Learning Curve

Apr 03 2020

On March 12th, my friend Al and I took a day trip to Hamilton, Ontario and 3D Printing Canada. I had decided to purchase a Creality Ender 3 Pro printer. I am glad I did - great entry-level printer.

It has now been 4 weeks now since I got the printer and here's what I have learned:

  1. Watch videos -- lots of them. You are not alone and there are many who have been there before you. Then Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro had been very popular printers and so there are many videos on just them. However, any video about starting out is generally worth watching as it gives you a sense of what to watch and what to expect.

  2. Failure is expected - you can learn if you don't fail. I have had a bunch of "bird nests" and that is expected. Getting to know your printer is part of the learning curve and the fun I would say.

  3. Don't be afraid - I wanted to learn about this world and it's not hard when you do have a rather large library of videos and documentation on the subject. I have "enhanced" my printer with several printed additions -- none of which were difficult print:
    • Filament guides
    • Front Panel rear cover
    • Filament knob
    • Power Supply fan cover
    • Extruder Cooling Duct (Thingiverse)
  4. Print, print, and print so more. The only way is to do. I discovered issues where my prints would no stick to the printer bed -- I tried glue, painter's tape, and several other combinations. In my case, I discovered is I wash the glass plate between printing and verify the plate is "aligned" then they do stick.

With the COVID-19 requiring "stay home", I have been printing headgear non-stop for several days. Number 20 is printing as I write this post. While I am not really experimenting with different prints, I am seeing that I can print reliably.

I plan several upgrades when I get a chance -- the printer is work well now and I don't want to screw it up as the headgear is important and I will have time in the future to implement the upgrades.

I believe getting Octoprint working will be a benefit and can be done offline until the point of implementation. Stay Tuned.


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