Learning about 3D Printing21 May 2017
One month ago today I received a 3D printer, it was something I have been wanting for ages and I researched a great deal before ordering it.
What I learned
- Bed adhesion and first layer is everything. If the first layer that goes down isn’t sticking then the print will fail, there is very little chance of recovery.
- Finishing processes in the world of 3d printing can make things look production like if you put the effort in. Techniques like acetone smoothing or simply lots of sanding can go a long way, and some nice paint will make things look super great.
- The limitations in 3D printing inspire a lot of creativity. I could write a whole blog post on this itself.
What surprised me
- I have been printing for weeks now and I still don’t think that I have fully grasped the infiniteness of 3d printing possibilities. Every time I go on reddit there is something crazy being done with 3d printing, whether it be building fullsize houses or making mouse ovaries.
- Designing mechanical parts isn’t terribly difficult, if you can take measurements you can make things that will fit into other things. Tools like Fusion360 and Tinkercad make designing parts incredibly accessible.
Where am I at
On May 9th my 3d printer would not print, I am writing on May 21st and there has still be no resolution. So I ordered another 3d printer because I have got the bug and can’t stop.
I have printed some seriously cool things in my short 2 weeks.
I made a 3d bust of myself for my boss who recently left the company I work at.
These first two were done using the camera on my phone and using some photogrammetry software called regard3d, however my lighting was pretty poor and the software could only map the front of the model.
There were quite a few iterations and wasted plastic, but I am so happy with the final one.
It was scanned using kscan3d and an xbox360 kinect, then I shaped the resulting model into a bust. Then I printed it in natural PLA and spent copius hours sanding and painting.
I printed a Buddha that my girlfriend painted and used to make a terrarium for her mum.
I have also been making bits and pieces for a custom keyboard build I am working on.
And I have designed a slot together terrarium that uses glass inserts. This will need to be glued together though so that it is water tight.
What is next
My queue of things to print is growing rapidly.
- I am desperately seeking costume parties to attend so that I can 3d print cool props.
- I also have an idea for a terrarium using tanks from WoT (World of Tanks) for a friend.
- My workshop (read bedroom) is steadily growing out of control, so the first thing I print is likely going to be some clips, hooks and shelves for storing tools and what not.