I finally got around to getting my own 3D printer and its cool.

My first steps were to print the objects provided by the vendor, to verify that it was set up correctly.

Next, I downloaded an item from Thingiverse and printed that out fine. At this point, I’d used up the small amount of filament that came with the printer and changed to an actual filament reel.

However, I did not get back to using the 3D printer for a couple of days due to other obligations on my time.

Next up was to design a simple item in CAD software. The design was fine but when I loaded it into the slicer software, it had shrunk! After going back and forth a bit, I realized that I’d started the CAD design using English (inches) measurements but specified some of the items in millimeters. Somewhere, some how, the CAD software managed to output the STL file storing my 68.5 mm as 6.9 mm – meaning my item had shrunk by a factor of 10!

The solution was to correctly set up the CAD software for metric from the start.

Next up, I found that my X-plane axis was 90 degrees rotated from the X-plane in the slicer. Took me a bit to figure out how to rotate my part so that the bottom would be downwards on the 3D printer bed.

My first attempt to print failed – well, it started out okay but then after after awhile the filament stopped adhering to the bed.

Again, I had to study this for a bit and then eventually realized my test prints were done with PLA filament and the reel I’d put on a couple days ago was ABS. The problem was I had the print head and bed temperatures set for PLA and not for ABS!

Got that fixed and finally got my 3D print done. Good news, the part – a replacement for something I’d lost – fits just fine. Slightly bad news, but expected: I need to make parts of it a little thicker to make it sturdier. But that’s okay, progress was made!

Part of my reason for getting a 3D printer has been to learn CAD and to learn the intricacies of 3D printing. Each of these little booboos become a learning experience for me.

Therefore, I think everything is going great!