3D Printing

3D Printing

Overview

I wanted a 3D printer for a while since being introduced to it from our current hackerspace in the city; Skullspace. Check em out. Many of the awesome guys I know are right on the homepage. Amazing people.

Anyway, they had some first couple version that had many issues which had me worried when getting into it. However it turns out the Ender 3 has amazing reviews, and a solid following with it being introduced into some good software we will cover aa bit later in this blog.

Buy a 3D printer

So I finally pressed the trigger and bought a 3d Printer… since I got an amazon gift card I searched 3D printer on amazon and the main thing that showed up was a Ender-3 as their choice pick.

Set up Printer

Was a really good price specially with the gift card I had. I got it really quickly too, and on top of it came really well packaged with minimal assembly required. I was a confused at only a couple steps during the setup so I watched this guys YouTube video to get it assembled. Which was an amazing help, he even provides upgrade parts you can print once you get the printer running, which I’m currently printing as I write this.

However there was one part I was a bit confused about and that was how to level the bed.

Leveling the Bed

Now as mentioned by Vlad in his setup video, he was surprised to find there was no auto leveling. This doesn’t surprise me for the price of this amazing machine, beggars can’t be choosers and let’s level the bed.

For this I watched this great video by 3dprintingcanada on youtube.

After following these 2 video I was ready for printing and my first couple prints came out amazing. Of course this requires other basic knowledge I haven’t covered yet.

How 3D Printing Works

Now in order to understand what’s going on in the next bit it’s important to understand how 3D printing works. and that’s basically like this: “A 3D printer essentially works by extruding molten plastic through a tiny nozzle that it moves around precisely under computer control. It prints one layer, waits for it to dry, and then prints the next layer on top.”

In order to do this normally you model your object (with FreeCAD, or Fusion360, or whatever) and once you export your model out it usually comes in an STL file for a normal object file you can use to CnCing or other things… like “slicing” which takes the object and well “slices” it into layers which will determine the resolution of the final print (that and the diameter of the extrusion nozzle being used by the 3D printer.

Slicing

Now normally you have to do some math’s and calculate all these things and enter their values into the Slicer of choice. Two top ones right now in the FOSS area are Cura and Slic3r. I have most of my experience with Slic3r and then I read about this gem; PrusiaSlicer!

“PrusaSlicer now comes with Ender3 profile”

Sure enough running it, out of the box I could select a profile for my Ender3 (having profile is a specific set of the variables I mentioned above already configured for specific printers out of the box). Since my Endor-3 was out of the box without any modifications (to the extruder nozzle mainly) I was good to go.

With the setup and testing off all parts good (as mentioned and linked to the two YouTube video to accomplish this) it was time to grab an object and slice it.

The First Print

The first thing I printed was a Ghost from Packman.

Then I quickly went to upgrades to the Ener3, starting with the main upgrade which was the upgraded blower nozzle.

Final Thoughts

Over all the first couple prints without changing any infill settings, or supports were super easy going, and I’d say the industry has finally got it down pretty well and cheap enough I’d say go for it. This is a great starter printer.

Watch this video on more about how to customize supports in PrusiaSlicer.

If you run a 3D printer let me know what you run in the comments, or if you have suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

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