3D Printing

A few weeks ago, I was able to acquire a simple 3D printer. I was looking for something cheap with a few bells and whistles, and came across this “Best Seller” at Amazon.com. Decent reviews AND Prime 2-Day shipping? I was sold!


When I first went to college, almost 10 years ago now, I entered the College of Engineering attempting to earn my BS in Mechanical Engineering. I grew up designing and building parts to solve problems and thought that is what i wanted to do with my life. I realized after a few 200+ level classes that manufacturing parts was a hobby for me and I wasn’t interested in the science. Before my 3D printer, i was only able to prototype by purchasing project boxes and using Plexiglas and my Dremel hand tool to get close to what I wanted. That was expensive and I ruined several parts in the process. Now I am able to prototype precise parts using FreeCAD and my CADing skills I developed in my first years of college! I have since printed many parts; some useful and others not so much. I will be occasionally posting some of my cad files, designs, and photos for any other 3D Printing hobbyist’s that might be interested.

The printer itself is decent for the price and for my purposes of rapid prototyping. I didn’t get this to bust out pretty things to sell on ETSY. I have ideas that I want to bring to life without breaking the bank and they don’t need to be pretty ones. This printer is pretty fast and is ok with accuracy and tolerances about +-0.3mm. I need to do a belt adjustment and I think that number will come down as well as improving the overall look. This printer and its software (stock) suffer from many artifacts that make the final print less than amazing. I really like the heat bed and the printer is really easy to use. The “chipped” proprietary filament cartridges go against everything I stand for and believe in, but they are reasonably priced and last longer than I expected with all the printing and filament I have wasted on failed parts. It’s not like printer ink, where they sell you a dirt-cheap printer then “ream” you with the price of ink. See what I did there? I like the full enclosure, even if it IS huge and takes up way too much desk real-estate. I was surprised how little the melting plastic smells. I print in a small office and RARELY do I smell the plastic. My wife’s hot-glue-gun is significantly worse!


Video of latest print:

I was testing fit tolerances for a Raspberry Pi case I am going to print for my motorcycle.

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