Are you interested in 3D printing? Of course you are, that is why you are here. Let me tell you about how I got started in 3D printing.
I have been 3D printing since January 2017, when I get an Anet A8 3D printer kit. I wanted a kit because I was feeling a bit nerdy. You learn a lot about how these printers work when you assemble it yourself.
My First Printer
Putting together the A8 was a daunting project. I had missed the mini SD card reader that was included. The mini SD card in the reader contained the assembly instructions. I followed instructions from a series of YouTube videos but got to a point where I discovered my printer was a slightly newer version of the A8. The new video series I found for my updated version assembled the parts of the printer in a different order.
I managed to follow the new set of videos and complete my printer. First a test print.
I discovered the hard way that the z-axis screws needed lubricant to prevent binding. When the printer started the test print, the head would move up off the z-axis sensor and back down. Because of the binding in the z-axis, the printer print head did not move up as high as it moved back down. This meant that even though I had leveled the bed, the print head scratched the build plate and tore up the tape.
The lubricant I used was WD-40, which I have heard is not the best lubricant to use. Really, any type of grease lubricant should work great.
My First Successful Prints
After successfully completing some test prints, I started my search for 3D images to print on Google. I wanted to make something for my daughter who loved the movie Frozen. I found these Elsa and Anna 3D prints to make. They were relatively easy to print and paint and my daughter loved them.
The Anet A8 is capable of printing multiple filament types, including ABS. Since Olaf’s nose hangs out, I printed Olaf in ABS in parts and used Acetone to glue him together.
Printing For D&D
I decided to attempt to 3D print some miniatures for a D&D game I was a part of. Printing miniatures on an FDM printer is very difficult because of the small details. The obvious solution was to get a resin 3D printer.
Resin 3D printers have a very high resolution, able to print fine details in all axes. Due to nozzle size, the ability to print fine details in the X and Y axes is very limited. I go into the detail about the best prints for printing D&D miniatures and terrain here.
Issues 3D Printing
3D printing various objects, I encountered many of the 3D printing issues or mistakes that can cause a print to fail. Everything from 3D print adhession to print warping, the issues ran the gambit at least once.
While I stumbled a few times trying figure out the best way to resolve these issues, I eventually discovered the problem and continued my print. Let me help you fix your printer so that you don’t have to spend the time I did getting the printer working.
Ender 3 V2
Eventually, I decided to move to a new house with my fiance. In the move, my Anet was damaged and required significant repairs. Instead, I decided to purchase an Ender 3 V2.
The Ender 3 is a very popular printer. There was some assembly required but most of the smaller pieces were already attached. I was able to get the printer up and running with a couple hours. This time, I made sure to lubricate the Z-axis and got the printer running without much trouble.
I also decide to purchase a dual extrusion printer, the Geeetech A20M. This printer is a single nozzle, dual extruder printer that allows for color mixing.
I will have more to say on this.
Let my experience help you on your 3D printing journey. Whether you are trying to find the best printer or having trouble with your own, I have experience with FDM single and dual extruder printers and SLA. No matter what issue you are having, I have been there and get help you get to printing an awesome 3D print.