3D Printing

I am not new to 3d printers. In college I helped to run the 3d printing lab, fulfilling requests to make things for various classes(at the time, the most promising was how it could be used to demonstrate anatomy with relatively cheap modifiable parts). That was around 2017. At the time the printer lab consisted of a few Flashforges, a few Makerbots, and an Ultimaker that was not functioning at any point that I was working there. Before that I had a Da Vinci 3d printer that had DRM on the filament spools, which was not very welcome, so I have been using these things across the majority of the last decade.

When I was there, we used various software for slicing, including the makerbot software, Cura, and Silc3r(now prusaslicer), and Simplify3d, in order of quality(Cura is better, and I don’t have a simplify3d license or a reason to use makerbot software thank god, prusaslicer has also improved a lot).

More recently, I got an Ender 3 Pro, which is relatively nice. It is a much better experience than the Da Vinci printer in all the ways I can think of, so there has been substantial progress on making this a pleasant process. However, I have not even had the printer for a full month and the board seems to be flaking out on me. Halting, juddering movement, frequent complete lockups where who knows what could happen to the thermal runaway protection.

That is to say, 3d printers are still haunted by the specter of low quality electronic components, or alternately, it was fried when a lighting bolt struck a nearby power line, causing a blackout. They claimed the PSU was higher quality on the Ender 3 pro, but I’m not sure that it has delivered completely. Either way, the new board is on the way for later today, and we’ll see if we need another set of components or if we have finally shaken all the bugs out.

Recently I’ve been trying to design moving parts that can be manufactured by 3d printers. I’ve been having trouble with the bearing being impossible to dislodge without comprehensively damaging the object. My next attempt will involve using more infill and turning off the brim, so hopefully the meshes will not become entangled so strongly, but I suspect that the ultimate solution is to increase the amount of tolerance between the moving parts in the design.

In general, I’m quite happy with how things are going with the printers, one of my partners is talking about building a voron printer, which would be capable of being very fast and very accurate, and that sounds like a lot of fun.






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