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Practical 3D prints: Increasing workshop storage with bolt-in brackets

Learn how 3D printing can help you create more storage in the workshop. Plus, David uses power tools….

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Welcome back to our series on practical prints for your 3D printer. While many love 3D printing because it lets them make really cool props and miniatures, 3D printing has many practical applications. I use 3D printing to solve problems and to fix things. Although I admire the artistic creations folks make with 3D printers, I don’t even own model paints.

Also: Practical 3D prints: A first TinkerCAD project for your 3D printer

The problem we’re solving

A good place to start is a problem statement. What exactly do you need your 3D print to accomplish? In the case of the project shown in the attached video, I wanted to increase my workshop storage. Here’s some background.

Also: ZDNet’s DIY-IT 3D Printing and Desktop Fabrication Discovery series

I have four metal shelving units here in the workshop, and I’ve had them for something like 20 years. Recently, I had a welder add wheels to them so that they can move around, and that’s proven to be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, individual shelves are pretty far apart, which leaves a lot of space unused. There’s a lot of dead space where I could very much use some more storage.

I decided I was going to 3D print supporting brackets for four plywood shelves to make it happen.

Also: Everything you need to know about 3D printing and its impact on your business

Designing in TinkerCAD

In the attached video, I show how I built these little support units in TinkerCAD and 3D printed them, and how they will support three-quarter-inch plywood shelves and give me more shelf space.

The unique design feature for this build is the captive nut built into the support bracket. Each bracket bolts onto the metal riser supports. Inside the bracket is a channel where a nut slides in. That nut is called a “captive” nut because once it slides in, it can’t spin. That makes it easy to tighten the bolt on the outside of the shelf support.

I used TinkerCAD to design this up. TinkerCAD has its limits, but it’s very easy to use and for simple designs, very fast to work with. The key feature I used to create the captive nut channel and the tunnel for the bolt is called a “hole” in TinkerCAD parlance.

Any TinkerCAD object (either a basic object or a group) can be turned into a hole. In fact, a click of a button switches an object from a solid to a hole and back again. The hole is, essentially, negative space. If you intersect a solid with a hole and then group them, the area of the hole is subtracted from the solid space.

I first created a negative spatial representation of the nut by sizing a polygon to a size a bit larger than my real-world nut. I made it a bit larger to allow the nut to slide in the channel easily. As the attached video shows, by duplicating the negative space nut (the “nut hole,” if you will), I was able to create a channel that allowed the physical nut to slide into the middle of the bracket.

I used a cylinder turned into a hole to cut out the tunnel where the bolt slides into the bracket.

I also needed to create a rounded corner to my bracket, so it would fit in the rolled steel elbow of the shelf uprights. While most 3D modeling tools have a fillet tool, which takes an edge and rounds it over, TinkerCAD does not. While this annoys me to no end, sometimes you have to work around the problem.

As the attached video shows, I made my own rounded corner by creating a cylinder and grouping it with some rectangles, making up a new solid object that has a hard-won fillet on one side.

As it turns out, I wound up creating both left and right brackets, to accommodate attaching them to left and right uprights. I also made some brackets slightly taller, so they would push the shelf up high enough to provide space for some bins I have.

Printing the brackets and building the shelves

To hold four new shelves I made a total of 16 of these brackets. Eight of them were left side brackets and eight of them were right side brackets.

I bought a 4 foot by 4-foot sheet of 3/4 inch plywood. There’s a short but exciting montage of me using power tools to cut the plywood into shelves. While you’ve seen me use the miter saw and the sander before, this is the first time you’ve seen me use my new table saw.

I had to wait three months to get it this summer because it seems table saws are hard to get in the pandemic. I guess a lot of people are working at home and fixing things up, and also contractors are being invited inside a lot less, so many more of us are doing our own home fixes without outside help.

And, with that, I’ve just added another 18 square feet of storage into the workshop. That’ll make a big difference.

This project demonstrates how you can combine 3D printing and some basic woodworking to optimize your storage in new and helpful ways. Stay tuned for more practical prints.

And what about you? Have you made useful things with your 3D printer? If so, let us know in the comments below.

