3D Printers/Printing CATCH ALL

Took me about 16 hours over the long weekend, but I managed to get my Prusa i3 MK3 put together. When they say it's a kit, they are not in any way kidding. My fingers are raw from all the tiny screws and nuts I had to put together, and I managed to crack the X-axis belt tensioner despite being very careful and not feeling any resistance on the tension screw. Fortunately the belt is still pretty tight, so I can print a replacement once I get past the calibration. Apparently the print bed isn't level either, so I need to figure that out. If you have the cash to get the pre-assembled model I highly, HIGHLY recommend getting that over the kit.

Even a pre-assembled model should have the bed leveled before using it. The auto level only works if a bed is pretty much level from the start.

Just look up any bed level video on youtube and it should suffice

I have a friend who assembled his own 3d printer as well...
He also recommends going with a pre-made one.

I dunno. If you're at all handy I recommend the MK3 kit. It's good to know how this thing goes together so you can tune/tweak/fix/modify it.

It has been nice knowing every part of the printer by heart. Apparently you don't so much level the bed of a Prusa as you make sure the sensor is in JUST the right place. We've been printing a boatload of stuff that still isn't painted, so no pics. Almost through a whole spool of PLA, the kiddo is loving being able to make things from her favorite shows, and the wife and I keep thinking of useful things for around the house that we don't have to go buy now.

I love 3d printing!

If I could do it again, and I had the $700 for the Prusa I'd go that way. The Ender 3 has been good, but finicky. I'm learning a lot with it.

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We had the earlier generation Prusa (I think the MK2S?) at my previous job. It was an absolute workhorse. We printed tons of parts for our prototypes from it and they turned out really well. I don't remember the material name, but we printed stuff that was flexible and rubbery and used it for mounting a bunch of RGB LEDs on a curved surface.

I've been eyeballing the MK3 recently. I think I've got the wife convinced that there are things we could print around the house to justify its existence.

Just have her look at https://www.reddit.com/r/functionalp...

lots of great ideas.

I want to try TPU with my Ender 3. (flexible filament) Looks like fun! I'd have to do a couple modifications to my printer because it can cause blockages easily.

Ha ha, yes. The thing that caught her attemption was when I suggested printing a custom spicerack tailored to her specifications. I built her one completely out of LEGO about a decade ago since nothing she found at the store matched what she wanted. It's worked out okay but it could be better...and I've always kind of wanted to reclaim those pieces since they belong to the Star Destroyer kit she bought me when we were first married. I really like the custom soap dish holders ideas as well.

Hmmm... I think I'll need to work on my sales pitch:

"Forget buying 'it's almost right' stuff from Target and Bed Bath & Beyond when you can make exactly what you want! Home improvement and decoration made easy with 3D printing!"

I've been looking at different CAD and slicer software options as well. I found this site:


and have downloaded FreeCAD for Ubuntu Linux to try out. A guy at work recommended Cura as a slicer to check out as well. I think some of the recent versions support the Prusa printers given some of the forum posts I've seen.

Slic3r (the Prusa developed software) works pretty good, and Cura seems well featured. My buddy that does this and sells a lot of his work mentioned Simplify 3D. It's $150, though, but he says it's the best slicer out there. Says it saves him tons of time.

Someone just posted a bunch of LEGO bricks to Thingiverse, not sure how long they'll be up before getting DMCA'd

I've now blown through 3 rolls of PLA, and my latest reorder included a couple of CC3D Silk metals. Here's a vase in Silk Gold.

I really wish there was a way to try this sort of thing out without investing in a 3D printer. I want to play with one but don't know if I can justify the cost.

Norfair wrote:

I really wish there was a way to try this sort of thing out without investing in a 3D printer. I want to play with one but don't know if I can justify the cost.

Local libraries in a lot of places have them for use (sometimes free). Places that sell them also usually let folks use them. There are also maker spaces which have them available.

Also if you are just interested in smaller stuff like minis and stuff there are some great budget small printers for < $200

With the end of NASA Curiosity's mission having come, I wondered if there was a decent set of STLs for printing a tribute.

Turns out NASA actually has a curated set of STLs for a ton of space stuff, from bodies to tools to scale models of rovers, satellites, and suits. Here's the page for Curiosity, and the STLs have been set up to already include brims at the corners of some of the smaller parts. And it even comes in two sizes!

I ordered the upgrade for the Prusa MK3 to MK3S. For $32 including shipping, seemed like a no brainer, considering I've never been able to get the filament sensor to reliably work, and I have some hot end work I want to do to the printer, and the promise of easier servicing is nice

Interesting that they send you filament and tell you to print the replacement parts yourself to go with the updated sensor. Will give it all a go when that sensor arrives

Ha! I also just ordered the upgrade kit for my Prusa. I'm excited about the whole thing.

Already downloaded the new version of Slic3r PE, and the new print profiles look interesting.

Behold...the replicator!


Interesting article & video a friend of mine sent to me.