjust the volume and playback when all other devices are connected as your output.
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