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

Also: ZDNet’s DIY-IT 3D Printing and Desktop Fabrication Discovery series

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/practical-3d-prints-increasing-workshop-storage-with-bolt-in-brackets/

practical-3d-prints:-increasing-workshop-storage-with-bolt-in-brackets

ZDNET

National Australia Bank keeping staff connected with Google Pixel rollout

More than 2,000 Google Pixel devices were issued to NAB’s customer contact teams to enable them to support customers remotely.

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15664-android-nab-blog-v2-max-1000x1000.png Image: Google

When National Australia Bank (NAB) recently revised its device strategy to look at new ways it could support the mobility of its employees and reduce the time and cost of support legacy devices across multiple platforms, the big bank partnered with Google to issue more than 2,000 Pixel devices to its customer contact teams.

Each device, managed with Android enterprise, was rolled out by Vodafone using “zero-touch” enrolment to set up the devices and configure each one with the necessary applications.

“With zero-touch enrolment, each Pixel setup was 20 minutes faster than our previous device enrolments, saving our IT team and colleagues over 500 hours during the initiative. With our communication and collaboration apps available right out of the box, our teams could get to work right away to help customers,” NAB Mobility manager Simon Thoday said.

Another consideration of the rollout was how customer data was going to remain secure, with Thoday pointing out that using Android Enterprise provided the solution to that question.

“Pixel security updates from Google provide a reliable cadence of ongoing protection as threats evolve, and the work profile hits the right balance between security and privacy for our teams,” Thoday said.

“Our contact centre teams use Pixel devices that are fully managed, which allows us to provide the necessary security controls, and wipe and re-enroll them when transferred to a new employee,” he said.

“Branch managers use Pixels with the work profile, separating work and personal applications. This gives employees the ability to use the device in a personal capacity while our IT team manages and ensures data security over the work profile.”

Additionally, with managed Google Play, NAB can assign the apps that are necessary on its managed devices.

“Providing our teams the flexibility to assign apps to the right teams is a major time saver and ensures everyone has the resources they need,” Thoday said.

“Branch managers can look up customer service records or answer a ping more quickly from their Pixel, instead of returning back to their desk and logging back on to their desktop computer. Android Enterprise has been a catalyst in a more mobile and responsive environment for our various teams.”

Earlier this month, the red and black bank completed its transition to TPG to deliver fixed and mobile network services across the bank.

The transition follows a deal struck between the two companies in September for the newly merged telecommunications giant to deliver fixed network services across NAB’s corporate offices, business banking centres, and branches, as well as providing mobile connectivity to the majority of the NAB workforce.

Vodafone delivered the solution to more than 80% of NAB’s mobile fleet across corporate offices and branches in metro and major regional areas. The company said Vodafone, alongside Google, would also be providing those who opt for a company phone with the Pixel 4a.

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Another consideration of the rollout was how customer data was going to remain secure, with Thoday pointing out that using Android Enterprise provided the solution to that question.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/national-australia-bank-keeping-staff-connected-with-google-pixel-roll-out/

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Crackonosh malware abuses Windows Safe mode to quietly mine for cryptocurrency

The malware is thought to have generated millions of dollars in just a few short years.

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Researchers have discovered a strain of cryptocurrency-mining malware that abuses Windows Safe mode during attacks.

The malware, dubbed Crackonosh by researchers at Avast, spreads through pirated and cracked software, often found through torrents, forums, and “warez” websites.

After finding reports on Reddit of Avast antivirus users querying the sudden loss of the antivirus software from their system files, the team conducted an investigation into the situation, realizing it was due to a malware infection.

Crackonosh has been in circulation since at least June 2018. Once a victim executes a file they believe to be a cracked version of legitimate software, the malware is also deployed.

The infection chain begins with the drop of an installer and a script that modifies the Windows registry to allow the main malware executable to run in Safe mode. The infected system is set to boot in Safe Mode on its next startup.

“While the Windows system is in safe mode antivirus software doesn’t work,” the researchers say. “This can enable the malicious Serviceinstaller.exe to easily disable and delete Windows Defender. It also uses WQL to query all antivirus software installed SELECT * FROM AntiVirusProduct.”

Crackonosh will scan for the existence of antivirus programs — including Avast, Kaspersky, McAfee’s scanner, Norton, and Bitdefender — and will attempt to disable or delete them. Log system files are then wiped to cover its tracks.

In addition, Crackonosh will attempt to stop Windows Update and will replace Windows Security with a fake green tick tray icon.

The final step of the journey is the deployment of XMRig, a cryptocurrency miner that leverages system power and resources to mine the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency.

Overall, Avast says that Crackonosh has generated at least $2 million for its operators in Monero at today’s prices, with over 9000 XMR coins having been mined.

Approximately 1,000 devices are being hit each day and over 222,000 machines have been infected worldwide.

In total, 30 variants of the malware have been identified, with the latest version being released in November 2020.

“As long as people continue to download cracked software, attacks like these will continue and continue to be profitable for attackers,” Avast says. “The key take-away from this is that you really can’t get something for nothing and when you try to steal software, odds are someone is trying to steal from you.”

Previous and related coverage

Have a tip? Get in touch securely via WhatsApp | Signal at +447713 025 499, or over at Keybase: charlie0

Crackonosh has been in circulation since at least June 2018. Once a victim executes a file they believe to be a cracked version of legitimate software, the malware is also deployed.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/crackonosh-malware-abuses-windows-safe-mode-to-quietly-mine-for-cryptocurrency/

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South Australia splashes out on space, defence, and cybersecurity in 2021-22 Budget

The South Australian government believes tech-focused sectors such as defence, space, and cybersecurity will have a key role to play in the state’s future.

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In taking a forward-looking approach into what the future of South Australia will look like, the South Australian government has announced it will bolster investment in tech-focused sectors such as defence, space, and cybersecurity as it hands down the 2021-22 Budget [PDF].

“This Budget is our blueprint for a stronger South Australia, creating jobs, building what matters and delivering better services to further secure our growing global reputation as one of the safest and most attractive places in the world to live, work, and raise a family,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said on Tuesday.

Some of the specific funding announcements include AU$20.8 million to upgrade the existing buildings at Lot Fourteen to make way for the expansion of space, digital, hi-tech, and cyber companies, with a particular focus on companies involved in small satellite development.

Separately, AU$6.6 million will be contributed over five years to assist with the SASAT1 Space Services Mission, which will see a local manufacturer launch a small satellite in mid-2022 as well as deliver space-derived services to the state.

South Australia’s Defence and Space Landing Pad program has also received a boost, with the state government saying it will deliver AU$860,000 over three years for the program that is used to support international defence and space companies that bring new, sought-after capability to South Australia.

Local artificial intelligence and health technology companies are set to receive additional support through a AU$1.6 million allocation delivered over four years. Under this investment, AU$985,000 will be used for grants to support AI and health technology companies through matching co-funding for health application pilots, and $589,000 to deliver project support activities, including investment concierge services.

Meanwhile, AU$2.6 million will be earmarked to support small businesses developing digital and cyber security capabilities as well as other capabilities to enter the national market.

The Budget papers also indicated AU$21.1 million over three years will be dedicated towards the implementation of stages three and four of the South Australia Police Shield project, which involves linking South Australia Police’s data and records management system directly with other justice sector agencies. The state government touted the move will improve collaboration and data sharing capabilities.

In a bid to boost bushfire response, the 2021-22 Budget revealed that it will contribute AU$7.7 million over four years towards the ongoing management, support, and maintenance of automatic vehicle location systems (AVL) used by the emergency services sector. AVL provides real time location information of firefighting and other emergency response vehicles during incidents. AVL is expected to be installed in approximately 1,400 vehicles at a total cost of AU$12.7 million.

Additionally, the 2021-22 Budget indicated support for the state government’s commitment to improving digital services for citizens remains ongoing through its AU$120 million Digital Restart Fund, noting that AU$4.3 million in 2021-22 will be put towards the South Australian government’s online services portal, AU$5.5 million over two years for the expansion of the residential aged care enterprise system, AU$1.3 million over two years for the child and family services information systems, and AU$500,000 in 2021-22 for the Safeguarding smartphone app.

Related Coverage

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/south-australia-splashes-out-on-space-defence-and-cybersecurity-in-2021-22-budget/

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